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Family Reunion Forum

90th Annual Adams Family Reunion .... A Success

Labor Day weekend saw approximately 300 descendants of Lewis & Susan Adams, early African-American settlers, attend the 90th Annual Adams Family Reunion in Urbana & Champaign County, Ohio. Adams descendants came in from IN, IL, MN, MD, NJ, NY and Ohio.

Reunion events were held at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Johnson Cemetery in Concord Township and the Champaign County Fairgrounds. On Saturday former U.S. Congressmen Clarence Brown welcomed the attendees at St. Paul A.M.E. Church with his remembrances and association with the Adams family. Those in attendance then moved to Johnson Cemetery, the burial site of Lewis & Susan, along with several other 1st generation family members. Urbana Mayor Ruth Zirkle read a proclamation declaring Adams Reunion Weekend and greetings for a successful reunion were sent and read from President Barack H. Obama and the Ohio State Senate during the graveside service led by Pastor Bruce Wynn of St. Paul A.M.E. Lewis & Susan were Charter members of St. Paul founded in 1824.

Following the graveside service there was a power point presentation given at St. Paul A.M.E. Church " Milestones: The Legacy of Lewis & Susan Adams from 1785 thru 1864".
Lewis & Susan were both born as enslaved persons, Susan in Canada, Lewis in Kentucky, met and married in Urbana during Jan of 1816 as ‘free persons of color’. In 1829 Lewis purchased property in Concord Township. The 200 acres purchased from Andrew Blue are adjacent to the current location of Johnson Cemetery and where they raised a family of 12 children.

Sunday’s activities following church services at various local Urbana churches the descendants gathered at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, the site of the first “official” Adams Reunion, held in 1920 for the picnic portion of the reunion. Along with the fun of family fellowship the family history was on display in the manner of several 3 panel story boards, the 90+ foot Adams Family Tree with over 2,500 descendants named, many personal photo albums and presented to the group were a CD Book “Descendant Families of Lewis & Susan Adams: Early AA Settlers in Champaign County, Ohio” and the 2010 Adams Family Reunion Souvenir Book.

The descendant families of those 12 Lewis & Susan Adams children had a wonderful time celebrating this 90th reunion with Anna Jane (Lancaster) Whetsel of Urbana, an Adams descendant, who celebrated her 90th birthday during the reunion activities. And the return of ‘favorites’ for the children ….. pony rides and the old fashioned ice cream ‘bricks’.

Letter from President Barack H. Obama

Congressman Brown & Wife

Urbana Mayor Ruth Zirkle & Reunion Pres. Lezlie Bray

Burial Site - Lewis & Susan Adams

Burial Site - Sibbah, Mother of Lewis Adams

Art Thomas ... a great-great-great grandson of Lewis & Susan Adams

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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