LeMars Sentinel, June 3, 1890

A Day Devoted to the Dead and Celebrated by the Living with an Elaborate

The morning of Decoration Day opened fine and bright. The atmosphere was
pleasantly cool and at an early hour the people began to gather in from
outside points. At noon the weather indicated rain and promptly at 1:30
p.m., the procession was formed at the corner of Main and Sixth streets.

First came the drum corps, then the National Guards followed by Mower Post
G. A. R., the flower girls and boys, then the Odd Fellows, city officials,
and others. The procession when formed extended for over a mile and many
hundreds people marched in its ranks to pay respect to the noble dead. At
the cemeteries, the graves were decorated and the old recollections and
memories revived. The people marched back to the city and dispersed. At G.
A. R. hall, refreshments were served during the afternoon by the W. R. C.

In the evening our large opera house was crowded from top to bottom, every
available seat being filled, many going away rather than to stand in the hot
air of the crowded room.

The house was elegantly decorated and the state had been extended to make
room for the drill exercises. On the stage were seated boys and girls
representing every state and territory in the Union. After the orchestra
and the male quartet, John Breenan, the gifted Irish orator of Sioux City,
was introduced and made a brilliant address. Mr. Brennan among many other
good things said, in substance: I am no demagogue and do not come here to
ask any favors of the G. A. R., but it is a shame and a disgrace to this
people that they should weigh the value of old soldiers against that of
whiskey. He said that there were many who objected to paying the few
remaining soldiers a pension on the grounds that it would bankrupt the
country, while they spent many times the same amount annually for whiskey.
No soldier’s widow or orphan ought ever to become a pauper. It would be a
stinging disgrace to every American. At the close of his address, a vote of
thanks was rendered him by the audience. The program was rendered throughout
as previously published and every part of it interested the audience. Some
of the exercises were especially noticeable. The son, “We’ve Drank From the
Same Canteen,” by M. Hilbert and other old soldiers was well rendered and
loudly encored. The beautiful solo: “The Flag Without a Stain,” by Mrs. O.
H. Hinds was excellent and the audience expressed their appreciation by
encoring and continued applause.

The flag drill by the young ladies and girls and boys made a fine display
and surely required a large amount of work by some one in drill and
instruction. It is said that a large portion of this work devolved upon Mrs.
C. H. Jones and there is no doubt but her work was well and faithfully done.

~Submitted for posting by volunteer, Linda Ziemann