Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Leachman Anniversary

The Washington Post
December 31, 1899


Mr. and Mrs. Leachman Celebrate Their Golden Wedding - Sequel of Romance

Wellington, Va., Dec. 30 - Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Leachman celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, at their home, "Folly Castle," Wednesday evening, December 27.

The Leachman place is one of the popular social centers of Prince William County.  "Folly Castle" was so named when the century was young.  It has sheltered the gentry of at least five generations, and its solid walls seem good for another century, although there are imbedded in the English-made bricks, shot and shell from the batteries of the contending armies of Bull Run, when "Folly Castle" lay "between the lines."

Thomas Leachman and Betty Lewis - named for her famous far-away Virginia cousin - were married December 27, 1849.  It came near being a runaway match.  But Betty Lewis told her father on the morning of her marriage day that with or without consent, she would within the hour marry the man of her choice.  The guests had been bidden, she said, the best man chosen, the license secured, and the minister in readiness.  Wise in his day, the father gave his consent, and so the couple were married in the old Bethlehem Church, near Manassas.  Of the few friends present, not one is living to-day.

On Wednesday, after fifty years of wedded happiness, Mr. and Mrs. Leachman had with them to receive their guests, the nine children born to them.  Not a chair was vacant.

There were many guests from Washington and Alexandria, and the relatives and friends from Prince William and the surrounding counties were legion.  The great fireplaces were filled with blazing logs, defying the storm.  The many costly and beautiful presents were displayed upon a century-old mahogany sideboard, and each represented, in some way, the auspicious golden anniversary.  Conspicuous among the glittering array was a large ivory and gold picture frame.  Back of the glass was arranged some fifty gold coins ranging from gold dollars to golden eagles, the gifts of friends, children, and grandchildren.

Supper was served in the dining-room, which was adorned with yellow and white crysanthemums.

The children present were John Pendleton Leachman, of Bristow; Charles Carroll Leachman of Wellington; Mrs. J. F. Dogan, Paradise; Mrs. R. P. Buck, Orlean; Mr. John Love Elliot, Washington, D.C.; Mrs. Lewis C. Lynn, Catharpen; Mrs. Thomas R. Leachman, Rectortown; Miss Katharine B. Leachman, and Mrs. Eugene Carroll, of Charlottesville.

The couple have twenty-five grandchildren.

The Leachman home has been a landmark in Prince William County for over 100 years.  The bricks show no sign of crumbling, and the plastering upon the walls, put there so many generations ago, is hard and smooth, showing never a crack.  In the parlor, to the left of the wide hall, the frieze is of hard-carved hardwood, dark with age, and all above the wide fireplace, reaching in massive beauty to the very frieze, is the most exquisite hand-carving.

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