Seldom does a family hold a reunion for 100 consecutive
years, but the Halverson-Hendrickson clan reached that number
One hundred and forty descendants of the two families gathered
at the David and Dawn Halverson farm south of Cortland to celebrate
Present were two 100-year-old friends: Leonard Osland,
a descendant, and his lifelong friend, Don Mosher.
I learned from Wyonne Hegland of the Hendrickson side of
the family that an Anna
This group shot was taken at the 100th reunion this
fall, held on the farm of David and Dawn Halverson. (Provided
Hendriksdatter (Norwegian name) met and married an Ole
Halverson back in the old country, then emigrated to the U.S.
in 1884, joining his brothers who farmed in LaSalle County; their
descendants moved up to this county.
Early reunions were held at peoples farms, but later
such locations included Annies Woods, Hopkins Park in DeKalb
and Lions Park in Cortland. This time, only David and Dawn Halverson
had a barn large enough to hold 140 people seated for a potluck
Wyonne also shared a note highlighting some of their reunions
history. She wrote that in the early years, people always were
dressed to the nines with suits, ties, dresses and
hats. This is evident in the 1919 group photo, the earliest one
they have saved.
A program was part of their early gatherings, during which
the youngest and oldest attendees were recognized, piano solos
were offered by the youngsters, devotions were read, groups sang,
and poetry was read.
By 1969, however, it was decided that devotions were not
needed since most people had been to church before the
Donations were made to support the boys and girls
in service during the World War II years.
It was a tradition to play a game of softball. It was amusing
to read in the minutes that in 1978 and 79, the Irish
Jubilee was sung by two of the men. Why not a Scandinavian
This year, they decided to take part in the Cortland Fall
Parade and Festival. They filled three hayracks and a 30-foot-long
Each branch of the families wore matching, color-coded
T-shirts, made especially for this year.
In talking with Dave, I learned he was in the building
business in DeKalb for many years, and also operated the Hicksatomic
Gas Station at the corner of North Annie Glidden Road and West
Lincoln Highway, later known as Halversons Citgo.
Reflecting on our own family reunions over the years, I
must admit that it is a fading tradition. It seems the younger
generations dont find spending a Sunday with relatives
they have never met or seldom see to be fun. Besides, they probably
would pass the time texting friends elsewhere. Guess I am just
sentimental about family ties. Plus, I always looked forward
to Aunt Anns apple pie and Aunt Lilas brownies.
Ill end with this quote from an unknown source: Like
branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions,
yet our roots remain as one.