1991 Reunion, Wood County, OH

Ohio Hosts Second Junkins Reunion

Account by Karl and Joanne Junkins; published in JFA newsletter no. 5, Winter 1991

"July 20, 1991 was above 90 degrees and in the middle of a drought in Wood County, Ohio, but that did not deter 60 Junkinses from taking part in the second family reunion. The day began with a get-acquainted session, a tour of the Wood County Historical Museum, and then lunch on the museum property.

"The highlight of the morning session for Ohioans had to be meeting, mostly for the first time, the wonderful cousins from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, Florida, and Pensylvannia. The star attraction in the museum clearly was a preserved human finger. With luck, we will all be treated to an exposition of the facts surrounding said finger by our family wordsmith, Donald, in this same newsletter.

"The afternoon was filled with touring two family farms, surrounding farm country, and family cemeteries. Much interest was shown in the gargantuan machinery lined up on the Jake and Dorothy Heilman farm by their son, and in Dorothy's sewing wizardry. Their farm is a Heilman homestead. The second farm is a fourth generation Junkins farm owned and operated by Maxine Frost and her son. One cemetery trour yielded evidence of Ohio's York, Maine connection. Alan, our president, photographed the tombstone of Marth Junkins Gilpatrick Bacon 'born York, Maine.' Martha was the Conchranite sister of Ohio's Samuel and the daughter of the jailed Conchranite, Samuel.

"The evening found about 50 Junkinses gathered in the Heilman's country church for dinner and a meeting. The presentations by Alan, Roland and Donald were both interesting and educational and were greatly appreciated. Alan told the story of Robert Junkins' life from the Battle of Dunbar to the Colonies. Roland reported on his cemetery work, surprising Clifford Junkins with the discovery of the graves of some of Clifford's ancestors and presenting Ohions and Alan with a photograph of the tombstone of their fourth generation forefather, Samuel. Donald then read some of his poetry, making some of his limited edition volumes available to those assembled. The effect of the arts on science, and the power of Donald's poetry in particular, could be seen with three volumes being obtained by Andrew Junkins, an engineering student.

"In spite of the day's heat, it was a most glorious day! May York in '92 see many Ohioans in attendance.

Ohio Reunion Opens Arms to Northeast Junkins

By Donald Junkins; published in JFA newsletter no. 5, Winter 1991

"The open road in July led to Wood County, Ohio. A drought was turning the bottoms of the tall corn stalks light brown, so the sun burned down for good family reunion weather, but relatives from and far alike thought about rain as we drove through the thousands of acres of golden corn, touring Junkins country. At the backs of our minds was the needed rain, but more sun held forth as we met at the Wood County Historical Museum on Saturday morning, shook the warm hands of relations newly met, and welcomed fellow and sister travelers from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.

"Touring the Wood County Museum together, we went through rooms of old Ohio as the familiar objects of our ancestors brought us closer to both their lives and our own lives, remembering back almost far enough to touch each other through such things as an 1890 love seat (an Eastlake Setee with fring on the backs of the arms), a 1915 box piano with 80 keys (made in Cleveland) sporting the sheet music for "One Fleeting Hour," a 1900 Cataract washer made of copper, an 1857 recipe book with a cure for cancer wort ('Take ripe poke burrys and sense out the juise and put it in a puter plate and Set it in the Sun til it becomes Salve and put in on a rag and put it on the wart.'), a Klu Klux Klan robe belonging to one Kingsley Williams' great aunt Mary Day who taught in a 'Negro College in the South,' a 1903 Rumely thrashing machine, a 1904 grain binder, and one of Mary Bach's fingers saved from her brutal murder on October 12th, 1883 at the hands of her husband Karl Bach. The Museum also passed out reprints of the WOOD COUNTY SENTINEL, Extra Edition (Price 5 cents) which carried the story of the murder.

"A terrific luncheon prepared by the women of the Liberty Methodist Church set us up and off on a tour of Junkins (and Heilman-Junkins) farms. Some of us were priviliged to be chauffeured by Jake Heilman, and instructed in the latest growing experiments and innovative farming techniques, and we visited family and ancestral graves. We saw whopping-huge reapers and threshers in Jack's back yard, and also beautiful homemade quilts on display inside the house. We visited the Loy Junkins Farm, the Raymond Junkins Farm, and finished touring Junkins country in time for an old fashioned church supper (banquet) catered by the women of and at the Liberty Methodist Church. After-dinner speeches from the East (Alan, Roland and Donald) capped the evening.

"Hearty thanks from the Chester Junkins Family (Maine), the Clifford and Mary Jo Junkins family (Massachusetts), Roland Junkins (New Hampshire), Donald Junkins, (Massachusetts), and the Alan and Betty Junkins family (Pennsylvania) to Joanne and Karl Junkins and all our relatives in Woods County who made this spendid reunion possible.

"Three things struck this reporter's front-seat mate on the drive home: 'One of the most interesting things for me was to see, what I hadn't anticipated, the union of two great traditions, the Yankee and the German. So many of our Junkins relatives have German names. I appreciate that. It was wonderful to enter into what is still an agricultural way of life. So many of our relatives are still tied to the ground. Just to see Jake Heilman's machinery was something I never dreamed of. Those giant combines. I'm used to small John Deere tractors. They're all such great people.'"

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