In honor of Sesquicentennial Plus One, I’m devoting the Speaking of Idaho blog to my family’s history during August.
Here are some memories and news reports from the earliest reunions.
by Emma Just
The Just annual gathering began in 1904 the second Sunday of August being the 14th. All were present and enjoyed it very much. Ten Grandchildren there. The next was August 13th '05 also another very happy event, all present, two more added to our number making twelve grandchildren.
The next was August 12 '06 one more added to our number making 13 in the grand count, and such a terrific storm we had. I shall always be glad I am not in the Grove when a thunder storm rages.
Our next was held August 11 '07. Still the odd number of 13 Grandchildren, all such healthy robust kids four boys and nine girls. Bless each one, may they all be good. It was such a beautiful day and we were so happy. Daddy Just was not with us. He don't want to join our picnics. Well he must have his way and we must be satisfied. Had a dear girlfriend tho (our Beck).*
* "our Beck" refers to Rebeccah Wright Hayes, Blackfoot, and later of Idaho Falls, long time Just family friend.
Annual Picnic at the Just Ranch
(Editor's note: The following are two clippings from the Blackfoot newspaper in the early years of this century)
Sunday, August 9th, was the fifth annual picnic of the Justs in the grove on their timber culture, which is Patent No. 1 in the state and located near Presto.
At about 10:30 the picnicers (sic) began to arrive from all sides and at one o' clock the luncheon was served all helping themselves at a long table and then hunting a good shady place to eat and have a good social time.
Everyone is welcome to these picnics. There are no invitations, but the glad hand is extended to all who come to participate in the pleasures of the day. The event always occurs on the second Sunday in August as at that time the first haying is over and before the second cutting.
The first picnic was held on the 14th, '04 the next on the 13th in ‘05, the third on the 15th in '06, the fourth on the 11th in '07 and this one in '08 on the 9th. All dates are cut in the trees. Swings were put up on this occasion and young and old enjoyed the fun. Games were played, all joining in and songs were sung with a little organ to help, and a good graphophone added to the pleasure.
One little ceremony which is a feature of these affairs to get all the grandchildren with their grandmother Just to stand on a historic quilt made by their great grandmother in Idaho at Soda Springs in '64. It has crossed the sea twice. More foot room is needed now than the first time this took place, as four new grandchildren have been added, making fourteen in all, the youngest being held by the grandmother. This pretty custom will be kept up during her life and still be remembered by many afterwards.
Seventh Annual Reunion Held
One of the enjoyable events of the season to which we have been invited this year, was the annual reunion of the Just family held in their big grove below the Just ranch house on the Blackfoot river last Sunday. Big Justs and little Justs and their innumerable friends for miles around were there. Baskets, pans and boxes of yellow legged chicken appeared on the festal board and disappeared as rapidly. There were cakes with chocolate, cakes with coconut and cakes with every manner of good stuff on them, but in an hour after the feast was spread, the big table under the swaying trees looked as if it had been hit by about one hundred hungry people, and it had. The day was ideal and everyone had a delightful time. It was the seventh annual reunion of the family.
In the Presto News section columns:
1908, On Sunday last occurred the annual picnic in the Just grove, the was ideal and about seventy persons availed themselves of the opportunity to rest and enjoy nature.
1909 The annual picnic in the grove was held last Sunday and largely attended by both the Just and the un-Just.