The Harbaugh branch of our clan has a rich heritage of holding the longest-running reunion known in our family. Since 1926, though officially since 1929, the Harbaughs have gathered every summer in Western Pennsylvania to celebrate family connections and renew old ties. Today, they are held at Wharton Township Park at Farmington, Fayette County, PA, near US Route 40. The 2008 reunion was the Harbaughs' 79th annual event.
The very first reunion was held in the waning days of summer in 1926, in the form of a 94th birthday picnic for Mary Magdalene (Whipkey) Harbaugh, whose late husband was Civil War veteran David Harbaugh and whose late in-laws were Leonard and Martha (Minerd) Harbaugh Sr. The picnic was held at the old Harbaugh farmstead at what is now Clairton Lake near Scullton, Somerset County, PA. The panorama photo seen above was taken that day by the New York Studio of Connellsville, PA.
This page contains a wealth of information on the reunions, including annual minutes since 1947, and excerpts from family letters mentioning the reunion events. We are actively seeking other texts and photographs about the reunions to help us better understand this wonderful event and to honor the deep commitment of Harbaughs everywhere, past and present, who have supported this event.
~ Reunions 1927 to 1929 ~
The particulars of the 1927-1928 Harbaugh Reunions are not known, but are being researched.
At left, the historic old Jersey Church, site of the Harbaugh Reunion of 1929 and perhaps other years. Jersey is the oldest church site west of the Allegheny Mountains, and many branches of the Harbaughs are buried in the church cemetery.
~ Reunions 1929 to 1946 ~
Other than the photographs seen above and below, details of Harbaugh reunions between 1929 and 1946 are not known either. A record book containing the minutes of the 1929-1946 reunions was said at one time to be in the possession of the late Theodore R. Mountain of Jeannette, PA.
According to a note in Ted's handwriting, the book "will remain with him till it is so recorded in [the new] book as transferred to some other person." It's thought that Mr. Mountain eventually gave the book to one of his successors as secretary-treasurer, sometime after his tenure ended in 1964.
~ 1932 ~
The Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier reported this on Aug. 23, 1932: "The seventh annual reunion of the Harbaugh family will be held Sunday, August 28, at the Mill Run Baptist Church. The affair will be in the form of a basket picnic. Principal speakers will be Attorney F.E. Younkin of Connellsville and Prof. John Harbaugh of Ohiopyle. Officers are: President, G.H. Adams of Connellsville; vice-presidents, Marshal Harbaugh of Ohiopyle and I.D. Younkin of Connellsville; secretary, Charles A. Younkin of Charleroi."
~ 1933 ~
Held at New Centerville, Somerset County in Cramer Grove.
This notice that ran in the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier on Aug. 3, 1933: "The Harbaugh reunion will be held Sunday, August 13, at Cramer grove, along Route 53 near Somerset, in commemoration of the 200th birthday anniversary of Casper Harbaugh."
On Aug. 17, 1933, the Huntingdon (PA) Daily News reported: " Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Snyder, Mrs. A.S. Snyder and two sons, Allen and Wilson, motored to Somerset Sunday and attended the Harbaugh reunion."
At the reunion, many cousins met each other for the first time. Among them were David F. Younkin of the family of David and Maria (Culver) Younkin -- and Edith Susan Lichliter of the family of John C. and Susan (Younkin) Lichliter -- and found they shared ancestry through the lines of Henry and Betsy (Weimer) Younkin. At that reunion, cousin Edith told David that their mutual great-grandfather Henry Younkin was a heavy drinker and did not always live with his wife Betsy -- that Betsy resided with her daughter Phoebe Boucher in a small brick house near Paddytown -- and that Henry was buried in some small country churchyard near Scullton, Kingwood or New Lexington. In March 1934, David Younkin typed his reunion notes.
~ 1934 ~
Nothing is known about the 1934 reunion other than it was held on Aug. 19, 1934, and had one known attendee, Charles Arthur Younkin, of Charleroi, Washington County, PA, a grandson of David and Mary Magdalene (Whipkey) Harbaugh.
In a letter to his kinsman Otto Roosevelt Younkin, dated Aug. 17, 1934, Charles wrote: "Am going to the Harbaugh Reunion on Sunday and going to try and arrange for some entertainment at that time ... for our coming Younkin Reunion to be held Sept. 2nd." On Aug. 21, he wrote again to Otto: "Did you know there was a Younkin reunion at Shady Grove on Sunday 19th. Tried to find out who was holding it but did not find out exactly who was heading it. Was on way to Harbaugh reunion when I learned of it." Writing to cousin David F. Younkin in Johnstown, PA, in 1934 -- of the family of David and Mariah (Culver) Younkin -- Charley said: "It has been my duty to furnish nearly all the records at the Harbaugh reunion."
Five days after the reunion, Charley again wrote to David F. Younkin, saying "Yes, we missed you at the Harbaugh Reunion. The gathering was not as large as we have had, but was a fair crowd and everything went nicely."
~ 1936 ~
The 1936 reunion was held at the Odd Fellows Grove in Kingwood, Somerset County. A group photograph was taken that day. A number of faces have been identified so far, and will be listed on this page in the future. More names will be added as they are learned.
In a letter by Charles Arthur Younkin dated Nov. 22, 1936, planning for the following year's Younkin National Home-Coming Reunion in Kingwood, he wrote: "Plans are being made for a great time. Have planned the date as Aug. 22, '37, as this is the 3rd Sunday and does not conflict with the Harbaughs or I.O.O.F. Picnic."
~ 1938 ~
In the Aug. 19, 1938 edition of the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier was published the following notice in the "Bear Run" section: "Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Friend and family and Miss Lydia Friend attended the Harbaugh reunion at Kingwood Sunday."
An article in the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier, headlined "Harbaughs Have 14th Reunion With 500 in Attendance," read in full:
The 14th annual Harbaugh reunion was held August 12 in the Odd Fellows' Grove at Kingwood. Approximately 500 persons attended. A basket picnic was enjoyed at noon. A program was presented in the afternoon as follows: Song, America, group singing. Prayer, Charles M. Hutton. Address of welcome, J.E. Mountain. Reading, Ruth Riley. Guitar solos, Harold Wright. Acrobatic acts, Miss Sayers. Music was furnished by the Mill Run Band under the direction of E. Sturgis Colborn. Warren D. Younkin conducted the sports program, with prizes being awarded to old and young. The officers were reelected for another year. They are: Charles M. Huston, chairman; George H. Adams, president; Warren D. Younkin, vice-president, and Esther Younkin, secretary and treasurer. George S. Rowan of Mill Run, 83 years old, was the oldest person present and Mr. and Mrs. George Ream's child the youngest. The next reunion will be held the second Sunday in August at the same place.
In its "News of the Day at Paradise" column on Aug. 24, 1939, the Courier reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Harbaugh, daughters Marion and Sara and son Donald, and Miss Mary Hoke, attended the Harbaugh reunion in Kingwood Park August 20. Bert Mountain, former school teacher in Bullskin township, made an address. Miss Helen Riley of Somerfield gave a reading, "Betsy and I Are Out," and Miss Helen Sayers of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, performed acrobatic stunts on platform and trapeze. The Mill Run Band furnished the music."
The Huntingdon (PA) Daily News reported on Aug. 18, 1939: "Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Snyder and daughters of Huntingdon, Mr. and Mrs. A.S. Snyder attended the Harbaugh Reunion at Kingwood, Somerset county, Sunday."
~ 1940 ~
~ 1943-1945 ~
As World War II raged in Europe and the Pacific, the Daily Courier reported on July 18, 1942, that "The annual Harbaugh Reunion has been discontinued for the duration."
The Daily Courier announced on July 31, 1946, that "The annual Harbaugh reunion will be held Sunday, August 11, at Kingwood Grove in Somerset county." This is thought to have been the first gathering since 1942, when rationing of gasoline and rubber tires would have prohibited widespread travel.
~ Minutes Book Purchased Sept. 1947 ~
This inscription is on the first page of the Harbaugh Reunion Minutes book:
19, 1964 turned over to Clifford Harbaugh
A brief article about the reunion ran in the Aug. 5, 1947 edition of the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier: "The eighteenth annual reunion of the Harbaugh family will be held all day Sunday at the Odd Fellows Grove near Kingwood on Route No. 53. A musical program and sports have been planned for the afternoon. Members of the clan are requested to bring well-filled picnic baskets. Relatives and friends are invited to attend."
The annual Harbaugh reunion was held in the form of a basket picnic on Aug. 10, 1947 at the Odd Fellow Grove on route 51 near Kingwood Pa. This being the 18th annual affair. The meeting was opened by the President Wm. Harbaugh. A prayer was offered by Rev. Walter Merrick. Minutes for the 1946 reunion were read. Duet by Snyder sisters. Ruth & Ilene Snyder, Huntingdon, Pa. Trio by Miss Dolly Snyder, Mrs. Fred Leighty, Miss Loretta Colbert. Talk by Rev. Walter Merrick. Duet again by Snyder sisters, the Old Rugged Cross. Collection $23.15. Reading by Loretta Colbert Ball game. Trio again by Dolly Snyder, Mrs. Fred Leighty, Miss Loretta Colbert.
Election of officers. Motion by Ruth Romeo, Seconded by L.J. Hall that the officers for 1948 remain the same as 1947.
[Editor's note -- According to the Harbaugh History book, 1947 reunion president William Jonas Harbaugh (1901- ? ) was married to Thelma Kelley and was a railroader with the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, based at Dickerson Run near Vanderbilt, Fayette County, PA. He was the son of William Randals Harbaugh (1860-1939), grandson of Elijah Skinner Harbaugh (1833-1896), great-grandson of George Harbaugh (1807-1885), great-great-grandson of Jacob Harbaugh and a great-great-great grandson of Casper Harbaugh. William was reunion president from 1947 to 1959.]
~ 1948 ~
The annual Harbaugh reunion was held Aug. 9, 48 in the form of a basket picnic at Odd Fellows Grove, Kingwood, Pa. This being the 19th annual affair. The meeting called to order by the President Wm. Harbaugh. Prayer by Rev. Merrick. Reading of minutes by Warren Younkin substituting for T.R. Mountain. Solo by Miss Dolly Snyder. Address by Rev. Merrick. Variety sketch by Miss Loretta Colbert. Collection of $20.52. Trio In the Garden by Rev. Merrick violin, Ruth Harshman piccolo, Miss Colbert organ. Group singing by members. Talk by Lester Conn. Silent prayer for the departed members. Quartet Now is the Hour Miss Colbert, Miss Harshman, Miss Pratt, Miss Snyder. Election of officers. Motion by Mrs. Friend, seconded by Mrs. Doyle that the present officers serve for another year.
So ordered by unanimous vote.
report. The meeting closed with a prayer by Rev. Merrick. A sports program in
charge of Ruth Younkin followed the business meeting after which the time was
spent in visiting.
~ 1949 ~
The annual Harbaugh reunion was held in the form of a basket picnic on August 14, 1949 at the Odd Fellows Grove on route 51 near Kingwood, Pa. This being the 20th annual affair. The meeting was opened by the president, William Harbaugh. A prayer was offered by Miss Fanny Patterson. Talks by Mr. J.L. Cooperider of Evansville, Ind., and Miss Fanny Patterson of Vanderbilt, Pa. Reading of the minutes for 1948 was omitted. There was a collection of $17.51.
Election of officers:
The entertainment throughout the meeting was provided by Sam Shearer and family.
Motion was made to preserve the Casper Harbaugh monument. This motion was moved and seconded. The president appointed a committee to take care of same. (Editor's note -- Casper's badly faded grave marker is seen here circa 1997 lying flat on the ground.)
Treasurers report. The meeting was closed with prayer. A sports program in
charge of Warren Younkin followed the business meeting after which the time was
spent in visiting.
[Editor's note: The "J.L. Cooperider" referred to here was Joseph Lewis Cooprider of Evansville, IN. In 1947, after years of exhaustive research and voluminous organization and writing, he and his mother, Cora Bell (Harbaugh) COoprider, published a landmark book, Harbaugh History: A Directory, Genealogy and Source Book of Family Records. It was -- and still is -- an impressive work in exquisite detail, tracing the family back to 1732 to German immigrant Casper Harbaugh. Today, original copies of the book are in the collections of many of our cousins nationwide. J.L. Cooprider held a master's degree from the University of Chicago, and was a teacher in the Evansville (IN) Schools. His mother Cora Bell was the daughter of Civil War veteran Amos Harbaugh of Owen County, IN; the granddaughter of farmer Henry Harbaugh of Clark, Coshocton County, OH; great-granddaughter of John Harbaugh of New Straitsville, Perry County, OH; and great-great granddaughter of the immigrant Casper Harbaugh of Somerset County, PA. Also see entries for 1952 and 1954. Another of J.L.'s books -- the 1952 Chronicles of the Families of Cooperider, Cooperrider and Cooprider and Their Descendants -- mentions other cousins from a distant branch of our family.]
~ 1950 ~
The Aug. 5, 1953 edition of the Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier ran a short notice about the upcoming event: "The annual Harbaugh reunion will be held at Odd Fellows Grove at Kingwood along Route 53 Sunday. A program of entertainment including sports has been arranged. President William Harbaugh anticipates a large attendance."
The annual Harbaugh reunion was held in the form of a basket picnic on August 13, 1950 at the Odd Fellows Grove on route 53 near Kingwood, Pa. The 21st reunion. The meeting was opened by a prayer by the Pres. William Harbaugh. The election of officers followed:
Prizes were awarded the following:
report. Following the meeting, races & games were held & enjoyed by all.
~ 1951 ~
The annual Harbaugh reunion was held in the form of a basket picnic on Sunday, August 12, 1951 at the Odd Fellows Grove on route 53 near Kingwood Pa. This being the twenty second (22nd) reunion. The meeting was opened by a prayer from the Pres. Wm. Harbaugh. Entertainment was then furnished by the Shearer family. They sang several songs, If I Knew You Were Coming I Would Have Baked a Cake, God Bless America and Smile Awhile. Reading by Cora Bess Shearer, Me & Pat & Mother. Meeting was then turned back to the Pres. Collection was taken up. Prizes were then awarded the following:
was again turned over to the Pres. The election of the officers for 1952 were
now elected: Pres. Wm. Harbaugh; Vice Pres. Edgar
Ream; Sec. Treas.
Theodore R. Mountain. Treasurers report. Meeting was then closed by all
praying the Lords Prayer. Sports program then followed.
~ 1952 ~
The annual Harbaugh reunion was held on Sun., Aug. 10, 1952 at the Odd Fellows Grove on rt. 53 near Kingwood, Pa. This being the 23rd reunion. The meeting was opened by a prayer given by Pres. Wm. Harbaugh, also various remarks about the Harbaugh clan. The entertainment then followed by songs and music by the Shearer and Dull brothers. (From Mill Run, Pa.) A show as then given by Ida Younkin & Della Henry, this being in the form of two colored ladies in their back yard. More music by the orchestra. Collection was then taken up ($39.63) A Talk was then given by J.L. Cooprider [seen here -- author of the Harbaugh History book]. Song by Caroline Silbaugh announcements of Deaths. Prizes were then given to the following:
The nomination & election of officers follows:
was then closed by all praying the Lords Prayer. Sports Program then
~ 1953 ~
The annual Harbaugh reunion was held Sunday Aug. 9, 1953 at the Odd Fellows Grove near Kingwood, Pa. This being the 24th annual reunion. The meeting was opened by everyone singing the Old Rugged Cross followed by a prayer by our Pres. Wm. Harbaugh. We were then entertained by several songs by the Dull & Shearer brothers: Seven Lonely Days, Down by the Old Mill Stream. Remarks by the president Wm. Harbaugh. Talk by J.L. Cooprider. Collection $42.19. Song by Caroline Silbaugh Hes My King. More songs by the quartet. Nomination of officers: Motion by Warren Younkin, seconded by Edgar Ream that present officers be elected for another year. Motion & seconded that nomination be closed by Dave Younkin Frank Younkin. Prizes were awarded the following:
$42.19. Meeting was closed by a prayer by Wm. Harbaugh. Sports program then
[Editor's note -- The day of the reunion, Albert 'Ward' Minerd wrote this in his diary:]
Delbert and Gail, Mary Ellen came about 12:30 P.M. and took us to the Harbaugh Reunion at Kingwood Grove. We met the following people: Uncle Joe Luckey and Aunt Sade, Walter Malone and Mary, Martha [Bailey], Ernest Minerd and wife, also Earl Minerd, his wife and boy, Suse Conn, Nora Conn, Gertrude Conn, Alene Rowan, Willie Harbaugh, Robert Harbaugh, Lloyd Hall and Ollie, Wallace Harbaugh and wife.
~ 1954 ~
The annual Harbaugh reunion was held Sunday Aug. 8, 1954 at the Odd Fellows Grove near Kingwood, Pa. This being the 25th annual reunion. The meeting was opened by everyone singing America. Followed by prayer by Pres. Wm. Harbaugh. Entertainment followed:
This being the 25th anniversary of all those who were present at the first reunion in 1926 were invited onto the platform. About 27 relatives assembled upon the platform. Each then were given a piece of a beautiful birthday cake which had been donated. Election of officers: Motion by John Miner, second by Lena Younkin, that the present officers continue for another year. Motion carried. Collection $40.12. Closed by all praying the Lords Prayer.
We was at the reunion last Sunday. Mat Gosage was the oldest one their. She said she was 97. She said she was not to well. My 2 girls was their and Jess and Clint, Nora youngest boy Wilson and his wife and children, Minnie Gary and John Miner, Edgar Ream and his family, most of them, Warn Younkin, Frank and his family, Lena Doyel was their. Coopriter was not their but I miss Nora and Rosette. Nora was their last year. Rosette was not their last year. She Died on wedsday after the reunion.
[In another letter written Aug. 15, 1954, Susan Conn-Strickler wrote:]
We was at the Harbaugh Reunion last Sunday. Had it out their ware Iva lives. My family was their, all except Lester. He did not get their. Have not saw him since Nora funeral. Mrs. Gosage was the oldest woman their. She is 97 year old, cousin of me and your mother's... Dad Strickler was the oldest man their...
~ 1955 ~
The 26th annual Harbaugh reunion was held on Sunday Aug. 14, 1955 at the Odd Fellows Grove near Kingwood, Pa. The meeting was opened by a prayer given by the Pres. Of the reunion, Wm. Harbaugh. The meeting was called to order & remarks were made by the Pres.
Entertainment follows. Act by Samie & Artie Thorpe. Music by Gerald Cooper, Kenneth Cooper & Cora Ring, also playing the Guitar. A number of songs were sung by the above mentioned. Peggy Hensel (little girl) sang a song about the Devil. A short talk was given by Elizabeth Spring. This being the first visit by her & her Father to the Harbaugh reunion, they came from Ashland, Ohio and are friends of Mr. Cooprider.
Election of officers were held:
Gifts were given to the following as prizes for:
~ 1956 ~
The 27th annual Harbaugh reunion was held Aug. 12, 1956 at the Odd Fellows Hall at Kingwood, Pa. Program was opened by a prayer by our Pres. Wm. Harbaugh. Greeting to the Clan also was given by the Pres. Entertainment by the Shearer family & Earl Whipkey & wife, songs & music.
Election of officers followed:
Prizes presented to the following:
~ 1957 ~
The 28th Harbaugh reunion was held Sunday, Aug. 11, 1957 at the Odd Fellows Hall (Grove) near Kingwood, Pa. Program was opened by a prayer by the Pres., Wm. Harbaugh. Greeting also by the Pres. Entertainment by Mrs. Betty Garrity songs & jokes. Presentation of gift to Mrs. Gorsuch who is 100 years old. Grey & Whipkey girls sang Jesus is Calling. Hulbertson girls sang Way Down Upon the Swannie River.
of officers: Wm. Harbaugh, Mrs.
Ida Younkin, T.R. Mountain. Collection $45.21.
~ 1958 ~
The 29th Harbaugh reunion was held Sunday, Aug. 10, 1958 at the Odd Fellows Hall (Grove) near Kingwood, Pa. Program was opened by a prayer by Wm. Harbaugh (Pres.). Greeting to the group was then made by Wm. Harbaugh (Pres.). Clyde Smally entertained by singing about a half dozen songs. Gerry Girls (3) sang two numbers. Collection was then taken $33.23.
of officers: Wm. Harbaugh Pres; Lloyd Hall Jr. Vice Pres.; T.R. Mountain
Sec. Tres. Collection $33.23.
~ 1959 ~
The 30th annual Harbaugh reunion was held Sunday, August 9, 1959 at the Odd Fellows Grove near Kingwood, Pa. Program was opened by the President Wm. Harbaugh. Entertainment by Betty Garrity (songs). Gifts presented to the following:
Election of officers:
Published with permission.