I've no idea who decided to have the first one in 1875, many years later I did go to a few when I was a child. It seems my grandfather (his grandmother was a Lowrey) was quite involved in the reunions and loved the family gatherings.
There was also a family newsletter called The Lowrey Ledger which I received over the years, and my last issue was November 2000 in which there was a write-up for the 118th Lowrey Family Reunion. A few days ago, I decided use google to see if there was anything in print about the upcoming one, as they were always in August or September. I was excited to find some news, so imagine my surprise to see that there was nothing written. My anticipation did an about turn. Horrors, are there to be no more, after 118 of them? Was nobody in the family wanting to continue on with them? I discovered that the Connecticut State Library has the Lowrey Family Reunion Association Records, donated in April 1990 from Marjorie M. Lowrey on behalf of the Lowrey Family Reunion Association. Hum, that was interesting, I bet too, a lot of family reunions don't donate their papers.
Even in 1979 my grandfather probably went, as he drew the old family homestead for the cover of the program, when he was 88 years old. The family had both a 50 year and 100 year genealogies printed. I discovered that the DAR Library even has a copy.
In my file for this family, I noticed that Marjorie Lowrey, the Lowrey family historian for many years, and I wrote seven times, and yet, I knew nothing about her. Not her maiden name, anything about her family, children? just nothing. She was extremely dedicated to her husband's linage, but shared nothing about herself. I wanted to contact her or somebody about a reunion, but her husband born in 1915 had passed away, so what about her? Fast forward to the evening. As I gathered strength to dial a number on the last old newsletter, I reached Marjorie's son! Of course, at first, I didn't know he was the son. He knew of my name, and told me that his mother just got home from the hospital. She is now 91 and uses the computer for email! He isn't sure if they will have another reunion, they only had 17 show up at the last one. However, the family sure had a long run with over 118 reunions.
Seems a shame that descendants of Thomas and Mary aren't interested in the reunion any more. It was such a long tradition. If they ever have another one, I will make the short drive to Connecticut.