The 2014 reunion of the descendants of Bethania Hauser Williams Russell and Friends was held July 25-27 in Clemmons and Yadkinville. Raphael Hurley Hauser served as host. Relatives from North Carolina, California, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland attended the reunion.
Bethania was born in Bethania and was purchased by T.C. Hauser, a farmer and a trader. She was born around 1840 and was brought to Yadkin County around the 1850s. She served as the chief housekeeper of T.C. Hauser. Before the end of slavery, she became the mother of three boys: Alexander, Martin and Sanford, fathered by the Hausers. After slavery, Bethania married Lewis Williams and they added Crawley, Taylor, Sally and Louis to the family. After Lewis’ death, Bethania married David Russell and they added Commie, Lucy, Henry and Dixie to the family, a total of 11 children.
Ninety-nine years ago in 1915, Martin, Bethania’s second oldest son, started inviting family members and friends to his home to celebrate his mother’s birthday. The family has been holding annual reunions each year since. Beginning in the early 1990s, during even years reunions are held in Yadkinville and during odd years reunions are held at other places. Reunions have been held in Cleveland, Ohio, Hyattsville, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, California, Williamsburg, Virginia, Atlanta, Georgia, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Las Vegas, Nevada.
An HWR Scholarship Fund was also established during this time and, for almost 20 years, it has served to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of family members.
The opening HWR Reunion Activity, “Meet and Greet Social,” was held on July 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Cherries Café in Clemmons where just under 20 family members enjoyed a meal with excellent dessert options.
Saturday activities began with family members gathering at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church cemetery in Yadkinville to remember and honor Bethania and all the other family members buried there. Sterling Hauser of Cleveland, Ohio, conducted a memorial and flowers were placed on the grave sites of family members. The remainder of the day was spent at the Yadkinville YMCA City Park with about 40 members in attendance at the Dixie Moore Family and Fun Day Picnic. Delicious food was planned and prepared by Steven Floyd, his wife Cheryl and twins Yvonne and Yvette.
An annual family meeting was held just before the food was served chaired by Maria Hauser. Fay Hauser-Price was elected as the VP/president-elect. She will serve as reunion planner for the 100th HWR Reunion, which will be celebrated in the Yadkinville and surrounding areas. Others elected were Maria Hauser as secretary and Sterling Hauser as treasurer. Raphael Hauser became president of the HWR Reunion.
Andrew Mackie and Anne Black, members of the Yadkin County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., were presented to the group. They shared that their organization had recently initiated a project to produce a second volume of “The People of Color of Yadkin County” and asked others to volunteer to write articles to bring the information in the book forward. Jaela Mckenzie Davis, daughter of Diayle and Justin Davis, was the youngest person attending the reunion. Jaela’s mom, Dialye Davis, is the daughter of John and Donna Pinckney of High Point. Pauline R. Hauser of Yadkinville was the oldest person the HWR Reunion. Fay Hauser-Price, of Van Nuys, California, traveled the greatest distance to attend the reunion.
The final activity was attending a Sunday worship service at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Yadkinville where the pastor is the Rev. J.E. Scott. Raphael Hurley Hauser presented a check to the church on behalf of the HWR Family Reunion toward maintenance and upkeep of the church cemetery. After the church service, a cake commemorating the 99th reunion of the HWR Reunion was served to those wishing to partake.
The HWR Reunion association is proud of the opportunity to celebrate its centennial reunion. We urge all members of this family to volunteer in the planning of this memorable event in the coming year. We, the elected office holders and members would also like to urge all people of color with their roots in Yadkin County to assist in collecting information and writing articles for the Historical society’s effort as well.