1888: Jessie Bull marries Sidney Banton

Sepia Saturday 405: Fifth in a series on my Union Army great-great grandfather Arthur Bull and his final years in Salamanca, Cattaraugus County, N.Y.

As the spring of 1888 approached, my paternal great-great grandparents Arthur and Mary (Blakeslee) Bull prepared to celebrate a happy occasion — the marriage of their daughter Jessie Bull to Sidney Banton of Salamanca in Cattaraugus Co., N.Y.

Woman in wedding dress holding flowers (circa 1900-1910).  My great grandaunt Jessie Bull, who married in 1888, may have worn a similar dress — or possibly something simpler, since her wedding was described as “quiet” in the newspaper. Photo: Library of Congress

Although the Bull family was still in mourning after the recent passing of Mary’s mother, my ggg grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee, the impending wedding likely lifted everyone’s spirits and set their eyes on the future.

Putting down roots

For Jessie, marrying and putting down roots in Salamanca may also have brought a newfound sense of stability after the Bull family’s many moves throughout her childhood (see table below). Her fiancé Sidney, a store clerk, came from a local family that had lived in the area since the 1860s.

Residences of Jessie Bull in New York State 
Year Source Location Details
 1870  U.S. Census Hancock, Delaware Co., N.Y. (Catskills) Jessie listed as age 1.
 1874 Broome Republican marriage notice Binghamton, Broome Co., N.Y. (Southern Tier) When Jessie was 5, older sister Emma married “at the home of her father in the town of Binghamton.”
 1875 N.Y.S. Census Lyonsdale, Lewis Co., N.Y. (Adirondacks) Jessie, age 6, listed as born in Delaware Co.
 1880  U.S. Census Lyonsdale, Lewis Co., N.Y. (Adirondacks) Jessie A. Bull, 11, born in July 1868, was at school.
 1885 Arthur Bull Pension Record Limestone, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y. (Western N.Y.) Jessie was 17 when a pension doctor examined her father Arthur Bull.
 1888 Cattaraugus wedding anniversary notices Salamanca, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y. (Western N.Y.) Jessie Bull, 19, married Sidney Banton, 22.

That’s quite a few moves for a young woman of 19. And Jessie left friends, schoolmates and older siblings behind with each relocation — including my great-grandmother Eva May (Bull) Charboneau, an older sister who remained in the Adirondacks region after she wed.

Jessie’s marriage to Sidney would anchor her in Western New York for the rest of her life and end the cycle of constant moves.

Announcement of a wedding

Jessie Bull and Sidney Banton were married on 10 May 1888 in a simple wedding at the home of her parents Arthur and Mary (Blakeslee) Bull — according to anniversary newspaper announcements of the happy occasion.

Fortieth anniversary announcement of Jessie Bull’s 10 May 1888 marriage to Sidney Banton (Cattaraugus Republican, 16 May 1928). Source: NYS Historic Newspapers/NYS Library


Their wedding was again celebrated in the Looking Backward column of the local paper sixty years after the event.

Sixtieth anniversary announcement of Jessie Bull’s marriage to Sidney Banton (Salamanca Republican-Press 10 May 1948). Source: Old Fulton New York Postcards


One hundred thirty years ago in May

Since I don’t know whether the Cattaraugus papers continue these announcements, this blog will serve as the 130th commemoration of Jessie Bull’s marriage to Sidney Banton.

Coming when it did, their wedding surely brought happiness into the lives of my aging great-great grandparents Arthur and Mary (Blakeslee) Bull — along with an extended network of local Banton in-laws.

More in the next post on Arthur Bull’s Salamanca years. Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2018 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Similar Posts:

Please like and share:

11 thoughts on “1888: Jessie Bull marries Sidney Banton”

  1. Everyone’s insightful comments are much appreciated. I agree, Jessie likely wore a simpler dress than this gown. Her childhood data was extrapolated from census and other records of family events that occurred when she was young. Sidney and Jessie were together until her death in 1941. Sidney died in 1947, the year before the sixtieth anniversary clip appeared. Perhaps it was published as a memorial by those who remembered them. They are buried together in Wildwood Cemetery in Salamanca.

  2. A beautiful dress, but would she have worn off-the-shoulder at a quiet wedding, whilst still in mourning? Whatever she wore I hope the day wasn’t too sad.

  3. I wonder if it was a hard decision to go on with the wedding or if they feared being deemed rude and heartless. I hope everyone was cheered and felt it was what Mary’s mother would have wanted.

  4. I grew up in one house for 28 years, then married a forester and moved & moved & moved. To this point I have lived in 12 different houses in 9 different towns. This summer we will have been married 50 years! I think we might have one more move to go – most likely to a senior living community and I sincerely hope that will be the last move we have to make! 🙂

  5. I was surprised they wore off-the-shoulder dresses during that time period. Interesting that the newspaper article described the wedding gifts as of “substantial worth.”

  6. To live to celebrate 60 years of marriage is very impressive, especially for a marriage from 1888! Do you know how much longer they survived together?

  7. What I am amazed about is all the data about her in her childhood…a bit unusual from my experience. But I agree, it was time for her to settle down when she married.

  8. I also doubt she wore such a fancy dress as that in the photo, but you never know. I like the idea of a simple home wedding. I hope they had a long and happy life together.

Comments are closed.