Genealogy and History
Part of the Genealogy Trails History Group
The seventh annual Altenbern reunion was held Sunday at the Lena campgrounds. There were 87 present for the picnic dinner at noon. This was followed by the business meeting at which time the following officers were elected: President, Peter Altenbern; vice president, Fred Altenbern; secretary-treasurer, Mrs. Walter Seaman. After the business meeting Elmer Prasse had charge of the program which was enjoyed by everyone. The oldest member present was Elizabeth Altenbern and the youngest member present was Mark Dameier Brown, of Rockford. Next year the reunion will be held the third Sunday in August at the Lena campgrounds. There were relatives present from miles, Ia.;' Savanna, Lanark, Pearl City, Lena, Freeport, Winslow, Rockford and German Valley. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - August 22, 1939]
Aue Family Holds Its First Reunion
A group of thirty-eight descendants of John and Maria Aue met at Taylor’s Park, Freeport, on Monday for their first annual reunion, organizing an association which hereafter will convene each summer. Samuel D. Aue of Rockford was elected president; Ralph Pontius, Rockford, vice president; Mrs. Armour Brown, Rockford, secretary; Miss Vera Peight, Chicago, treasurer; Mrs. C. W. Peight, Chicago, historian. Mrs. Irene Pontius, Rockford; Mrs. Eva Peight, Freeport; and J. E. Aue, Rockford, are the program committee. The second reunion will be held at Ingersoll Memorial park the second Sunday in August, 1933. Freeport members at yesterday’s affair were Mr. and Mrs. John Aue, Mrs. Belle Chamberlain and son, Kenneth; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peight, their daughters, Vera and Phyllis, and son, Jack. From Chicago were Mrs. Charles Peight and daughter, Vera; from Winnebago, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Huffman with their son, Eugene, and daughters, Lillian and Pearl and their grandson, Rodney. Rockford relatives at the reunion were Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Pontius and family, Ralph, Jack, Eugene, Norma and Irma Pontius; Samuel E. Aue, Mr. and Mrs. J. Earl Aue and family, Laura, Ruby, Hope, Robert and Jack; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wood, Mrs. And Mrs. Armour Brown and daughters, Betty and Irma. 
AUE FAMILY REUNION HELD
This family reunion, the first in over thirty years, was held at the home of Irma Niemann in Caledonia, Illinois. Irma is a descendant John Alfred Aue (1859 – 1932). His sister was the great-grandmother of the author of this articke, Emma Bella Aue Johnson (1854 – 1923). John and Emma’s parents were John Aue (1820 – 1889) and Maria Spangler (1826 – 1893). The progenitor of the Aue family was Johannes Henrick Au, who became John Henry Aue when he came to this county from Germany on the ship Jenneffer, November 5, 1764. Coming from California, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Illinois, there were approximately sixty people of all ages at the reunion. Only a few descendants were unable to attend. Great food was enjoyed by those present, including two cakes decorated with AUE REUNION – 1990. Although it was a rainy day, it let up long enough to allow many pictures of the family group to be taken outside. Many of the relatives met here for the first time. Only by mail had most of these persons become acquainted in attempting ot trace the Aue family history; it was fun to meet in person. Many brought old family Bibles and pictures which everyone was able to look through during the day’s event. Because it was so enjoyable, plans are already underway to have another next year, and the next, and the next… the idea of a reunion was first planted by Bill Dahlberg of Loves Park, who descended from Samuel Douglas Aue (1862 – 1949) who was a brother to John Alfred and Emma Belle. He began the long search for his family when only thirteen years old, and will be a Junior at Augustana College in Rock Island this Fall. [16 June 1990]
BENNEHOFF - FRANKEBERGER - KRAMER REUNION
Rock Grove: The Bennehoff - Frankeberger - Kramer reunion, will be held at Taylor park in Freeport June 17. [Freeport Journal Standard 7 June 1938]
The sixth annual reunion of the Brubaker family was held last evening on Flagstaff Hill, Krape park, over ninety relatives being present. The oldest member of the family present was 78 years old and the youngest, 2 1/2. A picnic supper was served at 7 o'clock and was followed by a program of musical numbers, Freeman Reed playing selections on the guitar, Billy Brubaker singing several numbers and special selections by the Charles Brubaker family. The following officers were elected for the coming year. President - Ethel Glasser, Vice president - Clark Brubaker, Secretary - Ruth George and Treasurer - Willard Gingrich. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - July 15, 1938 clipping]
The second annual reunion of the Crawford-Wixon families was held at the Lena campground Sunday, September first. Eighty-four relatives were present. About one o'clock a bountiful dinner was served. After dinner a short business meeting was held. The minutes of the last reunion was read. Mrs. Eliza May Shippee was reelected presidents, Mrs. Aley Barthel was reelected secretary-treasurer for the ensuing year. The following committees were also appointed. Nominating committee - Mrs. Carrie Roberts, Roy Price and Henry Herbsleb. Refreshments - Mrs. Cora Roberts, Mrs. Elsie McPeek, Mrs. Orpha Shippee. Program - Mr. and Mrs. Henry Herbsleb, Miss Alice Roberts. It was voted to have the 1930 reunion at the Lena camp ground, the Sunday before Labor Day. Those present were: Mrs. Elizabeth Crawford, Miss Margaret Crawford, Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Wixon, Edward Wixson, Miss Ruth Wixson, I. C. Coppernoll and family, Mrs. Lorena Burns, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Barthel, Mr. and Mrs. Robert McPeek, Ralph and Clifford Barthel, Stockton; Mrs. M. C. Roberts, Misses Cylinda and Alice Roberts, Earl and Paul Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Herbsleb, Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Frazer and daughter Helen, Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Gorby, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Homan, Helen Schofield, Waterloo, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Thomas, Freeport; Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Nagel and family, Mt. Carroll; Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Price, Roy Price, Elizabeth; Mr. and Mrs. W. H Roberts and family, Fairbank, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. G. C. Shippee and family, Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Shippee and family, Lena; Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Mitchell and family, Woodbine; Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Roberts and daughter Grace, Independence, Iowa; Earl Wiley, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wiley, Winslow, Dr. and Mrs. J. W. Roberts, Galena.
Visitors present: Misses Ione Collier, Hulda Rockee, Frank Riedel, Waterloo, Iowa; Miss Geraldine Martin, Rockford; Mr. and Mrs. P. W. Merrifield, Misses Minnie and Marion Merrifield, Council Hill. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - February 6, 1930 clipping]
The Erwin reunion was held at Krape park Sunday with an attendance of 125 relatives. After a bounteous picnic dinner the business session was called to order by the president, R. R. Thompson. The following officers and committees were elected for the next year: President: R. R. Thompson; vice president, Frank Erwin; secretary, Edna Dole; treasurer, David Dameier; recording secretary, Elta Thompson; table committee: Morrel Ditzler, Hugo Neeble, Clorus Miller and David Dameier families. Ice cream committee: Allen Neeble, Melvin Dameier, Paul Boyer. There were four marriages during the past year. Seven births were recorded. Twin boys, Donald Alden and Ronald Allen, born August 27, 1937 to Mr. and Mrs. Allen Neeble; Janice Slaine, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Hayes, born July 13, 1937; Mark Dameier, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Brown, born May 25, 1938; Earl Arthur, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Stark, born Oct. 12, 1937; Jacob Jr., son of Mr.and Mrs. Jacob Albright, born Sept. 7, 1937; Vae Aleen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roland Kleckner, born in May 1937. There was one death, Verna Albright Becker, who passed away August 29, 1937. Those here from a distance were: Rev. and Mrs. Vernon Yeigh and family, of Pennsylvania; Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Swaney and family, of Carthage, and Mrs. Maggie Albright, Mr. and Mrs. John Hayes and daughter, Janice Elaine, from Rockford. An interesting occurrence was the presence of three pairs of twin boys, Melvin and Elvin Dameier, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Dameier, John and James Yeigh, sons of Rev. and Mrs. Vernon Yeigh, and Ronald and Donald Neebel sons of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Neeble. The reunion will be held next year, on the third Sunday in June at Krape park, Freeport. [Contributed by Karen Fyock -- June 20, 1938 clipping]
HENRY FISHER FAMILY
The fifth annual reunion of the descendants of Henry Fisher, who came to America in 1683, was held in Krape park on Sunday. About seventy members of the family attended. Mrs. Lizzie Kahl, of Freeport, was the oldest member present; she is in her 86th year. Little Diane Kinman, daughter of Mr.and Mrs. Morrell Kinman, of Freeport was the youngest member present; her age is 3 months. Following the noon picnic dinner, the business meeting was called to order by the life-president, Edwin J. Fisher, of Freeport, The minutes of the last meeting and treasurer's report were read. Letters were read from cousins in Grant, Ia., and Washington, D. C. The historical secretary, Mrs. Robert H. Vitz, of Forest Park, gave her report and presented members with booklets containing histories of the Fisher family in America since 1683. Members of this Fisher family came from Pennsylvania to settle in Stephenson County in 1839. The following officers were elected for the coming year; Honorary life president, Edwin J. Fisher, of Freeport; president Lloyd G. Fisher, of Albany Ill.; vice president, Otto C. Dreibelbis, of Freeport; Mrs. Robert H. Vitz, of Forest Park, was re-elected historical secretary, and Miss Irma I. Walton, of Freeport was re-elected business secretary and treasurer. The committees named for next year are as follows: Table committee - Chairman, Mrs. Harry Walker, Orangeville; Mrs. Otto C. Dreibelbis, Freeport, and Mrs. William Wagner, McConnell. Program - Chairman, Mrs. Lloyd Walton, Freeport; Miss Katharine Hutchins, Freeport, and Mrs. Roger U. Fisher, Freeport. Arrangements - Earl Walton, Freeport, and William Dreibelbis, Freeport. Historical - Mrs. Robert H. Bitz, Forest Park, and Dr. Linda K. Hutchins, Freeport. Those from a distance who attended the reunion were: Mr and Mrs. Lloyd G. Fisher and daughters, Helen Fisher and Mrs. Clara Lancaster, of Albany, Ill., Mr.and Mrs. Osborne, of Morrison, Ill., and Rev. and Mrs. Robert H. Vitz, of Forest Park, Ill. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - August 22, 1939]
FREEPORT CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REUNION
One-Time Residents of This City Meet For Banquet, Speech-Making
The twenty-eighth semi-annual reunion of Southern California was held on Saturday, January 25th at Odd Fellow's temple in Los Angeles from four to ten o'clock. A banquet was served at six o'clock in the fine dining hall, table decorations being Chinese lilies. A short business meeting and program followed, several instrumental numbers being given, Dr. S. H. Matter, president, presided. New officers for the year were elected and the next meeting was voted to be held at Brookside Park, Pasadena on July 26th. Misses Lucille Schofield, Lorna Matter, Marie Novak presented musical numbers which were much enjoyed, after which Dr. Stewart Fitch was called upon for a few words. He gave a very interesting history of the organization of the club. Dr. John F. Fair one of the older members of the club, gave a splendid talk in which particular mention ws made of the late Miss Ll__ Reitzell, who met with the group on many occasions and had been present at the July meeting, before her return to Freeport soon after meeting her tragic death. A group photograph taken last July was passed around and from those in the picture at that time three, Miss Reitzell, Claude Ross and Oscar Collyer had passed away since the summer meeting. The names of the following members were registered on the secretary's book: Mr. and Mrs. Chars Mellnick, Mr. John G. Fair, Rose Wagner, Mrs. Alma Kiefer, Miss Margaret Kiefer, Mrs. C. D. Knowlton, Jr., Miss Alta Flachtemeier, Miss Dorothy Flachtemeier, Mrs. Mabel Piper Chatworthy, Mr. and Mrs. R. Koehler, Freeport, Ill.
Mrs. Martha E. Hewitt, Riverside.
C. B. Kling, Al. L. _____bing and family; Horace Tarbox, Mr. and Mrs. Dustman, Mrs. J. V. Hollett, Glendale.
Mrs. Clara K. Jungkunz, Mrs. Grace Held Robbins, L. Wahler, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Miller, Hollywood.
J. C. Bricker, Mrs. Florence Brickler Law, H. L. Aspinwall, Long Beach.
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Reinniger, San Diego.
Mr. and Mrs. Emil Maeni, Santa Monica.
Miss Julia Entorf, Altadena.
Mr. and Mrs. Chas. I. Hixon, Miss Lucele Schofield, Mr. and Mrs. D. M. Winter, Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Rhodes, Mrs. Chas. A Matter, Mrs. A. P. Herbruck, Mrs. Anna Rubendall, Dr. and Mrs. S. H. Matter, Miss Bettie Matter, Miss Enid Matter, Miss Lorna Matter, Miss Mary Novak, Mrs. Vade Isabelle Moore, Miss V---la Moore, Miss Agnes Teyen, Pasadena.
Mrs. Wm. B. McRoe, Huntington Park.
Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Musser, Miss Bertha Musser, Miss Florence Musser, Mrs. Ben E. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Smith, Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Schofield, Miss Margaret Schofield, T. F. Knauff and family, Miss Martha Gilbert, Miss Dorothy Cardin, Dr. J. F. Fair, Mrs. Lottie Lyon Rubendall, Los Angeles.
Mrs. H. W. Reitzell and aunt, Dr. and Mrs. Stewaret Fitch, Willard Matter, Pasadena. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - February 1, 1930 clipping]
A hundred and eleven relatives were present at the second annual reunion of the Gassman family held Sunday in the shelter house on Flagstaff hill, Krape Park. A program of musical numbers and readings followed an elaborate picnic dinner, at which time an original poem on the "Gassman Family" was read by Mrs. Albert Gassman. Rev. Arthur Schmidt, of St. Louis, Mo., gave a short talk. Mrs. Mary Gassman of Lena, was the oldest person present, being 89 years old, and 5 months-old Paula Mae Gassman, of Pearl City, was the younges attendant, Ed Gassman, of Lena, is the only surviving member of the original Gassman family. Election for the coming year, resulted as follows: President - Emmert Gassman, Lena, Ill., Vice president - Elmer Brockmeier, Forreston, Secretary-treasurer - Mrs. Henry Pauske, Freeport, Relatives were present from St. Louis, Milwaukee and Dubuque, as well as from surrounding towns. The 1939 reunion will be held the second Sunday in July at the same place. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - July 11, 1938 clipping]
Lins Family Descendants Hold Homecoming in the Henke Grove, Scioto Mills
The descendants of the Lins family held a Home Coming in Henke's grove at Scioto Mills, Sunday, July 4th. Since this is the first gathering of the Lins families since six years ago, the Home Coming was a gratifying affair to everyone, and each person present found undivided pleasure in indulging in chats of "by gone days." Nor was the H. C. of L a "damper" at this picnic, for at noon everyone was seated around a long table laden with all kinds of good things, and it is difficult to say who enjoyed it more, the old or the young.
The following people attended the picnic: Scioto Mills - Mr. and Mrs. Henry Henke and son John, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Hutmacher, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Meyers and son Jay, Mr. and Mrs. Weber Meyers, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Haman and son Ralph; Cedarville - Mr. and Mrs. Roy Bollman and son Peter; Red Oak - Mr. and Mrs. N. N. Ermold and daughter and daughter Eva; Damascus - Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Lins and daughter Florence, George Lins; Buena Vista - Frank, E. L. and Miss Louise Snyder; McConnell - Mr. and Mrs. John Kunkle, Mr. and Mrs. John Fisher and family, Mrs. Mary Folgate and daughter Maud, H. Stiffler; Lena - Mr. and Mrs. Ed Lins; Freeport - Mrs. C. J. Dittmar, Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. Ferd Lins and daughter Jennie, M. W. Graham and daughter Margaret, T. Wohlford and daughter Wilma, Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Kunkle and family, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tappe; Emporia, Kansas - Ollie Wathan and son George; Broadhead, Wis. - Mrs. Thomas Fisher and son Dwight; Rockford - Mr. and Mrs. Homer Folgate and daughter Rose Mary.
Because of the appreciated pleasure of this gathering, the picnickers decided to make the Lins Home Coming a permanent annual affair to be held in the Henke grove. Mrs. Henry Henke was unanimously chosen president of this "league of relations" and Miss Louise Snyder was made vice president and secretary; and thus with the zeal put forth by these two officers and with the hearty cooperation of every members, the Lins Home Coming will become a source of enjoyment and jolly good times to each member of the Lins family. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - July 8, 1920 clipping]
Annual Reunion will be held in vicinity of Cedarville
Forefathers Came to America Before the Revolutionary War
Sturdy Class of Pioneers Who Came from Pennsylvania to Stephenson County in 1845
Family History Interesting
On Saturday of this week, at William Folgate's grove, a half mile north of Cedarville, will be held the thirteen the annual picnic of the Matter relatives. This is one of the largest attended family reunions held in this part of the state. Over 100 invitations have been sent to the heads of families who are descendants of Isaac and WIlliam Matter, who came to this county over a half century ago. The former can here in 1845, and the latter in 1854. There were twelve children in each of these families and now the relatives number nearly 1,000. They do not all live in this vicinity however but are scattered in many of the central and western states. It is never known till the day of the picnic just how many of these from a distance will be present, as many of them come with the intention of surprising their relatives. The preparations this year are greater than ever, and the indications are that there will be a larger attendance than ever before, The officers for this year are:
President - William H. Matter
Vice president - John Frank
Secretary - Dr. L. H. Matter
Treasurer - Samuel Markel
Historian - Miss Cora A. Matter
Water: William Folgate U, T, Folgate, George Lambert
Lemonade: Charles Bolender, Samuel Markel, I. K. Matter
Ice cream: Henry Kahly, E. E. Reck, Elias Matter
Table : Elmer Matter, Will Hummel, Arthur Matter, Thomas Rockey, WIlliam Folgate, William Snyder
Dinner: Mesdames S. Markel, S. H. Matter, S. P. Best, J. H. Frank, George Lambert, Oscar Meyers, Moses Matter, Jr., William Folgate, L. H. Matter, William Snyder, H. Kahly, Elmer Matter
A complete history of the Matter family is being compiled and under the persevering efforts of Miss Cora A. Matter considerable progress is being made in the work. Beginning with the father of Isaac and WIlliam, who were the first to come to this country it is an easy matter to trace their movements but prior to that time very little can be learned of them. But it is thought that a close perusal of the old records of Lancaster and Dauphin counties, Pennsylvania, would disclose a great deal regarding the history of the family. A full history of this family would fill many volumes of very interesting reading matter. The forbearers came to America nearly a century before the revolutionary war was even thought of. To many members of this family the stories of the battles in the revolutionary war, the war of 1812, the rebellion and the numerous Indian wars and uprisings were listened to, told first hand, as did the present generation look for the later war bulletins from the Spanish American war. THere are but few families at least in this vicinity, who can trace their ancestors back in an unbroken line to such an early period as can the Matter family.
It is not definitely known where the first members of the Matter family were born, but there is a tradition that has been handed down to the living members of this family from generation to generation, that a father with two sons came from Holland about the year 1676, and settled in Pennsylvania. This was five years before William Penn was made master of the province of Pennsylvania. So it will be seen that they can boast of a lineal descent in this country from a period before the landing of the Quakers. This same tradition carries with it that a few years previous to the war of the Revolution, a certain George Matter went from Lancaster county to Dauphin county. Lancaster county is more or less level and is largely given over to agricultural pursuits, while Dauphin county is northwest of it and more mountainous in character. The former county is in the western part of the southeastern corner of the state. From this period the history of the family is easily traced. This George Matter had four sons, the oldest of whom was names JOhn and the members of the family in Illinois are his descendants. They unloaded their goods under the spreading branches of a large white oak tree, and lived under that tree till a log cabin could be erected. This cabin was 14 feet wide, 20 feet long and one story high. It is stated upon good authority that the cabin is still standing.
It appears that John, the oldest son, before mentioned, was united in marriage to Elizabeth Bergner and that they lived and died in Lykens Valley, Dauphin County. They were the parents of ten children, namely: Catherine, Elizabeth, John, Christian, Jacob, Isaac, Phillip, Susan, Peter, Margaret, Julia, and William. Of there Catherine, Elizabeth, John, Christian, Jacob, Philip, Susan, Peter and Margaret all lived and died in the state of Pennsylvania. Isaac, Julia, WIlliam and a part of Christian's family came west. Isaac with his family went to Jefferson county, Penn., in 1833, lived there till 1845, and then came to Illinois. The greater part, in fact nearly the whole distance, was made in steam boats. They traveled the Alleghany, Ohio, and Mississippi rovers. Even at that late day steamboat traveling was far safer than the overland routes. Their trip was a long and tedious one and fraught with many dangers, but still the overland route held more and far greater dangers. It was on the 16th day of APril, 1845, that Isaac Matter and his family passed through Freeport, and traveled about nine miles due north and located on a tract of land. At that time Freeport was but a mere village, and one of the chief matters of importance connected with it was that it was on the old Galena-Chicago trail.
There were but few dwellings, a few stores, which carried very limited stocks, the principal part of which was provisions, household goods, cooking utensils, etc., were bought either in Galena or Chicago, and brought to Freeport by team. Although a tailor by trade, Isaac began the life of a farmer. He proceeded as best he could to the cultivation of the soil. The farm implements of that time were rude in construction, and of a character which at this day would seem totally unfitted for the tasks required of them. But like many of the pioneers, he found a way out of every difficulty and succeeded in making a comfortable living for his family. After a life of long and faithful labor he passed to his final rest July 23, 1866. His wife departed this life June 8, 1884. William, the youngest brother of Isaac, followed him to this county in 1854. He was born Dec. 8, 1809, and died in April 1905. He was married to Lena Troutman, who was also a native of Pennsylvania, being born in Northumberland county. It is the descendants of these two brothers and a part of Christian Matter's family who join in the annual Matter reunion. There will be great-great- grandchildren in attendance at the coming picnic. The descendants of Christian Matter, who came west, now live in and around Wheaton, Ill. A number of these will also be at the picnic this year.
Following will be found the names and addresses of the children of William Matter:
Mrs. Elizabeth Matter Fehr, deceased
Moses Matter, Rock Grove, Ill.
Jonathan Matter, deceased
Mrs. Leah Matter Tool, Ackley, Iowa
Mrs. Susan Matter Fehr, Hooppole, Ill
Conrad Matter, South Dakota
Gideon Matter, Marysville, Mo.
Mrs. Sarah Matter Lambert, Afolkey, Ill
James Matter, Washington County, Kansas
Aside from these there are about 28 grandchildren.
Following is a list of the children of Isaac Matter
Jonathan Matter, Durand, Ill.
Moses Matter, deceased
Mrs. Sarah Matter Folgate, deceased
Mrs. Mary Matter Folgate, deceased
Joseph Matter, deceased
Mrs. Catherine Matter Rockey, deceased
William H. Matter, Freeport.
Mrs. Susan Matter Plowman, Jewell, Kan.
Mrs. Lydia Matter Cameron, Jewell, Kan.
Mrs. Elizabeth Matter Worick, deceased
David J. Matter, Jewell, Kan.
There are also 52 grand-children, 94 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great grandchildren [Contributed by Karen Fyock - June 7, 1907]
MITTY WAIT, GRAVES, MOORE, DIVELEY AND ROBEY FAMILIES
The annual reunion of the Mitty Wait, Graves, Moore, Diveley and Robey families was held Sunday at the camp ground with a large attendance. Those who came from a distance were: Otto Herpich and family, Thiemsville, Wis.; Antone Brish, South Milwaukee; Anne Marshal Wiley, Rockford, Ill.' William Graves and family, William Arthur Frundt and family, Norfolk, Nebr.; Miss Tillie Sunnock, Glenn Graves, Chicago; Dr. and Mrs. Earl C. Bucher, Durand, Ill. Those who sent regrets for inability to attend the reunion were: The Bradley Diveley family, of Goshen, Ind. the Howard Diveley family, of Tacoma, Wash.; Mr.and Mrs. Leslie Diveley, Mr.and Mrs. George Benton, of Chicago; the Wilbur E. White family, of Stockton, Ill. Sunday's reunion celebrated the 150th year since the arrival of the first member of the clan into the Winslow-Waddams area, the first section of Stephenson county to receive white settlers. William Robey, his wife and their ten children came from Portsmouth, Ohio, arriving at Brewster's Ferry on Nov. 21, 1834. With his oldest son, Levi Robey, came his bride of a few months, the former Almira Wait. On Feb. 14, 1835, Levi Robey moved to a new log cabin in Waddams township. April of that year, 1835, brought Hubbard Graves and Nelson Wait, brother-in-law of Levi Robey. Both took claims at Ransomberg, the boomtown on the Pecatonica river two miles below Brewster's Ferry. Nelson Wait built accommodations to receive his widowed mother's family and they came on from Portsmouth in the summer of 1836. Nelson Wait (1811-1868) was known as a most honorable and upright citizen. After his mother's family became well established he married in 1844, Mary Catherine Root, of South Danville, N. Y., who at that time was visiting her sister, Mrs. Hollis Jewell, of Freeport, Of their nine children only two lived to manhood. Frank Wait died in 1874, leaving William Henry Wait, aged 20, as the sole survivor of this pioneer family. He became a noted educator.
His death occurred Feb. 28, 1939, at the Michigan Union of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The following life sketch of Professor Wait was prepared by the University of Michigan. "William Henry Wait was born near McConnell, Illinois, son of Nelson and Mary Catherine (Root) Wait. His ancestors came from Wales and settled in Massachusetts before the American Revolution He received his preliminary training in the public schools of his native place and in the preparatory department of Northwestern university. He was graduated bachelor of arts from that university, in 1879, master of arts on examination in 1882, and doctor of philosophy on thesis and examination in 1888. After three years of high school teaching at Peoria, Ill., he became connected with Illinois Wesleyan university in 1883. He served as professor of Latin and German from 1883 -1888, as dean of the university and professor of Latin and modern languages from 1888 -1890. From 1890 -1895 he had charge of the work in ancient classics in the high school at Peoria, Ill. Having meanwhile spent a year in graduate work at the Universities of Berlin and Bonn, he accepted a call to the University of Michigan, where he has held the following positions in succession: Instructor in Greek and Sanskrit, 1895-1896; in German, 1901 -1904; in 1904 he became assistant professor of modern languages, in charge of the modern language work in the department of engineering. He was a member of the American Philological association and of the Modern Language Association of America. He edited The Orations of Lysias (with notes and appendices, (1895). He became professor emeritus June 30, 1925."
In the single week of Feb. 21-28, 1939, three persons were taken by death from the Reunion association: Josiah William Consalus, of Nora, on Feb. 21, and Mary Ellen (Moore) White, of Stockton, Ill., on Feb. 27, 1939. In the passing of Mrs. White the clan felt the breaking asunder of nearly the last tie that bound the families together in their pioneer sympathies, since everywhere ties of blood had intermingles with hers. An added sorrow attend her departure, for in less than a month her husband, Wilbur E. White, was made permanently a helpless invalid by the irremediable fracturing of the bones of his hip. Today, as he lies in a cast in his pleasant home in Stockton, he has the sympathy of the entire relationship. Their daughter Lolita, forwarded a tribute to her mother written by a friend of the family. It was as follows: In the passing of Mary Ellen White we suffer a grievous loss. Who knew her best knew most her worth; her plane of life seem balanced high. Sustained, and with calm demeanor, she looked down upon the cares of life; the petty things that ruffled others came alike to her, but stood smoothed out as though they had not been. In her sweet everyday life she knew little of her charming grandeur, nor did she realize her lofty poise. To friends and family she leaves a heritage of which all may well be proud, and when we reach the bourne beyond we shall see and feel again the influences of our sweet Mary Ellen." [Contributed by Karen Fyock - August 22, 1939]
MITTY (WAIT) GRAVES-MOORE, DIVELEY AND ROBEY FAMILIES
Sunday August 21, 1938 has been set for the date for the Mitty (Wait) Graves-Moore, Diveley and Robey annual family reunion to be held at the Methodist Campground in Lena. This coterie of families, a closely relationship 105 years ago came together in the early days of Stephenson County in the region which later became Winslow Township and part of Waddams township. Brewster Ferry, also Ransomberg upon the Pecatonica River were the very first places to receive settlers. About five years later their populations drifted off to the farmlands and to Winslow which began its existance as a log saw mill erected by the Lott brothers in 1834.
From 1834 to 1837 forebears of the above families came into this pre-emption territory to become its permanent settlers. William, Levi and John Robey came with their families in November 1834; Hubbard, Graves, Lydia, Nelson and Asa Wait came in the spring of 1835. Isaac Diveley came in May 1837. With him came his wife's mother Mitty (Wait) Graves-Moore and her four sons and a daughter, all of whom, in the spring of 1838 moved to Wards Grove Twp. Jo Davies County to become permanent settlers there. Isaac Diveley and his son William were farmers, well and widely known, raising large families who became pioneer teachers and farmers in Waddams' township. William and John Robey, after residing there 13 years removed to Round Rock TX in 1847. Levi Robey and his brother Waddell Robey remained citizens of Stephenson County, the latter to become and early merchant of Rock Grove and later to become identified with political interests in Freeport. Levi Robey remained a farmer in Waddams township but eventually became the most renowned "old settler" of his time.
Nelson Waits large family has dwindled to a singular survivor. Prof. Emeritus Wm. Henry Wait of Ann Arbor Michigan who has no descent. In contrast the descendants of Asa Wait III are numerous and bear such county names as Liphart, Shippy, Cantrell, Zurbriggen, Stamm , Rackow, and Van Matre. The sons of Asa Wait III are William Wait, Red Oak and Cyrus Wait of Winslow. The latter lives on the original acreage preempted to his grandmother Lydia (Kendall) Wait (Asa Jr) in 1835. The original home, built for her by her son-in-law Silas Sears in 1845-46 was burned lately, but later was replaced by a modern structure close to the original homesite. [From the Freeport Journal Standard 15 August 1938]
MITTY (WAIT) GRAVES-MOORE, DIVELEY AND ROBEY FAMILIES
The Mitty (Wait) Graves-Moore, Diveley-Robey family reunion will be held Sunday August 20, 1939 at Lena campgrounds. The gathering will celebrate the 105th anniversary of the Robey family and the 102nd anniversary of the Moore and Diveley families in this section of Illinois, the Waits coming at varoius years in between. Officers are; President - Oliver Graves of Stockton; Vice President - Roland Sites of Cadiz Wisc; Secretary - Mary C. Blair of Nora; Treasurer - Althea Diveley Liphart of Lena. Grounds committee - Frank Schafer, Freeport; Loy Liphart, Lena; William Nelson Wait, Red Oak; Cyrus Wait, Winslow and Clarence Wales, Winslow. The annual reunion was held at the campground with a large attendance. Those who came from a distance were Otto Herpich of Thiemsville Wisc; Antone Brish of South Milwaukee Wisc; Ann Marshal Wiley of Rockford; Wm. Graves & Family; Wm. Arthur Frundt and family of Norfolk NE; Miss Tillie Sunnock, Glenn Graves of Chicago; Dr. and Mrs. Earl Bucher of Durand IL. Those who sent regrets were the Bradley Diveley Family of Goshen IN; the Howard Diveley Family of Tacoma Washington; Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Diveley, Mr. & Mrs. George Benton of Chicago; the Wilbur E. White family of Stockton.
Sundays reunion celebrated the 150th since the arrival of the first member of the clan in the Winslow - Waddams area, the first section of Stephenson county to receive white settlers. Wm. Robey and his wife with their 10 children came from Portsmouth OH arriving at Brewsters Ferry on Nov. 21, 1834. With his oldest son Levi Robey came his bride of a few months the former Almira Wait. On Feb. 14, 1835 Levi Robey moved to a new log cabin in Waddams twp. April of that year brought Hubbard Graves and Nelson Wait, brother-in-law of Levi Robey. Both took claims at Ransomberg the boomtown on the Pecatonica River two miles below Brewster's Ferry. Nelson Wait built accomodations to receive his widowed mothers family and they came from Portsmouth OH in 1836.
Nelson Wait (1811-1868) was known as a most honorable and upright citizen. After his mother's family became well established he married in 1844 to Mary Catherine Root of South Danville N.Y. who at that time was visiting her sister Mrs. Hollis Jewell of Freeport. Of their nine children only two lived to manhood - Frank Wait died in 1874 leaving Wm. Henry Wait age 20 as the sole survivor of this pioneer family. He became a noted educator. His death occurred Feb. 28, 1939 at the Michigan Union of the Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan prepared this sketch:
Wm. Henry Wait was born near McConnell IL son of Nelson & Mary Catherine (Root) Wait. His ancestors came from Wales and settled in Massachusetts before the revolution. He received his premliminary training in the public schools of his native place. He was graduated Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University in 1879 - master of arts on examination in 1882 and doctor of philosphy in 1888. After three years of teaching high school in Peoria he became connected with Wesleyan Univ. in 1883. He served as professor of German and Latin from 1883 - 1888, as dean of the University and professor of latin from 1888-1890. From 1890 - 1895 he had charge of the work in ancient classics in the Peoria High School. Having meanwhile spent a year in graduate work at the universities of Berlin and Bonn he accepted a call to the Univ. of Michigan. He was a member of the Philological Assoc. and of the Modern Languages Assoc. He became Professor Emeritus June 30, 1925.
In the single week of Feb. 21-28, 1939 three persons were taken by death from the reunion association. Josiah William Consalus of Nora on Feb. 21 and Mary Ellen (Moore) White of Stockton on Feb. 27, 1939. In the passing of Mrs. White the clan felt the breaking asunder of nearly the last tie that bound the families together in their pioneer sympathies, since everywhere ties of blood had intermingled with hers. An added sorrow attend her departure for in less than a month her husband Wilbur E. White was made permanently disabled by the fracturing of the bones in his hip. Today as he lies in a cast in his pleasant home he has the sympathy of the entire association. [From the Freeport Journal Standard 10 August 1939]
There was a delightful family reunion at the Robert L. Moore home, 125 East Empire street Sunday. Their son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Smith and daughters, Carolyn Ann and Myrna Jean, of Albuquerque, N. M., Miss Roberta Moore, a student at the school of music at Northwestern university at Evanston, Kenneth Moore, a student in the law school at Drake university, in Des Moines, Ia., were all home. Open house was held and a delightful musical program was given, Russell Schmidt, of Dallas, Texas, former pianist and director of the orchestra at St. John's Sunday school, being present. Several of the Moore family were members of this same orchestra. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - Clipping July 7, 1938]
The Ostendorf family reunion was held Sunday at Taylor park and had a record-breaking attendance, relatives coming from near by cities in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. An elaborate chicken dinner was served at noon, to which all did credit. Those present were: Mrs. Hilka Ostendorf and son, Albert, of this city, Mr. and Mrs. George Ostendorf, Darlington, Wis. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Neehen and children, Howard, Norman, and Leo, Gratiot, Wis., Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Sullivan, Apple River, Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Gillispie and daughters, Edith and Grace, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Heerkes, Mrs. Helen Schockey and children, Ruth, Ruby and Harold, Mr. and Mrs. John Schroeder and daughter, Miledred, Mr. and Mrs. Ontje Ostendorf and son, Samuel, Kenneth Mensenkamp, Freeport, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Ostendorf, Mr. and Mrs. John Schroeder, Pecatonica and Mr. and Mrs. Hye Ostendorf and son, Hiram, Of Ridott. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - September 10, 1929 clipping]
The Phillips reunion held at Krape Park Sunday August 25, was well attended. The time was spent in visiting and playing games. When the noon hour came a large table was spread with all kinds of good things to eat until it just groaned. On counting there were found to be forty-eight seated at the table. Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Phillips, Valeria and Lucille, Lena; Miss Inez Phillips; daughter Marilyn, Lena; Mr. and Mrs. Amos Phillips; Vanetta and Dale of Dakota; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lincoln, Doris and June dakota, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Yountzy, Charles, Margaret, Vernon, Lois and Howard, of Winslow. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Adams, LaVerne, Virginia, Cecil, Ralph and LeRoy of Orangeville. Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Phillips, Gerald, Emmerson and Esther, Red Oak, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Phillips, son Robert, Lena, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Phillips, Winslow; Mrs. Jay Phillips, Lena; Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Messman, Lola and Marion of McConnell. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Lawler, son Richard, McConnell. Whose who joined the gathering in the afternoon were Mr. and Mrs. Warren Phillips, Bernice, Leo and Evelyn; Cedarville. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Harnish, Ivan and Gerald, Red Oak; Mr. Ralph Moss, Dakota, Mr. and Mrs. Emil Butts, daughter Clarise, Freeport; Miss Willa Wittenmeyer, Freeport. After dinner it was decided to make this an annual event to be held the first Sunday in August 1930, at Krape Park, Lloyd Phillips was chosen, president, Nelson Lawler, secretary, Mrs. Charles Adams Treasurer for the coming year. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - September 1929 clipping]
Ridott: The Raetz family reunion was held Sunday at the home of Sheuman Daughenbaugh. About 50 relatives were present. [Freeport Journal Standard 30 August 1939]
McConnell: The Runkle family held a family reunion at the home of Mrs. George Runkle on Sunday. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Runkle of Little Cedar Iowa came to attend the reunion. [06 September 1939 Freeport Journal Standard]
WILHELM SCHULZ FAMILY
The fifth annual reunion of the Wilhelm Schulz family was held Sunday at Taylor park, with eighty-six members attending: Otto Schultz, Sr., of Lena, who is 76, was the oldest person present and the youngest was LaVerne Solace, of McConnell, one year old. Mr.and Mrs. Lester Schultz and family, of Monticello, Wis., came the longest distance to attend the meeting. A basket dinner was served at noon, after which a business session was held and officers for 1940 elected as follows: President, Vernon Schulz, Orangeville; vice president, Cecil S. Fluegel, Freeport; secretary and treasurer, Gordon F. Fluegel, Rock Grove. The next reunion will be held the last Sunday in August, 1940. (Name spelled both Schultz and Schulz in the article). [Contributed by Karen Fyock - August 2, 1939]
Feasting and Music - The Young Folks Danced and the Old Folks Swapped Stories
The VanMatre's big and little, got up early yesterday morning. They were going to have a reunion at Lathrop's park, near Winslow, and they wanted to put in a big day with the cousins, uncles, aunts and great aunts who were going to be present. Every VanMatre and every relative of the VanMatre's was invited. It is calculated that there are 300 of them, more or less, in this region and the fact that 175 turned out yesterday is very gratifying to those who originated the idea of holding a reunion. They came from Stephenson county, Ill., and from Green and LaFayette counties, Wis. The towns of Mineral Point, Winslow, Oneco, Freeport, Beloit, and Monroe were well represented. The reunion grew out of a picnic. There had been an outing in a grove on the shady banks of the Pecatonica and after the VanMatre's of the near neighborhood had feasted and talked they hit upon the brilliant idea of holding a general reunion. Yesterday saw the successful culmination of the plans which were there laid. J. W. VanMatre was at the head of the arrangements and he saw that all the details for an enjoyable time were attended to. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. S. D. VanMatre, who settled in the town of Oneco in 1836.
Family History - T. J. VanMatre, a brother of L. D., settled there at the same time. Joseph VanMatre, still another brother, settled in LaFayette county, Wis., in the year 1839. A. P. VanMatre, also a brother, was an Indian trader. He came west in 1825. He was a partner of his brother-in-law, Jesse W. Shull, after whom the city of Shullsburg, Wis., is named and who was a soldier in the Black Hawk war. It is recorded that Mr. Shull founded the city Shullsburg. Mr. Shull put up his cabin at Shullsburg, Wis., in 1823. It was in 1827 that he married Miss VanMatre, the youngest sister of the VanMatre brothers mentioned above. Mr. VanMatre and Mr. Shull conducted trading posts at Galena, Dubuque and Prairie DuChien. The mother of Joseph H. Gibler, of this city, was a sister of the VanMatre pioneers. She settled in the town of Oneco in 1839. Morgan VanMatre, son of Joseph VanMatre, came west to this county in 1834. These were the members of the first settlers of the VanMatre Family.
He is a Patriarch - Cary Noble, of Monroe, Wis., was the oldest VanMatre relative present at the reunion. He is a nephew of Mrs. Joseph VanMatre. Mr. Noble is now in his 83rd year. He was born in Highland county, Ohio, and came to Stephenson county in 1838. He was born in Highland county, Ohio, and came to Stephenson county in 1838. He went back to Ohio and stayed a few years after which he returned to Stephenson county, He resided near Rock Grove, where he is well known. Then he removed to Green county and has lived a retired life at Monroe. Mrs. Noble passed away a few months ago. He is the father of five children, three of whom are living, all being at the reunion.
The mother of the VanMatre's was the first cousin of President Franklin Pierce. Lathrop's park where the reunion was held, is situated one mile east of WInslow, on the banks of the Pecatonica river. It is a delightful spot John K. Brewster, who conducted a store at Oneco, one of the first in the county, established a ferry there to transport his goods from Galena. It was a great convenience for the pioneers and was always called Brewster's ferry. In coming to this country Mr. Crary had great difficulty to get across the Pecatonica river. He tried to go across at McConnell in order that he might reach his relatives, the VanMatre's, but could not make it. He thought he would have to go up the river until he came to its source but at Brewster's ferry he got across without trouble. He felt greatly relieved.
The Program - The day was very enjoyable. There was no fixed program. The order was to have a good time. The guests began the day according to orders and kept it up as long as the sunlight gleamed. There was a wagon load or two of the fine things that the VanMatre ladies know who to cook. The near by relatives prepared enough for themselves and those from a distance. The delicacies were spread on long tables on the bowery dancing platform and it was a feast to gladden the eyes and make the heart rejoice. Then followed games of various kinds. Some tripped the light fantastic to the music of organ and violin. This gift is very prominent in the Joseph H. Gibler family of Freeport. ONe of the enjoyable features for the older guests, was the recounting of tales of the past. With these early day stories Gary Noble, of Monroe, is well stocked and an interested group of listeners always surrounded him. The Van Matre's early home was at Chillicothe, Ohio. While some of them came west at very early day they did not remain here but returned to Ohio and came back at the close of the Black Hawk war to make this their permanent abode. Their children have taken a prominent place in the affairs of this region and the name VanMatre is synonymous of honesty, integrity and industry. T. J. VanMatre is considered one of the most successful farmers in Lafayette county, Wis. Some of the VanMatre brothers lived to an advanced age. Joseph was 84 when he passed away.
Oldest Barn - There has been talk throughout the county regarding the oldest house, but the question as to the oldest barn had not been touched. J. W. VanMatre, of Oneco, owns what is probably the oldest barn in the county. It was built by his father, L. D. VanMatre, deceased. It is an oak frame, bank barn and is in good condition. [Contributed by Karen Fyock - September 30, 1897 clipping]
Mrs. W.S. Templeton and sons, Russell and Lawrence, of Santa Clara, Calif., have been visiting the former's parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Yarger, during the summer and as they must leave for their home in a short time, a Yarger reunion was held at the W.C. Yarger home in Dakota, September 1st. The day was ideal and after a bounteous feast served on the lawn, the afternoon was pleasantly spent visiting and taking pictures as mementoes of the occasion. Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. Austin Yarger, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Barmore, Mr. andMrs. George Miller, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Yarger, Mr. and Mrs. John Dunwiddie, Mrs. Sarah Dunwiddie, Charles Yarger, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Askey, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Denney, Mr. and Mrs. Homer Fry, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Barmore, Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Yarger, Mrs. A. Madison, Mrs. M. Leik, Mrs. Annie Brubaker, Mrs. W.S. Templeton, Misses Pearl Yarger, Mary Yarger, Helen Miller, Kathryne Miller, Grace Coomber, Florence Askey, Beulah Barmore, Zella Barmore, Theresa Chilton, Hazel Yarger, Grace Yarger; Messrs. V. Barmore, C. Nesemeier, Russell Askey, Ray Askey, Russell Templeton, Lawrence Templeton, Virgil Fry, Robert Fry and Donald Barmore.
The thirteenth annual Zimmerman reunion was held Sunday at Krape park, 153 were in attendance. Relatives were there from Freeport, Rockford, Belvidere, Beloit, Brodhead, Durand, Davis, Avon, Oneco, Dakota, Allens Grove and Rock City. The oldest member present was Mrs. Celia McClellan, 77, Brodhead Wis. The youngest was Roger Lee Arbogast, 3 months of Freeport. Three sets of twins, Horace and Maurice Fowler of Beloit Wis., Rosalie and Rosabelle, Buella and Boniata Lunde, two sets of twin daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Lunde of Brodhead.
Awards in the children's games were won by Edward Dunn, Richard Arbogast, Lorraine and Bobby Martin, Myrna Mar Zimmerman, all of Freeport; Gloria, Roland and Richard Fowler, Beloit; Laurene Kleckner, Belvidere, Curtis Lunde, Brodhead, and Dorothy Zimmerman, Rockford. The adult games were won by Mrs. Roy Zimmerman, Rockford, Horace Fowler, Joseph McLain of Freeport.
Officers elected at the business meeting were; President, Arlie Fowler, Beloit; vice president, Maurice Fowler, Beloit; secretary, Dewey McClellan, Brodheard; treasure, Elza Laube, Durand. The 1939 reunion will be held Sunday July 16, at Big Hill Park, Beloit Wisc. [From the Freeport Journal Standard 18 July 1938]
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