Ephemera is, well, ephemeral --- not really intended to last more than 140 years as these scraps of paper from the Lucas County Historical Society collection have. I took a closer look late last week while working with the archival binder boxes in which many of our precious scraps of paper are kept.
The fact that these items survive at all, let alone in pristine condition, can be attributed to the Dungan family, among Chariton's early residents and actually quite large. The Dungans saved nearly everything, then managed to die out --- entirely --- at about the time the historical society was organized 50 years ago. Many of their belongings formed part of the early collection.
George W. Blake, a Civil War veteran, arrived in Chariton from Ottumwa during the spring of 1865 and opened a hardware store that he operated until his death during 1900. On Sept. 27, 1866, he married Caroline Edginton, who had arrived with her father some years earlier.
They announced their marriage with the two beautifully printed cards at the top here, tied together with ribbon, first "Miss C. Edginton," then "Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Blake."
David Q. Storie, pioneer Chariton physician and druggist, also arrived in Chariton immediately after the Civil War and on July 8, 1869, married Della Jackson. They celebrated their first anniversary with an open house that commenced at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, July 8, 1870. These small invitations would have been hand-delivered to their friends.
Nelson B. Gardner and Eliza Murphy were married Dec. 23, 1850, in Ohio, then came to Chariton during 1855. He was a long-time Lucas County clerk of district court and attorney. The Gardners celebrated their 20th anniversary during an open house that began at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 26, 1870. Again, the invitations most likely were hand-delivered.
Contemporary newspaper accounts suggest that Elizabeth (Swett) Temple, married to Edward Ames Temple, pioneer Chariton banker, loved to entertain. This is a hand-written invitation on heavily embossed stationery to a party scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 8, 1871.
Miss Myra and Edna (Dungan) Culbertson, the last of the Dugans, ensured that these items were added to the historical society collection before their deaths in the 1960s --- and we're grateful.