Monday, October 6, 2014

Recording Our 2014 Niehaus Reunion -- 75 Years

     A sunny, 70s day at the park filled with fun family festivities, a great lunch and some friendly competition --  that sums up the 2014 Niehaus Reunion on September 14 at Mooresville's Pioneer Park, just south of Indianapolis.  Besides great conversation with family, there were several nice ingredients for the afternoon.  To start with, the weather was just perfect - none of the smoldering 90s.  And, of course, everyone's pitch-in contributions made for a fabulous meal to get us all energized.  Then you add another beautiful family heritage quilt  made up of quilt squares created by last year's attendees and sewn with love by Peg Stull.  And this year's corn hole games seemed to have some extra spark.  Lastly, our reunion organizer, Rosie Walters, threw in a silent auction.  There seemed to be smiles all around and a choice of activity for everyone. 
      This year marked the 75th year of this Niehaus Reunion.  In 1939 the children of Joseph and Gertrude Niehaus who 1939reunionhad immigrated to Indianapolis in 1885 began this tradition at Garfield Park on the south side of Indianapolis.  As far as we know, there has been a reunion scheduled every year.  Some report that the 1969 reunion was called off due to the death of Joseph Niehaus, Jr., one of the twelve children of Joseph and Gertrude.   I am sure that the funeral was a gathering of many of those same people who would have made it to the park that year.    
       I just wanted to say a few words here on the website about the great group of folks that make this event a nice family tradition.  As happens to many family reunions, the number of families who continue to attend has fallen off over these 75 years.  But it never fails, those who come together seem grateful to have the chance to continue the tradition.   It is nice that many younger people have recognized the significance of their heritage and attend each year with their parents and grandparents.  Of course, some of the family have scattered far and wide, moving away from Indiana.  And it is difficult to get to the reunions. In other cases, some of us dropped away for a while and have reappeared in later years.  And there are those who attend occasionally.  Regardless, the smiles are there and the welcomes come out for the cousins who gather each year.  Some of us can't remember each other's names, but we usually know the faces.  This year we were so pleased to have attendees from Arizona and Colorado.  And each year we welcome the newest additions, usually one is only a few weeks old.  They always keep us smiling with their beautiful faces.  Let's hope these generations are still bringing folks together in 2089.
     There's a tab above for the Niehaus Reunion page that has history.  Click on that link to see photos from a few reunions, including the oldies.  Or you can go directly to the album for 2014:
     If there are Niehaus family who are wanting to reconnect, send me your address.  I will be sure that you are added to the invitation list for next year.  We are all hoping to see more of you and get-reacquainted!

Copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

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