Five generations of the Brutscher family connect through a 100th celebration for its eldest member

 - From left) Ron Parrish, Ethan Hunt, Carter Hunt, Owen Hunt, Chris Hunt and Steven Brutscher celebrate the 100th birthday of Elton Brutscher (seated).

By Mollisande Williams

Newberg Graphic intern

Five generations of the Brutscher family came together in Newberg to celebrate their family's history on Dec. 1. Sebastian Brutscher's great-grandson, Elton Brutscher, turned 100 years old in November, which led family members to gather to observe the history that connects them all.

Elton Brutscher, Steven Brutscher, Ron Parrish, Christopher Hunt, Owen Hunt, Carter Hunt and Ethan Hunt made up the seven that attended the celebration, creating an assembly of five generations.

Sebastian Brutscher, the man that links them together, has deep ties to Newberg as its first postmaster. This resulted in his choice of naming the city after his hometown of Neuburg in Germany.

Sebastian Brutscher was born in 1826 and is believed to have traveled from Germany to United States due to a failing economy in his homelan

He left at around 20 years of age on a sailing vessel and arrived in New York. He made his way from the east coast to Oregon, where he eventually settled in the area that is now Newberg.

There, he met and married Mary Ann Everest. The couple received 640 acres of land, which today includes the Springbrook Plaza, Newberg Ford and the veterinary hospital on Portland Road.

The couple had 12 children, including one who died at birth. Only five of the children married and had their own kids, carrying on the Brutscher name. Sebastian Brutscher died in 1922 and is buried with many of his family members in Fernwood Pioneer Cemetery in Newberg. His contribution to the city was honored by the naming of Brutscher Street.

Elton Brutscher, his grandson who resides in Salem, kept a document archiving the descendants of Sebastian Brutscher up to 2003. Discouraged with the lack of replies when he reached out to others, he ended the search.

"I thought someday somebody might be interested in knowing about people in the past," he said. In order to continue the hunt, Ron Parrish, a relative of Mary Everest, has kept the document updated to 2018.

"It's just amazing – there's only one jump between him and Sebastian," Parrish said. "That's rare."

While some people he has contacted haven't responded, others have been pleasantly surprised with the discovery. Ironically, Chris Hunt, a fifth generation descendent of Sebastian Brutscher, and his family were living in the same town as Parrish. "It's nice to have your family connected to the town," he said. "The years are getting up so you jump at the chance to make a connection and to hear as much as you can and try to remember it." Hunt, his son Owen and grandchildren Carter and Ethan, add three more generations (fifth, sixth and seventh) related to Sebastian.

"They're all over the map," Parrish added, when discussing the remaining descendants. "So I was really thankful when I found Owen on the Internet. I didn't know anyone who lived around here was that close to me. I was shocked that I actually found someone."

Owen said this significant of a connection is pretty uncommon in larger cities and he was instantly excited when Parrish reached out to him and his family.

"The connection is palpable," he said.

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