August 4, 2013


Family members began arriving around nine o’clock. Activities enjoyed included the family genealogy albums; historic photos display; copying photos; the Daniel Matheny Hewitt Challenge; the Country Store; and the children’s pinata.


The Reunion was held at the shelter, under the trees at Maud Williamson State Park with approximately 80 in attendance. Fifty-five family members signed the registration book as Hewitts; four as Mathenys; six as both Hewitts and Mathenys; eleven as Coopers; and two did not specify. Henry Hewitt announced that all of the six great-grandchildren of Jasper Hewitt were in attendance for the first time in thirty years.

The meeting was called to order by co-president, Merrilee Johnson. Co-president, Barbara Kerr, was also serving as secretary.

Council members present were: co-presidents, Merrilee Johnson and Barbara Kerr [both James Andrew Hewitt descendants]; treasurer, Louis Rodge [Isaiah Cooper, Jr.]; Coral Hewitt Nolan [Jasper Hewitt]; and president emeritus, Elma Hewitt [James Andrew Hewitt].

Council members unable to attend were: Bonny Payne [James Andrew Hewitt], who was still ill with her chemo therapy and Shilah Bauer [James Andrew Hewitt], who was at National Guard training.

Historian Emeritus, Don Rivara, was not able to drive up from California due to health reasons. He has taken on the newsletter by email. A reminder was given to write email addresses on the list at the registration table if not receiving the newsletter.

Thank you’s were extended to all who helped set up, especially Mike Layman our park coordinator, who reserves the park, pays the fee, sets up the tables, and brings all the sports equipment and kid games. Also appreciated were the Young family for the annual piñata; Dennis Matheny for setting up a table for folks to share photos by copying; Mark Fery for being the photographer; Brent Kerr for being the auctioneer; and Brad Kerr for running the Daniel Matheny Hewitt Two-Hops-and-a-Jump Challenge.

Thanks were expressed to Elma Hewitt for the photo display, the family book sales, and picking up the albums every year. Elma handing over the gauntlet so she can do some serious golfing. Shilah Bauer will be her book sales intern, having the copying done and filling orders from Champoeg and others. Because she usually has National Guard drill on Reunion weekend, volunteers were requested to bring the books to the Reunion and do the sales.

No one volunteered to take over picking up and returning the albums to the Yamhill County Museum in Lafayette, so Merrilee said she would make sure it was done.

Deceased since last Reunion include: George Warmington right after the Reunion last year [James Andrew Hewitt]; Yvonne Heinrichs in February [James Andrew Hewitt]; Alan William Gilchrist, Frances Carver Gilchrist’s husband, on March 10, 2013. (It was noted that Frances lost both her sister and her husband in 38 days.); Then Frances Carver Gilchrist, herself, died at 85 years old on July 12, 2013 in Salem. [Yvonne and Frances were Isaiah Hewitt granddaughters.]; Roy Hewitt’s grandson, Roger [son of Ronald Hewitt, James Andrew Hewitt] (It was noted that Roger’s two daughters are the last of their line); Brad Malone, husband of Elizabeth Malone [James Andrew Hewitt] of a heart attack. Walt Davies reported that John Davies [Mathew Cresswell Hewitt died in June at age 76.

Family that we lost prior to this year but were not acknowledged at last year’s Reunion include:

Gerald Glen Matheny, who went by Jerry, died January 22, 2011 [Dan Matheny’s uncle];

Debra Ann Rushton Sherwood-Stich [daughter of Mildred Kirkwood, Rachel Cooper Matheny] in February 2012 of pancreatic cancer at 54 years old. (In her letter to the newsletter, Mildred noted that it is good to share information regarding genetic conditions or those that may involve a genetic predisposition.); Marjorie Matthews Steinborn [a Thomas Kirkwood granddaughter] at 89 in Prescott, AZ, June 2012; Wally Hickerson [Thomas Kirkwood grandson] (age and place of death unknown).

Merrilee reminded family members to send obituaries to the newsletter at donrivara@att.net .

Attending for the first time were: Gabriel Gomez, who was recently married to Melissa Jones Clark [James Andrew Hewitt]; Stephanie Hewitt (wife of Matt Hewitt), Doug Hewitt, and Loren Hewitt [all Jasper Hewitt].

Oldest descendants attending were: Olive Merry Johnson and Jean Kerr [both James Andrew Hewitt]. Both are 89 years old. They were born four days apart. They shared their long-standing joke that Olive’s grayer hair is what Jean’s is going to look like in four days.

It was announced that Jack Green in Austin Texas, will be 100 years old in June 2014. To Don Rivara’s knowledge, he will be the first in the family, other than spouses, to live to be a centenarian. He most likely will not be able to attend the Reunion next year so Don Rivara will be posting a notice in the email newsletter so we can all email him our Happy 100th Birthday wishes.

Youngest descendant attending: ??

Farthest traveled: was Coral Hewitt Nolan [Jasper Hewitt] from Pennsylvania near Allentown

There were no active military service members attending.

A reading was done by Marcia Durbin [James Andrew Hewitt] from The Schools of Old Yamhill. Marcia read the entry about the Hewitt/Unionvale School and Elma Hewitt [James Andrew Hewitt] shared memories of going there in the 1st through 3rd grades. The Launer’s [Adam Hewitt] also attended the Hewitt School and Jean Kerr was there in 1st grade. Elma told how there were a couple of swings and a teeter-totter, and that they used wax paper from their sandwiches to make the slide faster. The Hewitt family donated part of their donation land claim for the school.

The minutes of the 2012 Annual Meeting were corrected to reflect that Julie Jones was born in 1927, not 1928 as was recorded. They were approved as corrected.

Treasurer, Louis Rodge, reported a balance of $5868.69 after paying $352.40 for the postcard mailing.

Email Newsletter. A reminder was made to send notices, articles, family information and pictures, etc. to Don at donrivara@att.net, who compiles them into an email to everyone for which we have an email address. The email newsletter goes out whenever he has enough articles. There have been three editions. Copies are available at the Reunion, but we need digital copies of the first two. If anyone saved them electronically, please let Don know. Those who have family who don’t have computers could print out the newsletters for them.

Don estimates we have about 140 email addresses on the list, about 25% of what is on the postal mail list. A reminder was given to write updated email addresses on the list at the registration table or send them to donrivara@att.net for anyone who has not but would like to receive the newsletter via email.

Print newsletter: We will attempt to send one more print newsletter to encourage everyone to send in their email addresses for the email newsletter. Print newsletters are far more expensive and far less complete than electronic newsletters. With enough email addresses, a smaller, less frequent newsletter for those who do not have computers or family with computers, may be an option.

Postal Addresses: A reminder to check the list of unforwardable postal addresses to see if there is someone on it that you may know.

Website: Mark Fery [James Andrew Hewitt] volunteered to be the webmaster for HMCFamily.org!

Facebook: John Carlisle has set up and is hosting a family Facebook page at HMC Family. There are several with similar names. Look for the one that includes John. It is a closed group so you have to be accepted as a member to participate. Requests to join need to include your family connection. After John responds with permission, you can start communicating with family members.

Ancestry.com Don Rivara has put much of the family genealogy including pictures on Ancestry.com.

Don reported via email how second cousins who live fifty miles apart but had never met, found each other via the newsletter.

Elections were due for Hewitt positions. Since Hewitts were already filling Cooper and Matheny positions, nominations were requested for Coopers and Mathenys. William McKinney [Isaiah Cooper] from the Seattle area was elected to represent the Coopers.

Family Albums: Melissa Jones-Clark Gomez volunteered to enter into the albums family information, which is collected at the museum, at the Reunion, and by Don Rivara.

Daniel Matheny Hewitt Two-Hops-and-a-Jump Challenge winners were:

0 – 5 years old: Karson Kerr 6 feet

6 – 10 years old: Halle Kerr 12 feet; Emma Wall 7 feet 6 inches; Shawn Young 6.5 feet

11 – 15 years old: Luke Von Heeder 18 feet; David Malone 16 feet; Aiden Weaver 15 feet

31 – 40 years old: Adam Hewitt 16 feet

51 – 60 years old: Brad Kerr 17 feet

61 – 75 years old: Doug Hewitt 14 feet

76 – 90 years old: Doris Shelburne White 3 feet. Brad Kerr proclaimed Doris the “Hewitt Hero”.

After adjournment, Elma Hewitt, Kay Kerr, and Olive Merry Johnson sang with a music video of Johnnie Ray singing The Little White Cloud That Cried. On the second round, the group was asked to sing along. Kay had made copies of the lyrics to hand out. Johnnie Ray was a Hit Parade singer in the 1940’s and 50’s, who grew up in Hopewell. Elma’s mother was his mother’s teacher. He went to the same high school in Portland as Kay –she didn’t know him personally because he was a couple years behind her. He is buried in Hopewell Cemetery. Don Rivara will have a story on Johnny Ray in the next newsletter.

We are hoping more of our older generation will share their youth with us so we can capture everyone’s history, not just the pioneers.

The oral auction was conducted by Brent Kerr [James Andrew Hewitt]. Items included: hand-quilted table runner and pot holders by Nancy Matheny; a doll with a handmade dress by Frances Gilchrist; a never-been-published manuscript of stories written by Roy Hewitt about his days as an attorney, donated by his great-niece, Olive Johnson [James Andrew Hewitt].

Reunion proceeds were reported by Louis, our treasurer, to be $419.00, which includes:

$108.00 from the Oral Auction;

$60.50 from the Country Store;

$45.50 in Donations;

$205.00 (gross) in book sales.

In closing, everyone was encouraged to visit family sites such as the Matheny Ferry; Hopewell Cemetery; Unionvale and the school.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.