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Friday, January 17, 2014

A 1910 Wedding Invitation Adds Family Data

Over the past Thanksgiving holiday, my husband's family shared a suitcase full of old photos and documents.  After opening the suitcase, my eyes glazed over just at the sight of what seemed like tons of photographs from so many years ago.  The majority of them were from the World War I career of my husband's grandfather, Leroy Hessler Reif.  But, then I saw some envelopes stuffed with old documents.  I thought to myself, "Jackpot!!!"  As I flipped through the yellowing papers, I realized that I had just been handed some very interesting pieces of information....just the thing that you can't get from any book or website.

I scanned the documents recently, and found one that kept my interest more than the others.  Here it is :

A wedding invitation that had been sent to my husband's great grandparents, Dr.and Mrs. J.H. Downing, dated 1910


I was only familiar with the surname Tipton, as that was the maiden name of Mrs. Downing (Anna).
So, naturally, I thought that Mr. Claudius Jones Tipton, mentioned here as the groom, would have been related to her.  But I had no other information.  Time to do a little magic with my fingers and check to see what I could find on Ancestry.com.  I found  plenty.

Claudius was the son of Frank Tipton (brother of Anna Tipton Downing) and Harriet Jones, making him the nephew of Mrs. Downing.  He was born in Seward, Nebraska.  Harriet, his mother, passed away in 1906, and his father, Frank, had remarried by the time of this wedding in 1910.

Claudius was rather handsome.  Here is a photo of him


His bride, Florence Cattle, was the daughter of Walter and Bessie Cattle, of Seward, Nebraska.  Walter and his brother were operators of the State Bank of Nebraska in Seward.  The grandfather of Claudius Tipton, who was Claudius Jones, operated the bank until he became ill in the late 1870s.  He sold the bank to another businessman, who then sold the bank to the Cattle family.  Walter Cattle, father of the bride Florence, became one of those bank owners.  Funny how these banking families had close ties.

The union of Claudius Tipton and Florence Cattle seemed to work out well.  They raised a fine family.

The bank remained in the family, being named the Cattle National Bank and Trust Company.

See what you can find out about people who just seemed to be names printed on a wedding invitation.  How nice it is to put faces with those names in your family tree.

Now, if anyone in your family says that they have a suitcase full of old photos and papers, don't turn down the opportunity to take a peek at just what is in there.  You, too, just might hit the "Jackpot".


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