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The Happy And Sad Times

Fourth Of July, 1896

   "All lovers of a good lively time on the Fourth should come to Bellwood for you will be sure to have it here" stated a news article in the Gazette on June 5, 1896.
   The article went on to say that the day would begin at sunrise with a 100-gun salute. The 9:30 a.m. parade boasted a "display of various lines of business" and "to keep up appearance, of course, we will have our Hoodlum friends in it ... better known as rag muffins."
   Other items on the agenda were speeches in the park, music by the Bellwood Cornet Band and Bellwood Glee Club, dinner for all, free-for-all bicycle race, ladies bicycle race (top prizes of $3.00) free-for-all 50-yard foot race, first prize $2.00; and a fat man's race - first prize, one sack of flour, slow mule's race, first prize, $2.00; biscuit race, first prize, 50 cents; egg race, prize, $1.00; pulling match, prize $5.00 (Bellwood's five largest men against any five men in Butler County.)
   There will be two games of baseball. The younger boys will play at 10 a.m. and a game between the Bellwood first nine and another prominent club will be played at 2:30 p.m. Suitable prizes for both games.
   All are requested to bring your own dinner baskets and you will find elegant shade and seats in the park. Preparations are also being made to feed those that do not bring their dinners at reasonable rates."

November 11, 1918
- Gazette, Nov. 15, 1918
The German War Machine Dismantled


   The greatest and bloodiest war in the history of the world ended Monday morning at 6 o'clock, Washington time. The glad news reached Bellwood about 10 minutes past six, the first announcement being made by the ringing of the fire bell in our village. The news was so startling that several were seen on the porches in their nighties, some without socks and their shoes unlaced. Soon a huge bonfire, with flames shooting skyward added more joy to the event, while on top of the huge fire was placed the effigy of the most despised man on the face of God's green earth. Several avenged their hatred for him by firing several shots at the effegy and soon thereafter when the flames touched him cheer after cheer went up from all present. In fact everybody went wild. A bunch of women with old tin pails, tubs, etc., which they used for drums, paraded up and down the streets, all as happy as queens. Again in the afternoon the celebration was renewed by a huge parade, led by the Bellwood Band, followed by the Home Guard and the ladies of the Red Cross, with Father Frans, formerly of Belgium and Rev. Eberhart on the heels of the Red Cross ladies. Father Frans, most assuredly, seemed to overflow with joy and he surely had good reason, as his people have suffered beyond the thoughts of human civilization. At the wind up of the parade the two preachers made short address from the band stand appropriate the event, which were received with enthusiastic applause. The band also treated all to several choice selections. One of the amusing features in the parade was an effigy of the kaiser, whose limp form was carried between two of the Home Guards, and which created considerable amusement for the

crowds along the streets. Flags of all the allied countries were also shown in the parade. At the close of the parade kaiser Bill was taken over to a tree, where he hung suspended to a limb, while the Home Guards fired three volleys at him. On being cut down and before his limp body had scarcely touched the ground, it was amusing to see a young American get down on him and pound poor Bill with his fist. At the wind up of Rev. Eberhart's address he read two poems, which met hearty applause.
   Coffee and sandwiches were served at a nickel a plate and P. W. McDermand, who acted as master of ceremonies, deserves much praise for the complete success of the Peace celebration. He extends the heartiest thanks to all who so willingly gave their assistance and support to the celebration at Bellwood, Monday November 11th, making it a day of joy and gladness - the speakers, cannonaders, bonfire boss and collectors, bell ringers, band, home guards, refreshment committee and everybody.
   The latest report is that the Crown Prince has been shot and that the Kaiser is in Holland, while the German people are begging Wilson to keep them from starving.

52nd Birthday Celebrated

   Feb. 6,1934, Bellwood was one of 6,000 other communities across the nation to observe President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 52nd birthday.
   Providing music for the grand birthday ball was a girl's orchestra from Grand Island. Decorating the Opera House were flags and bunting.
   At 10: 15, dancing stopped so the 200 persons present could listen to the President's message. Following that, a grand march was held, led by Mr. Frank Kamenske and Mrs. J. J. Kirchner.
   A huge birthday cake, donated by Alex Melack of Peter Pan Bakery, was auctioned off by W. J. Puetz. The cake was cut into 16 pieces with prices ranging from $.25 to $1.00 per slice. The cake brought $7.00 and $63.26 was made on the dance.
   Proceeds from the Bellwood Ball, and others across the nation, are to go to the Warm Springs (Ga.) Foundation. Nick Stemper was chairman of the dance.

Thompson Brothers' Picnic

August 11, 1924

   Three hundred people from Platte, Butler and Polk counties celebrated the Thompson twins 73rd birthdays at their home on the island. Picnic baskets were brought and the twins furnished fish for the dinner. The Columbus club furnished the ice cream. Following the dinner a program was given. Singing "America" by the assemblage, an Irish song by George Thompson, two numbers by the Anita Saxophone Harmonyites of Bellwood, Dr. and Mrs. Z. E. Matheny and Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Brandenburgh, recitations by Juanita Owen, Gussie and Charlotte Kirchner and Harold Cockson, familiar tunes by George Thompson on a whistle made from a cornstalk and singing by the group "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." The picnic is an annual event.


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Thompson Brothers' Picnic

November 18, 1933
   Annual Affair - Some 100 persons were in attendance at the annual play, supper and dance given by the Bellwood

Fire Department. Wives of the firemen presented a one-act farce, "Crossroad Store." A lunch was served after which the remainder of the evening was spent socially and dancing.



The Corner Grocery
     Back row: Henrietta Andrews, Katherine (Randolph) Raric, Vera (Napier) Mansfield, Marie (Grohmen) Peck, Stella (Meinyer) Stemper, Elvita (Wacha) Dworak, Lucille (Gunderson) Daly, Minnie (Schmid) Kosch, Lucy (Koenig) Selzer, Rose (Meister) Stemper.
     Middle row: Mrs. Julia Urban, Nell Baer, Ruth Mowery, Bernice (Moyer) Ebel, Pearl Meinyer.
     Seated: Mamie (Bock) Brandenburgh, Millie Kamenske and Pearl Wilson.


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N. O. K. Club - 1904
     Sitting on floor: Mabel Hill, Joella Derby, Gertrude Wadsworth.
     Middle row: Maude Hansen, Clara Enyeart, Kate Derby, Etta Hofiechter and Maggie Harris.
     Back row: Mae Lillie, Ada Bell, Julia Meister, Jessie Meyer, Marne Brandenburgh, Clara Smith, Josie Davenport and Minnette Davis.

Annual Picnic

- Gazette, June 5, 1936

   Tuesday, June 2nd the Farmers Grain Company and the Consumers Cooperative Oil Company held their annual picnic at the high school gymnasium. Over 1000 people made merry and took part in some of the day's activities. Events of the day were started by a parade at 10: 30 led by the Bellwood band, and followed by many outstanding entries representing business firms, groups, and others in and around Bellwood. Those receiving prizes were: commercial entry, Dr. Pennoyer, 1st prize, Moyer's Barber Shop, 2nd prize; Group entry, Bellwood Improvement club, 1st prize, Rebekah Lodge, 2nd prize; Comical entry, Guy Bouton and Cecil Hall, 1st prize, Harry Hiller and Ed. Hiller, representing Dr. McNally's stable took 2nd prize.
   At noon a cafeteria lunch, well arranged by the committee in charge, enabled them to serve 973 persons in fifty minutes. During the lunch hour the band played a concert.
   The highlight of the afternoon was a league baseball game between the Schuyler team and the Bellwood team, Bellwood winning by a score of 9 to 1. Then came foot races for the young folks, with prizes for winners of the different races.
   The Bellwood band, led by Ora Brandenburgh, again played an hour's concert before the gymnasium, beginning at

7: 00 o'clock. This was followed by a series of drills and music by the Boy's Drum and Bugle corp of Columbus and the committee takes this opportunity to publicly thank the boys for their services and their director and the city of Columbus for this neighborly gesture.
   A stage program concluded the outdoor entertainment of the day. The stage was specially erected south of the gymnasium for the occasion and the many seats provided could not accommodate the large audience. The numbers rendered were as follows: A talk by the president of the Farmers Grain Co., Mr. J. F. Kreizinger; several novel vocal duets by Anna Eberly and Mary Shonka, accompanied by Mrs. Geo. Pace; a comedy in two scenes, presented by Misses Lois and Lucille Enyeart and Irvin Moell, with curtain music by Matt Besch; a piano solo by Matt Besch; a group of whistling solos by Jerome Casper, accompanied by Matt Besch; a piano solo by John Smith; a reading by Melvin Hiller; numbers by a girl's chorus from Marietta high school, W. J. Puetz was master of ceremonies. That the audience appreciated the work of all who took part was evident from the warmth of applause.
   A dance in the Bellwood opera house followed, with music by Derrick's orchestra. It is a rare thing these days for the people of a community to dine and be entertained without the use of their pocketbooks and a rare distinction for the Farmer's Grain Co. to be such a gracious host.


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© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 by Ted & Carole Miller and Carolyn Wilkerson