Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Niehaus Reunion, Then and Now
This past Sunday, September 10, was our annual Niehaus Reunion day. A favorite cousin (second cousin actually), Gib Hickman, remarked to me that we surely must hold some kind of record for continuous family reunions. I would agree. By all the records I am aware of this is the 78th Niehaus Family Reunion. I believe these events stand as a salute to the foundation provided by the 11 brothers and sisters who were children of Joseph and Gertrude Niehaus who made the journey from Germany to Indianapolis in 1886.
I hope that the tradition continues down through many more generations. We don’t organize too many games or take counts of the attendees (maybe we should). But we have all kinds of friendly conversation and good food and a family heritage quilt raffle that's outstanding. There’s always a nice mix of reminiscing about those who used to be with us and sharing updates on our latest moves or the kids activities. Of course you also will hear some Colts or other NFL chatter in the mix. And, of course, we all stuff ourselves with the pot luck ingredients that include more fried chicken, special casseroles and salads and delicious desserts than any family can stand.
And now....I really want to make note of something special that happened to me at this reunion. My cousin, Dianna Pugh, sorted through her family album recently and turned up a Niehaus Reunion photo from approximately 1955. She decided to bring a copy to me. I’m so happy to have this. Pictured above sharing some treasured family time are the five Niehaus brothers and sisters alive at the time of the 1955 family reunion. They are seated facing the camera, left to right: Lena Niehaus Kleinsmith, Annie Niehaus Donahue, Minnie Niehaus Kirn, Joe Niehaus and John Niehaus (my grandfather). I would guess this is taken at Longacre Park on the south side of Indianapolis. I'd be interested to know what others in the family can say about the photo.
This is a rare photo in my collection and I appreciate Dianna thinking of me, especially to take the time to bring a copy for me. I know these sisters and brothers would be happy to know that 62 years later we’re carrying on their family tradition.
Below are photos of a few of the John Niehaus (man on right in above photo) descendants celebrating their family heritage in 2017. First photo below: Evelyn Ellis Simmerman is in the middle of some of the fun members of her clan. Evelyn’s one of John Niehaus’s granddaughters. She’s flanked by (left to right) Brenda Henigan, her daughter; Kim Mannix, her daughter-in-law; Kevin Mannix, her son and a granddaughter whose name I’m sorry to report I’ve forgotten at this time. She’a a good sport and a friendly great great granddaughter of John's. (I promise I'll remember your name in the middle of the night!)
Below are members of my own family representing us well at the reunion. Here’s my husband, Jerry Hurley, my sister, Marti (Niehaus) Fleetwood, John Niehaus’s granddaughter and my daughter, Krissy Underwood, John’s great granddaughter. What a great photographer took this one.
Thanks from me to everyone of my relatives who made a point to be a part of the 2017 Niehaus Reunion. You'll find lots of fun photos, including the beautiful heritage quilt created by Marti, if you click here: Niehaus Reunion Page
I appreciate your visit to Indiana Ties. If you have family history to share, feel free to leave me a message and I’ll be sure to include your story or photos here.
Come back soon,
Copyright © 2017, Nancy Niehaus Hurley