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2023 National Reunion Marks 110th Anniversary of Inaugural 1913 Family Gathering

60 Cousins Attend from 7 States and 17 Pennsylvania Towns

Some 60 cousins from seven states and 17 Pennsylvania towns attended the 2023 national reunion the weekend of June 9-11, 2023, our first since the Covid-19 pandemic. Cousins traveled from as far away as California in addition to Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio and Virginia. Together, we celebrated the 110th anniversary of the inaugural Minerd Reunion held in southwestern Pennsylvania in 1913.


The Friday evening activity involved a dinner at Out of the Fire in Donegal, PA. Saturday was an all-day pinic at historic Camp Christian in Mill Run, PA. The activities involved a group photo, catered lunch meal, history presentations, cousin introductions and a raffle, as well as regular live broadcasts on our private Facebook page. The original reunion founders were recognized in a display -- Rev. Isaac Herschel Minerd (president), Martin Miner (vice president) Esther (Barnhouse) Freed (treasurer) and Dr. Roy Sheppard Minerd (secretary). Excerpts of a history of the family, written in 1913 by Allen Edward Harbaugh, were recited by Thomas Beck. 


Election of officers included Sue Ellen (Colbert) Martin as treasurer and Cindy (Mayle) Devine as secretary. Chip Frederickson photographed the event. Izora (McDowell) Miller was recognized as the eldest cousin present, and the David Mayle family of Susanville, CA was furthest-traveled. Tables were filled with displays of family heirlooms such as photo albums, letters and artifacts for all to enjoy. The hat was passed to help offset our costs, and all together, including donations sent by those unable to attend, some $1,300 was raised.


Sunday morning was spent at a worship service at Indian Creek Baptist Church in Mill Run. The service included installation of a new pastor in the congregation, Kevin Daniels, and closed with the same hymn that our cousins sang to conclude the 1924 reunion -- "God Be With You Til We Meet Again." Afterward, some walked through the church's adjoining cemetery and paid their respects at the grave of our ancestor Jacob Minerd Sr. along with many generations of cousins. 


~ Click to See Facebook Live Broadcasts ~







~ Photo Recap of the Weekend ~

Friday evening's dinner, L-R: Blaine Miner, Tom Beck, Mark Miner
Saturday's picnic gathering was held at Camp Christian in Mill Run
Veteran sign-in coordinator Barb (Holly) Minerd doing her thing. Chip Frederickson photo. 
Carlton Greve on the chow line
Barb (Holly) Minerd with some of the homemade victuals.
Main gathering room where we dined and enjoyed presentations and each other's company.
Reunion president Mark Miner. Chip Frederickson photo.
Blaine Miner of Elgin, IL delivers the invocation, as had his late father Elmer Elwood Miner in years past. Chip Frederickson photo.
Donald and Florence Barnett with David Mayle. Chip Frederickson photo.
Gathering o' the clan, including the David Mayle family (furthest traveled, from California) and Thomas Michael Minerd (rear table). Chip Frederickson photo.
John and Arlene Minerd of Monroeville, IN. Chip Frederickson photo.
L-R: Carol and Steve Johnson of Confluence, PA and Mark and Sue Ellen Martin of Hopwood, PA. Sue was elected as our reunion treasurer.
Judy (Snyder) Campbell and Roger Smith. Chip Frederickson photo.
Family essayist and blogger Tom Beck, who recited excerpts from the Minerd history written in 1913 by Allen Edward Harbaugh, the "Mountain Poet." Chip Frederickson photo. 
Carlton and Claudia Greve of Andreas, PA, the first of the Gaumer cousins to attend our reunions. Chip Frederickson photo. 
Gaming area at Camp Christian. Chip Frederickson photo.
Gloria (Moenning) Carey, whose branch of the Minerds settled in Ohio in 1817 and in Indiana in the mid-1840s. Chip Frederickson photo.
Izora (McDowell) Miller and her family chilling on the porch. Chip Frederickson photo.
Kirk Miner of Columbus, OH with Judy and Jayne Campbell of Youngwood, PA. Chip Frederickson photo.
L-R: Jill Aird of Williamsburg, VA and Cindy (Mayle) Devine of Susanville, CA leading the raffle drawings to raise funds. Cindy was elected reunion secretary. Chip Frederickson photo.
Artifacts of the Frederickson branch. Chip Frederickson photo.
Artifacts of the Raymond Miner and Sybil Beck branch. Chip Frederickson photo.
Artifacts of the Indiana Minerds. Chip Frederickson photo.
A row of cousins at the Sunday morning worship service at Indian Creek Baptist Church of Mill Run. L-R: Daniel and Cynthia Moringiello, Bill and Gloria Carey, Arlene and John Minerd, Beverly and Kirk Miner. 
Sunday morning worship service at Indian Creek Baptist Church of Mill Run.
Installation of Pastor Kevin Daniels, Indian Creek Baptist Church of Mill Run.
Altar of the Indian Creek Baptist Church of Mill Run.
~ Minerd Reunion Origins of 1913 and 1914 ~

Ribbon worn at the 1913 reunion
On Thursday, Aug. 21, 1913, the pioneer Minerd family of southwestern Pennsylvania held their first reunion at the old Ferncliff Hotel in picturesque Ohiopyle, known today for its famed whitewater rapids. The organizers and elected leaders included Rev. Isaac Herschel Minerd, president; Martin Miner, vice president; Esther (Barnhouse) Freed, treasurer; and Roy Sheppard Minerd, secretary. 

In an article published eight days before the event, the Uniontown Morning Herald said that "All arrangements have been made to make this one of the most enjoyable occasions in the history of the Minerd family. The grounds at the Ferncliff Hotel have been secured for the occasion. Notices have been sent to all with an earnest request to be present." 

Red ribbons were worn by the women, while the men apparently wore a white or lighter version.


Connellsville PA news story.  
Cousin Allen Edward Harbaugh, the "Mountain Poet" of Mill Run, PA, and whose grandmother was a Minerd, recited a landmark history of the family that he had authored, which has survived to this day and is a vital key to our understanding of the early family and its many branches.

Attendance at the event was was "exactly 125," according to an article in the Uniontown, PA newspaper. Secretary Roy Minerd kept a detailed list of all the names, but which unfortunately today is lost. The news of the election of officers was published in the Connellsville Daily Courier on Aug. 23, 1913.


The group posed for a photograph, at the base of the Western Maryland Railroad bridge abutment, along the Youghiogheny River. The image most likely was made by Secretary Roy Minerd and distributed to those who wanted one. Click to see an enlarged view and one with faces numbered and identified


1913 group photo, likely taken by Roy Sheppard Minerd. Enlarge>>>



1913 reunion founders, L-R: Rev. Isaac Herschel Minerd, president; Martin Miner, vice president; Esther (Barnhouse) Freed, treasurer; Roy Sheppard Minerd, secretary; and Allen Edward Harbaugh, historian.

The 1914 reunion was held on Sept. 12 at Killarney Park in Mill Run. Rev. Isaac H. Minerd again served as president, while Rev. David Ewing Minerd, the famed "Blacksmith Preacher" of Fayette County, was the guest speaker. Games are known to have been held. The event was promoted in advance in the Uniontown Daily News Standard on Aug. 22, 1914.

Above and below: back in the days when Camp Christian was called Killarney Park, along the Indian Creek Valley Railway, site of the 1914 and 2023 Minerd Reunions.

~ Why the Laurel Highlands and the Pittsburgh Region? ~

Southwestern Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh are the epicenter of our clan's growth and development in the United States of America following the American Revolution. In 1791, patriot and war veteran Jacob and Maria (Nein) Minerd Sr. settled there near Maple Summit on the mountainous border of Fayette and Somerset Counties. They produced a dozen children, who in turn spawned 87 grandchildren, 469 great-grandchildren and 1,344 great-great grandchildren, for a total of 1,912 lives, virtually all born before the year 1900. Today, their descendants and spouses number an estimated 50,000 or more, scattered all over the world. Regardless of your homeplace today, your roots are here.


Above: beautiful view of downtown Pittsburgh and its rivers. Below: original Jacob and Maria (Nein) Minerd Sr. farm, straddling Springfield and Stewart Townships, on the mountaintop border of Fayette and Somerset Counties, PA, dating to 1791, from whence their dozen children scattered far and wide into Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. This historic site is about 60 miles from Pittsburgh as the crow flies.


Your Reunion Advisory Committee:

President: Mark A. Miner, Beaver, PA
Sue Ellen (Colbert) Martin, Hopwood, PA
Cindy (Mayle) Devine, Susanville, CA

      At Large: Jill (Channing) Aird, Williamsburg, VA
At Large: Thomas Beck, Acme, PA
At Large: Chip Frederickson, Greensburg, PA
At Large: Doris (Sands) Hawker, Morgantown, WV
At Large: Sharon (Sheldon) Hershey Kern, Findlay, OH
At Large: Kristen (Murphy) Krieg, Lowell, MI
At Large: Peggy (Grimm) Mansberry, Normalville, PA
At Large: Barbara (Holly) Minerd, Lemont Furnace, PA

Past Reunions:

See recaps of reunions in 20192017 - 2015 - 2013 - 2011 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - 1990s - 1980s - 1910s-1930s

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