Our clan first began holding annual reunions in Western Pennsylvania in 1913. They continued through the 1910s and 1920s into the early 1930s. They probably ended in the '30s due to the financial and travel limitations brought about by the Great Depression. The first reunion was held at Ferncliff Park in Ohiopyle, Fayette County, PA, at a site seen above (1913) and to the right (today).
After a dormancy of nearly 50 years, they were re-established in 1986 by the descendants of John and Susie (Pletcher) Miner, and were opened to all cousins everywhere. Click here for the latest information on our current reunions.
Other cousins have helped establish or lead reunions of other Western Pennsylvania pioneer clans who married into ours', including the Harbaughs, Younkins, McDowells and Kerns.
A branch of the Minard-Minerd family near Mt. Vernon, Knox County, OH, began holding their own reunions in the late 1890s, which would make this the first organized reunion of the family anywhere. This Ohio reunion is being researched more fully.
~ Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Reunions in
1913 - Aug. 21 -- Ohioyple, Fayette County -- The family's first-ever reunion was conducted in Western Pennsylvania, held at the old Ferncliff Hotel. 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." Cousin Allen Edward Harbaugh, 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. Red ribbons were worn by the women, while the men apparently wore a white or lighter version. Attendance at the inaugural 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.
1914 - Sept. 12 - Mill Run, Fayette County -- Rev. Isaac H. Minerd president; Rev. David E. Minerd guest speaker. Held at Killarney Park along the Indian Creek Valley Railroad. Music and games were held. The event was promoted in advance in the Uniontown Daily News Standard on Aug. 22, 1914.
1915 - Aug. 28 - Ohiopyle -- Rev. David E. Minerd guest speaker. An advance story in the Uniontown Morning Herald said that "Three hundred persons are expected to attend the third annual reunion of the Minerd family to be held next Saturday at Ohiopyle. A large part of the Minerds are residents of Fayette county, and there are many also living in Somerset county. One of the chief speakers is to be Rev. D.E. Minerd, of Dunbar, one of Fayette county's directors of the poor." However, inclement weather kept the hundreds away. A local newspaper reported that "Although the weather conditions were very unfavorable, the pleasures of the day were not marred, and the reunion was one of the most enjoyable ever held." Attendance was 80.
1916 - Aug. 19 - Ohiopyle -- Rev. Isaac H. Minerd served as president. The Aug. 24, 1916 edition of the Meyersdale Republic reported: "Ephraim Miner of Upper Turkeyfoot Townshipo, a veteran of the Civil War who is over 80 years of age, was visiting his old army comrade, Dr. W.S. Mountain last week. He left Saturday for Ohiopyle to attend the reunion of the Miner family who are scattered over the counties of Somerset, Westmoreland and Fayette."
1917 - Aug. 11 - Ohiopyle -- In an article dated Aug. 9, 1917, the Connellsville Courier announced: "The fifth annual reunion of the Minerd family will be held Saturday August 11, at Ohiopyle. There are many members of the family scattered throughout the state and a large crowd is expected. All friends of the family are invited also to come and bring baskets." Attendance was 77. Nothing further is known. The event was not covered by a local newspaper, the Meyersdale Republican, of Somerset County.
1918 - Aug. 10 -- Rockwood, Somerset County, PA. The Connellsville Daily Courier edition of Aug. 1, 1918, reported that the annual reunion would be the family's sixth, and that organizer Daniel Martin Younkin, "who is in charge of the gathering this year, expects a much larger crowd at the ensuing reunion."
1919 - Aug. 9 - The Connellsville Daily Courier issue of Aug. 11, 1919, reported in its Ohiopyle section that "The Minerd's held their reunion here Saturday. Quite a number from East and West attended and all enjoyed the day in our little summer resort, as the weather was cool and very pleasant." Nothing more is known.
1920 - Aug. 14 - Ohiopyle, PA - In an advance story, the Uniontown Morning Herald said that "The family is largely represented in Fayette county but has also many members in the mountain section." The Daily Courier of Connellsville reported that: "Ohiopyle was the scene of a large and happy gathering Saturday when members of the Minerd family assembled for their eighth annual reunion. Rev. D.E. Minerd of Dunbar delivered the principal address of the day. At noon an elaborate dinner was served. The next reunion will be held on the second Saturday in August, 1921at Ohiopyle. Among the guests present were Mr. and Mrs. Ephriam Minerd of Markleton. The former is a veteran of the Civil War and is the oldest representative of the Minerd family. Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Freed and daughter, Miss Mary of Dunbar township; Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Minerd and Mr. and Mrs. Silas Minerd of Connellsville were also guests." Held at the Ferncliff Hotel, the reunion included a group photograph taken on the steps. Click here to see a super-enlarged version of the group photo.
1921 - August 13 - Was held at Ohiopyle, PA. In an advance story, the Uniontown Morning Herald reported that "Members of the family are located in Fayette and Somerset counties" and that Lawson Minerd was president of the reunion association. Reported the Herald, "The B. and O. train for Ohiopyle leaves Connellsville at 8:25 a.m." Two days after the reunion, the Morning Herald noted: "Members of the Minerd family from all over Fayette County were at Ohiopyle Saturday for the annual reunion. George Minerd of Lemont was a member of the committee in charge. The day was spent in sports and in talking over old times. A big dinner and supper were served."
1922 - Nothing known. A search of the Meyersdale Republican on microfilm, at the Meyersdale Public Library, did not find any reunion coverage for early August 1922 when the reunions typically were held.
1923 - August 10 - The following was published in the "Turkeyfoot News" section of the Meyersdale Republican on Aug. 16, 1923:
The Minred [sic] family held their eleventh annual reunion in the Confluence park on Saturday. About 85 members of the family were present. This family mostly reside in Springfield Township in Fayette County and also in the Turkeyfoots and Middlecreek Townships, Somerset County. As far as the traditions of the family go, the original pioneer of this family, Jacob Minerd, came from old Virginia and settled at what is now known as Hexebarger. Jacob Minerd was the great-great grandfather of most of the younger folks present although one grandson, G.M. Younkin, was the oldest of the clan present. The day was very pleasantly spent. After dinner the business meeting of the family association took place. The president of the association, Lawman Minerd, being absent, Lloyd L. Mountain called the meeting to order and presided during the exercises. The first business was the reading of the annual report by Joseph Ream, secretary of the association. It was decided to hold the next annual reunion on the second Saturday in August, at Confluence. The officers of last year were reelected, viz: Lawson Minerd, president; J.W. Luckey and Daniel Younkin, committee on reunion, and Joseph Ream, secretary. A lot of routine business in relation to badges and other details was transacted. J.R. Minerd of Connellsville, made a fine address. The meeting was closed with singing, "God be with us till We Meet Again."
1924 - August 9 - The following was reported by the Meyersdale Republican as the lead article in the "Turkeyfoot News" section of the newspaper on Aug. 14. 1924:
A very successful and pleasant reunion of the Minard family was held in what is known locally as Lincoln's grove, near the Western Maryland Railroad Station, August 9th. Eighty-two persons were present, most of them being members of the Minar [sic] family and their connections. The family is a numerous one in Western Pennsylvania, especially in Fayette, Somerset, Westmoreland and Huntingdon Counties. The gathering on Saturday was their twelfth annual reunion. Among those present were Mrs. Josie Burkholder of Bartow, Florida, and Mrs. E.A. Taft of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Both ladies left for their respective homes on Sunday. A fine picnic dinner was partaken of at 12:30 p.m., after L.L. Mountain invoked a blessing. Those present were Mrs. Ida Minard, W.S. Burzard and family, Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Rugg and Christine Rugg, Mill Run; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Gorsage, Charles Gorsage, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Gorsage, David Younkin and daughter, Mrs. F.P. Peck and son, Loren, Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Harbaugh and Mrs. Martha Gorsage, Rockwood; Mrs. Allen Overholt, Greensburg; Mrs. C.M. Hutton, Star Junction; Mrs. Hester Williams, Uniontown; Mrs. M.M. Collins, Morgantown, W.Va.; Mr. and Mrs. Harry Minard, Mrs. Rosetta Minard, Mrs. L.A. Hall, Markleton; J.R. Nottingham, Latrobe; Mr. and Mrs. F.G. Williams, Mount Union, Pa.; Mrs. E.A. Taft, Glenwood Springs, Col; Mrs. Josie Burkholder, Bartow, Fla.; Mr. and Mrs. George Lucky, Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Minard, Connellsville; Mrs. J.M. Lucky, Miss Martha Lucky, Miss Mary Lucky, Dawson; Victor Minard and Miss Evanel Minard, Scullton; Mrs. Minnie Hyatt and daughter, Gladys, Ohiopyle; L.C. Williams, Somerset; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Minard, Mrs. J.W. Burkholder, Mrs. Lloyd Hyatt and three children, Joseph Ream and family, Mrs. Bertha Conn, Adam Nicolson, L.L. Mountain, Mrs. Howard McClintock, Mrs. Mayme Harbaugh, Mrs. M.S. Tarney, Miss Bertha Conn, and David Cronin, Confluence.
Researcher's note -- the following attendees of the 1924 reunion are presumed to have been friends of the family:
1925 - August 8 - The reunion received advance publicity in the Aug. 6 edition of the weekly Meyersdale Republican, stating: "The Minerd family, a large portion of whom reside in Fayette County, will hold their annual reunion in Confluence on Saturday, August 8th." The following week, on Aug. 13, in the "Confluence Chat" section of its "Turkeyfoot News" column, the Republican reported the following:
The Minerd family of Somerset and Fayette counties held their annual reunion on Saturday, August 8, at Sellers' hall; 120 members of the different branches of the family were present. Dinner was served from 12 to 1 o'clock. After dinner, at the business meeting, Lawson Minerd was elected President of the Association. Joseph Ream, Confluence, Secretary-Treasurer; Fred Minerd, Ross Hyatt, L.L. Mountain, Daniel Younkin and J.L. Luckey, executive committee. Rev. Joyce gave an address portraying the benefits of family reunions and showing why they should be held. Burgess C.R. McMillan gave a recitation and Rev. Williams of Connellsville made an interesting address.
1926 - August 14 - The Aug. 12, 1926 edition of the Meyersdale Republican reported: "The Minerd family re-union will be held in the Confluence Park on Saturday, August 14th.
1920s - A reunion was held at Johnson's Chapel near Confluence, Somerset County. Among the attendees was the family of Joseph and Sadie (Minerd) Luckey and their children, who drove from their home in Dawson, Fayette County. The Luckeys became lost in the country on the mountain roads but finally arrived at the destination before it was too late.
1927 - August 13 - Confluence Park, Confluence, PA -- The Aug. 4, 1927 edition of the Meyersdale Republican reported that "The use of the park was granted the Miner-Minerd family to hold their family reunion at some time in the near future." A week later, the Republican added that "The annual reunion of the Miner-Minerd family will take place in the city park, Confluence, on Saturday, August 13." After the event occurred, another local newspaper (likely from Connellsville), in a headlined article reading "Minerd Reunion," said that "The fifteenth annual reunion of the Minerd family was held on Saturday at Confluence. There were eighty members of the family attending. The gathering this year was quite small, but all who attended reported having a fine time. During the day interesting talks were given by Lawson Minerd,John Minerd and Frank Zearfoss. Old memories were recalled and acquaintances renewed. The organization elected Lawson Minerd of Mill run, president for another year. Mrs. Ernest E. Minerd of Youngwood is the secretary and the treasurer is Ernest E. Minerd. A committee on arrangements to prepare for the reunion in 1928 includes Frank Zearfoss, Rockwood, Richard Gorsuch, Rockwood and Larrie Hall of Somerset. The next reunion will be held on the second Saturday of August, 1928. The Meyersdale article was the first known use of the combined "Minerd-Miner" names in newspaper publicity.
1928 - August 11 - Confluence, PA - The Aug. 9, 1928 edition of the Meyersdale Republic reported that at a Confluence Borough Council meeting, "Permission was granted the Minerd family to hold their annual reunion on the confluence park on Saturday, August 11." Committee on arrangements: Frank Zearfoss, Richard Gorsuch and Larrie Hall. A local newspaper reported that the reunion was "well attended and all report a very enjoyable time."
1929 - Confluence, PA - The family of Charles J. and Laura Jane (Minerd) Williams and their sons are known to have traveled to the reunion from Allenport, Huntingdon County, PA. An article in the Huntingdon Daily News (Aug. 15, 1929) states: "T.B. Cramer and Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Williams and sons Edward and Andrew has returned home from a motor trip. While away they attended the Minerd reunion at Confluence, Somerset County, on Saturday. Among other towns visited were Somerset, Ohiopyle, Connellsville and Uniontown, Pa., and Cumberland, Md. They report a very fine time."
1930 - Aug. 9 - Shady Grove Park, Uniontown, PA - Elected leaders: Arnold Overholt, president; Ernest E. Minerd, secretary; Mary Adaline (Luckey) Malone and Frank Zearfoss, general committee; Bess (Minerd) Lemon, speakers committee; Dr. Paul David Luckey, sports committee; Edith (Erwin) Minerd, invitation committee; Andrew Luckey, refreshment committee; Frank Woodmancy, publicity committee; and Dr. Harold "Daniel" Minerd, transportation committee. The Connellsville Daily Courier and Somerset Daily American each ran articles ahead of time, reading:
The 16th annual reunion of the Minerd family will be held Saturday, August 9, at Shady Grove Park. The reunion is expected to be the largest the clan has ever held. The general committee is planning an excellent program of entertainment. The park has ample shelter, free parking space and free circus acts. Members of the family, its connections and their friends are invited to pack a basket and spend the day at the park renewing acquaintances and friendships. The committee will serve free coffee and lemonade.
The Huntingdon (PA) Daily News (Aug. 14, 1930) and Mount Union (PA) Times (Aug. 15) each published a lengthy account of the reunion, authored by Laura Jane (Minerd) Williams who traveled with her husband sons and their friends to the event. Despite a number of misspelled names and a few duplications, it is a remarkable piece of data collection which exists nowhere else, and shows that many diverse branches of the Minerd-Miner family knew of their connections and attended the year's affair:
Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Williams left Saturday morning at two o'clock with a merry crowd to attend the Minerd reunion at Shady Grove Park near Uniontown, Fayette county. Mr. Williams wishing to take a number of his young friends along converted his Chevrolet truck into a bus. Those going with him were: Miss Anna Stottelmyer of Sylvan, Pa., a friend of Mrs. Williams, Messrs. T.B. Cramer, Clinton Cramer, Fred Hawkins, Ford Buckley, Raymond McClain, Glenn McClain, Edward Williams and Andrew Williams. All enjoyed a wonderful trip. Clinton Cramer and Glenn McClain, two of the Allenport orchestra, had their guitars with them, giving many fine selections of music throughout the whole trip. They furnished the music accompanied by the other boys in singing for the reunion. A large number attended, some from Maryland, West Virginia and Iowa attended. Among the number were Rev. and Mrs. D.E. Minerd, Mrs. Martha [Bertha] VanDyke, Mrs. Emma Trout, Mrs. Hannah [Anna] B. Hower, Mrs. W.N. Collins, Mrs. Ruth Wooster and daughter Nancy, Mr. and Mrs. Russell Brooks, Mrs. Lloyd Miller and daughters Arlene [Aileen] and Freda, Mr. and Mrs. F.R. Zearfoss and sons Bert and Robert, Mrs. Martha Gorsuch, Mr. A.B. Mastolla, Mr. O.F.M. Nicolay, Miss Awilda Nicolay, Miss Christian Nicolay, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Moon, L.C. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Homer Kerns and sons John, Homer and Rayburn and daughter Nettie, Mr. and Mrs. Lawson H. Minerd, Mrs. Jennie Woodmency, Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Luckey, Mr. and Mrs. George Luckey and daughter Janet, Mrs. Paul Luckey and son, Andrew Luckey, Miss Mary Luckey, Miss Ruth Luckey, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Bailey, Miss Grace Strickler, Mrs. Ernest Wingrove, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Overholt and children Hazel, Ethel, Dorothy, Brave [Grace], Brinton and Harry, Mrs. Allie Overholt, Mr. G.B.M. Erwin, Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Minerd and sons Earl and Milton, Mrs. Ira Crawford and son Rasily, daughter Evelyn June, Mrs. Nettie Rossomme and children Junior and Olive Jean, Mrs. Evelyn Augustine, Mr. and Mrs. Bowman Masters, Ralph and Harold Williams, Mrs. Hester Williams, Mrs. Maude Groff, Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Williams, Miss Anna Stottelmyer, Ford Buckley, Clinton Cramer, T.B. Cramer, Fred Hawkins, Raymond McClain, Glenn McClain, Edward Williams, Andrew Williams, Mrs. W.N. Collins, Mrs. Ruth Wooster and daughter Nancy. There was quite a number more present but the writer was unable to get their names, owing to it being the Annual West Penn Picnic day and spending part of the time with them.
[Researcher's note: We are trying to determine which of the 1930 reunion guests were family or friend. For instance, Oliver Frank May Nicolay and his daughters Awilda Nicolay, Christian Nicolay and Mrs. Charles Moon were friends of the family. Mrs. Ernest Wingrove was an in-law, the sister of Mrs. George Luckey.]
1931 - Aug. 8 - Scottdale, Westmoreland County, PA - Planned for Lake Forest Park, with advance newspaper coverage in the Mt. Pleasant Journal, Connellsville Daily Courier and the Uniontown News Standard. Said the Courier, "It will be an all-day affair with transportation provided from the West Penn Railways station and Pennsylvania Railroad station, Scottdale, to the park between the hours of 10:30 and 11:30 o'clock in the morning. All relatives and friends are invited." Nothing more known.
1932 - Aug. 13 - Lake Forest Park, Scottdale, Westmoreland County, PA - Laura Jane (Minerd) Williams, of Allenport, Huntingdon County, PA, wrote the following account which was published in the Allenport section of the Huntingdon Daily News (Aug. 17, 1932):
A number left early Saturday morning for Lake Forest Park near Scottdale,
Westmoreland county, to attend the annual Minerd reunion. The party consisted of
Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Williams
and sons Edward and Andrew, Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Williams, Glenn McClain, and
Florence Gifford. They were accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. William Hollenbaugh, of
Mount Union, who spent the week-end with their son, Professor George Hollenbaugh,
at Scottdale. The others of the party spent Saturday at the park, and then
accompanied Mrs. C.J. Williams' uncle and aunt, Mr.
and Mrs. J.M. Luckey, to their fine farm home and had an enjoyable visit
with them until Monday. They had the additional pleasure of meeting Mr. and Mrs.
Roy Nicolay, of Uniontown. Mr. Nicolay and Mrs. Williams were schoolmates 43
years ago, when both attended the school taught by Mr. Nicolay's father. The
meeting brought pleasant memories of school days to both.
~ McDowell-Miner Reunion (1928-1930) ~
1928 - Aug. 29 - Haddenville, Fayette County, PA - "There was no set program, the older folks spending the time talking over old times while the younger folks played games and romped in the orchard. At noon dinner was served on picnic tables under the grape arbor, covers being laid for forty persons."
1930 – Aug. - Connellsville, PA - Elected officers: John Ross Miner, treasurer, and William G. Miner and Grant U. Miner, program committee. Held at Hillcrest Park near Connellsville. Attendance was 100.
~ Minard Reunion - Mt. Vernon, Ohio ~
1890s-1900s – Mount Vernon, Knox County, OH -- Francis D. "Frank" Minard was president, more than likely elected at some time during the late 1890s.
A yellowed newspaper clipping from a Mt. Vernon newspaper shows that the reunion lasted at least for eight years, and likely more. As this reunion clearly pre-dates the first annual Minerd reunion in Western Pennsylvania, it is the first organized reunion known in the family, and more research is being done to learn more about its origins. The newspaper article from the eighth reunion states:
Members of the Minard family held their eighth annual reunion Saturday afternoon
at South park. Approximately 75 relatives were present, from Columbus,
Mansfield, Mount Vernon, Johnsville, Cardington, Butler, Ashland, Danville and
~ Harbaugh Reunions (1926-Present) ~
~ National Younkin Home-Coming Reunions ~
~ Kern Reunions ~
1927 – Wooddale, Bullskin Township, PA -- Nelson G. Kern was president.