LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
May 31, 1900

The Exercises of Memorial Day Befittingly Observed

Decoration day 1900 was greeted with fine weather in LeMars and the day
almost universally observed as a holiday. All the public offices and banks
were closed for the day and the majority of stores were shut by noon. The
town was extensively decorated to do honor to the old soldiers and to the
memory of the thousands of departed heroes.

The parade was the feature of the day and was under way promptly at the
appointed hour under the able direction of W. S. Freeman, the marshal of the

The old soldiers themselves were the feature of the Decoration day parade. A
large number of the grey and grizzled veterans, still young in their love
and reverence for their country, marched to the cemeteries and were greeted
with waving of handkerchiefs, handclapping and cheers. Cheers for the
living and tears for the dead. The band headed by the colors marched in the
van of the procession. The uniformed members of Canton lodge and the
members of the fire department followed the veterans and the cadets. The
flower girls presented a charming picture of beauty. Following them were the
ladies of the W.R.C. and members of the G.A.R. in carriages. The mayor and
city officials brought up the rear followed by a long line of private
citizens in carriages and buggies.

At the two cemeteries the impressive scene, which grows upon one more each
year, was carried out. Each dead hero’s grave was marked by a tiny flag and
on the mounds floral tributes were heaped. It was a lovely morning. The sun
shone warmly tempered by a light breeze. On every side were the shade trees
and decorated graves. The veterans with bared heads gathered around the
grave where the ritual was recited by A. A. Alline, the commander of the
post, P.F. Dalton, and Prof. J. S. Shoup. A quartette composed of the
Misses Cadwells, Harry Briggs and F. Haas, sang appropriate hymns.

The final salute was given and the procession returned down town disbanding
on Main street.

The W.R.C. gave a dinner at the hall at noon and their hospitable efforts
were appreciated, a large number being served, and many old comrades enjoyed
a social visit during the afternoon, recounting their battles o’er again.

The patriotic play entitled Brother Jonathan’s Tea Party” given at the opera
house in the evening and was attended by a packed house. The standing room
only sign being out at an early hour. The play was a fine spectacular one
and from the opening drill in command of the Goddess of Liberty until the
concluding number, the living flag was replete with good things and
effective situations. The jolly little coons was one of the most amusing
features and exceedingly well done.


~Submitted for posting by volunteer, Linda Ziemann