Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Two Young Mountain Folks Get Married

Today would have beent he 80th wedding anniversary of my parents.

I am fortunate to have the journals written by my mother in the 1970's, so here is her account of their wedding day.  I have transcribed it exactly as she wrote it, so if you're not from eastern Kentucky, or thereabouts, it might be a bit of a challenge to read.  She was only able to attend school until 8th grade.

Part 1:
Ida Stevens Clemens’ Personal Journal Writings

Written by her own hand during the later years of her life – probably 1970’s

So we was a happy family and mother always like to fix a good dinner and invite all our friends in Mrs. Watt Hillman always had Christmas dinner with us for about 12 or 14 years straight.

My dad never did no his birthday for sure so he made him a birthday the 6 day of November and mother & I had him a surprise dinner we had friends already there when he came home from work he was about 37 years old when he had his first birthday dinner.

When I was about 18 years old I had made up my mind to be married so my mom & dad told me I could get married and my cousin Burl Stevens and Blanch Newland got married on the 28 day of January and on Sunday my Husband to be Chester Lee Clemens and I went up we was all ready to take off.  too my uncle Eddie’s to a Wedding dinner so we all had a good day and went out for a walk and took some pictures of the lime stone mines where my father worked so we came home that Sunday night and Clemens ask my dad if we could get married so he said yes so the next morning my darling went to town Olive Hill Ky and got my wedding dress.  He got a very pretty one navy blue with a tan stripe in it it sure was pretty and he got me a nice scarf too so we was all ready to take off.  We wanted to go to morehead KY and be married by the Judge {?} in rowan co. 

We didn’t have no car but Richard & Alice Newton to go and drive the car and be or witness so we was on our way by noon {12} the weather was ice and plenty off mud and no good road at Lawton at the time in 1932.

Clemens had to put the battery in the car so he didnt no how and go up under and got battery watter in his eys and he took like he had been crying all day and people would ask him if he was hurt be cause he was getting married we was late getting back for we had got stuck in the mud and Clemens had to get out and pust so we looked like mud dobers when we got home all our friend was there really work on us.  They carried Clemens down to the store on a poll and they all fell down and the poll held them down there and Clemens just sat there and didn’t get of the poll so we finlay did get down to the store and we bought candy to treat our friends on and then they bought us pillows.

So this was our wedding night of Feb 1th of 1932 at Lawton Ky in carter co.
So the next day.  We went to visit his folks who lives near by in a place called Todd town at Lawton Ky.  So we lived with his folks about three weeks.  And then came back to my father home and lived up stairs till we got our house built.  We builted a small too room house and went too house keeping for our selves the 29 of march 1932.  On my dad farm he helped he started the too room and house and finished it up put a kitchen & electric and weather bording on it and built a barn and lived there about 5 years Clemens got 2.00 a day for 10 hours.  That was 12.00 a week we got along pretty good dad gaive me a cow she was a young Jersey.  We bought our furniture from Clemens sister Nellie tabor. 

Part 2:

Ida Stephens Clemens married Chester Lee Clemens, Feb 1 1932.

We went to more head Ky to be married it was on a Monday we got back to my dads after dark people was all ready there to sarahnaid us we ait our Supper a _____ it was so cold & snow & mud and Ice Alice & Richard Hillman took us in  his dads old chev car.  The Boys all carried Clem down to the Store on a big pole thay fell down with the poll and Clem just set there and thay couldent get up.  We treated them with candy & cigars. And that Bought us a pr of pillows.
Part 3:

Wedding Day   Feb 1 1932

We were married on a mondy in morehead Ky in Rowan co it was a cold day muddy & some Ice & Snow.  Richard Hill & his wife Alice took us to morehead in Clem Father old 27 chev car.  Clem put the Battery in the car and got acd in his eyes he look like he was crying all day.  We had a late meal in Shouder Ky

When we got home it was dark the neighbors was there to bell us. That beat on dishpans shot off Guns and rode Clem on a pail down to the Store they fell down and Clem just sit on the rail and thay couldint get up.  We all finley arrived at the Store we Bought candy & cigar and treated ever one and thay Bought us a pair of pillows for our bed.  Chester walked to Olive Hill and got me a dress for the wedding & a Scarf he Started about 4 AM in the morning and was back before 8.AM.  My dress at  the neck line.  He wore a Navy Blue Surge Suit.  We stayed all night at my dads House in Lawton Ky a big 7 room house up the Hollow behind Watt Hillman Store.  We had a big dinner at my mom and Dads House the next day and we went down to Chester mom & Dad House the next day we Stayed at my mom and Dads House till we went to House Keeping the 29 of March 1932.  We builted us a nice too room Houe.  We had 1 bed 1 dresser a big pot belled Stove in one room.  The kitchen.  We had a cook Stove a big round table and a dish Shelf.  And Clem Bought us a big Sow Hog so we had our meat for the next winter.  We had a garden & caned & dad give us a young Jersey cow.  Clem didn’t make much at that time he only made .20 pr Hr 12.00 a week to live on he worked 10 Hr a Day
Chester Lee and Ida Stevens Clemens, shortly after their wedding in 1932
Chester and Ida in 1982, 50 years later

I am also fortunate to have a personal history written by my dad during the 1970's.  Here is his story of their wedding:

As I mentioned before I met my boss’es daughter after I came back from school at Berea College, in Berea, Ky and after about two years we decided to get married, and a funny thing happened, neither of her parents wanted us to marry, but I perposed to her one Sunday afternoon and we both asked her parents if it was O.K. with them and her father finally said yes but her mother never would agree to it so I went to Olive Hill the next morning and got our marriage license and we got Richard Hillman to drive us to Morehead, Ky. And we were married by the Justice Of Peace and when her Father came in from work that afternoon and found that we were married, he said he felt a little left out because we didn’t let him know that we were getting married so soon and didn’t invite him to our wedding and he said that, I felt bad, about but we were afraid he would back on his agreement but I will say that I could never have had a better pair of in-lawsif I had searched the world over, they treated me like I was their own son and I feel that I can never repay them for being so good to me.  He even helped us to build a small house on his property and that is where our oldest daughter Fern was born and Jean was born there two years later.

They had everything going against them and everything going for them.  They married during the Depression, but according to Mom they never knew a Depression was even going on.  They "made do", having learned that trait from both of their own parents.  They raised a family.  They became addicted to cigarettes, like everyone else of that time period.  Dad worked in the coal mines, then was the only one in the coal camp drafted to go into the Navy and on to Pearl Harbor.  Mom stayed at home and raised three little girls on mostly beans and cornbread. 

They taught me a lot, probably without ever even knowing it.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely story. It was fun to read. A simpler time but what this great nation was built.