Got an old piece of wedding cake in your freezer? We want to see it.

Earlier this week, I told you the story of Zollie and William Goodrich Jones, a couple that married in Belton in 1890 and whose legacy lives on in a piece of their wedding cake.

Beth Norvell, the associate director of alumni relations at Mary Hardin-Baylor, found this piece of Zollie Luther’s wedding cake from 1890 in the museum’s archives. She doesn’t know what the cake is made of, but she said they are hoping to use historical recipes from the era to create a similar cake for alumni functions. Contributed by Beth Norvell

This delightful little gem of dried organic material is housed in the archive of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. It’s shriveled up and brown and not at all appetizing, but it got me thinking about the other pieces of wedding cake that are housed in freezers around Central Texas and the stories they tell.

Zollie Luther married William Goodrich in December of 1890, and Mary Hardin-Baylor University still has a piece of their wedding cake. Baylor’s Texas Collection has many photos, letters and papers from both Zollie and her sister’s family. Zollie died in 1934 at the age of 69. Courtesy of The Texas Collection, Baylor University

The tradition of a couple keeping a piece of wedding cake to eat for good luck on their first anniversary dates back to the 1700s, when a cake could be preserved with boozy fruit or wine, but since the advent of freezers, we’ve been keeping them around for a lot longer than a year.

I’d love to hear stories about wedding cakes you might still have or ones you held onto for a long time, but eventually decided to toss. You can email me at abroyles@statesman.com or call 512-912-2504.

Zollie Luther, a year or two before her marriage. Courtesy of The Texas Collection, Baylor University

To get you thinking about love a long time ago, here’s a poem that William wrote to Zollie on their 40th anniversary in 1930:

Forty years we’ve garnered joy,
Along with tears that oft annoy.

Forty cycles, fulsome, sweet,
where sunbeams and the shadows meet.

Forty dividends in life,
Without regrets and without strife.

Forty stars in firmament,
Have blazed the trail to life’s content.

Forty morns of silken lint,
Have twined our lives with love’s imprint.

Forty eves of golden tint,
Coined into years, a precious mint.

Forty hills climbed in the past,
Leading upward, reached at last;

Trails the path to summits crest,
Lengthening shadows in the west.

Forty sighs at set of sun,
Comes the Master’s voice: ‘Well done’

— William Goodrich Jones (Waco, Texas)

(From Luther-Bagby collection, Accession #1337, Box #1, Folder #16, The Texas Collection, Baylor University)

 


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