"Oil Pull" tractor on display, 1999 Neavill's Old Settlers' Meeting.
Neavill's Grove Reunion
The Neavill's Grove Old Settlers' Meeting is the
oldest continuous civic event in Jefferson County, Indiana, held at
the same location and under the same name. The first Old Settlers'
Meeting was organized in 1885 and held in 1886, and has continued
until the present. This day is set aside by many families that have
moved away, as well as local residents, for a huge family-type
picnic. It is an annual reunion of old friends.
This event is held on ground donated as a community
park by Edward Neavill, grandson of George Neavill, an early
settler in the community. Mr. Edward Neavill deeded 12 acres of
ground for this park early in this century, and eight more acres a
few years later, stipulating its use by those observing Christian
values, such as not allowing gambling or alcoholic beverages on the
grounds. Mr. Neavill was also a forward-looking conservationist, as
he required that for every tree that was cut, another tree be set
in its place. These values have observed in the park during the
subsequent 115 years.
The current annual Old Settlers' Meeting is now a
three-day event, the date of which is decided by the last Saturday
in August. Current activities include music, contests for all ages,
displays of working antique machinery and household items.
As well as allowing for the renewing of old
friendships and the promotion of new ones, the reunion has also
been a favorite meeting place for politicians. Many nationally
known Hoosier politicians have been Saturday-afternoon featured
speakers, including former 9th District congressman Lee Hamilton,
Earl Wilson, and Charles W. Fairbanks, who later became Vice
President. The event is capped by a worship service jointly
conducted by Hopewell Baptist and Smyrna Monroe Presbyterian
Project is documented with text, five souvenir tiles
from various years of the Neavill Grove Meeting, four program
booklets from various years, newspaper articles, and twelve 8 x 10
Originally submitted by: Baron P. Hill, Representative (9th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.