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Paden City Museum: The Good Old Days

Wedding Dress

By Randy Rutherford - Staff Writer | Sep 22, 2021

One of local history’s greatest rivalries, the always testy battle between the Paden City Wildcats and the Sistersville Tigers, has a strange history.

Both communities held fierce competitions over the years, but when the towns were just beginning a love story between two of the residents, one from each community, forever linked their history.

On November 28, 1872 Elizabeth Paden, daughter of James Paden and grand-daughter of Obadiah and Esther Paden, married Ephriam Wells, son of Eli Wells and grandson of Charles Wells. This union perpetually joined the history and culture of the two communities. Obadiah settled in Paden City in 1796, and Charles Wells settled in Sistersville in 1802/1803. The Paden City Museum was contacted in 2001 by the late Jeannette (Jana) Kinkaid, formerly of Sistersville, and a great grand-daughter of Elizabeth Paden and Ephriam Wells. While cleaning out the attic of her childhood home, better known as “Welkin” in the south end of Sistersville on Route 2, Jana found a box containing the wedding dress worn by Elizabeth when she married Ephriam in1872. She donated the dress to the museum which is now on display. The museum decided to have an “Obadiah Paden Day” on March 30, 2002 and invited his descendants for the unveiling of the wedding dress. It was a wonderful day in which cookies, sandwiches and punch were served to 84 of his descendants. Some of them had never met, and some of them did not know they were even related.

Obadiah and Esther had many children, but only Jesse, James, Joseph and Lydia stayed in Paden City.

Please visit the Paden City Museum and Cultural Center to see the wedding dress and the vast collection of artifacts, pictures and written materials depicting our town, its businesses, schools and its people on display there.

The Museum is located at 105 W. Main Street and is a project of the Paden City Foundation, Inc.

The good old days are here at the Paden City Museum on Thursdays from 1 – 3 PM, Fridays from 1 – 3 PM and Saturdays from 9 – 11 AM. See you there.”