Monday, October 1, 2018

2018 Niehaus Family Reunion - It's Nice To See You Annually

       We've set aside one day each year for 79 years to stop and say "It's Nice To See You."  Many of us don't talk on the phone or go out to lunch, or whatever.  Maybe we see each other at a funeral.  OR, thanks to our tradition, we say hi at the reunion.  Niehaus 2011 wordle 2The annual Niehaus Reunion on Saturday, September 15, at Pioneer Park in Mooresville, Indiana, was another one of those pleasant "It's Nice to See You" days.  A big thanks goes again to Rosie Walters who keeps the organization going and works hard to make sure we all have a nice event.  There were less people attending this year but it sure didn't effect the sharing, camaraderie and laughs.  We had more food contributions than we could all eat in several days.  And It was all yummy!  Can you say fried chicken, barbecue, casseroles galore and too many desserts to mention.

      And after the great meal, we mixed it all up:  Friendly people, a comfortable location,  remembering our families by creating heritage quilt squares, silent auction bidding, sharing old photos, laughter and good stories about family events.  To add to this year's story, we were introduced to a newfound cousin.  DNA testing told one of our Hickman blood-related cousins who her family is.  Dawn arrived at the reunion after meeting a few of her family through DNA connections and being invited to come on over.  It was fun speaking with her, making further ties and even putting together childhood connections that none of us knew were there.  Welcome to the family Dawn.

     The family heritage quilt that's created each year contains the squares that are made by hand by those attending the previous year's reunion.  A personal touch is included in each square, depending on the preference of the person writing it out.  Martha (Niehaus) Fleetwood brought together those squares and a few more historical pieces that I contributed into another beautiful quilt for the raffle this year.  The winner of this year's Niehaus Family Heritage Quilt was our cousin, Evelyn (Ellis) Simmerman. In the photo below they are displaying this treasure.  Marti's on the left and Evelyn's on the right.  Fantastic creation Marti.  Congratulations Evelyn.  2018 Quilt Winner, Evelyn Simmerman, right, with Quilt Creator, Marti Fleetwood, left.

  .    To remind us all of the history of this annual Niehaus gathering, it began in 1939.  The members of this family are all descendants of Joseph and Gertrude (Wilmsen) Niehaus who immigrated to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1885 from Emsdetten, Westphalia (Germany).  Their 11 children gathered their offspring for a picnic at Garfield Park in Indianapolis in 1939 and the tradition has carried on since.  Of course, the relatives have swelled over the years and many may not even be aware of the family ties.   Just in case anyone else reading this is thinking they may want to join in next year for the 80th celebration of this family reunion, here is a sampling of the surnames represented down the years and across collateral lines:   Albers, Albertson, Beerman, Buis, Donahue, Hickman, Hoskinson, Kirn, Lark, Marsischky, Niehaus, Sapp, Schott, Stull, Van Benthuysen, Wilmsen and more…..   I am happy to answer any questions about family connections or background if I'm able to do so.  But anyway, if you think you may be related, come on down to the reunion next year.  Leave me a message through the comments section or the space on the left. I'll pass along your address for the invitation list. We welcome everyone!

     It's refreshing to take the time to get reacquainted, to reflect back on those who brought us together and to just have a few laughs with kinfolk.  Thanks to everyone who attended.  Let's see how huge we can make next year's gathering for the 80th.  Below are just a couple of examples of  Niehaus family enjoying the 2018 reunion. (Also, click on the tab at the top of this page for more.) 

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,


Below: Lisa Rhoades with her Dad, Mike Collins, and her cousin, Terri Dunn

Lisa Rhoades, with her Dad, Mike Collins and Cousin, Terri Stull Dunn

Below: Piper Jackson, her cousin Scotty Moreland and the newest member of the clan, Willow Moreland

Piper, Scotty, Willow

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi: Your own stories or suggestions are welcome here any time. Thanks for being a part of Indiana Ties.