Monday, June 19, 2017

CARTER REUNION - DAY 2 - June 17, 2017

Day two of the reunion dawned beautiful again with the temperature that never quite hit 80.

We started out at the Carterville Park - named for John H Carter who farmed to the south of the park on the Provo Bench.  This is a beautiful park and a most fitting place to meet.  At 10 AM we held our business meeting.  Val Dunn gave our financial report.  We then brought the group up to date on the Carterville Cemetery situation back in Iowa.  The group elected to not do anything at this time with regards to attempting to purchase this property.  We will discuss this further in future communications with the group.  We did discuss the possibility of placing a headstone or memorial in the Fletcher Cemetery in Tioga, IL for John Carter.  Robert Givens said he would talk to the cemetery people and find out if this is a feasible project.  The Charter for The John and Hannah Knight Libby Carter Family Organization was amended as proposed with two minor additions.  Next we elected the officers of the organization. The slate of previous officers, since they were willing to continue, were elected to serve for the next two years (with the two new positions added.)  The list is as follows:

Robert Givens - President
Cody Carter - Vice President
Val Dunn - Treasurer
Dr. Andree Swanson - Secretary
Charles Carter - Webmaster
Glenda Wright - Genealogist
Scott Allen - Publicist
Todd Robbins - Social Media Specialist

Our last item of business was to discuss where we want to meet in 2019.  Two years ago the group that met in Omaha chose San Diego to be our next reunion site so we could recognize Richard Carter, who died on the Mormon Battalion march.  There was a real division in this group between that site and Nauvoo.  We chose to table this decision for a short while and will get back to the group as a whole to find out who would be willing to attend our next reunion at either site.

We then adjourned to the Provo City Cemetery for the highlight of our reunion - the recreation of the 1941 dedication of Hannah Knight Libby Carter's headstone.  A little history is needed here for those who might not know the whole story.

Hannah died on October 20, 1867 in Provo probably at the home of Dominicus Carter, her son, since she appears to have lived with him.  She was shortly buried on a cold winter day in an old pioneer cemetery not far from Carterville Park.  This cemetery, Grandview Cemetery, was located at the point that three pioneer land grants met.  It was started about 1860 when one of the land owners needed to bury a child.  From that others asked to bury they family there too - including our Hannah.  About 1879 these farmers were unhappy that this little cemetery had grown to over 60 burials and decided to allow no new burials and requested that the families of those who were buried there remove their departed loved ones at the family's expense.  Hannah was then moved to the Provo City Cemetery.

About 1940 or so a former Carter family organization decided the headstone on Hannah's grave needed to be replaced and this was done in 1941 with a ceremony that we created last Saturday.  We were helped by finding a letter describing the event and obtaining a copy of a movie film of the actual event.

Hannah's stone with the children's roses
So on Saturday, June 17th, 2017 (150 years after her death and 74 years after the present headstone was dedicated) we again met as a family at her grave.   (I need help here and will edit this post as i am given the names I don't have.)  Robert Givens giving an abbreviated version of the life of Hannah.  Gary Carter, the grand son of  John F Carter who sang two songs at the original dedication, sang one of the songs - An Angel from on High   Children in the group were given roses to place on the headstone just a the children had 74 years ago.  ???? the oldest descendant in attendance also was given a rose to place on the stone.  ??? closed our simple ceremony with a touching prayer.   

Some of the group at Hannah's grave

We also recognized Charles Carter who was instrumental in forming this organization and has worked tirelessly on its behalf for over a decade.  He gave a short talk about the granite bench that the organization placed here a number of years ago.  It recognizes all the pioneer children of our family buried here and across the plains and nation who lie in unmarked graves.  It is shaped as a bench so family members may come here and sit and reflect on our family's history and the sacrifice of those who came before.

Grandview Cemetery Marker
Yummy Luncheon
After this ceremony the family adjourned back to Carterville Park for a luncheon provided by the organization.  We had chicken, potato salad, regular salad, rolls, and cookies with ice cold water to drink.  Many hung around for a couple of more hours to visit with their new and old friends.  Near the end of our afternoon meal those that wanted to took a short trip over to the Grandview Cemetery site to see where Hannah was originally interred. 

Again we want to thank Layne Carter and any others that took the time to prepare and put on this excellent reunion. Recognition needs to go to Michael Lambert for his outstanding photographs which were used to illustrate this blog entry.

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