Sweany family conducts first reunion in 48 years


Tribune staff reports

The 90-plus-degree weather did not deter descendants of Alexander Thomas and Jerusha Cox Sweany from attending a reunion for the first time since 1970 on July 1 at Gaiser Park in Seymour.

Twenty people gathered at noon for a pitch-in dinner at the park.

Family albums prepared years ago were read and enjoyed, pictures were taken and many stories were told.

The oldest descendant was Dorothy Montgomery Helt, 92, a great-granddaughter of the Sweanys. She was attended by her great-grandchildren, Sarah Jane and Benjamin Helt, who are the seventh generation.

Dorothy recalled memories of her great-grandmother. When she was about 12 or 13, she went with her grandmother, Anna Sweany Montgomery, to visit Jerusha, who was always dressed in black and smoked a pipe. Dorothy thought that seemed very strange, but it was actually not uncommon in the 1930s and 1940s.

She also remembered attending the funeral that was conducted in the living room of Jerusha’s home.

This reunion was the idea of Patricia Moore of Johnstown, Ohio, also a great-granddaughter. Those attending were from Vevay; North Vernon; Crothersville; Franklin; Seymour; Columbus, Ohio; Johnstown, Ohio; Sanger, Texas; and Minnesota.

Another reunion is not being planned at this time.

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