Last year I had proposed that there should be a Robbins reunion in Decatur County, Indiana, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the family being in that county. In 1922 there was a large (1,000 attendee reunion according to the local newspaper) reunion and it would be nice to see another special reunion next year. Several blog readers expressed an interest in helping organize such an event. Unfortunately, none of us actually live in Greensburg or Decatur County.
Earlier this summer I contacted Russell Wilhoit of the Decatur County Historical Society and asked if something could be added to one of their upcoming newsletters. While he said he would see if he could get something in the next issue, the Fall 2021 newsletter doesn’t include any mention, but, and this is important: 2022 is also the bicentennial of the founding of Decatur County and there will be activities planned around that.
In August I visited with my cousin Janet Ketchum Armbrust in Kalispell, Montana. While a Myers descendant not a Robbins (my ancestor William Franklin Robbins was married to Melvina Myers and Janet descends from one of Melvina’s sisters) she did suggest a contact in Greensburg who writes for the Greensburg Daily News.
As result of contacting Pat Smith in Greensburg there was an article in the September 8, 2021, edition of the newspaper, describing our interest in a reunion and asking three questions: (1) is anyone already planning a bicentennial reunion for 2022? (2) or are there any plans for a regular annual Robbins family reunion that would welcome relatives from across the country to make a larger, special event? (3) or if not either of those two are there Robbins family descendants in Greensburg/Decatur County who would be interested in helping plan such an event with cousins from around the country? as it would be very helpful (and probably necessary) to have someone local to advise about venues, dates, etc.
In my email to Pat Smith I had described myself as “befuddled” about making contact with local family members who could assist. Sadly my last contact were Melvin and Rosalie Robbins, who have both passed away. “Befuddled Genealogist” then made it in as part of the headline of the story. Oh well! But it was great to have the question of a bicentennial reunion out there. The article provided just about every possible way to contact me.
The upshot is so far I have not heard from anyone in Greensburg or Decatur County. While cousins in Decatur County may still be thinking about responding, at this point if we wish to have an event, even if it just includes us from “away”, we will probably have to plan it without local assistance. I have the list of folks from last year who were willing to help plan an event but if anyone else would like to help, please let me know (it’s probably a good idea for those who replied last year to confirm their wish to be involved). I have a few ideas but I’m sure others will have great input too.
Regardless of a formal reunion, I am planning on visiting Decatur County sometime in the summer of 2022. At the very least it would be great to coordinate a visit with others, get together to talk family history, and maybe take field trips to local family history sites (for example, the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery where William and Bethiah Robbins are buried). For easiest contact my email is “mittge @ yahoo.com”. Perhaps we can discuss this together, one way or another, in October!