More than 300 men, women and children, coming from as far away as Yakima, Wash., gathered for the event which marks the 10th consecutive reunion of the clan. The first reunion in 1930 drew 700 persons from 24 states and two provinces in Canada.
In a wagon drawn by horses instead of replicas of the original oxen, Fred Schmal, of Lowell, who took the part of Joseph, and Mrs. George Sherman, of Crown Point, impersonating Ann, drove into the grove south of the Lake Hills Country Club as a prelude to the pageant.
The land now owned by the country club is the site of the original Schmal grant signed by President John Tyler in 1843. The Schmals came to Lake County in 1838 from Losheim, Germany where Joseph had been a carpenter for 36 years. At the age of 54, he and his wife and family of seven children immigrated here after their neighbors in Losheim, the John Hack family, the first settlers in St. John, wrote back glowing reports of the farm land.
Yesterday's pageant was written and narrated by Miss Rose Schmal, of Crown Point. Portraying the seven children were Will Bohling, of St. John, as the eldest son; Richard Schmal, of Brunswick, as Joseph Jr.; Miss Valentina Klein, of Crown Point, as Catherine; Miss Kathryn Lennertz, of Crown Point, as Regina; Mrs. Mary Mount, of Crown Point, as Margaret; Miss Jane Hutton, of Lowell, as Angela; and James D. Schmal, of Crown Point, as Adam.
Miss Schmidt Re-Elected
Miss Lillian Schmidt was re-elected president of the clan; Fred Schmal will serve as vice-president; Mrs. George Keithley, of Lowell, was re-elected secretary-treasurer, and Edward Schmal will fill the role of historian again.
The directors are Will Schmal, of Hammond; Harvey Schmal of Crown Point, and Frank Hilbrick, of Dyer.
In the family contests held during the afternoon, 74-year-old Fred Schmal was awarded a gift for being the oldest member present; Beverly Ann Butcher, age seven weeks, was the youngest, and the Matt Klein family of Crown Point had the biggest representation.
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