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Jessamine Journal, August 29, 1902, The Dean Reunion

The second reunion of the Dean family was held at the home of Melvin L Dean - the old Harrison Dean place at Pink, Friday, August 22, The weather was all that could be desired - neither too warm or too cool - but just such a day as one would have wished for had he consulted the weather bureau. The people commenced to congregate at the old homestead at an early hour and by 10 o'clock the premises were thronged with relatives and friends of the Dean family, all of whom had come to enjoy themselves and assist in making others happy. At 1 o'clock dinner was announced. It was served on the lawn in picnic style. And such a dinner! Fried chicken, barbecued lamb, old country ham, salads of various kinds, pickles that made you long for more, pies - old fashioned pies - and many different kinds of cakes, etc., etc., in fact everything that would constitute a picnic dinner of "ye olden times". Over 200 people partook of this feast and when they had eaten until they could eat no more, there was enough left to feed the same number over again. After dinner photographs were taken of the Dean family and their guests, followed by an announcement of the exercises at Chalybeate Springs, where the crowd immediately repaired.

Near the springs a platform had been erected and seats provided. No better place could have been selected. At 3 o'clock Mr. T R Dean, master of ceremonies, arose and delivered the welcome address. He spoke feelingly of the occasion and extended the heartfelt thanks of himself and the Dean family to the friends assembled, for their presence. At the conclusion of his address Mr Dean introduced B A Crutcher who was happily greeted by the audience. Mr Crutcher's remarks were listened to attentively. The audience expected something good in oratory and was not disappointed. He spoke of the early settlers; the immigration of the Deans from Virginia to Kentucky, and of the many obstacles that confronted them in selecting the new home; also of the sturdy character of the Deans, their hospitality, and the progress made since they first set foot on Kentucky soil. The next speaker was J Willard Mitchell, who spoke in his happiest vein. He devoted most of his time to the women of the Dean family and struck a happy chord in the breasts of his listeners. His tribute to Mrs Dean was pretty bit of word painting and brought forth hearty applause. Wm. M. Watts, the well-known attorney, who was born and reared in the Dean neighborhood, was next presented. He was at home - among his old friends - and every thought was an inspiration. After referring to the early childhood of himself and his playmates who now stood around, he touched upon the character of Harrison Dean, whom he eloquently described as a grand old man. His speech was highly complimented by all. Mr Watts was followed by Jno W Wilmott, of Lexington, a collegemate of Mr T R Dean, who spoke highly of him in his introduction.

Mr Wilmott's remarks were on "The family as an institution of society, its various relations and as a factor in civilization". It was a carefully prepared address and well delivered. Mr Henry McCarty of the Journal and elder James Vernon were called upon and both made short addresses. Mr Roland Dean closed the speech making with an interesting talk on his experiences in the Indian Territory, where he now resides. During the afternoon's program the speeches were interspersed with music on the organ and violin by Mrs Ralph Sageser and Mr Bascom Evans, also some excellent selections from a phonograph operated by Mr James Collier. The festivities were closed with the singing of "The Old Kentucky Home" by the audience.

In 1785, William Hasselrig took out a patent for 8,000 acres of land on the Kentucky River. He had various parcels of land in the Hickman neighborhood, extending from the mouth of the Hickman Creek to about two miles beyond the farm of George McQuerry. In 1801, Christian Bruner, who was born in Lancaster, Pa. in 1774, was the first settler who opened the old Dean farm and erected the first log cabin where the present dwelling of Melvin Dean is now situated. The old farm has passed through many changes since Christian Bruner built the first house on the land in 1802. More than 48 years ago the late Harrison Dean became the purchaser of the farm.

Harrison Dean was born in Mercer county, Kentucky November 11, 1812 and was the fifth son of James and Keziah (Green) Dean. In 1832, he came to Jessamine County to live and in 1835 was married to Nancy Owens, daughter of Fleming and Annie (Tombs) Owens, both of whom were born in Halifax County, Virginia. Nancy Owens was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky. In 1851 Mr Dean moved from this state to Illinois. He purchased land in McLean County, but on account of sickness he returned to Jessamine after an absence of one year. The beautiful city of Bloomington now stands upon the land once owned by Mr Dean . After his return to his old home, Mr Dean rented land until 1857 when he bought of Silas Bruner the farm at Chalybeate Springs on which he spent the remainder of his life. He died March 29, 1894. Unto Harrison Dean and wife were born 10 children; eight sons and two daughters: Following are their names in the order of their birth: Merrell Dean born November 17, 1836; James Harvey, November 18, 1838; William H. May 1, 1841; Mrs Lizzie Carter, September 14, 1846; John Allen, August 21, 1843; Alexander S., May 14, 1849; Morris, January 1, 1852; Mrs Priscilla Hamilton, Jan 30, 1854; Clinton S, March 12, 1857; Melvin L, January 16, 1860. All but one of these are living today -- Priscilla Dean Hamilton, who was killed by lightning in Nicholasville 1876, leaving a husband, Albert C Hamilton, now deceased, and two daughters, Eunice (Hamilton) Sparks of Nicholasville and Bernice (Hamilton) Bryant of Memphis, Tennessee.

NOTES: They were all there - that is, nearly all of them.

If anyone in the crowd spoke to another without knowing his name, he addresses him as Mr Dean -- and let it go at that.

T Roland Dean made a splendid master of ceremonies. He was very much interested in the whole affair.

As ascertained at the reunion the descendants of Harrison Dean numbers as follows: children 10, one being dead; grandchildren 73, 12 dead; great-grandchildren 42, 1 dead, thus making in all 125.

Mr and Mrs Melvin Dean, at whose home the reunion was held, were the recipients of many compliments on the arrangements of affairs and entertainment of invited guests.

Among those whose absence from home prevented their being present last Friday were: Dr. S. C. Dean and M.J. Dean, S. McAllister, I. T., Harvey Dean, Jr., Bryantsville, and Mrs Bernice (Hamilton) Bryant, Memphis, Tenn.

A picture of seven of Harrison Dean's children - J.H., W.H., Morris, Melvin L., J.A., S.C. Dean and Mrs Lizzie Carter - appears with this article. It was taken at the reunion three years ago.

The oldest child of Harrison Dean is Merrill J. Dean, aged 66, and the youngest, Melvin L., aged 41. The youngest member of the family is a great-granddaughter, Josephine, born Aug 19, 1902, just three days before the reunion - daughter of John and Eunice (Blakeman) Dean.

J.B. Griffing of Dallas, Texas, related to the Chrisman and Scott families of Jessamine, was prominent among the invited guests. He is a native of this county and was born on the Perry farm. His son-in-law, A.A. Powe, is city clerk of South McAlister and an intimate friend of Mr T.R. Dean.

Thomas Dean of Bohon, Mercer County, son of John Dean, deceased, accompanied by his niece, Miss Clara Dean, daughter of Robert Dean, attended the reunion. John Dean died last December. He was a man of wealth and quite prominent in his section. John, Harrison and another cousin, now living in Washington county, were born in the same month and year, November 1812.