Schafstall reunion conducted at Seymour restaurant


The 26th biennial reunion of the descendants of Henry and Mary Newkirk Schafstall was Nov. 11 at Schwätzer’s German Restaurant in Seymour.

This reunion was a makeup session for the 2020 and 2022 reunions that were not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hosts for this year were the Lillian Rust and Ethel Dringenburg families.

Solomon Rust presided over the meeting, including histories of the Severinghaus ancestors owning a successful china shop in Cincinnati and a potential “false” Schafstall ancestor.

The book “Elmer L. Severinghaus 1894-1980: An Autobiographical and Biographical Collection” also was shared as a genealogical resource that included names of many of those in attendance. Ruth Ann Hendrix coordinated genealogical materials, sparking many conversations and new discoveries.

Karen Dringenburg, along with her little assistant, Caroline, acted as welcoming party and game coordinators. Rhonda Wente Botti correctly guessed the exact number of M&M’s in the cowgirl jar at 777, which she graciously shared with Caroline.

Karen Otte Wiesehan won essential oils for being married the closest number of years to Henry and Mary Newkirk Schafstall. Alex Schepman won the most festive award, as he proudly showed off his Seymour Oktoberfest shirt. Caroline won a Christmas stocking for the youngest in attendance.

The hosts for the next reunion in 2024 will be the Ethel Dringenburg and Lillian Rust families. It’s planned to be held Aug. 11 at the Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department in Cortland.

Henry and Mary Newkirk Schafstall were the parents of 10 daughters, eight of whom grew up and had families of their own: Sophia Helwig, Adeline Schafstall, Anna Schafstall, Caroline “Carrie” Wente, Clara Trimpe, Mary Trimpe, Myrtle Kruse, Cordelia Stockamp, Ethel Dringenburg and Lillian Rust.

Twenty-one attendees represented five of the eight families at this year’s reunion with all eight families planning to be represented in 2024.

Questions for next year’s reunion can be sent to Solomon Rust at [email protected] or 812-498-5554 or Karen Dringenburg at [email protected] or 812-530-7212.

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