Manasses T. Kuhns Family Gathering
September 23, 2000
474 decedents of Manasses T. Kuhns, the last Amish owner of the Stahly-Nissley-Kuhns farm that is now Amish Acres, gathered on Saturday, September 23rd, 2000 for a family reunion. Nearby relatives began arriving by horse and buggy early in the morning to begin looking around "Grandpa's Farm." Ben's family chartered a bus from southern Illinois. Others came by hired van with its driver.
Manasses died on the farm in 1968 at the age of 98, bringing about its sale by auction in October of that year. All of his children are now gone. Fanny, Elizabeth, Menno, Mattie, Noah, Benjamin, Albert, Tobias, Daniel, Levi and Henry. Manasses was married to Eliza Nisley who died on July 9, 1910. He then married her sister Sarah Nisley who died on December 17, 1911. His third wife, Elizabeth Kauffman lived until 1954.
At the time of the auction over three decades ago there were 58 direct decedents of Manasses nine children. That number has grown to well over 500 by the year 2000.
The group gathered for an outdoor picnic served by Amish Acres under a large yellow and white striped tent. Under the leadership of Enos Kuhns, son of Levi, the men, women and children sang hymns before grace. The hymns included in English, "There are Loved Ones in the Glory," "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," and, after dinner, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." "God is Love" was sung in German.
Fried chicken, barbecue sandwiches, fresh fruit, potato salad, baked beans and assorted cookies were served with lemonade. Children played volleyball, took hay wagon rides through the woods and swan rides on the pond. Horseshoe pitching and Hula Hoops were also part of the leisure activities of the day.
The biggest attraction was the historic homestead, the only Old Order Amish farm listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the five generations attending the reunion had never been in the house, barn or outbuildings. Many old stories were heard for the first time among many.
Each family was asked to submit a family recipe for Amish Acres cookbook. A special Kuhns section will feature the recipes and a complimentary copy will be mailed to the participants. Memories were also collected in written form to be published in a Kuhns' family "scrapbook" as a family history.
Contact the Group Sales Department to plan your reunion,
800-800-4942 ext. 240.