June, 2002- The first Capesius reunion, descendents of Frank Capesius (1900) was held in Canon City, Colorado. All descendents attended.
September, 2002- First visit to St. Donatus, Iowa. Caroline and Horst Ostertag stayed in the 1850 Gehlen House Inn. St. Donatus is listed as a historical site in which the architecture of many buildings are of the 1850 Luxembourg style. A visit was made to the St. Nicholas Cementary in former Spruce Creek, Iowa. To our great excitement we found the gravesites of many of the forefathers who emigrated in 1850 to Iowa.
May, 2003 -Received a huge packet of Capesius information from Steve Capesius who lives in Massachusetts. He had collected this information during his visit to Bellevue, Iowa. Included were testaments and property information, most of which were about John P. (Peter), 1822 and his wife, Margaret Reisdorf. This information was later sent to their descendents in La Motte, Iowa.
June 17, 18, and 19, 2005 - Second Capesius family reunion will be in St. Donatus, Iowa, which is close to the original homestead. The extended Capesius family is invited. Push the CONTACT button if you are interested in attending the reunion.
January, 2005 - Reunion Invitation Letters were sent to 62 family units. The letter was a joint effort of Hugh Garrott, who lives in Wisconsin, Kathy Hays, who lives in California, and Caroline Hays Ostertag, who lives in Germany most of the time. Thank goodness for email and inexpensive phone calls from Germany to the U.S. at the present time.
Extended Capesius Family Reunion
In 1850 John Peter Capesius and Ann Marie Bechen from Sandweiler, Luxembourg with their seven children sailed from Antwerp, Belgium aboard the sailboat Sea Lion to New Orleans. They then traveled up the Mississippi to the area of the present St. Donatus, Iowa.
During the weekend of June 17-19, 2005, approximately 165 descendents from four of the seven children gathered together for the first ever extended Capesius reunion. ?Glimpses into the Past? was the theme of the first meeting at Potter?s Mill in Bellevue. A 41 feet family tree was displayed showing the connection between the different lines. Exchange of genealogy information was shared by the descendents. Descendents from 4 of the children who emigrated with their parents attended the reunion. Each line wore a different colored T-shirt with the Capesius emblem decal attached. A visit was made to the St. Nicholas Cemetery at Spruce Creek, the place where the early descendents were buried.
Descendents were invited to attend Mass at St. Donatus Catholic Church. The very interesting church museum was opened before the church time. After the Mass a barbeque was at the grounds of the Gehlen House catered by Kalmes Restaurant.
The final part of the program was at Kalmes Restaurant on Sunday. Sue Deppe gave an interesting talk about Luxembourg and the immigrants to the area of St. Donatus. Pictures of ancestors were projected and individuals gave comments and stories about their ancestors. Participants, who came from coast to coast, were very appreciative and complimentary about the entire weekend including the buffets at Potter?s Mill and Kalmes Restaurant and the accommodation at Gehlen House.
Jacquie Capesius Feyder of Luxembourg was a surprise guest. The family reunion was initiated and carried through with the help of the committee by Caroline Hays Ostertag, formerly Caroline Capesius of Des Moines, Iowa, now living in Ulm, Germany.