Polk County News

Newspaper Source: The Daily News, Des Moines, IA.

Annual Hoosier Picnic

Natives of State of Indiana Enjoy an Outing At Union Park.
Hundreds Avail themselves of the Holiday and Attend the Picnic as Guests of Hoosiers.
Memorial and Poem.

An immense crowd availed themselves of the semi-holiday in Des Moines this morning and betook themselves to Union park to be the guests of the Hoosiers, natives of Indiana, and enjoy the day picnicking. A genuine corn bake was served at noon, and the spread was partaken of by hundreds. A big crowd waited until this afternoon to attend. Among the speakers included in this afternoon's program was Isaac Brandt, who read his memorial, and Tae Hussey, who presented an original poem. Others are Judge Dille, Postmaster Schooler, Colonel Barlow Granger, Mrs. Isaac L. Hillis, Mrs. D. McKay and E.A. Nye of the Daily News.

The memorial by Mr. Brandt as read, is:
Mr. Chairman: As my name sometimes appears in the program of both the Ohio and Indiana associations, it is the proper thing for me to state that I am a native of the Buckeye state. But I lived eight years in Indiana, several of my children were born there and I naturally have a very kindly feeling toward the Hoosiers and love to assist them in having a good time whenever an opportunity offers.

From the "cradle to the grave" is a very short sentence, yet it is the voyage of life. We are all on that voyage, and our journey must come to an end. The following named friends who were natives of Indiana, or have lived in that state, have ended their journey of life since our meeting held August 23, 1896:

Rebecca Leyner, died January 26, 1899, aged 66 years.
Dr. Joseph Hagens, died February 12, 1899, aged 82 years.
H. B. Kiltleman, died February 21, 1899, aged 68 years.
Mrs. Mary Morrison, died February 23, 1899, aged 78 years.
Harmon Fagan, died March 10, 1899, aged ..7 years.
Mrs. Elizabeth Scott Mills, died April . 1899, aged 83 years.
Samuel II. Davidson, died May 9, 1899, aged 57 years.
Mrs. Jerusha Nichols Clark, died May 2, 1899, aged 75 years.
John B. Babcock died August 17, 1899 aged 67 years.
Valentine P. Fink, died August 17, 1899 aged 91 years.
Henry P. Wilson, died August 22, 1899, aged 63 years.
W. P. Hall, died October 20, 1899, aged ..1 years.
James Y. McClay, died November 6, 1899, aged 70 years.
Mrs. Lucy Hobaugh, died December 28, 1899, aged 78 years.
L. F. Alexander, died January 4, 1900 aged 71 years.
John Peun, died January 8, 1900, aged ..8 years.
Mrs. Eliza Henderson, died March 23, 1900, aged 86 years.
Mrs. Mary Winteroder, died April 3, 1900, aged 70 years.
R. C. Webb, died July 6, 1900, aged 72 years.
William J. Hayes, died July 9, 1900, aged 1 years.

Samuel J. Gilpin of Winterset, who died July 28, 1900, aged 83 years, was one of the active members of this association, was generally at our annual gatherings, and always made any person happy that came within his influence. A beautiful tribute to his memory was published in the Winterset Madisonian:

" Samuel J. Gilpin, who died at his home in this city Saturday, July 28, was one of our best citizens. He was for many years a prominent in the democratic politics of his state and was a man of wide acquaintance. He was one of the democratic leaders in Iowa until Scher agitation arose and forced him into the republican ranks. At the breaking out of the rebellion in 1861, he enlisted in Company E of the Third Indiana cavalry at Madison. He served with this organization for more than three years and was with the Army of the Potomac in all of its engagements."

At the close of the war he returned to ..is college and graduated with the degree of A. B., the college conferring upon him the degree of A. M. a few years later. In 1869 he removed to Winterset, Iowa, and began the practice of law.

In 1873, he was married to Mrs. Maria ?. Evans, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. J. H. Potter, who was a t the time of his death visiting in Winterset, and officiated at his funeral.

“At the close of a successful career as lawyer, Mr. Gilpin retired from active practice, some years ago. He continued to take an active interest in all public matters. He was very earnest in the establishment of a public library in Winterset, and was selected as president of the board of trustees. He was one of the most active promoters of the semi-centennial celebration of the organization of his town and the success of the project was largely due to his efforts. He gave freely to charity and charitable organizations, with the request that his gifts be not mentioned. It has been learned since his death that he assisted in substantial manner in the erection of several of the churches in Winterset and that he aided the young people in securing a college education. He was a great lover of nature, and often spent hours in the woods with the birds and nature’s ..owers. Our city has lost a valuable citizen and his death is keenly felt by the people of this community.

There were three deaths in Indiana during the past two years of her most distinguished citizens, governor Claude Mathews died April 28, 1898. He was a man of eminent ability and of sterling integrity. He was one of Indiana’s leading citizens of the democratic party. He was one of the young men that took charge of the democratic affairs of the nation along with the older men like Thomas Hendricks and William H. English. Claude Mathews was elected to the Indiana legislature in 1876, where he made record as a statesman and a leader in his party. In 1890 he was elected secretary of state and in 1893 was chosen by the vote of the people to be governor of the commonwealth.

In 1896, at the national democratic convention in Chicago, his name was presented by his many friends as a candidate for president. He died at the age of 54 years, honored and respected throughout the nation.

George J. Juliand died July 8, 1899, at his home in Indiana, aged 82 years. He was born in Centerville, Wayne County, May 5, 1817. His education advantages were very limited and confined to the common schools of that early days, at t with indomitable energy and a rugged constitution he advanced himself until he was competent to teach school, which he followed for three years, during which time he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He was elected in 1845 to the legislature in Indiana as a whig, where he distinguished himself as an able debater on all questions pertaining to the best morde of education and free schools. In 1848 he became one of the founders of the free soil party and was a delegate from Indiana to the national free soil convention held at Buffalo, N.Y.

In the fall of 1848 he was elected to congress on the free soil ticket and served until March 4, 1852. In the presidential campaign of 1852 John P. Hale was nominated by the free soil party for president, and George W. Julian was the candidate for vice president. They were not elected but received 157,885 votes in the United States. He was a delegate to the republican state convention held at Indianapolis February 22, 1856, at which time the republican party was organized in Indian, and was selected as one of the national delegates from that convention to the first national republican convention held at Philadelphia June 17, 1856 in the notable convention he was chairman of the committee on permanent organization. In 1860 he was elected a member of congress from the Centerville district and re-elected in 1862, 1864, 1866, 1868 and 1870, making in all sixteen years as a free-soiler and twelve years as a republican.

In 1885 he was appointed surveyor general of the territory of New Mexico, George W. Julian was always an active and earnest man, generally in advance of his party in relation to progressive measures. He was from his boyhood up an earnest advocate of temperance. He was an intimate friend of Abraham Lincoln, and co-worker. He was an active and practical abolitionist, and living near the borders of a slave state, he ran many risks of his life in forwarding runaway slaves in the direction of the north star. In 1847 he responded the cause of woman suffrage and was an able advocate of it all his life. I knew him quite well and was with him in several severe contests, and knew that no man was ever so true to the interests of humanity. He was a great student, a man who thought and acted from principle and had the courage to carry out his convictions. He died as he lived, a Christian gentleman. No man was ever born and raised in Indiana that has done more for the education and advancement of her citizens than George W. Julian.

Richard W. Thompson died February I, 1899, at his home in Terre Haute, Indiana, at the advanced age of 91 years. He was a remarkable man. No word of mine could so well describe the man as an editorial in the Iowa State Register of February 10, 1900. It said. “He was one of the most prominent figures in American politics, and leading a long and useful public life, his name will have a permanent place in the history of our country. Colonel Thompson lived under all the presidents of the United States but two, was a close friend of General Andrew Jackson and was more or less acquainted with all of the great political giants of the last generation. He was but a middle aged man when Clay, Webster, Calhoun, Lincoln and Douglas, and all the other stalwarts of that great era were in the height of their fame. He was only twelve years old when the great Napoleon died and sixteen years old when Thomas Jefferson and John Adams passed to the great beyond. But few men ever figured so long and so continually in the politics of our county as Colonel Thompson, or “Uncle Dick,” as he was politically known throughout the whole country.

At the age of twenty he developed in affairs political and from then on until he reached his ninetieth year, he took a very active part in politics. He took a very active part in the presidential campaign of 1896, but when that was over he said that he guessed it was time that the younger boys were coming to the front and on his ninetieth birthday, he made the announcement that he was through with politics. Colonel Thompson never sought public position, but he held office for forty seven years of his life, and always served the people faithfully and well. He began his political career as a member of the Indiana house of representatives and ended it as secretary of the navy under President Hayes in 1881. Eight years ago he spoke before 15,000 people at the Minneapolis republican convention and despite his eighty-three years, was heard all over the great Auditorium. In the death of Colonel Richard W. Thompson the world lost one of its greatest politicians and one of its best citizens.

Visions and Dreams

Old men, they say, have visions, while young men dream the dreams;
But they vanish with the coming of morning’s early beams,
And we wonder, if in spirit, we have visited some land
And received a joyous welcome from Friendship’s read band.

There comes to me a vision of a cabin in the wood,
With a well sweep and a clearing, in the forest solitude,
With fireplace of a generous width – a rifle on the wall,
Which helped to fill the larder in winter, spring and fall.

The surroundings were not pleasant – but inside ‘twas spick and span,
And was built in strict compliance with the new “expansion plan”;
For when the small newcomers came straggling ‘long space,
They received a cordial welcome and always found a place.

In a hollow of a cabin log, the twittering wrens, a pair,
Found them a summer nesting place, near the roses climbing there,
And mingled their love notes, from their tiny nest above,
With the soft tones of the mother, as she she crooned her songs of love.

But the unpretentious cabin has departed long ago,
With contentment and plain living, and little care for show;
Now a palace for dysneptics stand where the cabin used to be,
And the babies now are rocked in sleep by storage battery!

In my vision I could see again the log school house full of cracks,
The fire place wide, the writing desks and slab seats, without backs.
Despise not these old memories; for, remember, it was there
That a Lincoln, or a Garfield, started for the White House chair!

But where the old log school house stood, on the spot I loved so well,
Stands an imposing college and brave students with a veil!
And the walnut trees which shaded, with their fruit almost in reach,
Have gone the way of all the earth at one hundred dollars each!

The old ox teams which used to haul hoop poles and garden truck,
Have passed out of existence, like the turkeys and wild buck,
And in their place with thundering tread which shakes the very ground,
Sweeps by a mightly railroad train, from ocean come, to ocean bound!

And where then stood the old log church, where our parents used to pray,
And sing the lined out hymns, almost unknown today,
There's a model temple standing, grand as a poet's dream,
And an organ which can praise the Lord by water power or steam!

Time is ever bringing changes, and we rejoice today
That the days of those old pioneers on earth have passed away;
But unchanging is our love for them, and all they held most dear,
And for their memories we will weave a garland every year.

But we dream of Indian, that blessed Hoosier State 
A good state to be born in, we can say, at any rate;
And of all the united sisterhood we know she is the best.
Except a certain tract of land, a little further west.

Iowa, of the sisterhood, the grandest of them all,
Whose ears are open to the hungry when they call,
Sends greeting to the Hoosier state, does this Queen of the West
Whose head, is crowned with golden corn, and wild rose on her breast!

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