Leoria Wilbur, Her Wedding Shower

August 8 1923 Wedding Shower for Grandma

I hope all mothers had a special Sunday! It was my birthday week and Mother’s Day, which is always a challenge on the food front.

Today I illustrate how much information can be gleaned from a little newspaper article. This one is from The Binghamton Press, August 9, 1923. It describes the shower given by Marguerite Millham for Leoria Wilbur (Jr.) the day before her wedding to C. Claude Barber.

Leoria and Hattie Millham

Who is Marguerite? She is the granddaughter of Sarah Finch Wilbur Millham (Cline) and the daughter of  Sarah’s only surviving child, Ira Oliver Millham, with her first husband, Oliver Hunt Millham, who died in 1873 of tuberculosis. Sarah is Stephen D. Wilbur’s sister who was close enough to her brother to spend her final days with him. Although Stephen is Leoria’s adoptive father, she is technically his granddaughter since Albert L. Meeker, at 23, left his daughter with them at the death of  her mother, Leoria Wilbur (Sr.) Following this? Marguerite and Leoria are each a granddaughter of siblings, Stephen and Sarah Wilbur. I know your head is spinning but one other fact, Oliver Hunt Millham, Captain, and Stephen Decatur Wilbur, Private, were in the same company during the Civil War.

Marguerite’s family includes lots of children, one of whom is her older sister, Mrs. Earl J. Cafferty, known before her marriage as Hattie Millham, using a nickname for Harriet. Hattie and Earl were married in 1912 by W. E. Davis in the Boulevard Methodist Episcopal Church, right next door to Leoria’s house. It’s likely Stephen, Lovina and 9-year-old Leoria attended. By 1923, that home is sold to the church as a parsonage which explains Leoria’s address as Port Dickinson.

Who else was married by W. E. Davis? Emily Barber and Harland Bigelow! Mrs. Harland Bigelow is at the party, too. Emily is the daughter of Carrie (Caroline) Tripp Barber. Carrie is the sister of Lovina Tripp Wilbur.  Another sibling connection exists among this little group. Emily was the flower girl when Leoria Wilbur (Sr.) married Albert Meeker in 1900. I still have not found a link between Emily’s father, Josiah C. Barber, and our Barber family.

As for the rest of the guests, Mrs. George Archibald is a Millham sister-in-law. Her daughter Florence, along with Earl Cafferty, Jr. help out by pushing the refreshment cart. Likewise, Mrs. Lewis Spanenburg, is a sibling, Pearl Millham.

Miss Harriet Barber is the younger sister of Claude, the groom to be in a day, and Aunt Harriet to me, a great-aunt I met a few times as a child.

Since Marguerite, Harriet and Leoria are all about the same age, it’s likely the other guests are classmates from the Thomas Jefferson School and Binghamton Central High School.

The location is Berwin Street in Westover which is less than a couple of miles from Leoria’s old home and the Methodist Episcopal Church her grandfather, Stephen D. Wilbur started with other Methodists in his living room in 1907. It is her old neighborhood.

The mystery today: Why was Leoria living in Port Dickinson, 7 miles away, about an hour bus ride? 

Grandmother Leoria; great-grandmother, Leoria; great-aunt Harriet; 2nd cousins 1x removed Millhams; 1st cousin 2x removed Emily; 2nd great grandfather and grandmother, Stephen and Lovina; 2 great aunt and uncle, Carrie and Josiah; almost more relatives than copy space!

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