NEGenWeb Project - Civil War

G.A.R. Reunions

 1897 G.A.R. Reunion at Lincoln, NE

Articles 7 and 8

Nebraska State Journal
Saturday morning, September 18, 1897


Lincoln Furnishes Entrancing Spectacles for Reunion Visitors


Children Represent "Old Glory" in Novel and Picturesque Way -
Swift Fire Department Run - The City Crowded
     Lincoln outdid herself yesterday just because a whole lot of people got out and put energy into making Lincoln day of reunion week a day to shine in the memory of every spectator. Everything passed off to perfection and such big undertakings as the living flag and the monster trades and general parade were carried out as if they were an easy every week occurrence.
     To begin with, the weather was made to order on the most approved pattern. Rain two days before had laid all dust. Bright sunshine had dried everything up. The temperature was reduced just enough by cool breezes and the Nebraska sun shone warmly to take the chill off the air. It was invigorating and energizing and its effect was seen in performers and spectators.
     It was the biggest crowd seen on the streets for many a day. Is is no use trying to estimate the number of thousands for no man on earth could do it accurately. Most people living in Lincoln saw the parade and the living flag. So did practically all the people from the reunion grounds. So did many hundreds from surrounding towns who chose Lincoln day as the best time to see the reunion. About the only kicks were from people who thought of course the parade would go down O street and around the postoffice square and the several thousands who missed hearing the band concert because with almost no notice, it was changed from the postoffice square to the reunion grounds on command of Commander Ehrhardt. The parade was bigger than anybody, unless it was Marshal Sizer, thought it was going to be. The living flag was a beautiful sight that was worth going far to see. The fire department run in the evening was exciting and novel to many of the visitors. All considered, Lincoln day was full enough of amusement and could not fail to please the city's guests. All those in charge deserve the city's thanks.


Attractive and Brilliant Spectacle Viewed by Thousands

     The parade was another feather in the cap of Marshal Ed Sizer for general management and for a whole lot of other people, including the various ward committees who worked hard and intelligently to produce the spectacle that delighted thousands yesterday afternoon. The parade was fully two miles long and the route planned was not big enough for it. By the time the last end passed the starting point, the whole of the first division was disbanded. It took fifty-five minutes for the whole of the parade to get past Twelfth and L streets, where the head of the second division stood. The trades display was more general than had been witnessed for many years, and this was supplimented (sic) by the admirable allegorical or rather, patriotic displays of the seven wards, each carried out with originality to represent two of the thirteen original colonies, the military features and many more.
     There were many novelties in the parade and if the slightly adorned delivery wagon was a little too prominent, it helped to swell the length and make the whole more imposing.
     The parade formed on K and L streets running west from Twelfth and taking in several side streets at places.
     The hour to start was 2, but it was twenty minutes after before the floats could be gathered from all over town. It was 3:15 when the last end of the fire department passed from L around the corner to Twelfth. The route of the parade was chosen to avoid the rough block paving and it thus had to keep off O street except where it was necessary to cross. The route was from Twelfth and K north to M, east on M to Fourteenth, north on Fourteenth to P, east on P to Fifteenth, south on Fifteenth to K, west on K to Fourteenth, south on Fourteenth to H, east on H to Sixteenth, north on Sixteenth to K, west on K to Fifteenth, north on Fifteenth to N, east on N to Sixteenth, north on Sixteenth to P, west on P to Thirteenth and disperse.
     It was a neat bit of stage business to make the parade emerge from the alley to which Fifteenth street is narrowed on the north side of O street. There a slight arch joined the high brick buildings and Lincoln's portrait adorned the center. The waiting crowds on O street and Fifteenth streets caught a glimpse of the head of the procession all at once. The sight before the eyes of the paraders was no less entrancing. The broad street heading to the capitol was lined on both sides with people and carriages. At the end of the vista was an immense flag upreared with the white walls of the massive capital for a background. That flag was composed of children, but at that distance it might have been of any other material, so well was the color scheme carried out.
     The men who kept the parade in order were:
     Ed Sizer, marshal; Col. R. H. Townley, Chief of staff.
     John Franklin, A. G. Billmeyer, John T. Dorgan, John H. McClay, W. R. Schwind, C. R. Tefft, Paul Holm, H. J. Seamark, W. H. Clarke, George J. Woods, James Manshan, George W. Berge, Harry Reese, Al Bowen, J. J. Angleton, W. M. Linch, Dr. E. R. Eddy, J. S. Barwick and James Stevenson, aides.
     Commander first division, S. M. Melick; W. B. Baird, chief of staff; M. D. Clarey, Dr. F. A. Graham, R. H. Oakley, L. L. Lindsey, Ed. Bohanan, Dr. E. B. Finney, James O'Shee, Roy Stewart, Bert Richards, P. H. Cooper, Henry V. Hoagland, L. A. McCandless, Frank H. Polk, Dr. R. A. Holyoke, A. D. Borgelt, J. H. Waterman and Walter W. Melick, staff officers.
     Commander second division, Sam S. Whiting; staff officers: M. G. Bohanan, chief of staff; H. A. Ensign, William Otto, S. T. Cochran, W. H. English, Ed. M. Friend, C. B. Beach, L. W. Edwards, Walton G. Roberts, H. M. Leavitt, Sam Liams, W. B. Price, Frank M. Crow, W. E. Whitman, A. D. Spencer and J. M. Whitaker.


     The first division of the parade was headed by a squad of policemen under the command of Captain Adams. Marshal Sizer and ten aides followed, mounted on handsome horses.
     Governor Holcomb and his staff in full uniform were next. Governor Holcomb rode in front, followed by Major-General Ellis, Adjutant-General Barry, Major Fechet and Col. C.M. Keefer. Orderly James Fechet was color bearer.
     Following these came the Fullerton band, the first musical organization in the parade.
     The Lincoln Light Infantry made a good showing under the command of Captain Campbell.
     Company D of the national guards under command of Captain Herpolsheimer were out in full force.
     The military organizations were all at the head of the procession. Following the two companies named from the state university band at the head of the cadet battalion and the university battery. The cadets drilled in platoons under command of Captains Schwartz of the Pershing rifles and Oury (?). The mounted battery was a new sight on Lincoln streets. Two guns were out. There being eleven men in the battery.
     The wheelmen of Lincoln turned out in good numbers and there were about 150 in (?). Some of the wheels were decorated with bunting, so that they made a very pretty effect in line. There were a number of ladies among the number.
     Four carriages carried the state officers. The county officers also occupied four carriages. They were conspicuous for the decorations of Golden Rod.
     It took four carriages for the city officers and councilmen. Decorations were plentiful on all sides.
     The Modern Woodmen of America with twenty-four in line in uniforms and plume hats, carrying axes were next, followed by the mail carriers in gray uniforms and white helmets, thirty strong. Carrier W. H. Dobson carried the flag.
     The Y. M. C. A. and the Lincoln college of oratory occupied a trap with their representatives.
     The Lincoln business college band in a band wagon decorated with red, white and blue bunting was next.
     Several ladies of the city improvement society dressed in white were in a trap.
     Lincoln Normal university headed by Lieutenant-Governor Harris, made an excellent showing. There were fully 100 students in line, all wearing the colors yellow and white, and using their yell to the best advantage.
     Cottner university had a carriage in line decorated with the college colors, as did the Lincoln medical college.
     The Weston band followed at this place and played very nicely.
     The auditorium committee had fixed up a huge auditorium button, some several feet in diameter, number 3333, which was the float that represented the project.
     The ladies of the P. E. O. attracted much attention in a trap decorated with their colors. The three ladies were Misses Ida Johnson, Clara Danielson and Amber Harnaby. They carried white parasols and were gowned in white.


     The city ward historical representations formed the end of the first division. there were the most eagerly looked for attractions in the parade. Each ward did credit to itself and the ladies who were on the floats looked very pretty. Some wards were represented by floats, while some chose to place their prettiest young ladies in traps, surrounded by beautiful decorations of the patriotic colors.
     The First ward had a float representing Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The young ladies selected for this were Miss Mary Smelkel and Miss Kittie Smith. Pennsylvania was represented as a Quaker lady, dressed in the conventional gray, with sunbonnet.
     New Jersey was represented as the fruit state, the young lady being seated surrounded by fruit of various kinds.
     The ladies who had been selected for the Second ward were Misses Stella Douglas and Clare Wolf, representing Maryland and the District of Columbia. there were two floats in which these two young ladies appeared prominently. Miss Douglas represented Queen Henrietta Mary, wife of Charles II.  H. J. W. Seamark was on the same float with Miss Douglas, dressed in colonial style to represent Lord Baltimore. Miss Wolf represented Columbia in the second float. She was seated with thirteen young ladies around her to represent the thirteen original colonies.
     The Third ward was represented by a hand wagon, in which were Misses Gracie Cotter and Daisy Levy and other pretty girls. They represented Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
     Misses Oliva Latta and Henrietta Hawley represented the Fourth ward, each in a separate Kensington very tastefully decorated. There were many compliments for this ward's representation.
     Two Kensingtons occupied by ladies represented the Fifth ward. Mrs. R. L. Rehlaender and Miss Lottie Whedon had been chosen to represent New York and Delaware.
     The Sixth ward was represented by Miss Pearl Wycoff as Connecticut and Miss Helen Woods as South Carolina. Miss Wycoff was seated on a float running a spinning wheel which was just outside the door of a log cabin. The effect was novel and created much remark. A large tally-ho coach full of young people and with the banner North Carolina, was another part of the Sixth ward's display. L.J. Marsh dressed as Uncle Sam on a horse was a novel figure also. The Sixth ward also had a bugler, H. C. Eddy on horseback carried a large banner for this ward.
     The Seventh ward chose Miss Gussie Van Sickle and Pearl Barnaby to represent New Hampshire and Georgia. They were in a Kensington bearing guidons upon which were the names of the states represented. A United States flag was a part of the decorations.


     The second division was led by S. S. Whiting and his staff. Major Bohanan was the only member of the staff who had his horse decorated. His clean cut white horse was bedecked with ribbons.
     The Fairmont band with waving plumes furnished the music for the van.
     The Farmers and Merchants' Insurance company was represented by an uncovered carriage containing D. E. Thompson, Bert Richards and Mr. Wing, Mr. Thompson's guest. The second was a Kensington, drawn by a handsome grey team. The vehicle was decorated with purple and yellow rosettes. Each side bore a shield composed of the National colors, with the letters, G. A. R. on the tops. Mrs. D. E.Thompson, Mrs. Will Leonard, Miss Mabel Miller of Beardstown, Ill., and Miss Mae Burr were the occupants. Two handsome silk banners bearing the name of the company were held by the two younger ladies.
     Woodward Bros. were represented by a Kensington decorated with bunting drawn by a pretty pair of bays, which were driven tandem. The horses were almost covered by the blankets marked by the name of the firm.
     C. H. Frey, the florist was represented by two wagons. The first was a one horse delivery wagon bearing a pyramid of golden rod, the yellow being relieved by rows of red geraniums along the edges. The second wagon was drawn by two horses. On each corner was placed a potted palm the pride of the household. The center of the wagon was filled with potted plants.
     The Keystone grocery had a neat float drawn by four horses, hitched tandem. The float was covered by a great Japanese umbrella. Beneath it was a table flanked by two rows of tea packages built up in the form of the letter T's. Four Japanese lanterns, three and a half feet in height, were set in the corners of this float.
     Frey & Frey, florists had three wagons in line. The first contained a bell of flowers the hangers being made of potted lilies. The second wagon was filled with banked palms. The third bore a great assortment of (?)lias.
     Hall Bros. had a large float with a great Majestic range in the center. A lady cook watched the contents to see that they did not burn, while half a dozen hungry urchins stood around awaiting the tempting morsels.
     Folsom Bros. were represented by a tandem team and a Kensington containing E. C. Folsom and guests.
     The Armstrong Clothing company had a large float, the sides of which announced the merits of the firm. The top was covered with bunting. On the four corners were excellent pictures of Lincoln, Grant, Logan and Sheridan. The horses were decorated with bunting.
     The McCormick Harvesting company was represented by a corn harvester. A dozen stalks of corn stood on the table of the machine as evidence of its effectiveness.
     The Western Glass and Paint company had a decorated wagon bearing a great sash that reached from the front of the wagon to the rear. It was filled with all kinds of colored and art glass.
     Houtz, Johnson and Co. had a unique imitation of the New York Special cigar. The cigar was brown in color and about seven feet in length. It was hollow and was borne on the shoulders of two men, their heads being concealed within it.
     The Farmers' Grocery company was represented by seven wagons, five of them being covered delivery wagons. The proprietors occupied the first vehicle. A fair caricature of a farmer sat upon the top of one of the wagons.
     A float representing the Evans Laundry company contained lots of color and bunting. The centre contained the firm name worked in several colors. Beneath it were the figures denoting the birth and the present age of the firm "1889-1897." Boys dressed in various ways distributed lead pencils bearing the firm name. A little colored fellow was sitting in a tub but up to the close of the parade he had not been bleached. Three cream-covered delivery wagons followed the float.
     Charles Slattery, the horseshoer, had a large float bearing an anvil at which two brawny smiths were pounding away. The float was decorated in the customary tricolors.
     Agent O. B. Raney of the Pacific and United States Express companies had two of his large wagons in line. The second contained the bulldog accompaniment which has become a trade mark with one company.
     W. A. Bailey had a float showing he was "the oldest wall paper dealer in the city." The rear end of the float contained a window like that seen in circus cages.
     Lottridge Hermance and Co. had a wagon filled with Victor flour from the Crete mills. On top of the flour stood a Roman soldier, helmeted and armored. He bore a short sword aloft with which to slash prices on feed and mill stuff if necessary to protect patrons.
     The Lincoln Coal company had two teams and banners showing that it requires eighteen to handle their business. The first float bore a banner advertising "The Tree Beauts." Three little colored fellows sat at the foot to represent the black nuggets which had been named after them.


     A stove and a range were given a free ride by F. E. Lahr in a decorated wagon.
     One L. D. T. wagon fell in here.
     Myer & Cox had two vehicles. In the first Mr. Myer rode with his tiny son, "a plumber up to date" in a brown suit. In the second was an "old soldier", a plumber on his back smoking by the side of a bath tub and ?? of lead pipe and doing nothing but charge time.
     The Falls City band with twenty pieces discoursed music at this point.
     The Boston market furnished two wagons, the first with a finely arranged lot of vegetables which were made to add to the significance of signs such as "We squash prices" and "We have have the big head" (of cabbage). The wheels had spokes of corn ears with gay trimmings. The second wagon was a square rigg float with plenty of color and loads of meat and celery.
     M. Wagner's market had a small buggy with bunting. Joseph DiKlotz followed with a delivery wagon and numerous flags. Four carriages were filled with the members of the butchers' association looking as if their meat agreed with them.
     The Swift company paraded a buggy and two well loaded wagons.
     A dainty little blue and white yacht manned by one small seaman was Sutton and Hollowbush's display and the sail advertised one of their specialties.
     A massive float with four great horseshoe panels in green was Mayer Bros. contribution to the display. In the centre were two men with piles of clothing and hat boxes, evidently talking business.
     Town's grocery store wagon had tricolor wheels and the men in charge wore bunting hats two feet high.
     A wagon from the Martin Towel and Supply company had a wealth of gay bunting.
     Herpolsheimer's float was immense. It was drawn by six horses. It's basis was a hay rack and this was arranged so it represented a series of rooms open at the sides. Lace curtains hung at the openings and portiers were similarly placed. Some divisions were filled by breadths of carpets hanging from the roof. Ladies sat on chairs in several of the rooms. The outside trimmings were of paper festoons, bunting and flags with girls in white at the corners with gold and white banners and the whole made a very gay display that seemed to fill the whole street as it passed. A small buggy loaded with red, white and blue festoons followed.
     Buckstaff's range department had a display that took the children, especially those of the living flag. On top of a wagon with two ranges, was a tall, red devil of the Mephistopheles variety, furnished with a fine tail. It was the tail that made the flag children shout. A load of ranges was followed by another devil perched on some more ranges. Behind followed a sorry looking outfit driven by a man in black tights with the bones of the skeleton painted on them in white. A rusty wreck of a range was labelled "I didn't buy a Lincoln range."
     A long float bore first a wooden mouldboard plow made in 1820 and then three fine carriages. This was Humphrey Bros.' Right behind came the Lawrence Implement company with a carriage on a wagon.
     The Elite studio float was a covered wagon and horse, with canvas on which were mounted photographs of all sizes. An X-ray picture was among them.
     The Mitchell company displayed canvas signs and banners advertising several different firms.
     Smith Bros. paper hangers, had a section of wall with paper being mounted on it by two small boys in white.
     A simple but effective float was that of the Hub Clothing company. It was large wagon carrying a great lozenge shaped structure with wide stripes of red and white. The border was of tri-colored bunting. The Hub's well known motto "Quit your old clothes," was prominent . A wagon load of bottles constituted the Lincoln bottling works float, interspersed with bunting.
     A buggy with a big umbrella and two delivery wagons, all trimmed with national colors was J. E. Erienborn's display.
     P. J. Wohlenberg's canvas covered float bore the picture of a huge cigar and was well trimmed.
     Sisler & Leming had a decorated milk wagon.
     The Buckstaff Bros.' Manufacturing company had an elegant carriage bearing a huge banner saying they were too busy to get up a float.
     Elegant furniture and couch covered the float of the Lincoln Upholstering company.
     A whole wagon load of bareheaded girls that were pretty good to look at mostly dressed in white, was the contribution of the Capital hotel. The float was well trimmed with bunting.
     A Clarkson laundry wagon was followed by a dog cart with two ladies in white with dainty parasols, and two gentlemen. Four delivery wagons followed.
     The Continental drum corps of Omaha, in blue uniforms, marched and played at this point.
     A pretty lady in white with gold hearts spangled over her dress rode in state on a Herminghaus and Hellwig's float representing "The Queen of Hearts." She was followed by two outriders in red jackets and white helmets, wearing swords.
     Holm and Reed drove a light wood carriage with friends and had appropriate decorations.
     Two donkeys hauled a riding plow through the streets for the Shamp Implement company. Four donkeys in single file and led by fantastically dressed boys, one in female costume, called attention to Bowen Bros.' business.
     One decorated wagon was furnished by the F. A. Brown cigar and tobacco company.
     A newly varnished delivery wagon represented J. D. Johnson's grocery.
     Three Adams Express company wagons looked very well with red, white and blue braided cords holding cards bearing the company's name. Two L. D. T. wagons bore each a trace of color.
     A tall canvas float bore the legends of the Standard Glass and Paint company, and a pyramid of kegs.
     The American Express company sent a loaded wagon with prominent labels on the boxes and another wagon well covered with bunting.
     A base burner and some pieces of furniture in a decorated float was Rudge & Morris' contribution.
     C. B. Gregory rode in a buggy at the head of a processional of his coal wagons, all loaded, five with coal and two with wood. One buggy with a sign brought up the rear.


     An open carriage held the officers of the bakers' association and following came wagons from the bakeries, two from Petry's, two from the Chicago, two from the Vine, and two from Gulick's.
     The Alliance store wagon carried several large flags.
     The New Wall Paper store had a small float, well arranged.
     C. C. Sierk had a buggy and horse decorated with pompons and festoons.
     Billmeyer and Sadler mounted two carriages on a float and behind rode C. W. Kaley dressed in red, white and blue and scraping a fiddle. A jinrikisha pulled by a perspiring American carried a man riding at ease.
     A float with flags and banners heralded the Woodmen's accident association and carried the officers.
     The Union Fire Insurance company had a large enclosed float within which several colored warblers sang rollicking songs.
     The Lincoln Transfer company got out most of its wagons. Henry Guntrum and three others, all dressed in their best rode in a carriage. Next came a truck with an fron (?) safe, handled by two plughatted draymen. Two big vans followed.
     Tremendous racket told when the Lincoln steam boiler works came along. A group of men were riveting a boiler in the middle and tools and appliances helped fill the float.
     The wagon of the Wisconsin Furniture and Coffin company was very gay, the wheels being filled solid with color and bunting being profusely used.
     A compact load of lumber, well labelled came from the Oberlies company.
     A pyramid of wagons, ending at the top with a tiny little vehicle was a striking float sent by the Clark company.
     Black wagons with bunting sides were in line for the Whitebreast Coal company. There were four wagons.
     Charles Hermann wore a red, white and blue cape and drove a wagon loaded with his flour.
     A decorated delivery wagon represented Gillen & Boney.
     A load of flour and feed with some decoration was sent by Acker and Reddish.
     Fairchild sent a street sprinkler that looked imposing in a red, white and blue dress and the driver was resplendent in a gold helmet and white suit.
     The fire department followed, polished and glittering as usual. There was the chief and driver in the chief's wagon chemical No. 4, hose cart No. 1, hook and ladder No. 1, engine Frank A. Graham, chemical No. 1, the old hose car No 1, engine T. P. Quick, hose cart No. 2, and the old hose cart No. 6. A wagon load of the street department workers had a grindstone in active operation. Behind followed a grader, three scrapers, a street sweeper and a grader. This closed the procession, a howling traction engine not joining for fear of frightening teams. It confined its howls to the region west of Eleventh street.


Was the Novel and Striking Feature of the Day

     The living flag was unfurled on the capitol grounds at 2:30. In dimensions it was 28x64 feet and as fully 1,200 school children composed the banner, it could not be hoisted on a staff or flutter in the breeze. In fact it was unfurled under difficulties that were trying to the organizers, but the sight of it was no less inspiring to the thousands that gazed upon it.
     When the parade passed under the arch at Fifteenth and O streets the flag was in position. Two hours prior hundreds of little children fluttered hither and thither about the state house anxious and eager to take their places on an amphitheatre built for them. Each child wore a liberty cap and cape. The caps and capes were of the various colors of the flag. Stripes of the flag were to be made by seating the children on the long raised seats. Those wearing red caps and capes were to be arranged so as to form the red stripes, those in white to make a white stripe. Children dressed in blue were to form the blue field. Big white stars of cardboard were to be worn on the heads of enough children to represent a star for each state. This plan was successfully executed.
     Long before the flag began forming crowds of people gathered at Fifteenth and K streets. The street was soon blockaded. People formed a solid mass across the pavement and around the residences on both corners. A long line of people extended north on Fifteenth street for a distance of five blocks. One or two policemen were unable to force the crowd away from the base of the platform and the children ascended the steps with difficulty. Cameras of all sizes were trained on the flag when it was completed. People carrying kodaks tramped over roofs of adjacent houses in hopes of getting a snap shot. A big lumber wagon containing an immense camera was stationed in Fifteenth street. Ever this obstacle was almost swept away by the surging crowd.
     The procession pushed its way through the mass of people and proceded around the capitol square. Soldiers fell out and stood in two files at Fifteenth and K streets. In this position the veterans reviewed the parade as it passed between the files.
      Boys and girls comprising the living flag sang patriotic airs and war songs while the parade was passing. "Marching Through Georgia," "America, " "The Battle Cry of Freedom," and other songs were repeated under direction of J. B. Ferguson. The little children sang with more enthusiasm than regard for the motion of Mr. Ferguson's baton. When the keeping of time was not correct Mr. Ferguson would stop the song and begin over. Superintendent Saylor of the city schools assisted in mounting the children on the platform and stayed till they were dismissed.
      The most stirring incident of the flag presentation was the cheering of old soldiers. Hundreds of veterans who were standing as the reviewing party fell into double file when the parade passed. With banners flying and drums beating they passed before the living flag and were given an ovation by the children. Each child cheered and waved a small flag. The commingling of the voices of 1,200 school children made a din seldom heard. The shouting was kept up continuously until the veterans passed.
     One effort to get a photograph of the living flag caused much amusement. Company D, Nebraska national guard, of Lincoln, was called out of the parade to make an opening through that part of the crowd that stood between the flag and a huge camera. Half an hour was consumed in this task. Policemen and militiamen had little effect on the crowd. While an opening was being made it one point people crowded into other places and obstructed the view. Three men managed the camera and shouted themselves hoarse in giving orders that were never obeyed. Finally the photographer got a fairly good view.
     The children were dismissed about 4 o'clock. Superintendent Saylor estimated the number at 1,2000. On the previous day there were less than 900 in the practice presentation, but on that occasion only every alternate row of seats was filled and dozens of children could not find seats. These were seated on the ground at the base of the platform.


The Crowd Listens to Sentiments of Loyalty Briefly Expressed

     Speeches were made at the capitol grounds after the parade was over. A great crowd lingered after the living flag was "lowered" and the fete day was closed with speeches on patriotism. Councilman W. A. Woodward, chairman of the citizens' committee, presided and introduced speakers from a small platform built at Fifteenth and K streets on the capitol grounds.
     Governor Holcomb spoke of the District of Columbia, its history and significance. Its territory, ten miles square, was of great importance to all citizens of the United States. The forefathers had chosen it as the seat of government. Legislative, executive and judicial branches each having separate yet coordinate powers work there in harmony. Yet there are forty-five states, each with a seat of government, working together harmoniously as a government. Principles of the constitution should have a living exemplification in the officers and representatives sent to the District of Columbia and the people ought to send representatives who are true to principles for which the forefathers fought and work for laws true to all mankind. The governor hoped that Nebraska might continue to have her star shine brightly until time shall be no more. He urged all to strive to cultivate sentiments of patriotism, truth, equality and justice. The outpouring of people in such great numbers attested their loyalty to the living flag and he thought such an occasion inspired sentiments of loyalty and hope.
     In speaking of the District of Columbia the governor said its historical significance would not be completed until a companion to the Washington monument was erected in memory of the immortal Abraham Lincoln. One of the historical events that had taken place in the District of Columbia referred to by Governor Holcomb was the review of 130,000 victorious veterans at the close of the war.
     J. L. Caldwell of Lincoln spoke of the old flag. He said the flag was the sign and emblem of the nation. It had witnessed many stern scenes. It was at Valley Forge. It fell from Ft. Sumter riddled with rebel bullets. It was seen floating over Gettysburg after that splendid victory. That flag stood beside the apple tree at Appomatox when Grant and Lee signed the peace contract. It is the bravest flag that unfolds its colors to the gaze of a proud people. Reverence for it should be taught the rising generation.
     Congressman J. B. Strode said he did not know how a more inspiring scene could have been arranged than the living flag presented by the citizens' committee of Lincoln. If anyone had fired into that living flag as it was presented on a platform people would have been greatly incensed, but firing on a flag of cloth representing an indestructible union, a country of liberty, would be worse than the taking of one or two innocent lives. So long as attendance at soldiers reunions increases instead of diminishes there need be no fear of the fate of the nation's emblem.
     Judge A. J. Cornish spoke briefly. He approved the action of people in honoring veterans who fought the nation's battles. He had observed that no great battles, political or otherwise, were fought without enlargement of the liberties of the people. The people of Lincoln loved the living flag because members of their families were there. The people love no less the flag of their nation. It is also a living flag, an emblem of power, an insignia of commerce and more than all it is the flag that stands for freedom. Mr. Cornish described apparent apathy shown by people in other countries for their respective flags. In this country all people love the flag because the flag loves them..
     George A . Adams smiled when he said he was to talk about Connecticut and North Carolina. He wondered how those two states could ever be gotten together. In his opinion the love of liberty in Nebraska people was born somewhere back in the New England states. The important action taken by Connecticut in adopting a charter was described, also the founding of Yale college, an institution honored throughout the world. Incidents in the history of North Carolina were also given to show that seeds of liberty sown there had borne good fruit.
     Superintendent Saylor spoke of patriotism in public schools. He took the view that whatever people wanted the nation to be they should teach it in the public schools. Teaching the child, means more today than in the time of Washington. The human family has gone forward rapidly and coming generations will be the beneficiaries of work done by conscientious teachers in instructing children how to love their country profoundly. No man can profoundly love his country without knowing its history. Love of God is patriotism to Deity, love of country is patriotism to country and love of home is patriotism. "who would do without these things." asked Professor Saylor.


Fire Department Furnished the Climax to a Big Day

     The exhibition run last night by the Lincoln fire department furnished a fitting finale to the day's festivities. The department made the run of eight blocks in one minute and fifty seconds from a standing start.
      Early in the evening the eager visitors began to seek positions on Fourteenth street from which they could watch the run without interruption. By 7:30 both sides of Fourteenth street were packed from K to R streets. The majority of the crowd congregated at the intersections, although there was a little unoccupied space on the walks anywhere. Patrolmen under command of Acting Captain Nightengale and Chief Parker kept the crowd back. The latter with Mayor Graham, drove up and down Fourteenth street and made suggestions for the safety of the crowd. Chief Weidman in a handsome new uniform which fit his athletic figure admirably gave his attention to the leveling of O street so the apparatus could pass over the rough cedar blocks without danger. He also watched the crowd to see that no one was liable to overstep the bounds.
     At 7:45 Mayor Graham suggested to Chief Weidman that it was time to start. The chief drove to Fourteenth and J, where the three companies were waiting, the hoses stamping uneasily as if afraid they would not get to make the race. Those who have watched fire horses appreciate the difference in the pace they set when on exhibition and in going to a fire. When the gong sounds and they leave the engine houses, they realize as quickly as the men whether it is a race to a fire or for show. The run last night, however, was fast just the same. The preparations had been arranged by Chief Weidman according to the speed of the horses. The hose cart from engine house No. 3 followed the chief and the chemical from No. 1 came next. The central boys did not like this very well as they knew Corbett and Bowen, their gray favorites were faster than the white-tailed Sullivan and Holcomb from "3". The other trucks and engines were alternated.
     When the word was given the front gray driven by Chief Weidman shot down the street as if propelled by a catapult. The other apparatus followed immediately. As they tore along the yells of the crowd greeted them and the horses increased their speed. Corbett and Bowen closed up on Sullivan and Holcomb and from N to R street an exciting race was run. Driver Bright of "3" drove his team for all they were worth, but Corbett and Bowen crawled up steadily. Driver Hauthorn holding them skillfully. The sparks flew from the ironclad feet of the animals as they struck the pavement and the enthusiasm of the crowd increased. The race ended at R street as that was the limit. The time of the fifth piece of apparatus from the south side of K to the north side of S street, eight blocks, was 1:58. The advance apparatus made it more quickly.
     While the race by the leaders was appreciated the crowd liked the appearance of the steamers as they sent their heavy dark clouds of smoke skyward. Drawn by three mettlesome horses and belching fire from the ash boxes, they presented an imposing spectacle.
     The crowd seemed to be well pleased with the run. Old soldiers and their wives and children watched the run with pleasure. Many citizens turned out also. While they have watched the department for years, they had been given few opportunities to see a real live run by all three companies.
     No serious accidents occurred to mar the pleasure of the run, the police handling the crowd admirably.

Thanks for Helpers

     To the Editor of The Journal: Will you allow the committee having the living flag in charge to express our thanks to all those persons who, by their help made it possible to produce the flag?
     With the united efforts of the public spirited ladies who met and made the caps and capes, with their committee, Mrs. Sizer, Mrs. Seamark and Mrs. Danielson planning with the enthusiastic help of the ladies who made a house to house canvass for boys and girls to take part, with the leadership in music, Mr. & Mrs. Seamark, Mrs. Raymond, Mr. Burkett, Colonel Ferguson, supervising; with all the Lincoln school children, Catholic school children, school children from University Place and Yankee Hill, giving such loyal aid, with the general committee and H. C. Eddy, standing by us with help of our school teachers organizing the pupils on the last two days' drills, we say that with the united efforts of all these agencies and the courtesies of the press, it left but comparatively little for the committee to do. No one can appreciate the services of these good people more than your committee. Without their support the flag could not have been given.


Parade Notes

     Haydn Myer wore a representation of an auditorium button a foot across as he rode in the parade.
     The state house was closed during the afternoon and the state officers participated in the parade.
     Brigadier-General Bills' fine appearance in regimentals was complimented wherever the parade went.
     The crowd was orderly at all times. Few complaints at the delay of the parade were heard and everyone seemed to be in an excellent humor.
     Not a single accident was reported at the police station yesterday. A small one occurred last night in which a buggy was smashed, but that was all.
     The Falls City band played several selections in front of the Lincoln hotel after the parade. Their drum major also gave an exposition of baton twirling that showed him an expert.
     The Hub float did not appear in the parade as was planned, as the big base was at first surmounted by a monstrous hub. An accident on South Twelfth street, tumbled the hub into the ditch.
     "Comrade" John Currie acted as a deputy sheriff during the reunion and the possession of a star seemed to make him think he owned half a section of the earth with the big dipper thrown in.
     Governor Holcomb was the first speaker introduced at the stand after the parade. He was expected to make a fete day speech, but he extended his remarks to such an extent that the other speakers were nearly shut out.
     Managers of the living flag intended to have two rows of children in each stripe of the flag, as many spectators suggested, but it was impossible to seat them that way. Each row of children was partially obscured by the other so the stripes were not distinct.
     The thirteen young ladies representing the original thirteen colonies in the Second ward float were Sadie Grimes, Mabel Slers, Lizzie Cassiday, Alta Wilson, Cecile Soley, Pauline Schenck, Olive Seamark, Mae Haberian, Ethel Rivet, Hattie Shaffer, Myrtle Stevenson, May Cassiday.
     A band playing there will be a "Hot Time in the Old Town" entertained the crowd around government square last night. The transfer of the concert to the reunion grounds disappointed and even angered many as the announcement of the change was not generally known.
     A spectator remarked yesterday: "The shunning of the principal street in the city by the parade yesterday was the best argument in favor of paving that could be presented. Whenever such a parade as that has to remain on the back streets it ought to be time to put the business streets in passable condition."
     While 1,200 children were perched on the amphitheatre in the living flag, one small boy took it into his head to get to a higher position. He wended his way up into the state house dome and climbed out over the railing with his feet dangling over. The head janitor of the building hurried into the dome and handed the youngster to a safer place.
     Master Philip Randolph Baker, seven years of age, was attired in the full uniform of a United States colonel of cavalry and acted as military escort to Miss Helen Woods, who represented North Carolina in the Sixth ward coach. The little fellow was a conspicuous figure in the parady (sic) and specially impressed those who witnessed his sword salute to the governor and staff when passing them in review.
     Children in the living flag almost rebelled at one time. They were kept on the seats at least two hours and sang most of the time. After the procession passed they remained to have a picture taken. Then it was proposed to have them sing before the speaking commenced. "We won't sing" shouted the little ones. If they had taken a notion to come down off the platform Director J. B. Ferguson would have been powerless. Colonel Ferguson has commanded soldiers and made them obey orders, but he never before tried to manage 1,000 little children. On the whole the children behaved admirably for the small amount of practice they had.
     The possession of a star by a special policeman or deputy sheriff seems to make the average man think he is entitled to the adoration of all his friends. The regular officer will handle a crowd without losing his head because the possession of authority has worn off. The new man, however makes a nuisance out of himself and riles more people by his foolishness than he protects. Several specials gave evidence of this enlargement of their heads yesterday by pushing children back with clubs, and shoving older men over the little tots. One bright fellow insisted that a long wagon would curve itself into a crowd and injure a few people, when if he had possessed reasoning power he would have known the wagon would whirl the other way.

Nebraska State Journal
Saturday morning, September 18, 1897


Veterans Spend Their Last Day at Camp Lincoln


Commander Ehrhardt Comments on Future Policy in His Farewell Address -
Crowd Stays Till the Last

     Yesterday was the last day of the reunion. The program states that today is the last day, but there are no exercises and all that will be done today is to break camp and go home. The nineteenth reunion is now a thing of the past and the comrades, such as their nature, have already begun to lay plans for the next one. This morning will witness an exodus that will be quite as noticeable as the influx of visitors early in the week.
     Yesterday was Lincoln day and as the veterans had accepted an invitation to be present at the exercises of the afternoon in the city, there was nothing in the camp except meetings at state headquarters and the campfire in the evening. The camp was far from being deserted at any time during the day and it was a matter of general remark that the crowd hung on till the last moment.
     During the week there have been more than the usual number of booths in operation and the patronage that they have received has depended on the crowd that has been on the grounds. Yesterday when the proprietors of the concessions learned that the crowd was going to town they did not take up the idea a bit. It was partly on this account that the order was issued by the department bringing the band concert to the grounds in the evening instead of allowing the bands to give their concert in the city as had been arranged. Commander Ehrhardt said last night that the notice that the concert would be given in the city had been given to the papers without authority. It was, however, made by the man who made all arrangements for the concert.
     At 7 o'clock on the grounds, Professor Rush made a very successful balloon ascension. The balloon rose almost straight into the air, there being little wind. His leap from the parachute pleased many people, who do not see such feats every day.
     Later in the evening, the bands paraded the grounds as usual and before the campfire a short concert was given by the Falls City and the Fullerton bands. The speeches at the campfire were more in the nature of farewells. The only speaker who has not spoken before was Past Department Commander J. H. Culver.
     It is estimated that about 1,000 people tented on the grounds last night. The veterans who are growing old realize the fact and many fear that they may never be permitted to attend another reunion. For this reason they stay till the last speech is spoken, as they lingered on the battlefield till the last gun of the enemy was silenced. The interest expressed in the grizzled and scarred faces of some never lessened till the last minute and there were many who wanted more when the last word of farewell had been spoken.
     During the week the people have had frequent occasion to comment on the excellence of the street car service to the grounds. The street railway company was prepared for large crowds and had fourteen trains in readiness at all times, though it was never necessary to use more than seven at any time during the week. This morning the veterans who leave on the Union Pacific train will be conveyed to the Union Pacific depot direct from the grounds without change of cars.
     Quartermaster C. M. Parker was very busy yesterday ...??? ... ??? the camp should occur without the loss of any property. As the wagons left the grounds the gate keeper made a close inspection of each. In some tents were found, but in nearly every instance they belonged to the parties taking them away. This examination was made necessary because the reunion committee was responsible for some 900 tents on the grounds. No one was allowed to leave the camp with a tent unless he held a permit from the quartermaster.
     The quartermaster reports that all the supplies with the exception of the wood have been used up. There were fifty tons each of baled hay and straw. Only twenty-five cords of wood of the fifty have been used. The balance will be sold and the money used in defraying the expenses of the reunion by the local committee. The committee settled up with the department officers in the morning paying over the $100 over which there was some dispute.
     Commander Ehrhardt in his parting to the veterans last night commented on the manner in which the program had been managed. There have been numerous objections from the veterans because certain persons were asked to speak who were not members of the G. A. R. Mr. Ehrhardt said that they were invited because at the last G. A. R. encampment the making up of the program was given into the hands of the local committee and taken out of the hands of the department officers. Commander Ehrhardt said the veterans had no one but themselves to blame if they were displeased with the speech of any person during reunion.


Commander Ehrhardt Make a Few Remarks on Program Committees

     Before the campfire in the evening John Currie obtained the floor and spoke for a half hour or so about his experiences. He was interrupted by the bands that entered about that time to give a concert.
     The Fall City band and the Fullerton band alternately gave selections. The Falls City band played "Joy to the World" and a medley of war songs. The Fullerton band, under the directorship of O. P. Harmon, played a waltz by Victor and "Dreams of Youth," by Fair. They received an encore.
     Adjutant-General Gage started the campfire going with a few remarks, there being a large crowd present, almost as large a crowd as on any day during the week.
     Captain Henry conducted the last campfire. He said that things had been said during the week which did not please everybody. It was impossible to please everybody. He told the story of a conversation between two deacons. One said that if everybody thought as he did everybody would want his wife. The other answered him by saying that if everybody thought as he did nobody would want the woman whom the other deacon liked so much.
     In making his closing speech he said he merely wished to reiterate that the reunions were held to keep the fire of patriotism alive.
     Commander Ehrhardt spoke for a short time. He said the old soldiers never said good-bye. Veterans merely say "So long" or "We'll see you again." He hoped to see the old soldiers at the next reunion. He said that he hoped all the veterans would be late in heaven.
     Mr. Ehrhardt told a story of Mr. Majors and R. C. Russell while at the Hornet's Nest at Shiloh. Mr. Majors was quoted as remarking at a critical moment that it was time to pray, whereupon Mr. Russell objected to praying himself as he was a Presbyterian and it would be necessary for him to stand up to do it. He wanted Mr. Majors to pray, as he was a Methodist and could do it without rising and not hurt his conscience.
     The commander closed with good wishes. He said that the officers of the department had not a single thing to do with the programs and that he had not had a thing to do with advertising or engaging a single speaker. He said that at the last encampment; the matter of the management of the program had been taken from the G. A. R. department officers and that he had been powerless. He had no word of blame for the local committee, for they had done their best. The trouble occurred when the program was voted out of the hands of the department officers.
     H. C. Russell spoke next. He said the speakers who had been driving at him had the advantage of him, for he never told a lie or never stole. The others knew him and took advantage of the fact because they knew he would stick to the truth in reply and his shafts would not therefore hurt him.
     Turning to matters relating to the war he said the north never said much, but it was determined. That was what had deceived the south. The north had too much confidence at the opening of the war. The battle of Bull Run was the best thing for the union that could have happened at the time, for it put determination in place of over-confidence.
     Mr. Russell told of a time when he was sent down the line to inform the men that the enemy was advancing. He met some darkies and told them to saddle a horse. In a short time he returned along that way and found the saddle on the horse, but it was on the wrong way.
     "Sam, what did you do that for?" he asked.
     "That horse belongs to Mars'r Ehrhardt," he said, "and there's going to be a battle and I don'no which way he's going."
     The speaker proceeded to tell that the veterans knew what was good for themselves. Referring to pensions he thought the old soldiers in asking for pensions were asking only for their due. He thought that those who are not veterans have not cause to complain if the veterans spoke the truth. The veterans never apologize to those who remained at home during the war. While the boys were at the front often their wives while plowing in the field were insulted by the copperheads who staid at home. The speaker had little confidence in the men who did not enlist when they began to preach. He also said he had little confidence in their children.
      Mr. Russell praised Grover Cleveland for calling out troops to quell the Chicago riot. His remarks on this matter met with applause. In closing he urged the boys to so live that they would never be ashamed to be pointed out as G. A. R. members.
     Vincent Stephens of St. Edward, better known as "Limber Jim" spoke for a short time.
     The meeting then closed.

Reunion Notes

     Quartermaster Parker stated that the policing of the camp had been extraordinarily well performed.
     The veterans patronized city stores. Merchants say that the reunion this year brought in a great deal more money than last year.
     Two veterans from New Jersey, one from the District of Columbia and one from Maryland registered during the week at the New England headquarters.
     The officers of the New England association are as follows: President, C. D. Richardson, Eagle; secretary, C. H. Sargent, Garrison; treasurer, George Lord, Ulysses.
     Bill Gleason was running his game of chance yesterday afternoon again. He started out with jewelry as a prize, but by evening the money was freely passing over the board.
     A gasoline torch belonging to George Goff caught fire last night and burned up some of his property. He was running a stand whence one gets a knife and other things if he is lucky.
     The camp police have been repeatedly asked by curious people to see the man who they heard was killed during the "shooting" episode recently. They come in and ask to look at the dead man.
     Joe Teeter, president of the Illinois division, yesterday appointed H. V. Hoagland of Lincoln adjutant and Mrs. Josie E. Moreland of Juniata sergeant major. Veterans to the number of 763 have registered at the Illinois headquarters.
     Captain Henry last night while coming to the reunion grounds was so kindhearted as to take a coat from a boy who had borrowed it from a boy on the grounds with the promise to return it. When the captain reached the grounds he could not find the boy to whom the coat belonged. He leaves today, and will leave the coat at 1735 R street where the owner may find it.

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