The Minerd-Miner-Minor Reunions were held every year between 1986 and 1999 at the Kingwood (PA) Grove of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows., and have continued into the 2000s Here are summaries:
1999 - "Coal, Coke & Steel" -- At what may have been the first of its kind in Western Pennsylvania, we saluted 330 family members who have worked in our nation's coal, coke and steel industries since the 1840s. The two-day reunion featured a picnic lunch in Somerset County, a speech by an actor portraying industrialist Andrew Carnegie, and a tour of a restored coal mine in Tarentum. In a quiet ceremony, a memorial roll was unveiled bearing the names of 14 cousins killed in workplace accidents.
~ 1998 ~
With the 15 cousin-veterans in attendance standing side by side in a semi-circle, the reunion president recited President Reagan's moving speech honoring the 40th anniversary of D-Day, and read aloud the names of the 14 known cousin-servicemen killed at war. During the weekend, reunion officers placed flowers and plaques at the graves of cousins killed in action who are buried in Fayette, Westmoreland, Somerset and Washington Counties, PA.
"A Sense of Wonder" -- Honored more than 220 cousin-educators in the family at the event held at the Odd Fellows Picnic Grove in Kingwood, PA. Retired teacher Freda (Miller) Channing provided insights into her own career as well as those of her mother, aunt, uncle and others in her immediate branch of the Miner family.
~ 1996 ~
~ 1995 ~
July 8 - "Minerd-Fest '95," a celebration of the German heritage of the family. The Connellsville (PA) Daily Courier said, "If drawing crowds of more than 100 makes a family reunion a success, then count the Minerd-Miner-Minor family reunion among the successful. The family's latest reunion ... drew more than 100 people for the second straight year." Commenting on our reunion, the Uniontown Herald-Standard said, "It's hard to realize to what extent a family can grow in a little more than 200 years."
Joe Malone, a popular German folk musician, seen here, entertained with authentic music played on his old-time alpine button accordion and while wearing a traditional alpine costume. Our German Connection booklets, authored by cousin Eugene Podraza, provided an update of his extensive and at times frustrating research of our clan's German roots. Minerd-Fest Cookbooks also were distributed, containing many delicious recipes provided by a number of cousins, including tasty German delicacies handed down over the generations.
Mark A. Miner of Wexford, PA, was elected president, succeeding Deborah Miner Covell of North Canton, OH, who stepped down after eight years of service.
~ 1994 ~
After lunch, actor Bill May portrayed a Union Army Civil War soldier, seen here, dressed in an authentic uniform of a private and performed a 45-minute monologue as if he were on his way home after several years at war. Just as he was finishing, a storm hit and a small tornado brought down several large trees around our picnic pavilion. Fortunately, though we had a record crowd of 125, including several elderly cousins and young children, no one was injured.
"80th Anniversary of First Reunion" -- Donald Harbaugh recited the Minerd history prepared in 1913 by his great grandfather, Allen E. Harbaugh, "The Mountain Poet" and historian of the family The group took a driving tour of the old Minerd farm and other old landmarks Everyone received a copy of Harbaugh's speech.
~ 1992 ~
July 11 - After a picnic lunch, held at the Kingwood Picnic Grove, there were remarks by President Deborah (Miner) Covell, introductions and an explanation of how each attendee was related to the rest of the group. Guests were encouraged to stand and share a little about themselves and their families. Mark A. Miner was elected vice president.
Later, the group embarked on a driving tour of old nearby family landmarks. One stop was the old farm settled by Jacob and Catherine (Younkin) Minerd Jr. in the early 1800s near the Old Bethel Church. Other stops were cemeteries, including the Odd Fellows Cemetery where Civil War veteran Ephraim Miner is buried, and the site of the old Fairview Church, where Jacob Minerd Jr. is buried. The group paused at the Fairview site to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Jacob Jr.'s death, in November 1842, after being crushed while chopping down a tree. Later in the afternoon, the group re-convened at the Kingwood Picnic Grove for a short business meeting and visiting.
~ 1986-1991 ~
1986 to 1991 - See a special memoir by Melda (Miner) Bittinger, treasurer of the reunion from 1986 to 2001.
Copyright © 2000, 2005, 2022 Mark A. Miner