It was a beautiful wedding day - cool and bright (in a year much
like 1965). There was rain the day before and the day after. The
wedding took place at the home of the bride in Brownville - high
on a hill over looking the town and the river, which was bank full
from the rains.
The bride had taught 40 pupils in the primary room at Dawson for
two years, walking a mile to school and back. At the end of the
school year she went to the Brownville home of her parents to sew
her wedding dress and plan the wedding.
During the winter of 1914 the groom had dug a well on the farm
two miles north of Dawson, built big hay and stock barn, a chicken
house for the 24 hens his mother gave him. In the early spring of
1915 he and a carpenter began work on the house.
Automobiles were few so it was most unusual for the groom to make
so long a trip. His brother Nelson Ulmer drove him to Brownville.
It was the farthest he had been from home - in his 22 years he had
been to Falls City only twice.
He arrived in Brownville on Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday he helped
pick strawberries and made a daylong trip with the bride's father
to Auburn by train for the marriage license.
The wedding was on Wednesday - a simple ceremony at noon, followed
by dinner. Guests were parents, brothers, and sisters and their
families, the bride's grandmother and the Rev. H. S. Tool family
(the Dawson minister who performed the ceremony).
On Wednesday evening the guests returned home in their two autos.
The bride and groom returned to Dawson by train on Friday, stayed
a few days in the home of the groom's parents, and then went to
live in a part of their just enclosed new house. The bride cooked
for the carpenters, the groom helped with the building work, reserving
much of the finishing work for himself.
Now tall elms, maples and coffee trees surround the house. There
are six children, four sons-law, and thirteen grandchildren. There
have been drought and two world wars. The house has survived lightening
and a small tornado. The pumping and carrying of buckets of water
have changed to a turn of a faucet. The single walking plow and
two horses with which Reuben broke the sod on the south twenty are
as obsolete as the horse and buggy, which took them to church. The
autos, which could not travel after heavy rain and were drained
and put on blocks for the winter, have gone, and now night and day
the year around the highway is filled with the noise of cars and
In retirement years True teaches piano and organ, serves as church
organist and keeps up a voluminous correspondence with her scattered
children and friends. Rueben, a Sunday school superintendent, orchestra
and choir director, spends long days at work as carpenter and painter
- a careful and artistic workman. Their concerns have been home,
church, and community, and to these they have given themselves generously
(Rueben and True Ulmer lived in the house where Wayne and Marian
Ulmer Leatherman now make their home and rest in the Heim Cemetery
at Dawson. They are the grandparents of new Penn Colony Historical
Society Board Member, Gary Leatherman of Pawnee City, Nebraska)