Summertime! Long, hot, sunny days. Vacations, ballgames and family reunions. Yes, it is family reunion time once again.
The only reunion in our family this year is the annual Miller reunion, which will be held next weekend. Our other two regular family reunions, the Schumm reunion and Brewster reunion, are held every other year, and this is their off-year.
The Millers have a casual get-together while the Brewsters and Schumms have a more structured gathering. They even elect officers and record minutes. I have discovered that those old reunion records can be interesting and laced with family information.
My second cousin Brian has in his possession some old Brewster reunion records and he kindly allowed me to copy them. In addition to the secretary and treasurer reports the notes also include attendance records.
The reunion reports begin in 1948, the 7th annual Brewster reunion, held the 4th Sunday in August at Lehman Park, in Berne, Indiana. These reports end in 1981.The first Brewster reunion was held in 1913 and they evidently had only five reunions between 1913 and 1948.
Approximately 46 Brewster relatives attended that 1948 reunion. It was an organized gathering and later reunions followed a similar schedule: a basket dinner at noon, a short business meeting, pictures, visiting and the ever-popular summer treat, ice cream.
Brewster relatives attending in 1948:
Mr. & Mrs. Freed Burk
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Dudgeon & son
Mr. & Mrs. Dore Brewster & family
Mr. & Mrs. Glen Brewster
Mr. & Mrs. A.H. Brewster
Mr. & Mrs. Donald Glassburn & family
Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Derrickson & Paul
Mrs. Nellie (Fred) Brewster
Mrs. Harriet Buckmaster
Mr. & Mrs. James Nussbaum
Mrs. Edna Abnet
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Brewster & family
Mr. & Mrs. Francis Luginbill & family
The youngest person present was Janet Sue Brewster, age 22 months. The oldest persons present were Mrs. Freed Burk and Mrs. Harriet Buckmaster.
The elected officers for the next year were: J.E. Brewster, President; Anthon Brewster, Vice President;
Mrs. Eva Brewster, Sec/Treas.
The 1949 reunion was called off due to the Polio epidemic in the community.
I was at the 11th annual Brewster reunion in 1953, although I do not recall the event. I was very, very young back then.
Those attending the Brewster reunion in 1953:
Lewis W. Brewster
Golda Brewster [?]
Mr. & Mrs. J.E. Brewster
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Liby
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Dudgeon
Mr. & Mrs. Carl F. Miller
Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Miller (3)
Mr. & Mrs. Glen Brewster
Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Robinson
Mrs. Ralph Derrickson & son Paul
Mr. & Mrs. Lee Derrickson & son Dale
Mr. Francis Luginbill & family (6)
Mr. & Mrs. James Nussbaum , James & Jed (4)
Mrs. Eva Brewster, Monroe, Ind.
Mrs. Irmyl Denney, Dunkirk, Ind.
Mr. Mrs. Arlie Ellenberger & Coleen
Mrs. Pearl Brewster
Mr. & Mrs. Cecil Bollenbacher (4)
Bert Brewster & children (6)
Mr. & Mrs. Jesse Brewster, Connie & Gary (4)
Mr. & Mrs. Dore Brewster (5)
Mr. & Mrs. Tony Brewster, Box 330 Portland (3)
My great-grandmother Pearl Brewster was the oldest person in attendance in 1953 and the youngest was the10 month old son of Mr. & Mrs. Lee Derrickson. Lewis Brewster traveled the farthest to the reunion.
In 1967 they began recording births, marriages and deaths. What a nice record for genealogists! That year my aunt Helen (Miller) Linn died and Carey Ellenberger was killed in action in Viet Nam.
My grandmother, Gertrude “Gertie” (Brewster) Miller regularly attended the Brewster reunion. She was the oldest person there in 1970. The next year’s reunion was the last one my grandma Miller attended. That was the 29th reunion, held in 1971, with 76 in attendance. She died in February, 1973.
It sure would be wonderful to be able to talk with all those relatives today!