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Jessamine Journal, August 20, 1904, Dean Reunion

The third reunion of the descendants of the late Harrison and Nancy (Owen) Dean was held at the old homestead, near Pink, in this county, Saturday, August 20. The weather was ideal for such an occasion, weather being more like October than August.

Early in the day the members of the family and their invited guests began to assemble at the home of Melvin L. Dean, who owns and resides upon the old homestead, he being the youngest of the ten children that were born to Harrison and Nancy Dean. Nine of these children are living, the youngest being 43 and the oldest 69 years of age. Each one of their ten children married, and to them there have been born over 60 children. A number of these children's children are married to whom there have been born almost 50 children. The total number of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, therefore, is almost one hundred and thirty. Nancy (Owen) Dean died in 1891 and Harrison Dean, born in Mercer county, Kentucky, in 1812, died in March 1893. He spent the greater part of his life in Jessamine county, though in the year 1850, he emigrated with his family to the state of Illinois. But after spending two years in the new west, he returned to Kentucky. Most of the Dean descendants live in either Jessamine or Garrard counties, only a few residing in distant states or territories.

The forenoon of Saturday was spent pleasantly in social intercourse. At 10 o'clock the contents of the heavily laden baskets, brought in by the several members of the family, were spread upon a long improvised table, under a large shade tree in the yard, and about one hundred and seventy-five relatives and guests feasted, each to the stomach's delight and satisfaction. It was a dinner so varied and so bounteous in menu as to sustain Kentucky's reputation for being the "land that floweth with milk and honey". Before and after dinner there was piano, violin and vocal music, one feature of the music being the singing of "Old Kentucky Home" and "On The Banks Of The Wabash", the latter being especially appropiate because of the presence of a number of Dean relatives from Indiana. W.O. Dean, Benjamin Dean and Thomas Dean of Windfall, Indiana, nephews of the late Harrison Dean, also a niece, Mrs Susan Gaines, of Ludlow, Kentucky, were present as representatives of the Indiana branch of the Dean family of Kentucky. About the year 1840 three brothers and two sisters of Harrison Dean emigrated from this county to Howard and Tipton counties, Indiana. All of said brothers and sisters, except one sister, are now dead. The descendants of these five members of the Dean family are very numerous and the most of them live in or near Kokomo or Windfall, Indiana. They have formed an organization to perpetuate annual reunions of their family. The next one will be held at Windfall, July 4, 1905, at which a number of their Kentucky cousins expect to be present.

Upon the old farm that was owned by Harrison Dean are located the Chalybeate Springs, surrounded by a beautiful oak and beech woodland. To these springs, the reunionists and their guests retired about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Seats and a rostrum had been provided. A number of the citizens of Jessamine in response to the invitations issued were present. Thomas Roland Dean of South McAlister, Indian Territory, a grandson of Harrison Dean, was master of ceremonies and introduced the various speakers. Judge George R. Pryor, of Nicholasville, dwelt at length upon the propriety and felicities of a family reunion and also paid respect to the hardihood and sterling qualities of the pioneers of Jessamine who, amid privations and perils, laid the foundation upon which subsequent generations have builded such splendid institutions and communities. William M. Watts, youngest member of the Nicholasville bar, spoke in eulogy of Harrison Dean and his descendants. J.Willard Mitchell, County Attorney, complimented the ladies upon the splendid dinner, he with all others, had received at their hands and waxed eloquent upon the beauty and glory of Kentucky. W.O. Dean, an attorney of Windfall, Indiana, gave the genealogy and history of the Indiana branch of the Dean family; told of their family organization to perpetuate reunions and spoke of impressions of his first trip to Kentucky.

J.N. Loop, a manufacturer of Kokomo, Indiana, made one of the most impressive addresses of the day. He said that he was in no way related to or connected with the Dean family but that he had left his home and business and had traveled hundreds of miles to be with this family reunion because of his love for Harrison and Nancy Dean, that he had not been in Kentucky for thirty-two years, that when he was a young man, he came from Indiana to Kentucky and while here found a refuge and a home with the two deceased and revered ancestors of the Deans, he had never and would never, forget the hospitality of that old Kentucky home. Benjamin Dean of Indiana spoke of the joys and festivities of the day. Honorable Ben A Crutcher, Commonwealth Attorney of Nicholasville, and Morris Dean, of Pink, were introduced also as orators and their addresses should not be forgotten. Among the guests present from out of town, whose names have not been mentioned, were Dr. T.P. Welch, St. Petersburg, Florida, James Griffin, Dallas, Texas, and Thomas Dean of Harrodsburg. At the conclusion of the speaking the entire audience arose and concluded the exercises and enjoyments of the day by singing that song that is the dearest and sweetest of all songs to a Kentuckian, "My Old Kentucky Home", and the meeting stood adjourned, the date of the next reunion remaining indefinite.