Needham Crest Needham Family Reunion
13 August 2006

A reunion of the Tonganoxie, Kansas Needham family was held at Tongie's VFW Memorial Park on Sunday, 13 August 2006. Descendants of Hawley Varnum Needham's sons Louis, Vin and Fred were in attendance, and a good time was had by all. Besides a picnic in the park, we visited the Tonganoxie Historical Museum and the site of the original Needham homestead. The photos below are from the picnic and the homestead (I forgot to take my camera to the museum). If you have photos from the reunion (especially from the museum) I'd be happy to publish them here.

(Sadly, the last owner, Fred Leimkuhler, died in 2010 and shortly thereafter the cabin was demolished. We were fortunate to be able to visit while we could. The details of the cabin are preserved both here and at the Kansas Historic Resources Inventory.)

Each thumbnail below links to a much larger image of about 1.44 MB in size. You may also be interested in older Needham family reunions.



Jim Needham,Dan Needham, and Mary (Hogerty) Needham look over the family tree.

Rob Needham chats with Marilyn (Eginoire) Needham, while behind them Erin Rita and "Nick" Nichols fill their plates.

Besides good talk, there was good barbeque.

Harold Needham keeps everyone in BBQ sauce, while Loleta (Schultz) Hartley talks to Debby (Blanck) Needham in the background.

Besides the barbeque, we had fresh tomatoes, various covered dishes and lots of desserts!

Debby, Loleta and Rob at the buffet table.

Mary Ann (Soetaert) Needham with her daughter Cheryl (Needham) Healey and grandaughter Erin Rita.

Clockwise from left, Brian Budenosky, Virginia (Chism) Nichols, Loleta (Schultz) Hartley, Delores (Schultz) McNett, and Iris (Schultz) Budenosky.

No one went away hungry!


In the afternoon, we visited the family homestead, originally called "the Wilderness".

The land is now owned by Fred Leimkuhler, far right, who is something of a local historian.

Michael Needham talks to Debby, while Marilyn talks to Fred. Harold and Katie Needham listen in, while Dan shoots photos.

The cabin was built as the first Needham home in Kansas in about 1868, at Hoge in Stranger Township.

In the 1970s, Fred Leimkuhler built an addition, and discovered the original cabin timbers under siding.

These three photos combine into a panorama, shown below.

From the front, looking east.

From the side, looking north.

And from the rear, looking west.


More views from the back of the house.

Rev. George William Needham is buried somewhere behind the cabin, but the grave is lost.


The original cabin, from the side, looking south.


The horseshoe above the door no doubt explains our good luck in finding the cabin still standing!

My grandfather Fred reportedly hated the sleeping loft in winter.

Views of various architectural details.


The darker timbers are railroad tie replacements for the originals.


The old roof may be swaybacked, but it's still there.




The floors were too rotten to permit entry, so this is a look through the window into the cabin.


Looking through another window into the kitchen of the addition.


Mary, Debby, Dan, Katie, Michael, Cheryl and Harold as we make our farewells.

The cabin was built "on the cliffs at Hoge".

This view is just northeast of the cabin, at the confluence of Stranger Creek and a smaller tributary.
Cabin Panoramas
These two images are panoramas stitched together from multiple pictures. Some of the "curviness" of the image is distortion, but some of it is just because the cabin is 140 years old and swaybacked!
Cabin From Front Cabin From Side
Front View (Looking East)
(larger image is 1.1 MB)
Side View (Looking South)
(larger image is 1.1 MB)
Finding Aids
Where are these places? Each thumbnail below links to the Google Maps view
of the location, where you can pan and zoom the map to see where we were.
Tonganoxie VFW Park Tonganoxie Historical Museum Needham Homestead
Tonganoxie VFW Park
(900 East First Street)
Tonganoxie Historical Museum
(adjacent to the "Oak Hill" farm)
Needham Homestead
(town site originally called Hoge)
Return to the main Needham Family Genealogy page.

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