Dedication, and Reunion
On the 8th of July, 1837, the Powers brothers and their
completed their journey from New York State to establish their homes in
Township, Steuben County, IN. On July 11, 1937, their descendants
the centennial by the dedication of a memorial boulder erected on the
of the original log shanty.
The occasion was also the 53rd annual reunion. Nearly two
members of the family assembled before noon in the grove back of the
Church and the usual bountiful dinner was spread on tables under the
An enjoyable feature was an informal musical program before and after
dinner which included singing by Gloria Aldrich and Phyllis Creel, and
numbers by an orchestra composed mostly of members of the family.
large attendance and unusually large number of cousins present from a
added to the enthusiasm of the visiting.
Emry Powers rang the old bell to call the family into the
for the afternoon program. Dr. Raymond J. Luse presided.
business session included financial reports by committees in charge of
erection of the boulder, and of improvements on the church
Four trustees of the memorial boulder were chosen, representing the
lines of the family: descendant of Stephen - Stephen Powers of
Ohio; of Clark - Weir Wood, of Rudolph, Ohio; of Winn - Elmo
of Angola; and of Calvin - Theodore T. Wood, of Angola. Officers
the ensuing year were elected: President, Will E. Rose,
Vice President, Powers Luse, Columbia City, Ind.; Secretary, Mrs.
A family history begun years ago by Mrs. Viola Posers
and her husband, the late Lee E. Amidon, was another project which was
complete, to mark the centennial anniversary. They did much
research into old records in Massachusetts and assembled data from the
of Walter Power, the first American ancestor, who was born in England
1639, down to and including the families of the four Powers brothers of
County. During the past year Mr. Will Rose has given almost his
time to bringing this record down to date, and has completed a
which covers almost every descendant. Plans for the publication
this manuscript were discussed, and it is hoped it may soon be in book
The program of the afternoon featured especially the
of some of the old letters which are a treasured possession of the
Mrs. Viola Amidon, read a letter written by her grandfather, Stephen,
his mother, Mrs. Joanna Jenks, in Farmington, New York. It was
only a few days after arrival in Steuben County, and recounted events
the journey, and expressed his great satisfaction with the new
Clark Powers was represented by a letter which he wrote to his mother,
he was in Indianapolis as a member of the state legislature. This
was read by Powers Luse. Mrs. Winifred Waugh read two letters:
from Josiah Powers, the bachelor brother of the family, a dentist, who
to the west at the time of the California gold rush. This letter
the last positive news of him, and was written from Joliet, Ill, in
The other letter was one written by her grandfather, Calvin, October 8,
to his brother, Clark. He reported that they were well satisfied
the prospects in the new home.
A highlight of the program was the reading of Riley’s
“Back to Griggsby’s Station,” by Mrs. Lydia Powers
Hamer, of Montpelier, Ohio. Mrs. Hamer, in her 90’s is the only
living member of the family of her generation. She is a daughter
Stephen. Her sympathetic rendition of this tenderly beautiful
is something the family has come to feel is a necessary part of the
reunion. She also contributed an unexpected feature to the
She had heard that Ellen, little daughter of Ora and Emily Waugh
is having made for her a collection of dolls, and she brought to add to
collection a pair of dolls of her own making. Mrs. Hamer has won
reputation, especially around Ray, her former home, for the charm of
originally designed and hand made cotton wadding dolls. This
couple she introduced as “The Jenkinses of Griggsby’s Station.”
They are a gentile old couple who sit in their easy chairs, she
and he reading his newspaper, Mrs. Harman acknowledged the gift in
of her daughter.
Two births were reported: to Powers and Willodene Luse, a
David. To Victor and Pauline Brooks Julian, June 28, a son.
There were two deaths; Mrs. Willa Wood Spilman, and
A cablegram of greeting from Clyde and Oliver Powers in
Philippine Islands was read by their sister, Viola Amidon.
The church program was concluded with the singing of the
The company reassembled later around the memorial boulder. The
service was impressive in its simplicity and dignity. Walter E.
of Long Beach California, husband of Margaret Mitchell Frazee, great
of Winn, spoke briefly, and a prayer was offered by J. O. Rose,
of Winn. The stone is a large one of red granite, triangular in
It stands on what was formerly the grounds of the Powers school, a few
north of road 20, and very close to the site of the shanty that was the
shelter of the Powers families. There is no question of the exact
for the stones of the original chimney lie in a heap where they
The bronze tablet bears the following inscription; “Powers Memorial
in honor of the Powers Brothers, Stephen, Clark, Winn, Josiah, Calvin
their families, marking the site of the first Powers home in the
July 8, 1837. Placed by Descendants, July 8, 1937.”
Powers Reunion Notes
From the new history of the family it was learned that the
Powers Church was erected in 1875 and 1876 by the combined efforts of
and Calvin Powers. There were 102 subscriptions, which together
contributions of labor and material amounted to $1827. The M. E.
of York supplied the furniture.
Mr. V. Courtney, present owner of the land on which the
is erected, is to be thanked for the flowers that are growing among the
of the old chimney. He says he expects to continue to give it
Photographs of the boulder are available. Inquires
be made of Mrs. Edna Wood Creel.
Persons present from a distance were too numerous for
mention. There were more than fifty, from the Atlantic to the
and the Philippine Islands.
Source: Steuben Republican Newspaper 21 Jul 1937
Submitted by Kay Lash