Being we are having a Family Reunion in Arthur Illinois this weekend, I decided to come out a few days early, to do some research and digging around, asking questions. Yesterday we got that accomplished with the help of more family members.
Bishop Joseph Keim's grave with a few of his direct descendants. Betty my sister is a grandchild seven generations ago and Peter & Grace grandchildren nine generations ago. He died May 23, 1872 at the age of 46, after living in the Arthur area for only seven years. His wife moved back to Ohio with the remanding children. Next to her husband are the grave stones of two of their children, Lena age 15 and John age 6 month.
Here Peter is having a hard time standing next to Joseph's grave with his modern computer. I wanted the contrast of Joseph's pioneer age with the modern technology of his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren. Peter was remembering the funeral of his great-grandfather Dan Mast, so he wasn't interested in reliving those memories.
We spend quite a bit of time looking for Joseph's grave stone, but then Betty found it and also of his two children.
We paid Oba Helmuth a visit and got some more information, but I would appreciate more information if anybody knows of a source I can research. Or stories their ancestors told about the first years in the Arthur, Illinois area.
Joseph Keim's youngest daughter Barbara married Honsamony, my great grandpa. (Honsamony is Emanuel's John in English.)
This afternoon we had a Sisters' Day. So I got to see all of my sisters that live in the area, plus some of their children and their grand-children. I didn't get a shot of all of the great-nieces and nephews, although most of them are on this post. These lined up are Sister Dena's grandchildren, Hannah & Lily Miller, Jacon Keim and Seth Miller.
Janiyh with her glass of tea.
Three generations, Sister Barbara Wengerd, Katie Troyer & Maddie.
Cousins, Diana Yoder and Maddie Troyer.
Time for the food, siblings and cousins.
Seth is more comfortable wearing his crash helmet backward. It just fits and feels better.
Jonah, Seth's younger brother.
No Seth, you don't get into my grandma's purse.
Maddie going for her grandma's pursse.
Niece Rachel with Janiyh and Sister Edna.
"Let's get out of here before we get run over."
Syl's work was to cook stew in an iron kettle. It is his specialty and no two cookers ever taste alike. It is the same with Amish Henry's Cowboy Stew or the Zook guy that makes and sells barbecue ribs in Pinecraft that have a good taste all their own and sell like hot cakes.
The Working Bee was at Joe & Diane's place and so they had both of their families there. Edna and I were just extras. I spend most of my evening sitting somewhere taking photos as the evening progressed.
It takes effort to walk these Holmes County hills and so I just hopped on the wagon with Braxton. Rhoda a great niece, has strength and she had no problem with the two of us. I am sure we didn't pull a muscle in her.
The one year old children ate first. All Grandma Sara needed to do was hold the soup bowl for the little guy.
Rhoda feeding Braxton.
The four year old twins helped themselves with desert. This is Jeneva and Joel is dishing it out in the next pic.
I watched this with great interest, as Ian wanted to drive this Cozy Coupe. But Jeneva had it, so she fed him cake with hopes he would forget about taking a ride. After the cake was gone, he still wanted to ride...
so the both squeezed in. It didn't work, so Ian got out and Jeneva took a few rides and then let Ian have it. I watched this in total amazement as there was no grabbing, slapping or screaming. I didn't hear a sound coming from both of these children.
These cousins had fun with their cousins Jensen and Braxton's modern toys. I well remember those times whenever we were at our cousin's place who was an only child, how we went after her tricycle and scooter. But Mattie loved coming to our place because we had lots of siblings to play with each other.
Here are a few of the men working on changing a door. They built shelves, did the yard work etc.
And when dusk came and the cold wind whistled through out bones we took to the fire pit, warming up toes.
and roasting marshmallows for S'mores.
These marshmallows caught on fire.
The bigger children took to the Sparklers. It was a good evening, a very good evening.
The Buck heading toward the schoolhouse, jumping onto the porch, ready to ring the bell to call his flock in. But then he changed his mind and returned to his sheep.
The view to the left. Two generations ago I knew whose farm this is, but not anymore. I am sure it changed hands a few times since I was in third grade and went past here everyday on the school bus.
To the right of the schoolhouse is the fresh water pump and water trough for the sheep.
We waited a while with hopes he would jump back on the porch again. I was ignored and so I did a bit of "Sheep Talk".
I got his attention but he refused to obey my voice. I guess I was the voice of a stranger and since he didn't know my voice, he wouldn't follow orders.
Before we left I took one last shot of the horse barn. Frog Pond is one of my favorite school to do photo shooting. I know the schoolhouse is loaded with memories, if it could talk as it has been occupied for quite a few generations.
Dwight Roth with Sister Edna and myself. I had met Dwight in Pinecraft at his book talks at the Tourist Mennonite Church a couple of months ago. He is the coauthor of Kinship Concealed, Amish Mennonite-African American family connections. There are two amazing narratives in this book. This is the story of Amish immigrant brothers, Jacob and John Mast. One became an Amish bishop while the other brother moved to North Carolina and with time his son or grandson became a slave owner. Out of this slavery a little slave boy was born out of wedlock. Many generations later two descendants met on a Midwestern campus college...
Owen Yoder, I think is his name. Usually whenever I am in Ohio and German Village has a book signing of my writer friends I wait until the last hour figuring I have more time to visit. Today was such a day with both Dwight Roth and Richard Stevick.
Both of these books are available for a very reasonable price from Amazon.
Edna and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit with these two professors. Dwight said Edna looks worldly but I am worldly. Another observation from Dwight who he is good friends with Ollie Troyer from Kansas. He saw some Troyer similarities between Ollie and the two of us. That was an amazing observation being we are 7th cousin with Ollie.
The Pioneer bus came in today. Noah Chupp and Marvin Mast are the drivers. They leave tomorrow afternoon with about 35 passengers, including my luggage. I didn't want the long bus ride, so I looked around for a reasonable flight and found one going from Sarasota Florida into Canton/Akron Ohio tomorrow evening. I am planning on picking up my luggage at Pioneer's office Thursday afternoon.
I am listening in to a Spanish conversation with the one on the ground. I can't understand a word they are saying.
One little bike didn't make it into Bill's Bike Shop before he locked up for the summer. The bike sits or stands with torn tires.
I will probably never find out what is in this bag. It is stapled shut and warm to the touch but nobody in the crowd was allowed to know what is in it.