Daily News Reports on Reunion

Greensburg (Indiana) local columnist Pat Smith, headlined an article in the Daily News:  “Robbins Reunion Was a Success.”  Pat had contacted me for a report about the reunion.

“Months ago (or maybe even a year ago) I wrote about a Robbins reunion that took place in 1922 and wondered if anyone would be interested in one this year, 100 years later.  It did take place, and Kevin Mittge wrote to me about it saying it was a great success and that local attorney William (“Bill”) Hunter Robbins welcomed families to Decatur County.”

She goes to mention some of the Robbins history in Decatur County and then writes “I visited his [William Robbins Sr.} grave in 1975 when writing a series about Revolutionary War veterans buried in Decatur County with the help of the Daughters of the American Revolution.”

Pat also describes how reunion attendees came from all over Indiana and all over the United States, using some of the statistics that I provided in a previous post.

And finally she credits the generous reunion attendees for, not only covering the expense of the room rental and photographer fee, but providing much more that was donated in the name of the Robbins reunion to the Decatur County Historical Society (which organization, by the way, sent me a nice acknowledgment of the reunion’s donation).

Many thanks to Melissa Robbins of Greensburg for forwarding a copy of the newspaper to me!

Robbins Reunion – Group Photo and More

Group Photo

Christina Newby of Milestones Photography has uploaded the group photo taken at the 2022 Robbins Reunion.  The direct link to the photos is:  https://milestonesphotography.pixieset.com/robbinsfamilyreunion/

The “download PIN” is:  2563

The gallery will expire Oct. 6, 2022.

I will include her email message here: 

Hello Robbins Extended Family,

Thank you again for allowing me to capture your family. I always hope these will be treasured for years to come!

Here are your images. These are the high res files that you can download. You can download them individually by clicking on each image, or all together at the same time, by clicking the down arrow button at the very top of the gallery. You can also select the resolution at download – I suggest downloading both the full resolution, and a second set at a lower web resolution, which makes it great for social sharing. Feel free to share this gallery with family and friends. Please note the gallery expiration date [Oct. 6, 2022].

Save time by ordering prints directly from this gallery. When you make a purchase, it is shipped directly to you. Please let me know if you have any questions, or need assistance with ordering.

Cheers,

Christina Newby [christina@milestonesphotostudio.com]

I have downloaded both the large and small resolution sets and that was very easy.  I have also ordered a copy from Christina Newby (Milestones Photography) as well as Costco (where I usually have photos printed) to compare price and quality.  Though I’m sure Milestones archival quality will far surpass Costco many of us may just want a good affordable copy of the photo.  Ordering from Milestones was a little more complicated as it leads you to Paypal – I was able to pay with a credit card and not Paypal – but it took a few extra steps even though I also have a Paypal account.  Be patient with that process.

Feel free to share this post or send copies of the photos to anyone you think might be interested.  I sent out an email to all the attendees and all went through except for one that bounced.

It has been suggested that we identify everyone who appears in the photo.  I’m not sure the best way to do that – perhaps in the comments here – or you can email me at mittge@yahoo.com and I’ll compile a list. Identify by row (there are four) – and the number from either the right or left.

Reunion Demographics

I thought it would be interesting to share where everyone who attended the reunion came from.  This is taken from the reunion sign-in sheets and while I don’t believe everyone signed in we’re pretty close to the total.  The breakdown by state is as follows:

California                    1

Colorado                     2

Florida                         1

Indiana                      37

Michigan                     2

Oregon                       4

Pennsylvania               2

Texas                           1

The specific Indiana locations (where given) included:  Connersville (3), Decatur County (5), Fishers (1), Greenfield (1), Greensburg (10), Indianapolis (4), Morgantown (1), Poland (1), Spencer (2), Westport (3), Winchester (1), and Zionsville (2).

Robbins Reunion – Report

The 2022 Bicentennial Robbins reunion in Westport, Indiana, was a great success!  We had 50 to 60 people attend.  There was meeting of new cousins, reunions of long separated cousins, and friends discovering they were cousins of one another.  During our program William (“Bill”) Hunter Robbins welcomed family to Decatur County, Greg Robbins discussed the importance of DNA to solving Robbins genealogical brickwalls, and I (Kevin) read a very brief family history.  (I had an expanded seven-page history – still quite brief – as a handout; if you weren’t at the reunion and would like a copy, feel free to email me at “mittge @ yahoo.com” – it’s too long to post on here).

The attendees were extremely generous and we collected donations well in excess of the cost of the room rental and photographer, so I will be passing along a donation of $251 to the Decatur County Historical Society in the name of the 2022 Robbins Reunion!

Once it is available I will be sending out the link to the group photo taken by Christina Newby, our photographer.  The photo will be available to have prints ordered or to be downloaded if folks would like to save it or print it elsewhere.

Below are some photos from the reunion.

Westport Community Building

William (“Bill”) Hunter Robbins
Kevin Mittge
Greg Robbins speaking about DNA
The 20-foot “abridge” 4-generation family chart
Historical displays

Robbins Reunion – Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day!  Hope to see some of you there.  The Westport Community Building has a very nice, large room – and we’ve set some tables and chairs up but we can add more depending on how many folks attend. 

A couple of things to mention:

Museum:

Don’t forget that the Decatur County Historical Society Museum will be open from 9am to 11am tomorrow. It is located at 222 N. Franklin St. in Greensburg.

Getting to Westport:

There is a detour sign as you drive south on Highway 3 from Greensburg to Westport.  I’m not sure what the official detour route is but if you drive down Highway 3 past Letts to almost the road closed sign you can take a right on CR (County Road) 800 South.  Drive west to CR 700 West (you could turn on CR 600 West but it looks smaller and narrower), turn left and take CR 700 West south to CR 1100 South – then turn left and you drive past the Westport Cemetery and into the small community of Westport.  Go straight across Highway 3 and continue into town – the Westport Community Center is on the right.  Here is a map from the Indiana atlas.  (You’re basically driving a rectangle around the closure through beautiful lush corn fields).  It probably adds less than 10 minutes to your drive.

In Westport:

There is parking in the front and along the sides (especially the west side) of the Community Building.

The entrance into the back large room of the community center is on the east side of the building along a short driveway. Unless it is too windy there will be a poster outside.

Having seen several drivers pulled over by police it appears that Westport P.D. takes it’s 20 MPH speed limit seriously!  Drive safely through this tiny town.

Robbins Reunion – One Week Out!

Well – we’re only one week out from the 2022 Robbins Bicentennial Reunion!  We are looking forward to seeing everyone and spending some time getting acquainted and sharing our common family history and experiences.  Some of us (such as myself, Kevin) are beginning our travel to Indiana.  Others will be traveling the reunion weekend.  We wish everyone a safe trip and we will meet up in Decatur County.

We’ve done just about as much publicity as has been possible:  newspaper, radio, flyers, Facebook, and this blog.  But – if you still encounter anyone who might be interested: pass the word!

If you have any questions, you can continue to email “robbinsreunion2022@gmail.com” and will be answered as soon as possible. Also – for a little more detailed information click on the reunion link above.

Again, the reunion will be Sat., July 30th, 11am to 5pm, at the Westport (Indiana) Community Building.  See you there!

Robbins Reunion – Updates

Places to visit:

If you are visiting Greensburg and haven’t been to the Decatur County Historical Society’s museum before, you can visit the morning of the reunion.  The museum will be open on Saturday, July 30th, from 9am to 11am, for any one wanting to stop by before going on the reunion site!  The museum is located at 222 N. Franklin St. in Greensburg.  This is one block north of the courthouse square on the east side.

Decatur County Historical Society

The Greensburg Public Library has a genealogy room with a lot of information.  The hours over the reunion weekend are Friday, 9am to 5pm, and on Saturday, 9am to 1pm.  The library is closed on Sunday but open again on Monday at 9am.  The library is located at 1110 E. Main Street.  Main Street is on the south side of courthouse square and you can just follow that east to the library.

Family History and Photographs:

One of the fun things about family reunions is sharing family history and family photographs.  I would encourage all of you to bring things to share. I am bringing three Robbins photograph albums, three large working notebooks of genealogy, four stand-up trifold historical displays, and more.

Example of Historical Display

I will also have a laptop, portable scanner, and some extra thumb drives for those who want to share or save material to take home (or we can email them from the reunion).  All of the photos in my albums are on my laptop for easy access and sharing.

A small portion of the family chart

I am also bringing a twenty-foot abridged four-generation family chart starting with our common ancestors Jacob and Mary Robbins.  Note that I said abridged!  It’s twenty-feet long and it still doesn’t include everyone down to the fourth generation.  Which by the way, is about our great-great-grandparents’ level.  It will give you a feel for our family’s immense size.  The chart is very simple, see example above, called a working chart, and will probably be outdated with only a little more research.  But it’s fun to ponder!

Robbins Reunion – Updates

We are now less than three weeks away from the 2022 Robbins Bicentennial Reunion!  I thought I’d update some things on this blog and the Facebook page over the next week or so.  Don’t forget that you can also email the reunion at robbinsreunion2022@gmail.com with questions (I usually check it a couple times a day).

Publicity:  An article appeared in the Greensburg Daily News the last week of June announcing the reunion.  I was interviewed live by Greensburg radio station WTRE (AM 1330) last week and hopefully some local listeners caught it.  I have also mailed out a number of flyers to the two libraries in the county, the visitor’s center, the museum, and a number of churches.  If there is any last minute publicity anyone would like to try – go for it!  (I’m attaching a PDF copy below of the flyer which you are welcome to print out, download, or distribute any way you think useful).

Food:  As a reminder, this event will be a potluck.  While a couple of us who are coming some distance are hoping to visit Costco in Indianapolis and pick up some food trays, it would be great if attendees can bring main, side, or dessert dishes.  Coffee will be provided thanks to one of our cousin volunteers!

Expenses:  We only have two dedicated expenses, which is good for a unbudgeted family reunion!  The community center costs $350 and a professional photographer who will be taking a large group photo costs $100.  We have folks who can cover the costs up front but we are hoping they can be shared out among attendees afterward.  We will have a donation jar at the reunion.  Any amount collected in excess of the above expenses will be given to the Decatur County Historical Society.

1922 Robbins Reunion Program

Many thanks to Sue Ardery Simmons and Joan Ardery for their contribution of a copy of the official program for the 1922 Robbins Reunion.  This year’s reunion might not be so formally organized but it should still be a wonderful event!  Remember to check the reunion link at the top of the page for updated information.

Dedicated Robbins Reunion Page

I have created a page on this blog dedicated to the 2022 Bicentennial Robbins Reunion.  You can find the link at the top of the page in the center, just below the 1922 reunion photo.

I will post all the information you will need about the reunion, such as times, events, etc. on that page, as changes occur. 

We also have a Facebook “event” page set up.  If you wish to be connected through Facebook you can always friend me, even temporarily, and I’ll invite you to the reunion event.  Once invited, you, in turn, can invite others!

1922 Robbins Centennial Reunion

On June 11, 1922, the Robbins family celebrated 100 years in Decatur County, Indiana.  So many people showed up that the event made the front page of the local newspaper, The Evening Times.  The headline read:  “1,000 People at Reunion: Sixty-Two Families Were Represented at the Robbins Annual Assemblage Yesterday.”

The actual 100-year-old newspaper was given to me by Sherrill Beck, a descendant of Jacob Robbins (1809-1896), a leader of the 1852 Robbins wagon train to Oregon.  The Robbins family in Oregon kept in contact with their Decatur County relatives for many decades.  In fact, Harvey Robbins, brother of Sherrill’s ancestor Levi, reportedly went back to Indiana to attend the this reunion.

The article states:

One thousand persons, it was estimated, participated in the annual reunion of the Robbins families of Decatur county held Sunday at the Liberty Baptist church and at which the one hundredth anniversary of the pioneer Robbins settlement in Decatur county was celebrated………the descendants of the pioneers who attended the reunion yesterday were representatives of practically every field of human endeavor.  At the reunion 62 Robbins families were represented.

The newspaper went on to state:

One of the big features of the all day meeting was the dinner which was served at noon in the grove adjoining the church.  With the exception of one table at which the elder members of the Robbins descendants were served, the dinner was served in cafeteria style.  Two hay wagon loads of food were served during the noon hour.  Twenty gallons of ice cream in cones was consumed during the day.

The program which was given in two sessions, morning and afternoon was excellent and included a number of exceptionally fine features.  “A History of the Early Robbins Pioneers,” read by Squire William F. Robbins [a descendant of Absalom Robbins], was of special historical value and will be printed The Times tomorrow.  Roy C. Kanouse, who claims he is one of the Robbins descendants by marriage [he was the husband of Elizabeth “Nell” Pleak, a descendant of William Robbins], was in charge of the program which was given as follows.

While this was a special, centennial reunion, the Robbins family had been having reunions for years and were so well organized they had officers.  The newspaper reported the following were elected:

W. S. Robbins was elected president of the organization of the descendants for the coming year.  Other officers elected were:  Frank R. Robbins, vice-president; Earl Robbins, secretary; Mrs. J. B. Kitchin, assistant secretary; committee on time and place for holding next reunion, C. F. Wright, Frank Kitchen, and John E. Robbins of Horace; corresponding committee, J. B. Kitchin, W. F. Robbins, John E. Robbins, of Greensburg; tables and eats committee, Robert McCoy, George Robbins, L. W. Gillespie, Londa Wright, Arthur Lemmon, John Gilchrist; committee on entertainment, Roy C. Kanouse, Hal Kitchin, Harry Robbins; finance committee Walter B. Pleak and W. H. Robbins; advising and assisting committee, F. B. Kitchin, Charles M. Woodfill, John E. Robbins of Horace; committee on parking, Ira Rigby, Calvin Thornburg, William Sefton Robbins, Bernard Kitchin, and Greely Robbins.

In the summer of 2022 we may not have 62 separate families represented, nor 1,000 attendees, but those of us who attend can be assured of an unforgettable bicentennial reunion.

I might add that William F. Robbins’ History was a great resource for me getting started in Robbins genealogy.  My next post will discuss the life of William and his sad death only six months later.