Four generations of descendants of the late James Wallace and Ludy Thornton Huggins, who lived and reared their large family east of Fort Gibson on the Warterfield/Boatright farm, met together this past weekend for the annual Huggins Family Reunion at Western Hills Lodge in Sequoyah Park near Wagoner.

Eighty-five people attended.

The gathering began Friday afternoon and concluded with a Sunday morning family worship/gratitude service and luncheon. Tender goodbyes were said as families headed home in different directions.

We had relatives there from both our Huggins and Reser sides of the family.

First-cousin, Biggie Haas Walker, 89, flew in from Auburn, Calif. Biggie and her twin, Bit Haas Craig (deceased) grew up at Fort Gibson. Biggie's niece, Sandra Knapp, daughter of Buddy Haas, the jockey, attended from Texas.

First cousins LoReta Huggins Phelps and Juanetta Huggins Bethurm, and eight members of their families came from Texas and California. Ed and Denys Phelps Kelley acted once again as our family photographers.

Cousin Arney Sublett Salyer, 97, of Muskogee grew up at Fort Gibson and came with her nephew and wife, Ted and Mable Biggs Taylor of Fort Gibson. Arney's mother, Lula Reser Sublett, and husband Jack, were second parents to Ludy.

Wallace and Ludy Huggins had 12 children of which eight survived to adulthood and all attended Brown School and Fort Gibson High. The seven surviving children and spouses were at the reunion, along with many of their offspring.

Clarence and Ethel Canning Hobbs Huggins of Fort Gibson were there. Clarence, the family patriarch at 87, delegated and oversaw our Sunday worship service. His children grew up at Fort Gibson and Jim Huggins and Joyce Tillman Huggins and family are still there. Clarence was happy to have 21 members of his family in attendance including two great-grandchildren and newlyweds, Gab and Julie Huggins Laney of Fort Gibson. Clarence served in WWII in the Philippines and came home from that experience determined to see that his parents and younger siblings had a ride to church on Sundays, a dedication that he and wife, Wilma, faithfully met.

George (Deanie) Huggins (deceased) was represented by two of his daughters, Janice Mitchell of Stillwater and Sandra Worley of Oklahoma City. Sandra's children Jeff and Misty Worley Fuzzell were present along with Misty's husband, Butch, and baby Lila.

Warren and Vivian Loyd Huggins and three family members drove up from Louisiana. Warren was a sailor in the US Navy during WWII and while waiting to be discharged near New Orleans, met a red-headed, soft-spoken Louisiana girl and they have since made many-many trips to be with his Oklahoma family. They were accompanied by their daughter, Patricia and husband, Rob Reed of Baton Rouge, and sister, Lurlene Loyd Barnett.

Jack and Addylu Stratton Huggins live at Wagoner. Jack was always the family “horse” person starting at a very young age with a stick horse. His career began as vo-ag teacher and ran through retirement from Federal Farm Housing and Bureau of Indian Affairs. They are happy to have all their children living in Oklahoma. Deborah and newlywed son, Matthew Wilkey and wife Lindsay attended from Norman. Gary and Jan Huggins hosted our Saturday evening picnic at their home in Wagoner. Their four children and grandchildren live in the vicinity. John Huggins and wife, Becky attended with baby Jentri from Mayes County.

Sara Huggins Preston and her husband, John, live in Oklahoma City, after spending 10 years near Turner Falls in the Arbuckles. John and Sara graduated from Fort Gibson High in 1951. John may be retired, but may not. Sara as the family historian and genealogist, has made record gathering her life's pursuit. Discs containing her 45-year effort were distributed to family members at this reunion. Sara and John were happy to have their grandson, Daniel from Reno with them. Their daughter, Lolly Preston Lyman and husband, Ben, from San Antonio came with their six children. Ron Preston and granddaughter, Missy, from Oklahoma City came on Saturday.

Buddy Huggins has been the “Fort Gibson Barber” for more than 40 years and probably knows more stories than anyone in the family. However, he does not step beyond the limits of privacy when sharing them. Bud attended with his son, David and wife, Christy, and their sons, Jon, Chris and James from Sacramento. Tracy wasn't able to make it, and April is stationed in Korea with the U.S. Army.

Ann Huggins Andrews of Fort Gibson was there with three daughters and their husbands. Tammy and Dwayne Shrum from Oklahoma City, Beth and Doug Brannon of Fort Gibson and Becky and Mike Berkenbile with daughter and son, Brooke and Cole of Fort Gibson. Ann worked many years as loving caregiver to babies at the child care facility near Muskogee Hospital. She was a valued employee by both administration and parents.

Carol Huggins Tomlinson, a retired teacher and loving aunt, keeps track of family matters. Her husband, Phil, is serving Governor Henry as secretary of transportation. Their son, Steven Tomlinson and Eugene Sapulveda came from Austin, Texas. Son Craig and wife Denise brought their daughters, Hilary and Hannah, from Tulsa.

Steve Tomlinson spent Saturday interviewing and recording the seven children of Wallace and Ludy about their lives east of Fort Gibson during the 1920 to 1940s. He will edit and distribute their story to family members. Steve's writing talents are varied from college text books to stage plays. His latest offering, “American Fiesta” played off-Broadway last year in New York.

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