Original poem by Mrs. Eva Rickes read at the Golden Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim Powell of Shirland, IL August 5, 1912.
It was just fifty years ago today
At four o’clock in the afternoon,
Our Nancy appeared in bridal array
For Ephraim, her cherished groom.
The affection they gave each other,
Was more precious than jewels, or
And their nuptial vows are unbroken,
Though they’ve struggled through
Just eleven days after their marriage
Came the call for more volunteers.
Our groom left his bride and enlisted,
Leaving her in a dark cloud of fear.
Think you that the parting was easy?
Those were times that tested men’s lives.
Twixt humanity’s cause imperiled,
And the pleadings of mothers, and wives.
For three long, cruel years, they were parted.
By the numberless horrors of war,
He, struggling with dangers, and hardships,
She, praying he be saved from a scar.
He was spared to come home to his trueheart,
And together they furnished a home,
On the prairie they furnished a home,
On the prairie not far from Rockton,
They were happy, and cared not to roam.
It was there that the stork left Parker,
A black-eyed mischievous lad.
He proceded to stir things up lively,
And kept them all merry, and glad.
In four years they moved to this homestead,
Where baby Hattie arrived one day;
You all can guess, if you only confess,
The “Dickens” and all was to pay.
Then that miserable cow in Chicago,
Kicked over that kerosene lamp.
The fire ran on, ‘till it reached the lake,
And the people were forced to de-camp.
A loud call for carpenters reached here,
And pitiful were the tales they told,
Of families out in the cinders,
With no feed, or sheltering fold.
The plea was too strong for our brother,
He moved his whole household, and bit,
And staid there, and worked like a hero,
‘Till all were as snug as a ship.
Then back he came to old Shirland,
And built him this pleasant home,
Then curly-haired Dwight and Freddie,
Came to help pick the Thanskgiving bones.
They all have helped in the church work,
And faithful have served through the years.
We don’t know what we’d do without them,
The mere thought just brings the tears.