Thursday, January 21, 2016

Family Reunions - Panther Family Reunion 2016

Do you have a family reunion scheduled for this year? If you are related to the Panther family you do!

If not, you should organize one! Why? To get back in touch with your relatives, to share information about what you've been up to and to learn what your relatives have been up to. And, for genealogists, the most important reasons: To share family history information about your ancestors and to learn stories and obtain copies of photos and documentation that you don't already have. Just imagine, you have a family reunion and a distant cousin brings along the baptismal certificate for your grandmother! Or a photo of the old family home in the family's home country!

The descendants of Benedict Panther and Elizabeth Menke have been having family reunions the summer of every leap year since 2000. These reunions normally have more than 200 people and, at times, over 300 people attending! They are a lot of fun, with lunch served, stories shared and games played. We typically also have a raffle to win various items related to our family history. For example, a blanket with a photo of our grandparents embossed on it and a replica of Grandma's cookie jar. I plan on putting a copy of the Panther family history book into the raffle and I'll see what else I can come up with. Please let me know if you plan on going. We need to plan for how much food to have. Bring your own drinks.

Here are some photos from previous reunions:
An Alois and Ferdinand Panther reunion around 1907. Ferdinand and Amelia are sitting in the chairs. Elizabeth is in the chair next to Amelia. Maybe Alois is the man tipping his hat.
A Vorwerk reunion. Frank Panther and Ed Beckman are in the back row. Lawrence Vorwerk is in the back row on the right.
A Vorwerk reunion from 1940
A Panther reunion in Dodgeville, Iowa in 1955
17 grandchildren of Alois Panther in 2001

Newspaper articles about a couple Panther reunions.

And the photo that always gets the biggest reaction every time I show it to someone:
The Panther Family Reunion 2004 - Descendants of Benedict and Elizabeth Panther. Each of their children's families wore one color. My family is in yellow.
Finally, here are the details for the Panther Family Reunion 2016:

When:    July 2, 2016
What:    Panther Family Reunion
Who:    Anyone descended from the Iowa or Moesbach/Stadelhofen Panthers

Discussions were made regarding the date and the location. Ultimately, the family is stuck on the July 4 weekend at the Fullenkamp Tree Farm. The last reunion was extremely hot, the previous reunion was very cold, especially for July. Here's hoping this one is Just Right!

The Fullenkamp Tree Farm is located approximately 5 miles north of West Point, Iowa. The actual address is:

2445 110th
West Point, IA 52656

Directions from West Point, Iowa:

Go north on 7th St which turns into 240th Ave/County Road X23
Drive approximately 5 miles
Turn right (east) on 110th Street
After about 0.7, it will be on the left.

Location on Google Maps:

GPS Coordinates: 40.800378 N. -91.435797 W.

Here is the site of the reunion as seen in Google Earth.

Pass this on to all Panthers, near and far. It's still early to have an accurate count but if you can make it, please let me know so we have an idea of who will be there. We would like a more accurate count as the date gets closer.

--Matt Miller

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