Minutes of the 2019 Kothmann Family Reunion
The Kothmann Family 50th Reunion was held June 8, 2019 at the Premier Ranch, Mason Texas. The ranch is currently owned by Steve and Margaret Haverlah. The reunion was held under a huge tent south of the headquarters and next to the cemetery. There were 54 draped tables set for 10 each and center-pieced with commemorative bags for attendees to take home. Beautiful live oak tree mots shaded to the east, and a blessed inch of rain from the day before livened the green grass for a beautiful Hill Country setting of the June day gathering.
The day began with Jim Wright and team directing parking; Reunion Co-Chairperson, Connie Ludlum and committee facilitating registration; Ken Hoerster family providing the drink station; Kay and Rick Martin bringing in 90-20 lb. bags of ice; Penni Kothmann and Linda Black receiving and setting up the auction; Kadden Kothmann registering folks for 42 games; Kathy Mews organizing children’s games; Jess Black accepting recipes for the upcoming cookbook; Dora Wright receiving family record updates and setting up the show and tell tent of family memorabilia; Marsha Hahn receiving desserts and caterer Eli Kuhlmann pitching his cook tent.
Carol Brandenberger Faulkenberry, Chairman, presided.
Approximately 600 people attended.
Faulkenberry welcomed everyone at 10:30 with opening remarks and introductions of her family attending: Co-Chair Connie Ludlum, husband Kevin and son Aleks; parents Kenneth and Pat Brandenberger; daughters Scotta and Kenna Faulkenberry; and sister Caryn Vaught. Reunion Committee members: Leon Kothmann, Dora and Jim Wright, Kathy Mews, Jess Black, Kay and Rick Martin, Kadden Kothmann, Penni Kothmann and Ned Samson. The caterer was Eli Kuhlmann and the ranch hosts were Steve and Margaret Haverlah. Many people assisted in the success of this reunion, but these folks carried the charge and we are very thankful.
Faulkenberry then asked for all military veterans to stand and the family clapped to thank them for their service. The veterans then led us in the Pledges of Allegiance to the United States and Texas flags (provided by Kody Wagner). We remained standing as the national anthem was sung acapella by Kathy Mews.
Texas Department of Agriculture representative Rob Barthen presented the Kothmann Family a proclamation of Family Land and Heritage recognizing the Kothmanns settling in Mason County. The proclamation will hang in the Mason County Courthouse under the order of County Judge Bearden.
Before the historical panoramic family picture was to be taken, Dora Wright gave directions on where to go and where to stand. Kenneth Brandenberger and Kaddo Kothmann would carry the elders and handicapped in trailers, while all abled bodies would walk to the site. All were reminded to take a water bottle.
Faulkenberry then presented hosts, Steve and Margaret Haverlah, with a framed letter of recognition from Mason County Judge Bearden for hosting this historic reunion.
We then paraded to the family picture site. After the pictures were taken, caterer Eli Kuhlmann gave instructions about the noon meal followed by Tommy Brandenberger, who gave the blessing for the day’s gathering and meal.
Folks then made their way back to the reunion tent for a BBQ Lunch. Eli Kuhlmann prepared 20 briskets (317 lbs.), 120 lbs. of chicken, 64 loaves of bread, beans and potato salad. After the meal the children played water games hosted by Kathy Mews under the beautiful live oak trees.
The silent auction closed at 12:45, Penni Kothmann reported the winners and the receipts totaled $1,800.
The Reunion program was based around the history of the Premier Ranch and it being the site of the first reunion in 1926 and now the 50th reunion in 2019. Coni Kothmann Wegner was our first speaker and she had brought several items from her childhood home along with many stories of growing up on the Premier. Steve Haverlah followed Coni in speaking and told of the present day Premier Ranch, as well as his findings of history and treasure. The program then was completed with Dora Wright reading a translated report of the 1926 reunion from the German newspaper in Fredericksburg.
At 1:40 p.m. Faulkenberry tapped the gavel and called to order the official business meeting. Roll call was taken:
Family Roll Call – total (direct descendants)
1. Johann Heinrich William Kothmann – 101 (25)
2. Henrietta Sophie Kothmann Cordes – 0
3. Ilse Katherina Kothmann Joes Keyser – 28 (22)
4. Heinrich Friedrich “Fritz” Kothmann – 251 (73)
5. Karl Dietrich Kothmann – 111 (54)
7. Marie Dorothee Kothmann Knolle – 0
8. Karl Kothmann – 20 (18)
9. Wilhelm “William” Kothmann – 69 (27)
A. Caroline Kothmann Knolle Lagle – 6 (3)
Connie Ludlum reported attendance of 347 descendants, 129 spouses, 28 guests and 8 special guests.
Faulkenberry had reviewed minutes of the previous reunion meeting, June 10, 2017. It was moved and seconded to dispense with the reading of the minutes and approve them as printed. They will be published on the website.
Financial reports were then given for the following accounts and are added to this document as addendums: Balances as of 6/1/19
Book Committee: $9,182.45
Cemetery foundation: $1,319.47
Reunion account before reunion: $3,992.95
Book Committee: There are still books available to buy. Some needed computer updates for data continue to be addressed. Family record update sheets are available or you are asked to email or call Dora Wright to update information. This is a loving work in progress and we thank her.
Cemetery Activities: Jerry Butler continues to maintain the Kothmann cemetery site at Art, Texas. He received special recognition and thanks for his efforts. We continue to place wreaths at the cemetery at Christmas time and at reunion time.
HISTORICAL REPORT collected after last reunion – June 10, 2017
Direct Descendants (increase of 99) 4411
Direct Descendants – Living 3606
Spouses – Living 1423
Living Members (Descendants & Spouses) 50219
Total Members (Descendants & Spouses) 6330
Generations 9 (81 members, first one born in 1993 (26 years old)
Only 13 males (out of 1189) in 8th gen with/Kothmann name
Being no further old business to discuss, we moved on.
Kothmann Cookbook – Jess Black is collecting recipes for a cookbook. Instructions for submitting recipes can be found at kothmannsoftexas.org. The deadline is June 30, 2019.
The next reunion will be held June, 2021. It was entertained by Faulkenberry that there be a new chairman for next reunion. No volunteers. No action taken.
Next, a bell was rung as Caryn Vaught read the 39 names of deceased family descendants since the last reunion followed by a memorial prayer given by Connie Ludlum.
Traditional reunion awards followed:
First time attendees: there were approximately 50+ first timers and they each received a Texas bandana
Oldest attendee: Kathleen Kothmann Smith
Youngest attendee: Londyn Bolen
Attending member with most descendants present: Faulkenberry failed to call this out, but judging from registration records, Awbrey Kothmann and family was the likely winner.
Farthest-traveled: Richard and Teresa Doerr, St Augustine Florida
Oldest Kothmann present: Glenn Kothmann
Longest-married couple present: Howard and Arlene (Wiemer) Richardson
Newlywed couple present: Josh and Cori (Crumrine) Sparks
Faulkenberry then recognized Leon Kothmann for attaining our major reunion donors:
Tent, tables, chairs, stage, PA system: Taylor’s Rental Equipment Co., 220 University Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76107, 817-332-5258, Ed Wadley, Owner
Restroom trailer: All American Party and Tent Rentals, 4917 Old Jacksonville Hwy, Tyler, TX 75703, 903-561-2943, Kevin and Leesa Huckabee, Owners
Action Item - It was motioned and seconded from the floor to induct Steve and Margaret Haverlah as members into the Kothmann family. There being no discussion. All were in favor, the motion carried.
Being no further new business to discuss, we moved on.
Jess Black then gave a benediction in German/English:
“Wir haben uns heute versammelt, um unsere Familie zu feiern und bis wir uns wiedersehen, sind wir eine Quelle der Hoffnung für die Bedürftigen und der Zufriedenheit für die, die einsam sind. Lasst unsere Herzen immer voller Dankbarkeit sein. Lassen Sie die Gefühle der Liebe, der Freundlichkeit und eines gezielten und dennoch sanften Geistes sich immer in unserem Handeln widerspiegeln.
Mögen die Wurzeln unseres Stammbaums weiterhin ein starkes Fundament für noch wachsende Zweige bilden.
Wenn wir heute gehen, richten wir unsere Gedanken auf Nächstenliebe, unsere Herzen auf Gerechtigkeit und unsere Hände auf das Werk des Friedens.
Geht weiter, wenn ihr wisst, dass ihr und eure Heimreise gesegnet sind, und macht die Welt mit jedem Tag liebevoller, mitfühlender und voller der Gnade der göttlichen Gegenwart.”
“We have gathered together today to celebrate our family and until we meet again, let us be a source of hope for those in need and contentment for those who are lonely. Let our hearts always be full of gratitude. Let the feelings of love, kindness, and a well-directed, yet gentle, spirit always be reflected in our actions.
May the roots of our family tree continue to form a strong foundation for branches yet to grow.
As we leave today turn our thoughts toward charity, our hearts toward justice, and our hands toward the work of peace.
Go forth now knowing you and your journeys home are blessed, and make the world more loving, more compassionate and more filled with the grace of divine presence every day.”
Official business meeting was adjourned.
Followed then was a live auction of special items donated to the reunion and auctioned off by Jeff Owens of Mason:
Family welcome sign, donated by Carl Kothmann – $50
Handmade mesquite dominos, donated by James David Kothmann – $100
Painting of Carlos Bill Kothmann, donated by Camilla Kothmann – $30
Kothmann 50th Reunion commemorative quilt, made and donated by Judy Butler Crumrine – $1,900
Homemade bread and a couple of briskets rounded off the live auction with receipts totaling $2,230.
As it was reported they fed watermelons at the 1926 reunion, we concluded the reunion with a watermelon feed by the Jim and Dora Wright family.
Carol Brandenberger Faulkenberry #523221
Reunion minutes document
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