Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tying the knot in 1895: William Dennis Porteous and Carrie Ida Snyder, my grandparents

The other day, I came across an image of my grandparents' marriage announcement. Thanks to cousin Sharon who had a nice copy stashed away in one of her family history caches. I must also thank Sharon for the "better" image of grandpa and grandma posing at a studio in Chicago in their wedding clothes. I don't think the wedding picture was taken on their wedding day because they were married about 50 miles northwest of Chicago. They were married at the Snyder home on Gilmer Road near Volo, Lake County, Illinois.

Mr. and Mrs. John Snyder,
announce the marriage of their daughter
Carrie I. Snyder
William D. Porteous,
On Wednesday, October Twenty-third,
eighteen hundred and ninety-five ,
At Ivanhoe, Illinois

Carrie Ida (Snyder) and William Dennis Porteous.
 I wish this was a color image showing the color of
grandma's dress. I have always thought her dress was
beautiful and simple, yet elegant in its own way. "The bride was
attired in heliotrope colord silk and wore cream colored tea roses."

[The following is a transcript of a newspaper announcement of the wedding. I don't know what newspaper it came out of, if I should happen to find the clipping photocopy, I'll correct this.] 

This is unique to what you see in the newspapers of today. I love the fact the gifts were listed. How many announcements do you see today like that?
About sixty friends and relatives gathered a the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Snyder, of Fremont, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 1895, to witness the marriage of their daughter Carrie to William D. Porteous. At high noon the bridal party appeared, Miss Lillian Coudrey acting as bridesmaid, and James W. Vanplew as best man, Rev. Dibble officiating. The bride was attired in heliotrope colored silk and wore cream colored tea roses. Congratulations followed the ceremony, after which the guests were invited to partake of a bountiful repast. In the afternoon the guests were entertained with music, both instrumental and vocal. 
Mr. and Mrs. Porteous received many beautiful and useful presents, among which were the following: Table cloth, napkins and set of dishes, father and mother of the bride; glass tea set, father and mother of groom; chamber set, Mr. and Mrs. James Vanplew; parlor lamp, Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Snyder; water set, Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Snyder; silver tea set, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Price, of Chicago; gold sugar shell,  Rev. and Mrs. Dibble; water set, James and John Vanplew; water set, Henry Coudrey; pair of pillow slips and set of bread and cake knives, Miss Lillian Coudrey; milk pitcher, Alice Snyder; chamber set, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Vanplew; bread plate and sauce dishes, Annie Vanplew; lantern, Bennie Porteous; bed spread, Miss Clara Ehinnger; pin cushion, Miss Bertha Ehinnger; lamp, Nettie and Nellie Ehinnger; comfort [warm quilt], Miss Fisher; pair of towels, Miss McConaty; pickle castor, Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Davis; set of salts and peppers, Albert Snyder; grater and wooden spoon, Daisy Vanplew; paper rack and bracket, Miss Kitty Coudry; berry dish, Owen Vanplew; pitcher, Flo Vanplew; one dollar, Vernon Vanplew; five dollars, Mr. and Mrs. Clem Small; table cloth and napkins, Arthur Ritty; cake stand, Minnie Snyder; lamp, Edward Coudrey; silver sugar shell, A. A. Payne; bed spread, the Misses Murray.

Growing up in that house with grandma, I don't remember seeing any of the above items they received. I'm sure that over the years, she gave her daughters a lot of things. I wish I would have been a recipient, but I was young and just a granddaughter. I have a couple keepsakes of grandma's, but as I go over the above list, I can't pick out anything I have that would be a  match. Too bad.

Grandma's wedding dress was used many times as a costume in school plays or whenever we needed something "different" -- I have no idea what happened to it since it's been well over 50 years since school days. Her dress was a darker purple, but I'm sure that 60 plus years later when I saw it, nothing looks the same as it did when it was new. I am sad to think I let that slip away from my heirloom cache. Live and learn.


  1. Karen,
    You grandmother is beautiful. I needed to research the color heliotrope. I bet her dress was special to see. Her color choice made me wonder when white wedding dresses became popular. Do you know?

    1. Thanks for reading this post. When I was growing up with my grandmother, we had her wedding dress, but it got used as a costume for school plays...I have no idea what happened to it some 50 years ago. Doing family history and knowing how important it is to have this type of keepsake, I now regret the casual attitude of long ago use.

      I think Queen Victoria was the first to have a white wedding dress (1840), but most people couldn't afford such finery and would wear a good dress of whatever color and be practical so they could wear for other occasions. History of white wedding dress: