LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
June 3, 1901

Decoration Day Observed in LeMars With Fitting Tribute of Remembrance.

The observation of Decoration day in LeMars on Thursday was held with the customary honors. Due need of respect was paid to the memory of the dead of the innumerable throng of heroes who have joined the silent hosts beyond and to the gray haired and gray bearded warriors who are survivors of those tumultuous and soul stirring days.  The day in LeMars was generally observed as a holiday, the banks public offices and nearly all the business places and stores being closed the greater part of the day. The weather was ideal, bright sunshine, blue sky, and a nice cool breeze which tempered the rays of old sol. The city was decorated throughout with flags and bunting and a large number of people from the surrounding country joined with towns folks in the exercises of the day.

Under the direction of Chief Marshal C. H. Jones, the process was formed at ten o’clock headed by the LeMars band followed by Mower Post G.A.R., Civic societies, flower committee and flower girls in wagonettes, members of the W.R.C. and Grand Army of the Republic in carriages, the mayor and city officials in carriages and citizens in carriages, the long procession took up its march to the cemetery. The procession was met at the corner of Main and Third street by nearly five hundred school children in charge of Superintendent A. H. Bigelow and teachers of other departments all marching to the cemetery. On the march to and from the cemetery the flower girls to the number of nearly fifty sung patriotic songs and many besides the children joined in the chorus.

At the cemetery Post Commander Winslow read the ritualistic ceremony in a very impressive manner and Chaplain Alline responded and the band played a funeral march while the flower girls placed the emblems of love and devotion upon the mounds which mark the resting places of the soldiers including the young soldiers who gave their lives in the Spanish war, and after this had been completed the line reformed and marched to the Catholic cemetery, where the graves of old soldiers buried there was marked by the same touching tributes to the memory. The line reformed and returned to the city on Sixth street to Main where it disbanded. The cemetery grounds was lined with teams when the procession reached there, many preferring to drive there in advance rather than to be caught in the crowd which usually joins the procession.

A number of young men who took part in the Cuban and Philippine wars marched in the parade following up the veterans.

A noon the ladies of the W.R.C. served an abundant and excellent dinner and many availed themselves of the good things provided by these most admirable of hosts. In the evening a war drama was presented at the opera house under the auspices of the Women’s Relief Corps.


~Submitted for posting by volunteer, Linda Ziemann