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Dr. and Mrs. J. C. Lovejoy Fifty Years Wed

News article detailing the 50th wedding anniversary of Dr. and Mrs. J. C. Lovejoy

Jefferson Souvenir  July 10, 1897


Dr. and Mrs. J. C. Lovejoy, of Old Rippey, Celebrate.


Thirty-two Children and Grandchildren Are Present.


And secures a Lucrative Position Through The Recommendation of a Dead Man.---How it Was Done.

For a period of several years the Lovejoy family has looked forward with pleasant anticipation to the 4th day of July, 1897, when it was hoped, after years of scattering, the children could once more come together, and assist their parents in celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

The reunion took place last Sunday at the Old Rippey home, where seven children out of the nine living, were present to greet the parents, who for a half century have trod the pathway of life together.  The two absent ones were Messrs. James O. Lovejoy, of Atwood, Kansas, and Fred Lovejoy, of Afton, Wyoming.  Dr. and Mrs. Lovejoy had wished to invite all the older settlers of the county to be present, but owing to the day coming on the Sabbath, it was thought best not to do so.

Two old settlers of Iowa were especially remembered at this time, they being grandmother Medina Crow, of Grand Junction, and Adjutant General Wright, of Des Moines, both of whom were at Dr. and Mrs. Lovejoy’s wedding.

Dr. J. C. Lovejoy and Miss Emeline Bunnell were married at Independence, Warren county, Indiana, July 4, 1847, at about 6:30 o’clock in the evening, the ceremony being performed by Rev. Robinson, a Methodist minister.  The wedding took place at the home of the bride’s mother, Mrs. Isaac Bunnell.

The doctor, after a few weeks, went back to Chicago, where he had been attending Rush medical college, to complete his course.  Mrs. Lovejoy remained with her mother until the spring of ’48, the doctor then returning, and together they went to housekeeping, and the doctor began the practice of his profession.  They remained at Independence there years and then moved to Monticello, Indiana, where the doctor continued to apply his profession in connection with a drug store.

In 1854 Dr. Lovejoy’s attention was turned to Iowa, a new and growing state, and he concluded to come westward.  Accordingly he made arrangements and came to Des Moines in the fall of that year, where, in company with his brother, he engaged in the mercantile and lumber business, being located with the formed on 2nd street, near what is now the Rock Island railroad right of way.  His lumber yard, where he handled only native lumber, was located south and a little west of his store, in the region of where the Rock Island depot stands today. At this time no railroad had entered Iowa, the doctor coming by stage from Davenport westward to Des Moines.  The goods for the store he shipped from Indiana, and the lumber he handled was made up and down ‘Coon River.  The best kind of Walnut siding sold at that time for $10. Per thousand, and the producers thought themselves in luck to get that price.  In July 1855, he returned to Indiana and brought Mrs. Lovejoy to the new home.  The residence in which they first resided stood on the site now occupied by the Morgan house, the land where now is located the principal business part of Des Moines on Locust and Walnut street, being a pretty stretch of prairie.

In 1859, Dr. Lovejoy sold out his Des Moines interests and with teams and wagons and household effects, pulled for Greene county and settled at Old Rippey.  At that time there were only six houses in this little ‘berg, the one in which they resided being almost exactly on the spot where his present farm house stands.  The doctor engaged once more in the general merchandise business and was shortly after appointed post master, which position he held until the removal to New Rippey in about 1872.  At the commencement of the war, or a little before, Dr. Lovejoy organized, and was captain of the "Home Guards," out of which Company H. of the 10th Iowa infantry was recruited.  The doctor could have been captain of this brave company, but a number of those who enlisted, earnestly begged him to remain at home, he being the family physician of many of the, likewise keeper of the "corner store," so it seemed best that he serve his country in its hour of peril by remaining at home.  Many a time did he take an ax on his shoulder and with a team go to the timber in the midst of winter and cut and haul wood for some "war widow."  Credit at his store was always good to those whose main stay and help was away fighting the country’s battles.  In this capacity Dr. Lovejoy served his country well.  His services were appreciated by many of the boys in blue from Green county, who were prompt to recompense him in every way possible for his fidelity to duty in this regard.

Shortly after coming to Rippey, the doctor purchased a portion of the farm which he now owns and which has served as his home for so many years.  The day brought up many reminiscences of the past when Rippey was a frontier town and Greene county nothing else than a rolling prairie. 

Among the old settlers who have gone to their reward were mentioned, Dr. Burk, Thos. Young, Valentine Babb, Jacob Heater, Samuel Rhoad, "Uncle" Luis Adkins, Joel Thornburg, Arch Allen, Isom Toliver, Elam Robbins, and many others. 

Among those now living who helped to make Greene county what it is, and who came here previous to and about the time Dr. Lovejoy and wife did, are Elhanan Rinehart, "Uncle Billy" Lee, Hiram Toliver,

R. Van Horn, Adam Shroyer, James Thornton, "Uncle Billy" Anderson, James Beaman, W. J. Beaman, and others, several of whom still reside in this county.

Of the Lovejoy family, nine out twelve are now living.  In the order of their ages they are as follows:  Arthur C., Walter, Halsey E., Owen, James O., Albert B., Fred, Victor H., and Lillian E.  Walter and Fred are residents of Afton, Wyoming, James lives in Atwood, Kansas.  The balance of the family resides in Greene county.  Of grandchildren, there have been thirty-two, twenty-four of whom are living.  The total number of descendants living including wives and husbands, number exactly forty, thirty two of whom were at the reunion.  Dr. Lovejoy is past seventy-eight years of age and Mrs. Lovejoy almost sixty-nine.