Introduction from the 1900 BookThis sketch needs no work of apology, although it is not by any means what we wish it were. When we were asked to prepare for the Reunion a “History of the Isenberg Family” it did not seem such a difficult task. However, the farther along we came in our researches, the harder the work became. Moreover, there was scarcly anything of a written character upon which to depend. Traditions had to be sifted and facts discovered, and at times imagination and probabilities held the reins. By this we mean to say that we do not guarantee the accuracy of every detail, but we sincerely believe that we have arrived as near to the truth as possible from our limited sources of information. Of course in the list of descendants it has been impossible to have all the names spelled correctly and all the dates exact, but we must ask indulgence in this respect. Not all the Isenbergs are fine penmen, and some should have come along with their letters to translate their hieroglyphics. In short, we have tried to do our best, although the work of a very active church prevented our giving as much time as we should have liked.
by J.M.S. Isenberg
Those who were at the Reunion will recognize that the sketch is again as long as that read at the Reunion. For this I am indebted to the Isenbergs and their descendents all over the United States who so cheerfully responded, and especially to the members of the Committee, viz.: Dr. Lorain Isenberg, Shreve, O., S.H., A.R., and R. A. Isenberg, Altoona; and Rev S.H. Isenberg, now of Millersburg, PA. To these, and all who helped to make this sketch possible, the author desires to express his sincere thanks.
If this sketch shall make us prouder of our ancestors, stimulate us to make the future of the family as honored and respected as the past, or better, to make the name still more honored and respected, we shall feel repaid for all the time and labor expended.
It is our purpose to continue gathering information until all questions now and in dispute or unsettled have been cleared up. In this we ask the hearty cooperation of everyone into whose hands this pamphlet may fall. Notice of any errors or omissions will be most thankfully received and noted at the next reunion, 1901.
J.M. S. Isenberg
Parsonage First Reformed Church
Spring City, PA
March 4, 1901
From the 1900 Book – Invitation to the 1899 Reunion
You are invited to attend the Reunion of the Isenberg Family, to be held at Lakemont Park, Thursday, September 21, 1899, it being about 100 years since the landing of our ancestors in Pennsylvania.
There will be good music, good addresses, good singing and a general good time. Come and bring your friends. Those who cannot come, kindly send a letter to the address of S.H. Isenberg, 601 Seventh Avenue, Altoona, PA. Those not wishing to bring baskets, can get meals on the ground as reasonable rates. . . . .
The day was ushered in cool, and threatening rain, but notwithstanding this the Isenbergs and their friends began to gather at the Park at an early hour. by ten o’clock everywhere throughout the Park Isenbergs were in evidence. Hand-shaking and introduction constituted the program of the hour. Many were the happy meeting of parents and children, of brothers and sisters, of relatives and friends tried and true, followed by the making of new friendships among others of Isenberg descent. This was kept up until the dinner hour, at which time all did justice to the god things brought along for the inner man.
After dinner the making of acquaintances was begun in good earnest and continued until 1:30, when all gathered in the pavillion. The following program was rendered in part, Rev. Dr. Rupley, Rev. J.K. Lloyd and Prof. J.W. Isenberg being unavoidably absent. The Alexandria Band, composed largely of Isenberg descendents, furnished the music.
Call of meeting at 2 PM by Chairman, S.H. Isenberg, Altoona, PA
Music, Band – Prof. J.W. Isenberg, Mcclenny, Fla, Leader
Singing – Doxology
Invocation – Rev. J.K. Lloyd, Martinsburg, PA
Address of Welcome, Hon S.B. Isenberg, Tyrone, PA
Singing – “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”
Address – Rev. S.H. Isenberg, Ph.D, Centre Hall, PA
Recitation – Miss Mary A. Isenberg, Altoona, PA
Address – Warren D. Isenberg, Esq, St. Louis, MO
Address – “History of Isenberg Family” – Rev. J.M.S. Isenberg, B.D, Spring City, PA
Solo – “Holy City” – Miss Jessie C. Isenberg, Tyrone, PA (piano accompaniment)
Closing Address – “What I Know about the Isenbergs” – Rev. F.S. Rupley, D.D., Martinsburg, PA
Singing – “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.”
Benediction – Rev. S.H. Isenberg, PhD
The Reunion decided that the present Committee be retained, with the power to choose its own officers. The Committee has since decided to hold another reunion in two years hence, or 1901, at Lakemont Park, the fourth Thursday in August.
The Register shows nearly foud hundred names, and there were some who failed to register. A number were present from other states, viz.: Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri.
In the early evening goodbyes were said, farewells were taken and the Reunion was over and past; but the recollection and memory of the pleaseant and happy occasion will always abide in the minds and hears of those present.
In the evening the Executive Committee held a meeting at the home of S.H.Isenberg, 601 Seventh Avenue, Altoona, when it was ordered that the history of the family be published. Rev J.M.S. Isenberg, Spring City, PA was appointed chariman of the committe to attend to the same, with power to appoint his adis. Dr. Lorain Isenberg, Shreve, O., S.H., A.R., and R.A. Isenberg, Altoona, PA and Rev. S.H. Isenberg Centre Hall were appointed.
This concludes the information from the 1900 book – – –
The next reunion was held in 1901 at Lakemont Park, Altoona. In the interin the 1900 booklet, portraying the history and genealogical record of the Isenberg family, had been printed and sold to the family for 25 cents. At this reunion it was decided to hold the reunions every three years instead of every two years and from then on until 1937 every third year there was a reunion held at Lakemont Park, Altoona, PA.
There was always a printed pamphlet of the day’s activities and time given for getting acquainted . Sometimes those who were the oldest, the youngest and those from the farthest distance were recognized. At one reunion there were members of the clan from Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana, Washington, D.C., Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, and the state of Washington. Time was always given to the family historian, J.M.S. Isenberg, to recount the latest discoveries of people and circumstances in our background.
Here, acknowledgement and thanks should be given to A. Rupley Isenberg of Altoona, a retired PA Railroad employee and Secretary of the Isenberg organization, who gathered much of the history of the family in Huntingdon and Blair Counties, PA, and Frederick Co, Maryland. This is attested to by the many interesting letters from him in Dr. Isenberg’s portfolio in our possession.
At the 1916 reunion, greetings were brought from an Eisenberg family, descendents of one Lawrence Eisenberg, and also a picture of their last reunion held on the homestead in Douglasville, Berks Co., PA.
The first two reunions drew the largest number of people – nearly 400 in 1899 and about 350 in 1901. After the attendance was anywhere from about 200 to 300. In 1937 the reunions ended in Altoona. By that time the family had gronw to such huge numbers and so many of the enthusiastic promoters had pased on that it was felt is was time to discontinue them. Certain members of the family did try to start them again in Tyrone, PA. There were about 50 in attendance and a reunion of the entire family was not tried again. However, certain branches of the family did start their own. Some were successful, others were not. One that is still in existence is held late in the summer in a grove outside Huntingdon, PA. This consists of the descendents of Benjamin Isenberg (of William Isenberg of Nicholas Isenberg of Gabriel Isenberg, Sr.) and his wife Mary (Isenberg) Isenberg (of Enoch Isenberg, Jr., of Enoch Isenberg, Sr, of Gabriel Isenberg, Sr.) About 10 years ago they brought their family up to date in a pamphlet that was circulated in their branch of the family.
During all of the reunions a register of those present was compiled giving the names, addresses and listing their background back to the first ancestor known. Unfortunately, up until the twenties it was still thought that John Henry Isenberg was probably our first ancestor and was so listed in the books. After Dr. Isenberg told the family that it had been discovered and documented by records that the first ancestor was Gabriel Isenberg his name was written in. However, his wife’s name was put in as Margaret who was his second wife – this should read Maria Eva, or Eve as she was commonly called, his first wife and mother of his children. Notes have been inserted in the reunion books designating these points. After the reunions ceased to exist, Don Berkebile and F. Rupley Isenberg had the copies of the reunion rebound.
We feel that this part of the book would not be complete without the following. A clipping of this poem, author unknown, was sent to us by Edgar Etnier of Petersburg, PA. It appeared in the Altoona paper previous to the 1904 reunion.
The Isenberg Reunion
The 18th of this month we will meet once more
At Lakemont Park, where we met twice before.
The garden spot of Blair County it has grown to be
With all modern improvement and amusements
Just come and see.
There will be music by the Isenberg band.
Also addresses by talented men on the grandstand.
A good social time is in store for you and for me
As we are a jolly good set.
Just come and see.
In Altoona lives the Professor and Hon S.B.
Rupley, a musician of note, in the band you will see,
Dr. Joe of Williamsburg, a leading physician is he
Many others too numerous to mention.
Just come and see.
Two sisters who are over 80 years old
Live in your city in good health, and good as gold.
Many in this family live toget old, or we hope to be.
Who live in dear old Pennsylvania.
Just come and see.
The writer is a farmer, who enjoys God’s good pure air.
We choose our stations in life, which is only just and fair.
We love to see our produce and animals grow so full of glee
To maintain our city cousins. Won’t
you come and see?