74th Hagenbuch Reunion
The weather was good, the attendance was great, the food was delicious, and the crowd enjoyed the historical presentation. So, all in all, it was a fantastic reunion for the Hagenbuch family at Oak Grove Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 24, 2018.
The day started with the church service in the sanctuary. Of the approximately 55 people present, half were from the Hagenbuch clan. The sermon, Anointed by the Holy Spirit, delivered by me, highlighted the history of the Hagenbuchs at Oak Grove Church and their selection by God to be bound to God to carry out His work in the church and the greater community.
Afterwards, the family that attended church were joined by others of the Hagenbuch family to take the walking tour of the cemetery. Beginning with William (b. 1807) and Rebecca (Muffley) Hagenbuch, who were the first Hagenbuchs to attend Oak Grove, I walked the folks through the oldest part of the cemetery to point out their stones and then talked about not only William and Rebecca, but also their two sons, Hiram and Joseph, and their daughter Matilda “Tillie” (Hagenbuch) Reichard. Other stones of the family were identified and discussed in order to “connect the dots” to those family members present for the tour.
At 11:30 AM, registration began at the Old Schoolhouse pavilion catty-cornered from the church. Each person registered their immediate families on a form, then everyone received a name tag. By this time many more of the family were showing up to attend the picnic lunch and historical presentation. Announcements were made for folks to play the guessing games provided by Teresa (Hagenbuch) Hess and Wilma (Hagenbuch) Stevenson to win prizes. Raffle tickets were purchased by many for the afghans (made by Melissa Berkheimer), a 1991 Hagenbuch reunion coffee mug, and two of the Hagenbuch patches. Patches were sold individually as well. Registration went very smoothly and by 12:15 PM everyone was ready to enjoy some good food. Pastor Gretchen Johanson gave me permission to say grace for the meal and after that everyone “dug in.”
The food was (yes, I’ll use that overused adjective) AWESOME! Homemade dishes of pasta, tossed salad, potato salad, three bean salad, broccoli salad, baked beans, fried chicken, pickled eggs, jello salad, vegetable and relish trays, cakes, blueberry and strawberry desserts—all were gobbled up by everyone. Wilma (Hagenbuch) Stevenson provided homemade hamburger barbecue and rolls for everyone. Several people came to me afterwards and asked if we could do a Hagenbuch cookbook because of the delicious foods we enjoyed.
During the meal, a count was taken of those present. It was difficult to get an exact count because some folks who came to the church service and cemetery tour did not stay for the lunch. To the best of our knowledge, the total tally was approximately 85 people who attended the church service, the cemetery tour, and the picnic lunch/historical presentation.
After the meal some time was taken to continue selling raffle tickets, participate in the guessing games, purchase Hagenbuch patches, and most of all, enjoy each others’ company. Although most everyone present was descended from William and Rebecca Hagenbuch, some of those cousins had not seen each other for many years so the air was filled with laughter. Smiles and hugs abounded.
Three cousins who were from a different ancestor were present. These were Frank Hagenbuch, Mary (Hagenbuch) Johnson, and her husband Doug. Frank and Mary are descendants of Charles Wesley Hagenbuch (b. 1844), who was the grandson of Andreas’s (b. 1715) son John (b. 1763). By contrast, the descendants of William Hagenbuch (b. 1807) are through Andreas’s son Michael (b. 1746).
Taking only about fifteen minutes to complete, photographer Julie Hagenbuch then gathered everyone together for a family photo. She later took individual photos of immediate families.
At about 2 PM, Andrew Hagenbuch began his presentation on the beginnings of our family in America. He described how the family began near the present town of Hagenbuch, Switzerland and around 1652 moved just to the north of Stuttgart, Germany. He told the story of Andreas Hagenbuch’s voyage to America, his three wives, and his twelve children. A handout had been provided to each reunion attendee with a brief history of Andreas’s children which Andrew expanded upon during the talk. The crowd was attentive and asked questions. It was a quick one-hour history and added pride to the day’s activities as those in attendance learned more about the rich heritage of their Hagenbuch family.
Although Andrew’s presentation ended around 3 PM, people were still present for the next hour or more as they continued to visit and enjoy each others’ company. I was asked the question several times, “Will we have another reunion next year? Will we have the reunion every other year?”
With the success of the 74th reunion, it’s difficult to answer those questions. We must wait and see what 2019 brings. One thing to keep in mind is that next year will be the 150th anniversary of Oak Grove Lutheran Church—the Hagenbuch Church!
Special thanks to Teresa (Hagenbuch) Hess, Wilma (Hagenbuch) Stevenson, and Fran (Hagenbuch) Van Kirk for keeping the reunion concept alive. No truer statement has ever been made than, “The 74th Hagenbuch Reunion was a great success!”
Hagenbuch Patches Still Available for Purchase!
The Hagenbuch crest patches having the beech tree and enclosure are still available at $5 each with a minimal charge for postage. Please contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order. These make a unique gift for your family members.