Reunions of the Joseph Marshall & Alice (Moon) Hill Family: 1960-1968

Summarized [with clarifications] from notes
& minutes of Nettie (Miller) Stark (1924-2012)
Larry Pearce, great-grandson
5/26/20(Click on images to enlarge or go to North Park)

Permit for 1st Hill Family Reunion
July 2, 1960

[1.] July 2, 1960
The first Hill Family Reunion was held at the Stone Bridge Grove, North Park, McCandless Twp., Allegheny County, PA. [That meeting place no longer exists or has been renamed.] Five surviving daughters and sons of Joseph Marshall and Alice (Moon) Hill and their kin attended, 80 in all, including Joe and Alice’s immediate family:
Bessie (Hill) Pearce, my grandmother, Mayme “Mary” (Hill) Crummy, Carl Raymond Hill, Charles Leroy Hill, and Myra (Hill) Miller. The complete list of attendees with addresses and phone numbers is still available, [although none is still alive or numbers working].

When it looked like everyone who was coming was present, and after visiting, a short business meeting was held to decide that another reunion would be held in July of the next year. 1961. Group pictures were taken, and the Rev. Lester Crummy asked the Blessing. A picnic supper was enjoyed by all “under a roof that had some holes in it.” A voluntary collection brought in $24.75 with $2.50 going to Dale Pearce [my uncle] for providing the drink, Lemon Blend, which he brought for our Pearce Reunions each year also. [Signed] Nettie (Miller) Stark [read the amazing biography of her husband Jim]

North Park grove dedicated to & on the site of our Moon family farm

[2.] July 2, 1961
The second Hill Family Reunion was held at the Moon Grove, located on the old homestead of Alice Moon Hill’s ancestors in North Park. The foundation of the old Moon barn was the shelter on beautiful, hot afternoon and evening. There were 79 people in attendance. After Grace was asked by the Rev. Lester Crummy, a picnic supper was enjoyed by all. During the event a lot of “tricks and tales” were pulled. Clarence Miller, husband of Myra, had a make-believe mongoose. It scared cousin Jean Ruth Fogel and many others “out of their shoes.” [As they looked inside a wire cage with a furry tail sticking out of a house, Clarence would pull a string, causing the tail to strike the onlooker in the face.] While Clarence was pulling tricks, someone put a bomb on his car. When he was ready to go home, he had a big bang, which scared him. There were lots of laughs.

From the funds of the previous year, $22.25, fans had been purchased and were given to the adults. A choice of Blow Bubbles, Jacks, or Bats & Balls were given to the children. There were little red balls for the babies. Lemon Blend, paper for the tables, and paper cups had been bought, amounting to $19.24. Post cards for notices totaled $.81, leaving a balance of $2.20. The group planned the next reunion for the first Saturday in July, 1961, at the same place (Moon Grove).

It was a pleasure to have Aunt Myrtle [McGrath Moon, widow of Aaron Moon] with us. Several folks wrote little notes to Uncle Carl, who couldn’t be with us because of an operation. We thought of Aunt Mayme [Mary] along with Velma and Homer [Truver] on their trip to California, and so many others that were not present. [Signed] Nettie Stark

Handwritten minutes by Nettie Stark
from Hill Family Reunion 1962

[3.] July 7, 1962
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon when the Hill Family met again at the Moon Grove in North Park [for the third annual reunion]. There were 59 people present. After a buffet picnic supper, everyone sat around and talked. Jim Stark rode the children around the park in an open Scout. [We assume it was the International Harvester early SUV, not the military vehicle of the same name.]

It was discussed about having the reunion at another place in the park because of the stones, etc. being hard to walk on. It was planned to have another reunion the first Saturday in July, 1963, but have it in another shelter. [no signature, but Nettie’s handwriting]

[4. No minutes found] July 6, 1963

Forest Glen Grove,
North Park

[5.] July 11, 1964
The Lord has been most gracious in giving the Hill Family another lovely day to meet together at Forest Glen Grove in North Park. This was the least attended reunion. LeRoy Hill and wife had the games for the children. Betsy Hill won the newspaper race. Kevin Miller, Randy Hilliard, and Norman Hill had a shoe scramble. Louise Drescher won the “eating crackers and then whistle” contest for girls. Bradley Resch, Jim Stark’s nephew, won it for the boys.

Kevin Miller was with the Starks and shook them up a little when he went up the sliding board and slid down real fast. He received a couple of bumps. His mother was in the hospital. They had a new baby boy. An enjoyable afternoon was spent by all.

James Stark asked the Blessing for the picnic supper. Afterward, Mary Wilson insisted on some going to Aunt Hulda’s place to visit a little longer. The Emery Drescher family and the Jim Stark family went up and had lots of fun laughing and talking. [no signature, but Nettie’s handwriting]

Nettie & Jim Stark
(c. 2010)

[5.] July 10, 1965
The Hill family again met under the beautiful skies at Fawn Grove, North Park. [Again, a picture of this grove could not be located.] We had a little trouble at first getting the negroes out of the shelter. One of the Park cops came around for permits, and they didn’t have any. We showed our permit.

James Stark asked the Blessing [before our picnic supper]. During the year the Lord had taken Mary V. (Hill) Wilson to help him. She is missed by all.

Pine Ridge Shelter,
North Park

[6.] July 9, 1966
The Hill Family met at Pine Ridge Shelter at North Park. [Nothing more found.]

Long View Shelter,
North Park

[7.] July 8, 1967
The Hill Family met at Long View Shelter at North Park. This was the first year that it was dark and dreary. It sprinkled a little, but not much. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day. We took Bradley Risch (nephew of Jim Stark) with us, and he entertained us with his dummy friend, Jerry. [Nothing more found.]

Jim & Nettie welcome friends to their modern day house

[8. No day given] July 1968
The Hill Reunion met at the James and Nettie Stark home [in Sarver]. Due to our dear cousin Velma Crummy Truver being so sick and some others not well, we decided to have it at Stark’s. (Velma passed away before the reunion and was missed by all.) There were about 35 persons here. We enjoyed a picnic supper out under the trees. When it became dark we showed some movies of previous reunions [scratched out – “and Bradley Risch entertained.”] It was a hot, humid day. We sat outside all evening. (It was lovely.) [No signature, but Nettie’s handwriting.]

[No more minutes have been found, but I remember at additional gatherings at Jim and Nettie’s and at least two in later years, organized by Nettie, at other locations such as the Lutheran Church in the village of Ekastown and a newer church in nearby Slickville. Perhaps I am confusing at least one wedding anniversary with a Hill Reunion.

On a separate, weathered page, Nettie has a long list of potential reunion games and awards. Now, there aren’t any instructions, but I do remember some, and some are obvious from the names. These might give someone ideas for entertainment at future reunions, showers, or parties:
GAMES – Balloon race, Sitting on [and breaking?] balloons, Cake walk [?]
AWARDS – Longest, shortest or red hair, Oldest & youngest, Birthday & anniversary closest to today, Travel the farthest, First to arrive, Most grandchildren, Oldest or black auto, Clip earrings, Most rings on fingers, Reddest fingernail polish, Longest fingernails, Cigar or pipe, Pocket pen, Smallest watch, Most colorful or brightest socks.

Joseph & Alice Hill 45th Anniversary
Hill Farm, 1931
(Names available upon request)

Nettie also has many pages of family names and addresses along with dates of births, marriages, and deaths. These names will be checked against, and hopefully added to, our present Hill and Moon Family Trees . Perhaps best of all is that Nettie saved so many postcard notices of Hill Reunions and the replies from family. I hope to summarize, scan, and post those, as appropriate, in the future.]

Last revised 1/28/21

One Response to Reunions of the Joseph Marshall & Alice (Moon) Hill Family: 1960-1968

  1. admin says:

    Feb. 13, 2021
    Larry, I read through your story and was immediately whisked back to life in the mid-1960’s. I remember those gatherings and lots of old folks sitting around. The games were great fun. Sorting through sawdust for coins. Eating a marshmallow at the end of a string etc. Big fun. I was 8 or 10 years old when these stories took place. Loved the idea of collecting money for “Lemon Blend – Nippy.” $22 would have gone a long way back then.
    Cousin Tom

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