Richland Co., Ohio


Pictures Of People

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John W. & Mary E. (Thomas) Niman


source:  Semi-Weekly News:  26 November 1897, Vol. 13, No. 95



A half century of wedded life seldom falls to the lot of mortals.  The happy occasion of the celebration of a golden wedding anniversary is an extreme rarity and calls for more than a passing notice. 

Such felicitous event occurred Thursday at the home of Mr. & Mrs. John W. Niman, one mile west of Spring Mills, where for many years this esteemed couple have resided, known and beloved of their many friends.

John W. Niman was born two miles north of Mansfield, in Madison Township, over 70 years ago.  He has been an eye witness to the various changing of Mansfield from a cabin village in the wilderness to a city filled with shops, whirling wheels and ringing hammers, while its railroads connect it with the seas, the lakes and the gulf.

He was left fatherless in early life and bound an apprentice four years to learn a joiner's trade and served the time faithfully.  He married Miss Mary E. Thomas, Nov. 25, 1847.  She was born in Gorham, Seneca County, New York, nearly 73 years ago and is still able to take care of her own house.  She came to Ohio with her parents when she was eight years of age.

In later years, Mr. Niman engaged in scientific beekeeping, making it a success.  He accomplished a remarkable feat, heretofore unknown in the history of apiculture.  He induced his bees to write his name in large capital letters of beautiful comb and honey which was done to perfection, the honey letters weighing 21 pounds which were exhibited to thousands of admiring people.

The beautiful weather of the early portion of the day was favorable to the coming of the guests and nearly all responded to the invitation, 83 persons being present, and all received a hearty welcome from the host and hostess.  The comfortable home was tastily decorated with autumn leaves, flowers and myrtle.  Mr. Niman was dressed, in large part, in the suit he wore at his wedding, and Mrs. Niman wore a white dress, a duplicate of her wedding gown. 

As a part of the exercises of the occasion, a programme was presented beginning with prayer by the Rev. N.H. Loose, which was followed by the introduction of the bride and groom of 50 years ago.  An address of welcome and reminiscence was then delivered by the groom which was appropriate to the event.  The Rev. Mr. Loose read a poem, "The Golden Wedding" and followed it with a touching address suitable to the happy occasion.  From a leaflet provided by the host, the guests sang several songs "The Golden Wedding Day" and "Fifty Years Ago" and Theo. B. Niman delivered several selections, "The Pen and the Press" and "The Merrimac and Monitor". 

The feast prepared for the anniversary was such as Mother Niman is noted for.  It was ample and delicious.  Among the novelties on the table spread with all the substantials and delicacies the appetite could crave, fashioned by the deft and artistic hand of Mrs. F. Craiglow, cakes made to represent bee hives with bees flying about and cakes with dates "1847 and 1897" and "50 Years Ago" in gold lettering.

Nor were the guests unmindful of the bestowal of tokens as souvenirs of their regard for the venerable couple, for the presents were many and beautiful among them articles of furnishings and for the decoration of house and table.  Mr. & Mrs. Niman appreciating all of these greatly, but above all prizing the friendship and good will of their friends.  It was a happy, soulful gathering and as the day wore on the guests from far and near bid their adieus, whishing for Father Niman and his good wife many yeas more of life and happiness.

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