Pioneer Potluck: About the gathering of the McClure’s

May 26, 1916

Juniata County, Pennsylvania


I am fortunate to have on loan, precious pieces of paper, letters and photo’s that my Mother and my Aunt Alma kept safe all these years. Our Mother spent many years looking up and writing in her tiny hand writing, the history of Dad’s side of the family, also her side of the family-the Cogswells.

Aunt Alma Webb, Dad’s baby sister, “went to see Jesus” (in her own words). the first of February this year. She was 97 yrs old. Mom died in 1999. She would have been 100 this year. They leave a forever legacy that will preserve the history of the past in our family. I am so grateful.

Susan and I recently went through the very worn and fragile pieces, that were lovingly kept by them. We tracked down a lot of familiar faces and learned who some of our ancestors were. Among all the photos was a very tattered pamphlet titled “The First Annual Meeting of the McClure Association, Juniata County, Pennsylvania. U.S.A. Held in Port Royal, Pa. May 26, 1916.” That little pamphlet is 99 years old! Our Dad, John M. McClure was born in 1914.

The first gathering was attended by 55 descendents of William McClure born about 1700 His son (of whom we have many picture of) was “Mountain John McClure” born in 1722.

What strikes me about this pamphlet is the names of the ancestors,all of which my Dad’s brother’s and my Dad were named after. My brothers and my son, David John, have names of our ancestors.

To quote the pamphlet:of McClure Association of Juniata County, Pennsylvania… “The day of May 26, 1916 was most charming one. A Beautiful May Day, does not describe the delightful sunshine, the mellow breeze and the peaceful quiet of that lovely day. The surroundings were all conducive to bring out in each one present, the true spirit of co-operative kinship and all were stirred by the thought that our ancestors, almost two hundred years before had lived and loved in and near this same valley, productive of all things of good cheer for the body and mind and we wondered how any of our Forefathers could have had the courage to leave this beautiful spot to find there own homes in the unknown and unproved localities of the farther west.” (Ann’s Note: Which meant Kansas and Nebraska)

If goes on to say: “We know that they ever carried with them, the memory of this Valley, surrounded by the distant, wooded mountains and some of us “from the mountains” remember the tales told by OUR fathers of the things that happened in the Juniata Valley long, long ago when “our Dad was a boy.” This followed by the names of all the attendees. And the vote to meet again at the same place and area next year.

They also sent out a blessing to the only living cousin of the 3rd generation James G. McClure of Beverly, Kansas. He was voted honoree Vice president for life. Congratulations were sent to him on having survived all the cousins of his generation, expressing the hope that he will round out the balance of his long and eventful life in the enjoyment of health, peace and plenty and always remembering that he has the kindly good wishes of a numerous relationship who are ever mindful of their duty to him as the oldest living representative of the McClure family name.

There are many more letters, papers and photos that are precious to the living McClure’s and their families. I find the wording, the penmenship, and their thoughts put on paper very interesting.

Save your letters of interest, save your photos (with names and dates written on the back) of the past so you can preserve your ancestors, as my Mom and Aunt Alma did.

And Happy St. Patrick’s Day ta ye all

The Grannie Annie series is written by a 47 year resident of Alaska, Ann Berg of Nikiski.Ann shares her collections of recipes from family and friends. She has gathered recipes for more that 50 years. Some are her own creation. Her love of recipes and food came from her Mother, a self taught wonderful cook. She hopes you enjoy the recipes and that the stories will bring a smile to your day.

Grannie Annie can be reached at anninalaska@gci. net

Cookbooks make great gifts!

The “Grannie Annie” Cook Book Series includes: “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ on the Woodstove”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ at the Homestead”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ Fish from Cold Alaskan Waters”; and “Grannie Annie’s Eat Dessert First.”

They are available at M & M Market in Nikiski.

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