My series of posts is usually focused on my Great Great Grandparent generation, but along with the Mann family series here, I'm going to discuss the incredible siblings of my Grandma. She and two sisters are alive (over 90) and in the interest of respect for their privacy and internet security, I won't mention their names.
Clarence & Cora Mann had 14 children, the 13th child died at 3 months, one set of twins. They were married July 5, 1899. The natural thing for them to do for their anniversary, being so close to Independence Day, was to celebrate it with a family picnic. As their children grew, so did the picnic. In July of 1999, the 100th Annual Mann Family Picnic was held with well over 100 people in attendance. The turnout is not that large every year, but the picnics continue. Next July will be #115.
When Clarence & Cora were alive, another annual family gathering was at Christmas. It was held at their little two bedroom house in Beatrice (the house that photo was taken in). I was very young and have only a vague memory of these. I remember SO many people I didn't know, and the two beds being piled high with winter coats. Also, the basement where the men would all congregate around card tables, probably playing 10 point pitch. The Lincoln Sunday Journal & Star ran an article in 1968 about Clarence & Cora's 69th wedding anniversary that mentioned the past Christmas there had been 117 people at the house. They had 39 grandchildren and 39 great grandchildren at that time.
Of the 13 siblings, two died before reaching 80, 4 lived into their 80's and 7 lived (3 living) to be at least 90 years old. Seven couples celebrated their 50th anniversary (one brother died only a couple of months before his), six of them their 60th. The first cousins generation spans from 1920 to 1962.
Through the years, those of the 13 siblings and their spouses living did a lot of things together. They took a lot of group photos. If their families pooled them together, I bet they could come up with a group shot of them every year for like 30 years. I would love to have that collection!