2011 WFA Reunion

The 6th Biennial
2011 Family Reunion Summary
August 26-27, 2011 • Butler Community Center, Butler, IL


Family members who attended the August 2011 Family Reunion:

Seated: Jordan Sass, Bethany Sass, Erma Turner, Dawn Galati, Carla Wallis Miller, Jan Kinsey, Emily Osborn, Anita Rundquist, and Jack Rundquist
Standing from left to right: Sally Turner, Jan Volkmann, David Houser, Patty Cady, Bea Sellers, Ann Tindall, Lynn Sellers, Robert Mullins, Don Joy, Cindy Joy, Ben Kinsey, Marilyn Maccanelli, Brad Mann Smith, John Mullins, Sharon Unger, and Charlie Unger


Location of WFA Meetings & Reunions:
Butler Community Center
Butler, Illinois

The 6th biennial reunion and meeting of the Ware Family Association was held August 25-28, 2011 at Butler, Illinois in Montgomery County. On Thursday afternoon tables were filled with the WFA archive collection with early arrivals also arranging their displays. Cousins from near and far then gathered in the evening for dinner at the Ariston restaurant in Litchfield on historic Old Route 66.

Cousins from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin traveled to be with us. The number attending this year was less than at previous gatherings, but everyone enjoyed themselves. We were excited to meet Jan Volkmann, a new member from Althus, OK, who shared her Ware lineage with us. For several generations, the spelling was changed to Wares, and several of her relatives gained notoriety in their fields.

Friday was the day to examine all of the materials on display, which included books, family histories, numerous photographs, old documents, school records, Civil War money etc. It was a wonderful time to become acquainted with cousins meeting for the first time, and renewing old friendships. Lunch was served on site which allowed for continuing conversations. The WFA Board of Directors held their biennial meeting at 4 p.m. In addition to committee reports, these topics were discussed to present at the membership meeting on Saturday: family recipes will continue to be collected for inclusion in newsletters; note cards from the 1874 Montgomery County atlas sketches will be reduced to $5 per packet of 12; an additional safe deposit box is needed for our growing archives collection.

New business discussion included the future of the organization, website and newsletter. With very few doing most of the “jobs” to sustain our WFA, what happens when they can no longer do it? The plea for newsletter articles by more members is not getting results which may mean fewer or no Roots and Branches in the future. Regardless of when our biennial meetings/reunions are scheduled, attendance has been low. We are sympathetic to the efforts to preserve the Warelands in Norfolk MA but do not have the resources to contribute time or financial support. Emily Osborn continues her research for the family in England of our Robert Ware, the Immigrant.

Your Board recommended honorary membership to charter members Patricia Olmstead and Bill Oakley, as both have made significant contributions and are retiring from our Board, and Joyce Busby, also a charter member and lone living descendant of Benjamin Ware Jr. in Montgomery County.

Board of Director nominees for 6 year terms to 2017 were Ben Kinsey and Sally Sass whose terms expire, and Brad Mann Smith and Janice Volkmann who volunteered.

Cousins gathered again on Saturday morning. Highlights were the two interesting programs. Carla Barrett Miller read the words of Lucy Mack to tell her story of joy and sorrow. Lucy married Joseph Smith, Sr. and became the mother of Joseph Smith, Jr., whose vision led to the origin of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. She spoke of the hardships she endured and the pain of losing two sons who were killed by an angry mob at the jail in Carthage IL. The second presentation was given by Brad Mann Smith about his father, George Mann. He used Powerpoint to tell about the vaudeville act of Barto and Mann, his father’s love of photography, parents divorce, his adoption by the Smith family, and his relationship with George as a young adult when he learned who his birth father was.

A catered dinner was served prior to the membership meeting. In addition to the topics above from the board meeting, there was interest in starting a WFA Facebook group. Sally Sass, Brad Smith, and Jan Volkmann agreed to work on getting it set up. A fall date was suggested for our 2013 meeting, but a date was not chosen. With no nominations from the floor, the slate of Directors above was elected. Also, honorary memberships were offered to Joyce, Patricia, and Bill and all graciously accepted.

A brief organization meeting of the Board was held with retention of officers and committees. The general meeting resumed to announce them prior to adjournment until 2013.

The day concluded with another sunset atop Ware’s Grove hill, hosted by Mary Jean Riley and Joe Heavey. It was again a big success; a perfect evening to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature as dusk settled over the prairie.

return to top