Saturday, July 12, 2008        

Echo United Methodist Church

Ala. Highway 27, Echo, AL

The 16th Ward Reunion and the 4th Ward / Riley Reunion will be held on Saturday, July 12, 2008.  We are “Going Back Home” to the Echo United Methodist Church, where the ancestry started.   Our last reunion was held in July 2006.


We will have a Saturday luncheon at the Fellowship Hall at the Echo United Methodist Church, open at 11:00 a.m. for visiting with the lunch beginning at 12 noon.   This is a “potluck covered dish” meal as has been done in the past.  Everyone is urged to bring food for about 5 – 6 people or more so we will have enough food.  There is a kitchen in the Fellowship Hall and a covered pavilion just outside the Fellowship Hall.   There is playground equipment at the church for any young children along with coloring books, crayons, puzzles.  Our luncheon, presentation, visiting should be over by 2 p.m.   The History, Myths and Legends of the Muskogee Creek Indians will be presented by Dr. Peggy Venable, Director at Tama Creek Tribal Town, Whigham, GA.    As you know, the Wards are the largest Indian family east of the Mississippi.  There are family members registered as Creek Indians, and John Ward did ride down to Ala. in 1740 with Indians.


In 2006, the Chattahoochee Bluegrass Band entertained everyone attending.   There are plenty of pictures of ancestors and printed material about where various members fit in the big family tree.   As you may know, there is a book being compiled and written by Manonia Snell, a noted genealogist from the Ozark and surrounding area.  She has written other historical books and is very knowledgeable about the history in this part of Alabama and its families. 


We are hoping to have a rough draft of the book and you will want to make sure that your ancestors are listed properly.  With any new information, please contact Manonia Snell at mamasnel@graceba.net in Skipperville, AL.


The Riley headstone project at the Old Center Methodist Cemetery is now completed.  New granite headstones were installed for John Riley, Sr. and others.  The old headstones were saved and embedded in the concrete on the ground in front of the new headstones.    This cemetery is not too far from Echo Methodist Church and cemetery, where other ancestors are buried.   PLEASE bring any family photos and memorabilia for all to view.   We are trying to locate a copy of the old tin type picture of Elender Riley Ward dressed in full Indian regalia.  If anyone has a copy, please contact Manonia Snell or Bob White.  A number of us have seen it before.

Most of us, from any distance, do stay Friday night in Ozark, at the All American Ozark Inn (1-866-768-5970).     Any questions or comments, please call Bob White, 1-800-881-1046, ext. 106 (office) or 407-322-6096 (home).