McCullah-Wasson family reunion held near Nixa

Saturday, August 26, 2017

More than 200 relatives, friends attend week-long event

The 127th annual reunion of the McCullah-Wasson family was held July 30 through Aug. 6 at Finley River, near the Hawkins bridge, five mile south of Nixa at a two-and-a-half acre campsite on part of the Hawkins farm.

More than 200 relatives and visitors attended from 13 states: Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and the nation of Mexico. Around the campgrounds were more than 25 tents, campers and trailers. Many relatives stayed in motels in Springfield and Nixa. Others living nearby came for evening meals and to participate in activities.

Trips were made as part of the reunion. On Tuesday afternoon, a large group went on a cave hike. Tuesday evening was a Texas Hold 'Em Tournament, won by Josh Roberts. On Wednesday, 22 relatives and visitors took a float trip on the James River. That evening was a 31 Card Tournament won by Anne Alton. In the annual side dish contest on Thursday, Chris St. George of Springfield won. On Friday was the dessert contest, won by Chris St. George and Cindy Simmons, both of Springfield. Other activities included playing cards, swimming, fishing and visiting. Chris St. George, assisted by Cindy Simmons, with St. George's BBQ and Catering in Springfield served as camp cooks.

The first reunion was a surprise 52nd birthday party for Samuel Calvin McCullah, son of Alexander and Lucy (Robertson) McCullah on July 1, 1890, held north of Aurora. Every year since a reunion has been held. Gatherings soon developed into multi-day events and stretched to a week by the late 1950s. Dates usually run from the first Sunday in August but moved back a week to not conflict with the beginning of school.

The oldest member at the reunion was Eleanor Anderson of Dallas, Texas. The youngest was Ramsey Paige Hurst, daughter of Cameron and Heather Doran Hurst of Springfield at age 1.

During the business meeting, Cami (McCroskey) Jenkins of Nixa was named president, Chris St. George as vice president, Jane Staiger of Billings as secretary and Amy Gann of Springfield as treasurer. Jane Staiger has held her position for 40 years.

Callie Linville led the Memorial Service for family members who passed away in the previous year. They included: Patrick Rhodes, Patricia Jenkins, Richard Wiles Haege and Alice Wiles Roy. David Anderson led the traditional singing of "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again."

The next reunion was scheduled for July 29-Aug. 5.