I am thrilled to be able to share an antique set of Flow Blue wedding china with you … but I want to share the story of the bride, too!
My husband’s grandmother, Marian Veronica Essler, was a beautiful young one-room school teacher in South Dakota when she met Charley Jones. Charley was stationed at Fort Meade. Their courtship was brief and they were married on February 12, 1910.
They lived in South Dakota and Minnesota, but eventually moved to Cairo, Illinois. Cairo was a very active river town that had gained great wealth and notoriety during the Civil War. With all that wealth came all the negative elements and Charley went there as a member of Federal law enforcement, but eventually was employed by the County Sheriff’s Department during prohibition.
Verna and Charley Jones had a strong marriage, but Charley died young and Verna eventually moved to Harrisburg, Illinois and lived with my husband (Joe) and his mother. Joe’s father abandoned his family, so Grandma Verna moved in to help take care of him so his mother could have a full-time job. Verna and Joe had a love-hate relationship! Verna’s strong personality and her intention of making a better man out of my husband than his father had been … was intense! I have to say, though, that she accomplished her desires. My husband was a hard-working man who loved his family and delighted in watching our daughter grow into a wonderful young woman. The day before her wedding, Joe gave Nicole his grandmother's wedding band ... It was her "something old" ... Black Hills gold and 92 years old.
Grandma's china pattern is "Lorne" ... you will notice the clover in the design. It was made between 1891 and 1914 by W. H. Grindley & Co. in England and sold exclusively by J. Mortlock.
A little research revealed that Mortlock's was a fine retailer in London and that this china was probably special ordered.
Before I show you more of the china, let me show you Verna and Charley ... while Verna was pregnant with my mother-in-law, Mildred ... her first child. This china has been safeguarded because of a very special story.
Baby Mildred came early. She was almost two months premature and was born at home with a midwife. This large covered vegetable bowl was used as an incubator ... lined with a flannel blanket and placed near the fireplace. Baby Mildred was tiny enough that she was placed in the dish to be kept extra warm.
You can imagine how important this china was! Mildred grew to be a healthy child and she cherished the set of china as much as her mother had. Needless to say, it has been in a glass cabinet at my house for the last 40 years and Joe always loved telling the story of his mother's china incubator!
The china was protected ... but it was also used ... probably daily for decades. You can see the wear on the liner of the butter dish in the next picture!
I have twelve place settings of this china ... and lots of serving pieces. Early in my marriage, I would use the salad plate as an underplate for a smaller clear salad plate ... just to be able to grace a dinner table with the memories. The story of the incubator always made for incredible dinner party conversation!
Grandma Verna lived a long life and got to see Joe finish college and start his career. She died before I had a chance to meet her ... but I sure feel like I know her! Here she is with two of her grandsons ... my husband is on the right!
She also has a post about Grandpa Charley
This post is especially for sharing at the wedding china challenge with
Before you move on, though, check my home page to see my other posts!