TEMPLIN FAMILY ASSOCIATION
KOKOMO, IND REUNION
Friday, after lunch, I set up a table right inside the Hampton Inn door with appropriate signs to tell folks we were the Templin Family Reunion check in desk. I had hardly set up when I was inundated with people checking in. By 7:00 P.M., we had registered all those who had reservations at the Hampton as well as a number of the local Templins and some who were staying with relatives. I was pleased with the turn out. I had made space available for 35-50 - - - was hoping in reality to see 35 folks present and we ended up with 75. The bus tour was sold out and space in the meeting room was at a premium. The hotel gave us access to our meeting room a little after 5:00 P.M. as soon as they had cleared the previous group from the room and cleaned it up for us. I can't say enough for the staff of the hotel - - they really went out of their way to insure a successful meeting. And they said, they enjoyed watching al of us have fun and meet and greet friends and relatives. I guess you can say, - - "a good time was had by all".
Two of our primary hosts in Templin, Germany - - - Gerhard and Beate Pehlchen were present and were hosted by Harry and Midge Templin of Carmel, Indiana - - - just south of Kokomo. After the meeting, they all plan to spend a few days in the North Carolina hills. Thanks to Harry and Midge for graciously opening their homes to our guests.
Saturday, we had the meeting room open for folks at 7:00 a.m. to allow them to display family memorabilia and genealogy charts. The meeting opened at 8:00 a.m. The business meeting included a brief review of the Germany trip to allow those who were unable to make the trip to get a feeling for the wonderful time we had. We also discussed the requirements for our 2002-reunion site and date. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baytown, Texas and Orlando, Florida were proposed as sites. The membership was asked to think about the proposal and discuss it before deciding on Sunday. There was a discussion about the required election and I was volunteered to be the nominating committee to canvass the members for a proposed slate of officers. Our genealogy "experts" gave reports of their findings during the past two years. Some very interesting findings. More to be reported in the next newsletter.
About 11:30 a.m., I herded the group out to the front of the hotel where I shot a number of snaps. I will select the best of the lot and offer them to the group at my cost, plus postage. That worked out very well at the San Diego reunion. Then at 12:00 noon, Schlotzski's lunch was set up as scheduled. I had purchased a package lunch for 35-50 and Jean had promised it would feed 50. Well, we had 65 folks in line and some returned for seconds and still, - - there were leftovers. She had presented two large tureens of soup, vegetable and broccoli-cheese - - three large trays of assorted sandwiches, ten pounds of cole slaw, ten pounds of potato salad and eight trays of small pizzas. Believe me, it was all very good and there was plenty for everyone.
Our tour bus arrived at 12:30 p.m. and our tour guide was there about 12:45 p.m. We loaded up and departed on schedule. The first stop was the City of Firsts Automobile Museum where we watched a 25-minute video about the making of opalescent glass at the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company. That was very interesting. Then we had another 35 minutes to wander through more than 100 beautifully restored old cars, some were produced in Kokomo. Kokomo lays claim to an impressive number of "firsts" and one was the first commercially built automobile, the "Haynes"- - - made by a local inventor named Elwood Haynes and road tested 4 July 1894. There were a number of his cars on display, including the very first.
At 2:00 p.m. we departed for a 30-minute ride through the countryside to Greentown where we toured the Greentown Glass Museum. There, we learned about the highly collectable glass that was manufactured for only nine years in the late 1800's. There were some really beautiful examples of that production. While there, one of our ladies tripped and fell and broke her nose and sprained her wrist. However, we departed a few minutes late and continued our tour. We returned to Kokomo for a tour of the Howard County Historical Society/Seiberling Museum.
The Seiberling Mansion construction began in October 1889 and was completed in the Fall of 1891. The house was built for Monroe Seiberling of Akron, Ohio at a cost of $50,000. Seiberling was the founder of the Diamond Plate Glass Company in Kokomo and founder of the Kokomo Strawboard Works. He was also an uncle to Frank Seiberling who founded the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and the Seiberling Tire Company. The architecture of the hole is a mixture of Neo-Jacobean (Queen Anne) and Romanesque Revival styles. It was designed by Arthur Labelle of Marion, Indiana. Interior woodwork consists of: oak, walnut, maple, cherry, mahogany and Indiana tulip poplar. Door Knobs, plates, hinges and window lifts are made of brass in a Moorish design. Because of its historical and architectural significance, the building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of Interior.
Built at the height of the gas boom in Indiana the house was originally heated by natural gas burners in the fireplaces. Light fixtures and furnishings are not original to the home but are from the 1890's era. This was the home to one of the US rubber tire magnates and the beautiful hand carved woodwork throughout the house and the memorabilia contained within made this a very enjoyable visit. It was obvious that in their day, they lived a life of luxury.
Next, the bus took us to the Elwood Haynes Museum. A residence until 1946 and then the site of Indiana University at Kokomo, this house was acquired by the Howard County Historical Society in 1972 for use as the county historical museum. Formed during the 1916 Indiana Centennial, the Society has previously operated a museum in the former Carnegie Library and the current Howard County Courthouse basement. Howard County was formed in 1844 out of what was called the Great Miami Reserve. This Indian Reserve was ceded to the government by the Miami Indians by the Treaty of 1840. Settlers had already come to the county as early as 1837 when David Landrum erected the first home in the county. The cabin was erected in the extreme western part of the county in the area known as the "Seven-mile strip."
David Foster donated 40 acres of land on which to found the seat of the county. Foster was a trader who spent much time on the frontier selling goods and whiskey to the Indians. Foster named the town "Kokomo" after, it was said, an Indian who lived in the area. Until 1867 Howard County was strictly an agricultural region. In 1886 natural gas was discovered in north-central Indiana attracting a large number of manufacturing firms by offering free gas and free land. Very quickly, Kokomo became an industrial center. With industrialization, Kokomo attracted a number of inventors. Elwood Haynes came to Kokomo and invented the automobile: George Kingston invented the first carburetor used in a Model "T" Ford: and many others used their know-how to give Kokomo the nickname "City of Firsts." The museum is also the famous inventor's former residence. It was also filled with artifacts of his life and many photographs showing Elwood Haynes riding in one or more of his cars with famous people riding with him.
About 5:15 p.m., the bus returned us all to the Hampton Inn where, after many words of appreciation to our tour guide, we all broke for individual activities.
From the following list, you can see why Kokomo was named "The City of Firsts".
#First Commercially Built Auto by Elwood Haynes. Road tested July 4, 1894, on Pumpkinvine Pike east of Kokomo.
#First Pneumatic Rubber Tire invented by D.C. Spraker, President of Kokomo Rubber Tire Co. in October 1894. The tire was made of strips of three-ply rubber, canvas and other wrappings of vulcanized rubber wound around a slender pole.
#First Aluminum Casting by William "Billy" Johnson at the Ford & Donnelly Foundry in 1895.
#First Carburetor developed by George Kingston in 1909. The mixer was made from a piece of brass pipe 6" long with a cap fitted to one side in which a floater and wire gauge regulated the flow of fuel.
#First Stellite Cobalt-base Alloy the wonder metal, discovered by Elwood Haynes in 1906 while searching for a metal to be used in producing tableware.
#First Stainless Steel. Invented by Elwood Haynes in 1912 while attempting to satisfy Mrs. Haynes' demand for tarnish-free dinnerware.
#American Howitzer Shell used in actual warfare. It was made by the Superior Machine Tool Co. in 1918.
#First Aerial Bomb With Fins in l9l8 by the Liberty Pressed Metal Co.
#First Mechanical Corn Picker developed by John Powell in the early 1920's.
#First Dirilyte Golden-Hued Tableware invented by Carl Molin in 1926.
#First Canned Tomato Juice developed by Walter Kemp, Kemp Brothers Cannin Co in l 928 at the request of a St. Louis physician in his search for baby food to use in his clinic.
#First Push - Button Car Radio by Delco Radio Division of G.M. in 1938
#First All Metal Life Boats & Rafts manufactured by Globe American Stove Co. Lifeboat in December 1941; Life Raft in November 1943, nicknamed "Kokomo Kid "
#Firsts Signal Seeking Car Radio by Delco Radio Division of G.M. in 1947.
#First All Transistor Car Radio by Delco Radio Division of G.M. in 1957.
#First Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise
I think that is an impressive list for any city. After dinner, the group reconvened and more genealogy discussions ensued.
Sunday, the 3rd, I had left the morning open to allow our members who wanted to attend the church of their choice. Others sat in the lobby lounge area and continued the exchange of family data and stories.
We reconvened the meeting at 1:00 p.m. and I was asked to review the Saturday tour for those who did not go. Then we got into a lengthy discussion on the 2002 site/host. Alice (Templin) Bross' offer to be host and proposed Philadelphia as the site. The membership voted to accept this offer. The 2002 reunion will be held the weekend of 4-6 July.
Then, after more discussion on the election, I presented the proposed slate of officers and opened the floor for any additions. As none were offered, the motion was made, seconded and carried to elect those officers on the nomination list. We have a new president and vice president, but all the "workers" remained the same.
The following slate was elected:
President - Marvin Templin - Tennessee
Vice President - Harry Templin - Indiana
Treasurer - George Templin - Ohio
Secretary/Scribe - Chuck Templin - Florida
Genealogists - Robert & Dana Kapp - Ohio
Genealogists - Marvin and Samme Templin - Tennessee
I suggested we put out a newsletter before the end of this year and try to product two each year. I can do that, IF the members provide good family stories.
About 3:15 p.m., the meeting was officially adjourned, however most of us remained in the room chatting and discussing family issues until time to go to super.