Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Marriage Service Book -- Wedding Wednesday (October 16, 2013)

Yesterday was the 117th anniversary of the birth of my paternal grandfather, Arnold G. Tew, Sr. He was born in Central Falls, Rhode Island on October 15, 1896 to John Andrew Tew and his wife, Margaret "Maggie" (Conner) Tew.  My grandfather was the fourth of their five children and he was the only one of four sons to survive beyond age two.

Ninety-two years ago my grandfather married my grandmother, Huldah Antonia Hasselbaum.  As a record of their marriage they were presented with a "Marriage Service" book.  The book was the creation of the Rev. Salem D. Towne who copyrighted his book in 1900.  The book consists of sixteen pages, which are depicted below.

Salem Darius Towne was born in Clarksburg, Massachusetts on May 9, 1857, the son of Abner F. Towne and his wife Amanda.  He grew up in Williamstown, Massachusetts and Bennington, Vermont.  In 1882 he moved to Bangor, Maine where he attended the Theological Seminary and graduated in 1885.  He served in several churches including the Congregational Churches in Ellsworth, Maine,  Hampden, Maine, and Oldtown, Maine.  In 1889 he founded a religious paper called The Word and the Work and was both editor and publisher until October, 1890.  In 1885 he published a booklet called the "Wedding Souvenir," which became so popular it went through five editions by 1901.  Rev. Towne authored several other publications for ministers that also met with wide acceptance and so eventually he turned all of his attention to his publications, which were issued by the Ingraham Printing and Publishing Company of Williamstown, Massachusetts.

The portrait photograph at the end of the Marriage Service book is of Rev. Marion Bratcher of the Calvary Baptist Church, Providence, Rhode Island.  Rev. Bratcher performed the wedding ceremony for my grandparents.

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Scanned images of the Marriage Service book from the original in the collection of the author. 

Biographical information about the Rev. Salem Darius Towne from "The Descendants of William Towne: Who Came to America on Or About 1630 and Settled in Salem, Mass." compiled by Edwin Eugene Towne (Newtonville, Mass. Published by the Author, 1901),  p. 210 - 211
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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