JACOB HOCHSTETLER FAMILY REUNIONS 250 YEARS IN AMERICA
Silas Smucker, DBH 9270
Hochstetler cousins from the Atlantic to the Pacific and places in between converged at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds on the east edge of Goshen, Indiana, August 6 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the Jacob Hochstetler family in America. Already before 8:00 they began arriving, by car loads, van loads, buggies pulled by horses, and motorized homes. Hugs, hearty handshakes, and joyous expressions throughout the day helped build a warm bond of love, understanding and appreciation of the family heritage, and an affinity uniting the family regardless of the many differences and wide geographical separations, and variants in the spelling of the surname. Approximately 1200 came to help celebrate the all-day event.
Genealogical charts extending about 70 feet, fastened to the wall, and family group sheets made it possible for many of the cousins to identify their lines and see how they fitted into the four branches of the Jacob Hochstetler family. Artifacts going back several generations and various other kinds of exhibits were on display. Genealogical books of many kinds were available for study and purchase along with genealogical supplies. (Dan A. Hochstetler completely sold out his supply of DJH and DBH.) All this, along with rich fellowship, took up most of the forenoon for the adults. Children enjoyed the activities and organized play especially adapted to their age groups. A bountious carry in meal was served from eight lines at noon in the 250-foot long building.
In the afternoon, Daniel E. Hochstetler of Goshen, IN, served as chairperson of program activities. Paul E. Hostetler of Grantham, PA, brought greetings, a meditation, and gave the invocation, after which the play, Overcoming Evil, by Rachel Kreider, was featured. Jonathan J. Hostetler and Samuel L. Yoder then related informative stories and episodes from the lives of some of the early Hochstetlers.
In the business session the proposed Constitution was adopted, and the following elected to the Board of Directors of the new Jacob Hochstetler Family Association: Owen E. Borkholder, Nappanee, IN; Patricia Dickerhoof, Elkhart, IN; Daniel E. Hochstetler, Goshen, IN; Gordon Hostetler, Elkhart, IN; Paul E. Hostetler, Grantham, PA; Steven L. Hostetler, Mishawaka, IN; Wilbur Hostetler, Goshen, IN Ivan I. Miller, Elkhart, IN; Samuel Yoder, Goshen, IN.
The idea of a Hochstetler Family Gathering to help celebrate the 250th anniversary of Jacob Hochstetler coming to America in 1738 was sparked through contact with Paul V. Hostetler (DJH 2229) of Hamden, CT. whose grandfather William Hochstetler did the research for and wrote the historical sections in Harvey Hostetler's monumental 1912 and 1938 books, has also spent many years researching various aspects of the family history. Some of the cousins in the Goshen area began meeting last year on an ad hoc basis and formulated plans for this Newsletter and for a suitable 250th anniversary celebration which resulted in a great family gathering and the formation of an ongoing Family Association.
Silas Smucker, 1304 5. 14th St., Goshen, IN 46526, long-time historian and genealogist, is the author of Christian Smuckar, stalwart Pioneer. In July he led his 3rd European Smucker Heritage Tour.