It was also a year for love. On Valentine's Day, 82 years ago, my great-grandparents were married at the courthouse in Stockton, Kansas.
There was a ten-year age difference between them. Nevella Benedick was only 16 years old when she married Marion Lumpkins.
It was a family wedding five years prior that brought them together. Marion's older brother Roy married Nevella's older sister Della in August 1929.
Nevella and Della's father Ernest Benedick was a successful farmer who owned land outside of Plainville, Kansas. Ernest employed Marion on the farm.
|Ernest Benedick beside his corn crop.|
It was soon clear to Nevella's parents that the young couple were in love. They told her the budding romance was obvious and that they should do something about it.
At the courthouse, Ernest gave his consent for Nevella to marry her Valentine. That was the beginning of a nearly 65-year marriage.
|Marion and Nevella Lumpkins Wedding Day 1934|
In a biographical sketch he penned of his life, Marion succinctly recalled the events of 1934: "We were married. I shucked corn and help cut wood for Ernie Benedick for 1.00 dollar a day."
For their many descendants, Valentine's Day would be inextricably associated with their love and family. Each of their wedding anniversaries featured cakes festooned with hearts. Valentine's iconic symbol of love followed them through life and even in death; their wedding date is inscribed on their headstone and encircled forever in a heart.