Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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July 27, 2012

Thompson family gathers for 100th annual reunion

CLAYTON —  

 The Thompson family has been getting together for a reunion each year for 100 years. They met this year in Clayton at the home of Steve and Diane Thompson.

Betty Jane Cook Volp, 88, was one of the older family members who attended this year’s gathering.

She said when she was a child the reunion was normally held in the Hazelwood area and was a “pretty big event.” Each year, she recalled, she would wear a new dress made my her mother.

“Uncle Elmer had it most often at his place,” she told a family member. “(It was) a farm carved off the original farm.”

The farm belonged to her grandfather and reunion co-founder John Thompson.

Volp said her mother would make fried chicken directly from the coop, garden green beans, pie or cake.

She said she remembers the adults talking loudly about politics, news, and farming — especially school teacher Clare Sellers.

This year the entertainment portion of the event included a challenge for everyone to share their favorite memories from reunions of years past.

“My memory was about that fella, Clare Sellers,” said Steve Thompson. “He scared me to death. He was very proper and always wore a tie and suspenders. I was terrified that I would have him in school.”

He said there were a variety of stories shared — everything from funny to heart wrenching.

“There were some interesting stories,” Thompson said. “I’m sure a lot of the younger children didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. They don’t have 60 years of memories.”

He said the Thompson family originated in North Carolina.

“Two brothers landed in North Carolina,” he said. “The Thomas Thompson side of the family then moved through Kentucky and into Indiana.”

Now, he said, most of the family members that come to the reunion live in Morgan and Hendricks counties.

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