John Jacob Moritz was born Dec. 22, 1848 in Baden, Germany, and at the tender
age of 6, came with is family to America.
In 1873, he married Carolyn Schmidlen, who had come from Bischoffinger, Germany with her family at the age of 15.
John Jacob owned the farm on the corner of Brown and Wynn roads in Oregon. They had 18 children, seven of whom died in infancy. The couple raised their 11 children, most of whom stayed in the area. They included Anna Moritz Mottmiller, Jacob Martin Moritz Jr., Charles Moritz, William Moritz, Reinhart Moritz, Mary Moritz Kreager, Frank Moritz, Ida Moritz Reudy, Emma Moritz Phillips, Lena Moritz Kowalka and Augusta Moritz Beichter.
Sunday, July 26, the descendants of John Jacob and Carolyn will get together for their 75th family reunion. When the gatherings started 75 years ago, they were held at the different homesteads until the siblings grew too old. The reunions were then held at Allen Central Park and later at the Dunberger Post.
“As part of this large family, it has always been great to get together with everyone and see people we only see on the fourth Sunday in July,” said Claudette Allred.
This year, the reunion will return to the Ida Ruedy homestead on Brown road where the family members will play egg toss and card bingo. The organizing committee (yes – the planning is done by a committee), has also planned a fish pond for the kids, as well as horse and wagon rides,
“Kevin Ruedy now owns the Ruedy homestead and he has chickens, cows, pigs and horses,” Allred said. “It will be fun for kids to see what it was like back in the old days.
The Moritz family will also learn to sing a couple of German songs, and Phyllis
The descendants of John Jacob and Carolyn Moritz
Coontz will offer instruction on Scottish dance.
What would a family reunion be without food? Over the years, the family members have come to expect their relatives to bring their “specialties,” the recipes for which they’ve compiled into a cookbook, which is now in its second printing. Copies are available for purchase by non-family members as well.
Family members are encouraged to join the celebration July 26. For more details, call Allred at 419-351-4994.
The descendants of John Jacob and Carolyn Moritz will gather for their 75th reunion July 26.