This lovely, multi-generational photo was taken at the 50th wedding celebration of my 2nd great-grandparents, Joseph Skeen & Jane Zina Petrina Folkman on 10 June 1947.
Joseph & Petrina were married 10 June 1897 in Salt Lake City in the Salt Lake Temple. Seven days later, Joseph left to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Petrina lived with her mother during that time.
Their marriage license application and marriage license contain their beautiful signatures.
Joseph’s signature on the marriage license is especially lovely. Petrina’s two signatures demonstrate the challenge of having such a long name. On the application she signed with “Petrina Folkman,” and on the license, she used, “J. Z. P. Folkman.” She typically used her third name, Petrina.
Fifty years, and eight children later, the Joseph and Petrina Skeen family gathered to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary on 10 June 1947. My Grandpa was serving his mission in New Zealand at the time and was not in the photo. The rest of his family is seen in the image.
The close grouping of this photo makes a left-right description challenging. Here is a numbered version:
This photo is labeled simply with “50th wedding” on the back in my Grandma’s handwriting (Mary Margaret (Ellis) Peterson). I believe I have worked out the identities of everyone except the youngest children, but welcome any corrections or additions.
1 – Melba Trina Skeen, 2 – Ethel Amelia Wheeler, 3 – Joseph Maurice Skeen, 4 – Mae Skeen, 5 – Joseph Skeen, 6 – Rulon Powell Peterson, 7 – Jane Zina Petrina Folkman, 8 – Jeannine Thompson, 9 – Naomi Skeen, 10 – Lowell Skeen Peterson, 11 – Marilyn Peterson, 12 – Talmage Wheeler Skeen, 13 – unknown, 14 – Wayne Skeen Peterson, 15 – Sandra Wheeler, 16 – unknown, 17 – unknown, 18 – unknown.
In “Joseph and Petrina Skeen Family History” compiled by Joseph & Petrina’s youngest child Evan Skeen, pages 19 and 20 include a written record about Joseph & Petrina. The author is unknown. Here is my transcription:
JOSEPH AND PETRINA SKEEN
Golden Wedding Celebration
June 10, 1947
Grandfather and Grandmother Skeen were born at Plain City, Weber County in the spring of 1876. Their fathers were with the first settlers at that place seventeen years previously.
The funny column in the local press has frequently illustrated the disadvantage of being born too soon; generally 30 years too soon.
Our grandparents recognize many advantages from coming into the world at the time they did. They were made familiar with real pioneer life. The adobe, log and even underground or dugout houses with willow fences and old oaken bucket wells were familiar sights but best of all they were acquainted and mingled with most of the original settlers in the place of their birth.
All this without enduring the pinch of hunger and cold which was the lot of the pioneers.
Many nationalities were represented in the new settlers at Plain City. Grandfather and Grandmother were daily in a museum of the strange dialect and apparel of the emigrants from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and the Scandinavian countries.
They saw the melting pot of the nations at work and were personally vitally influenced by it, as Grandfather is of Scotch English descent and Grandmother, Scandinavian.
Free public schools were instituted during their early school life and they were given advantage of the same. Later Grandfather attended the State University for one year and then graduated from the Smith Business College as a stenographer.
He worked for some months as a stenographer in a law office, but having been raised on the farm he yielded to the urge to spend his days in the great outdoors.
In 1897 Grandfather was called to serve in the Southern States Mission of the L.D.S. Church.
Courtships were usually longer in those days and having kept company for 6 or 7 years by mutual consent Grandmother was married to him in the Salt Lake Temple on June 10, 1897 and Grandfather left for his mission on the 17th of June of the same year. Grandmother remained with her mother.
For the next two years they were nearly three thousand miles apart and both agree it was a notably harmonious period of their fifty years of married life.
Grandfather returned from the mission in 1899 in July. They spent the following fall in a railroad camp, Grandmother as cook and Grandfather as timekeeper.
They farmed near Blackfoot, Idaho for a couple of years. They established their home at Warren about 45 years ago.
Back in 1909 Grandfather became a member of the North Weber Stake High Council. It was in the horse and buggy days. He made a trip to Ogden one night a week — usually Monday to meetings. It was near midnight when he returned. Grandmother kept the house warm in winter and the lights burning. Late travellers still will see lights in the Skeen home.
Grandmother has been very faithful in her church duties — particularly in the Primary, Relief Society and the Sacrament meetings.
Grandmother’s hobby is flowers and Grandfather likes horses, cattle and farming. He says he used to work because he had to, but now he works because he likes to, except in Grandmother’s flower garden.
They are proudest of all of 6 fine sons and daughters and 16 grandchildren. The eldest of these grandchildren is on a mission in New Zealand at the present time.
Updated 12 February 2020 with changes to a few names with help from Uncle Wayne and cousin Ruth Bonner.