Hall - Overstreet Family Association
In the mid-1920s, my father (Henry Edward Hall), John Clark Harris and Frank U. (Union) Patterson along with others and with the co-operation of the women family members, brought into being a loosely organized family group called the Hall-Overstreet Family Association which was based on the family members who descended from the Athens, Illinois pioneers.
Each summer they would meet for a picnic outing, principally in the one of the public parks at Springfield, Illinois. The outings were well attended with many of those living out of Illinois planning their vacation trips to co-incide with the annual meeting. Officers were elected, some modest finances were maintained by collections at these outings. Programs were generally short talks by Harris and Patterson and recognition given the oldest present, the youngest present and those that had traveled the farthest to attend. Many Athens based descendants, although not related began to attend as they could meet their old school friends and companions of their younger years.
Climax to the Association's activities came in 1931, when in conjunction with the Annual Athens Homecoming the 100th anniversary of the founding of the town was observed. Held at City Park - near Old West Cemetery - an estimated three hundred family members and their families attended. A metal placque was placed in the center of Athens, honoring the family.
With the retirements and subsequent deaths of the principal promoters of the Association, it gradually faded out of existence. Family searchers seeking kinships can refer to the records of these outings as reported in the Athens Free Press of those years, and can be found in the newspaper micro-film records at the Ill. State Hist. Library in Springfield.
It is hoped that the publication of this history in 1981, the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the town founded by Abner Hall, that the family story is not lost and is preserved for future generations.