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(The Aylesworth Family of Porter County Indiana)


The Aylesworth family reunion had its origin Saturday, October 11, 1902, at a gathering of relatives at the home of Joe Ludington to celebrate the birthday of Rilla Jones; Aurilla or Orrilla (7). Those present, having expressed their enjoyment in renewing old acquaintances, unanimously decided to hold a similar gathering a year later.

On Saturday, September 5, 1903, approximately 150 descendants of Arthur Aylworth met to spend the day in a social way. After dinner a meeting was called for the purpose of the election of officers. The first officers elected were William Sawyer, President; Charles F. Leeka, Secretary; Porter Aylesworth, Treasurer.

A constitution and by-laws were then presented for approval. It was decided that the Aylesworth family reunion should become an annual affair. The reunions were held at the homes of various members until 1931. At that time it was voted that the reunion should be held at the Aylesworth community house at which place it has been held up to the present time.

The constitution sets forth as one of the purposes of the Aylesworth reunion the assembling of information regarding the genealogy of the branches of the Aylesworth family who have at some time lived in Porter County, Indiana. To compile this information Ruth and Carrol Aylesworth were elected Historians at the 1935 reunion. The publication of this book in a large measure is the result of their efforts.

A committee was appointed at the 1944 reunion to gather data to complete the history and to carry on the business necessary to the printing of this book. The committee appointed included Howard Aylesworth, Chairman; Ruth and Carrol Aylesworth, Historians; Florence Leeka, Sadie Aylesworth, Ray Aylesworth and Floyd Aylesworth.

The book by Homer Elhanan Aylsworth, "Arthur Aylsworth and His Descendants in America," referred to in our bibliography has been the most valuable source of information concerning the earlier generations. His book attempts to include all the descendants of Arthur Aylworth, not just one small group. All the branches could be traced throughout the first seven generations, but it was impossible to include every one through the generations that followed without going into several volumes. It is for that reason that our book refers to none but those branches of the family who have at some time resided in Porter County, Indiana. Some of the descendants of Arthur Aylworth, whom we have been unable to include, have gained national importance, two of them having been mentioned in "Who's Who in America."

MERLIN HALL AYLESWORTH -- lawyer, corp. exec.; b. Cedar Rapids Ia., July 18, 1886; s. Barton Orville and Georgia (Shores) A.; student Colo. Agricultural Coll., U. of Colo., U. Of Wis., Denver U., Columbia U.; LL.B., U. of Denver, 1908; LL.D., Drake U., 1932; m. Blanche Parrett, Oct. 19, 1909; children: Barton Jerome, Dorothy. Practiced law at Ft. Collins, Colo., 1908-14; chman. Colo. Pub. Utilities Comm., 1914-18; exec. Utah Power & Light Co., Salt Lake City, 1918-19; mng. dir. Nat. Electric Light Assn., 1919-26; pres. Nat. Broadcasting Co., 1926-36, vice-chman. of bd., 1936; also chman. bd. Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corp., RKO Radio Pictures, Pathe News, Inc., dir. Keith Albee Orpheum Corp., B. F. Keith Corp., until Mar. 1, 1937, mem. Scripps-Howard Management, Mar.,1937-Apr.,1938; pub. New York World-Telegram, 1938-40; chman. bd. Radio City Music Hall. Consultant, Office of Coordinator of Inter-Am. Affairs; mem. Appeal Bd., Selective Service. Trustee Drake U., Mem. Sigma Chi. Republican. Mem. Christian (Disciples) Ch. Clubs: Rockefeller Center (New York), Deepdale, Home: 812 Park Av. Office: RCA Bldg., New York, N. Y.

LEON EMMONS AYLSWORTH -- college prof.; b. New Berlin, N. Y., Oct. 26, 1869; s. Nelson Olin and Mary (Demine.) A.; student S. D. Agrl. Coll., 1890-93; A.B., U. of Neb., 1900; A.M., U. of Wis., 1908; m. Bertha May Fraser of Raymond, S. D., Sept. 21, 1895; children: Carol, Donald Fraser, Lloyd Deming. Asst. and fellow in Am. history and politics, U. of Neb., 1900Ä04: mem. faculty same univ. since 1904, prof. polit. science since 1915, mem. Am. Polit. Science Assn., Nebraska Historical Society, American Assn. univ. profs., Nat. Municipal League, Neb. Public Efficiency Economy Association ( sec. ), Phi Beta Kappa. Republican. Unitarian. Clubs: Open Forum, Social Service. contbr. Am. Polit. Science Rev., Nat. Municipal Rev. Home: 1840 S. 23rd St., Lincoln. Neb.

The committee has been fortunate in purchasing a copy of the original book which is now out of print and upon the publication of our new book the two will be placed in the Hebron Public Library for reference purposes.

The committee gratefully acknowledges its indebtedness to Mr. Edward Lewis of the Lewis and Lewis Publishing Company of New York, for much of the information set forth in the earlier chapters of this book.

Those members of the committee who have given so unselfishly of their time will have felt that their efforts have been appreciated only if future generations complete the information that is missing in this book and carry on the genealogy thus started.


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