WINFIELD ST. JOHN BATTERY.
Note: Not once did the Winfield Courier reveal from whence the name of the light artillery battery in Winfield derived. It appears that they named it after the current governor of the state of Kansas: John P. St. John. And most surprising of all was the reference to creating the “frontier guards” by Governor St. John in 1879.
[I am including entries from “Winfield Leader N. A. Haight that pertain to his activities as Captain of St. John’s Battery.]...
Winfield Courier, April 17, 1879.
Capt. J. H. Hibbetts, of Chetopa, was in town the other day in company with Gov. St. John. He will be in command of the frontier guards which are being organized by the governor. His headquarters will be at Fort Dodge.
Winfield Courier, April 17, 1879.
Governor St. John arrived in this city Friday evening last. He had been in the counties west of this, organizing the frontier guard. He thinks the Cheyenne scare has about as much foundation as the gold fever. He went to Arkansas City Saturday, returned here, and left for Topeka on Monday. The Colonel looks well and every inch a governor and has very many splendid friends and admirers in this city.
[BRIGADIER GENERAL A. H. GREEN.]
Winfield Courier, May 15, 1879.
Gov. St. John has commissioned A. H. Green of this city as Brigadier General of the Kansas State militia. If the Governor is as fortunate in all his appointments, he may well be congratulated. As a civilian, Mr. Green is one of our most active, enterprising businessmen, and whatever faults he may have had, he is always true to his friends and never counts the cost when he can do them a service.
Winfield Courier, December 25, 1879.
The following named gentlemen are the commissioned officers of St. John Battery No. 1, at Winfield. Captain: Eugene E. Bacon; First Lieutenant and Chief of Caissons: N. A. Haight; First Lieutenant of the Line: John F. Burrows; Second Lieutenant Senior: John Hoenscheidt; Second Lieutenant Junior: Geo. W. Anderson. Commonwealth.
Winfield Courier, January 15, 1880.
“St. John’s Battery is making large preparations to celebrate Washington’s birthday. They propose to give a grand entertainment in the opera house, at which will be rendered the military drama of the ‘Union Spy,’ followed by a banquet and ball. The company will spare no expense to make the occasion one of the biggest Winfield has yet seen. The committees have been appointed and the preparations are being rapidly completed. One of the chief attractions will be a grand military drill and parade in which the Winfield Rifles will take part.”
[AN APPROPRIATE GIFT FOR CAPT. E. E. BACON.]
Winfield Courier, January 15, 1880.
Last week the members of St. John’s Battery, No. 1, made Captain Bacon a handsome present in the shape of a sword, with belt and sash. The adjutant then read the following resolutions.
WHEREAS, Capt. E. E. Bacon has, by his gentlemanly conduct and efficiency, won the respect and admiration of St. John’s Battery, No. 1, of the State of Kansas; and
WHEREAS, The Battery desire to confer upon him some testimonial of their appreciation of him as an officer and as a man; therefore be it
Resolved, That the members of St. John’s Battery, No. 1, K. S. M., present this sword and sash to Capt. E. E. Bacon, with the hope that he will ever be reminded by it of the friendly regard felt for him by his comrades. . . .
Winfield Courier, February 12, 1880.
“Col. Temple arrived Monday evening and proceeded to make the casts for the ‘Union Spy,’ to be played under the auspices of the Winfield Rifles and St. John’s Battery, commencing on the 23rd inst. This will draw one of the largest houses ever seen in Winfield. Wichita was in a fever of excitement over it.”
Winfield Courier, February 26, 1880.
Winfield Rifles and St. John’s Battery in Full Uniform.
Headed by Brigadier-General Green and
Colonel Noble, Adjutant-General of the State.
Monday was a gala day for Winfield, and the people of the surrounding country understood the fact, and many of them turned out to see the fun. Some time ago the Guards decided to produce the military drama of the “Union Spy” at this place, and learning that members of the Governor’s staff would be present, it was decided to give a grand parade in their honor. At 2 o’clock the companies were formed on the courthouse square, and after receiving the general and staff, they moved out and paraded through the principal streets.
Gen. Green and staff took a position in front of the Opera House and the companies counter-marched in review. The Rifles looked their best and St. John’s Battery shown resplendent in new uniforms with red top-knots. The general and staff were splendidly mounted and uniformed and looked every inch soldiers. This was by far the most imposing affair Winfield has yet seen.
Unknown whether a cavalry company was ever formed...
[NOTICE TO THOSE INTERESTED IN FORMING A CAVALRY COMPANY.]
Winfield Courier, February 26, 1880.
Attention, Cavalrymen! There will be a meeting of all parties interested in forming a cavalry company at the courthouse, 2 o’clock p.m., Saturday next. All old soldiers are invited to attend. Those who have been under fire—the time-tried and battle-tested veterans—want to get up a company of “Ironsides.” In time of peace prepare for war. Turn out.
Next item is incorrect, I believe. Should have said “Kansas State Militia” rather than “Kan. National Guards.”
Winfield Courier, May 20, 1880.
Decoration Day. It is the intention of “St. John’s Battery,” No. 1, Kan. National Guards, to decorate the soldiers’ graves in our cemeteries on Sunday, the 30th inst., and it would be gratifying to us if all the old soldiers would take part in this beautiful floral offering in remembrance of our patriotic dead. The hour for muster is 1 o’clock p.m.
Winfield Courier, May 27, 1880.
The Rifles and St. John’s Battery have engaged the Davis Family Cornet Band to assist in the decoration of the soldiers’ graves next Sunday.
Winfield Courier, June 3, 1880.
Last Sunday was set apart for the ceremonies of decorating the graves of soldiers of the late war. The Winfield Rifles and St. John’s Battery managed the affair in the most creditable manner. The crowd of people at the Methodist church in the morning was so great that considerable numbers could not get admission. Rev. J. Albert Hyden delivered a very interesting and instructive commemoration sermon at the church, and after other services there, a procession was formed, which marched through the streets around to the courthouse square, where Judge C. Coldwell delivered an eloquent oration in memorial of the nation’s dead. A monument there placed was then beautifully decorated with flowers, and bouquets were strewn around by a floral committee of ten young ladies and six little girls dressed in white. The Davis cornet band and a full choir gave sweet, plaintive music to the occasion.
Winfield Courier, July 8, 1880.
The canon for St. John’s Battery are on the road and will arrive in a few days. The members of the battery are all hardy, fine-looking men, are well uniformed, and when they get their guns, will be the boss military company of the state.
[ST. JOHN’S BATTERY.]
Winfield Courier, July 8, 1880.
Over twenty members of St. John’s Battery, under Capt. Bacon, participated in the parade at Kansas City last Saturday. They went up in a special car on the Santa Fe Friday afternoon and returned Saturday. During their stay in Kansas City, they were the guests of the Craig Rifles, and are loud in their praises of the hospitable manner in which they were treated. “The Craigs” will have the freedom of Kansas whenever they choose to come over.
E. E. Bacon, head of St. John’s Battery, puts house on market...
[NOTICE: E. E. BACON.]
Winfield Courier, September 2, 1880.
A Rare Chance.
For sale, a fine house with one acre of ground. The house contains five rooms all complete, a splendid well, and cellar, the house new and just painted. Hedge on three sides of the lot, 25 fruit trees, out building, etc. The above property will be sold cheap for cash. Call and see me, and also, please inspect the property. E. E. BACON.
Winfield. Aug. 24th, 1880.
Winfield Courier, September 23, 1880.
We saw Capt. Bacon and Lieutenants O’Neil and Haight at Lawrence.
Winfield Courier, November 11, 1880.
Thousands Witness the Payment of Election Wagers.
CHARLEY BLACK STANDS UP TO THE RACK LIKE A LITTLE MAN.
Mayor Lynn Goes In With a Load of Rock.
The COURIER Always Ahead.
The most fantastic and humorous performance that this city has ever witnessed took place last Saturday, at 2 o’clock p.m. The crowd of people assembled on the sidewalks, in the streets, in the windows of adjacent buildings, and on the awnings, was simply immense and the enthusiasm displayed was indescribable.
The procession was formed at the Brettun house in the following order:
1st. The Winfield Cornet Band.
2nd. The St. John Battery.
3rd. Hon. O. M. Seward, Chairman of the Republican Committee, on a fiery steed that looked as though he had just had a race of a hundred miles and distanced his competitor, bearing the legend: “This is the Maud S. that won the race;” and Hon. S. L. Gilbert, chair-man of the Democratic Committee, on a used up mule labeled, “This is the mule that beat us.”
4th. Hon. J. B. Lynn, Mayor of Winfield, bare-headed, in overalls and flannel shirt, wheeling a large load of rock.
5th. Hon. C. C. Black, editor of the Telegram, wheeling the editor of the COURIER.
6th. The working men on the Brettun House building, forty strong, with their trowels, hammers, saws, hods, and other implements of labor.
7th. The COURIER force with plug hats and canes, headed by Ed. P. Greer, each bearing an appropriate motto.
8th. Charles Kelly, representing the postal service, with the motto: “A clean sweep. No post-offices for rent.”
9th. The Telegram force, mounted on a huge dray with a large job press printing Telegram extras and passing them out to the crowd.
Arriving at the COURIER office, the procession halted, and D. A. Millington mounted the chair on the wheelbarrow and addressed the crowd and prolonged cheers as follows.
MR. MILLINGTON’S ADDRESS.
Ladies and Gentlemen: I usually shrink from a position too conspicuous before my fellow citizens, but at present there are two of my friends even more conspicuous than myself, and I will try to stand it. This is the first time I ever figured in a circus, but I have reason to be proud of my surroundings. I see around me the representative talent and gaiety of my city and county.
I am escorted by the Cornet Band, the pride of Winfield; the chairmen of the committees of two great parties; the representatives of the artisans who have built the proud structures around me, and the representatives of the press, the bulwark of liberty.
I am following the first officer of our grand, young city, one of the merchant princes of Kansas, one who has done much to make our city what it is and whose fame for enterprise and honor is widely known.
My propelling power is the editor and proprietor of the best and neatest daily published in any Kansas city of the size of this, of the largest, most ably edited and most widely circulated weekly Democratic newspaper in the state, a man who has built the finest printing building and is every inch a man and a gentleman.
I have been told that if one does not “toot his own horn, it will not be tooted,” so I will add that I represent the WINFIELD COURIER, the newspaper which has the largest local circulation in the state, and is the best patronized by the people of its county and especially by the businessmen of its city. This fact is the evidence that it is appreciated. For all this I thank you, my fellow citizens.
We claim that the two papers represented here today are the leading county papers of their respective parties in the state. They have by their enterprise beat all other papers in the state in collecting and announcing the returns of the late election. The full returns of Cowley County sent by these were the first to be received at Topeka. They united in the expense of having messengers at every poll in the county, who brought the returns to them as quickly as horse-flesh could carry them after the count was completed. They united in the expense of telegraph returns from all parts of the nation, and each kept bulletin boards to display the news to the anxious, surging crowds of citizens. And now they unite both the victor and the vanquished in pleasant, jolly humor in this celebration.
Charles C. Black then mounted the chair and addressed the people as follows.
MR. BLACK’S ADDRESS.
Friends, countrymen, and lovers: I came not here to talk. Ye know too well the story of our thraldom. I came with these brown arms and brawny hands to wheel 5,000 pounds (for I believe Mr. Millington weighs 5,000) of editorial wisdom and ability down Main street for your entertainment. I came in a spirit of conciliation. Many hard things have been said during the campaign, now closed. I came in a spirit of forgiveness. I forgive Bro. Millington for all the hard things I have said about him. I forgive him for putting this yoke upon me today. I even forgive him for compelling me to wear this thing (holding up a new silk hat) at my own expense.
I hope today’s celebration will heal all the animosities growing out of the late political campaign in the county. Let us have peace. I am glad to see so many present today, helping us ratify. I congratulate everybody upon the general good feeling which prevails, and now, in the language of 20,000 or more orators and candidates, spoken four or five hundred thousand times during the last thirty days, “Thanking you for your kind attendance and attention,” I will now step down and out.
The procession then moved on to the Williams House, halted, and Mr. Lafe Pence delivered a short and patriotic address, which we presume was on behalf of Mayor Lynn; after which the procession moved forward another block, counter marched, and dispersed.
Eugene Bacon departs for Topeka...
Winfield Courier, December 2, 1880.
Commonwealth: Eugene Bacon, of Winfield, a watchmaker, has come to Topeka and gone into that business. His office is with Stringham & Phillips. Mr. Bacon will be remembered by many as Docket Clerk of the Senate in 1873 and 1876.
[ON TO WASHINGTON.]
Winfield Courier, December 16, 1880.
Is it possible that the Winfield Rifles and the St. John Battery are to have free passes to Washington to participate in the ceremonies of inaugurating President Garfield on May 4th? Such is the outlook of the following communication to Adjt. Gen. Noble, of the Kansas State militia.
WASHINGTON, D. C., Dec. 2, 1880.
To the Adjutant General, State of Kansas, Topeka, Kansas:
SIR: I have the honor to request that you will furnish this committee with a complete list of all military organizations known to you within your state, as we desire extending to each an invitation to be with us and participate in the parade and festivities in the city on the 4th of March next.
We hope to have an organization from each state in the Union, and shall appreciate any effort on your part to secure a handsome representation from your state.
I have the honor, to be very respectfully your obedient servant,
H. C. CORRIN,
Assistant Adjt. Gen. U. S. Army and Cor. Sec. of Executive Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
Capt. Ed. Haight now captain of battery...
Winfield Courier, December 16, 1880.
The St. John Battery has elected Ed. Haight captain, and Messrs. Burroughs, Hoenscheidt, Holloway, and Andrews, lieutenants.
Winfield Courier, June 23, 1881.
St. John’s Battery, under the command of Capt. Haight, will perform at Riverside Park on the 4th.
[WINFIELD’S FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION.]
Winfield Courier, July 7, 1881.
The celebration at Island Park was very fine and interesting. Considerable crowds were present all day, but in the afternoon about 3 o’clock, the crowd was immense. The attractions were target practice, archery, baseball, swings, croquet, dancing floors, and many other sports and amusements. Captain Haight was present, with his artillery company in drill, and his two booming field pieces which awaked the echoes, at suitable times during the day.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 20, 1881.
WINFIELD, KANSAS, JULY 14, 1881.
To the Union Soldiers of the late War:
We, the undersigned, your comrades and survivors of the late rebellion, believe that a reunion of the old soldiers now residents of Cowley and surrounding counties, would meet your approval and serve to renew and strengthen a patriotic and brotherly feeling in the hearts of all old soldiers and lovers of the Union, we would, therefore call a reunion at Island Park, Winfield, Kansas, for the 7th and 8th of October, 1881.
For a more complete organization and the successful carrying out of this plan, we would ask all old soldiers residing in the limits above named, to meet at Manning Opera House, on Saturday, July 23rd, at 2 o’clock p.m., at which time to effect a permanent organization, and the appointment of such general and local committees as the meeting may deem proper, essential for the ultimate success of this—an old soldiers’ reunion—at the time and place above mentioned. The county papers are requested to publish this call.
One of those calling for a reunion: N. A. Haight.
[THE OLD SOLDIERS.]
Winfield Courier, August 25, 1881.
The meeting at Manning’s hall on Saturday, August 20th, was well attended by the old soldiers. Capt. Haight with a section of his battery, put in a number of shots that sounded like old times to the boys. Messrs. Pixley, Requa, Woodruff, Roseberry, and others furnished old time martial music. At 11 a.m., the meeting was called to order with C. M. Wood in the chair, and Jake Nixon, secretary.
On motion a committee of seven was appointed as a permanent organization consisting of comrades Wells, Steuven, Stubblefield, Nixon, Waugh, Kretsinger, and Jennings. After some interesting remarks on the part of Capt. Stubblefield, J. W. Millspaugh, H. D. Catlin, and S. M. Jennings, the meeting adjourned until 2 p.m.
The afternoon meeting showed an increase of delegates and much more enthusiasm. The committee on permanent organization submitted the following report.
Your committee on permanent organization beg to submit the following.
For President: Col. J. C. McMullen, of Winfield; for Vice Presidents, we would recommend one from each township to be named by this meeting, and one from the city of Winfield. We submit the name of T. H. Soward. For recording secretary, Jake Nixon, of Vernon; corresponding secretary, A. H. Green, Winfield; treasurer, J. B. Lynn, Winfield.
Executive Committee: Col. McMullen, Capt. Stubblefield, Capt. Hunt, Capt. Tansey, T. R. Bryan, D. L. Kretsinger, and C. M. Wood.
Finance Committee: J. B. Lynn, Capt. Siverd, Capt. Myers, James Kelly, and Judge Bard.
Encampment: Dr. Wells, Capt. Steuven, and Capt. Haight.
Printing: E. E. Blair and Jake Nixon.
Invitation and speakers: Hon. W. P. Hackney, Gen. A. H. Green, D. L. Kretsinger, M. G. Troup, Capt. Chenoweth, Capt. Nipp, Major D. P. Marshall, N. W. Dressie, and C. H. Bing.
Winfield Courier, August 25, 1881.
The St. John Battery will do the state fair in full uniform. Major Tom Anderson writes that their guns will be transported free.
Artillery mentioned in next item. I assume this refers to St. John Battery...
[STATE TEMPERANCE CAMP MEETING.]
Winfield Courier, August 25, 1881.
The state temperance camp meeting commences Wednesday, August 31, 1881, at 2:30 p.m., at Riverside Park, Winfield, and will continue through September 1st and 2nd, with a street parade [Band, Artillery, and citizens], followed by teams marching to the grove.
Welcome by Rev. Cairns.
Business session of the County Committee.
Evening session: Addressed by Hon. J. W. Ady of Newton, and others.
Thursday morning: firing of artillery. Address by Hon. B. S. Henderson and others.
Thursday afternoon: Ladies Temperance League.
Thursday night: Addresses by Hon. J. A. Troutman, Col. A. B. Jetmore, and others.
Friday morning: 9 a.m., various interesting exercises.
11 a.m., Reception of Gov. St. John at depot by City Council, band, artillery, and citizens, and march to the grove or Brettun House.
2 o’clock p.m., Address by Gov. St. John.
Let everyone turn out as this is the grand rally. Tents for three days in abundance will be on hand for one dollar a tent, large enough for two families. Bring baskets of provisions, bring the ladies, and have a good time. Mr. Geo. Cairns with his choir will furnish the finest vocal music. Every township should come in force with flags and banners. Come early and stay through.
Winfield Courier, September 1, 1881.
Captain Haight has the battery boys practicing for the State Fair. They have gone into camp at Riverside Park.
[OUR TICKET - REPUBLICAN.]
Winfield Courier, September 15, 1881.
Capt. N. A. Haight has proved his capacity and efficiency as a surveyor by two terms of service and none would oppose him.
[NOTES OF THE FAIR.]
Winfield Courier, September 22, 1881.
The writer was among the hundreds of Cowley County people who spent last week at the Topeka State Fair, and unlike Cliff Wood and R. B. Pratt, he is glad of it. They had their pockets picked. He didn’t. Topeka pickpockets have long ago learned to know newspapermen and respect them. They never try to get a nickel out of one.
The fair was of course a grand success: the Santa Fe railroad never helps anything that it does not make a success. Our first attention was given to the agricultural display. This occupied one wing of the main building and was one of the finest ever shown at any fair. That of the Santa Fe road occupied the north end of the building and was flanked on either side by county displays from the different counties along its line.
Above the Santa Fe display was arranged a railroad train made of different grains, under which was the motto “Through Kansas and Colorado to New Mexico.” It was represented as running through an immense grain field of wheat, oats, and rye, while back in the distance gleamed the snow-capped peaks of Colorado and New Mexico. The effect was superb. This was supported by pillars made of corn stalks sixteen feet high, with ears ten feet from the bottom. On top of each of these pillars stood a large rooster made of grain, and between them just over a bin overflowing with corn stood a big Shanghai, crowing lustily with a motto “Hurrah for Kansas” around his neck. Then followed on each side the county displays behind arches set on glass pillars. The pillars were filled with different kinds of grain and beans and garden truck.
Sumner County occupied the end of the hall opposite the Santa Fe display. It was by long odds the finest county display in the hall and took the second premium. When we got around to this, it made us sick. Here was our neighbor county without half the chance to make a display that Cowley had, the admired of all admirers, and carrying off the second premium. We have had better corn and wheat, and oats, and pumpkins brought into our office all summer than Sumner had there. And there we stood hearing people praise the exhibit and tell about Sumner being “the next county west of Cowley” for two solid hours; and in fact, we might have been standing there yet had not an old gentleman, evidently from the east and looking for a location, who came along and after examining the display thoroughly, turned to us and said: “Young man, can you tell me where the Cowley County display can be found?” We told him that the Santa Fe display was a fair average of the state. “Yes,” said he, “but where is the Cowley County display? I have heard that it was one of the finest counties in the state and I should like to see some of her products.” “Sir,” said we, “you at this moment have the honor of addressing a Cowley County man. We do not bring our magnificent products here to flaunt in the faces of our neighboring counties, who must be satisfied with raising such puny corn and cholicy pumpkins as you see yonder. You see that handsome gentleman there rubbing his hands so complacently. That is Capt. Folks, a warm friend of ours; and should we roll one of our big pumpkins in here and cover up his whole display, he would feel bad about it, and therefore we don’t do it. Just come down to Winfield some time and we will show you a whole state fair on every quarter section.” He promised us that he would and passed on, while we wended our way to the nearest water tank and vowed a solemn vow, pledged in a cup of St. John’s favorite beverage, that this ignominy should rest upon us no longer. Next year Cowley shall have a display if we have to tote a fat hog from here to Topeka.
One of the pleasantest features of the week was the soldiers reunion on the 15th. Over fifteen thousand old soldiers had gathered here to meet comrades with whom they had walked shoulder to shoulder through the leaden hail for Lookout mountain, Chickamauga, and the wilderness—to fight over again the battles which they had fought sixteen years ago and to cheer again the same old flag they had cheered in days gone by when they risked their lives and their fortunes to preserve its honor.
Ah, this was a day for men to remember. Old gray haired, battle scarred veterans, with tears streaming down their faces as they brought to each others minds the exact spot “where Johnnie fell,” or to see their faces light up with the old fire as they told of a gallant charge on the enemy’s works almost “into the jaws of death,” was worth ten years of one’s life.
We were especially interested in one party, where a gallant fellow with both legs off below the knees and a frightful saber scar across the face, was surrounded by a half dozen of his comrades, two of whom had been wounded with him, and they had laid together on the battlefield among the dead and dying all night. He had fainted from loss of blood during the night and his comrades had thought him dead. They were taken away in the morning and had never heard of one another since. Gabriel himself couldn’t have made a better reunion.
The militia were out in full force. There were twelve companies in all, commanded by Col. Woodcock. They had a sham battle on Saturday, which was one of the finest features of the fair. St. John’s battery was captured, but the victors failed to spike the guns, which omission was noticed by the audience and severely criticized. The evening dress parades were witnessed by thousands of people and were clothed with all the pomp and circumstance of war.
Winfield Courier, October 6, 1881.
Capt. Haight, with his battery, has been attending the soldiers reunion at Sedan. They hauled their cannons over and back with four horses to each piece.
Winfield Courier, October 6, 1881.
The St. John’s Battery from Winfield, which was present during the reunion, Capt. Haight commanding, is composed of a fine set of men, gentlemen in the broadest sense of the term. They handle their battery well and have made many friends during their visit to Sedan. Sedan Journal.
Winfield Courier, February 16, 1882.
Reception of the Governor.
Saturday, 18th, 11 o’clock a.m. Citizens with carriages will assemble at the Santa Fe depot to receive the Governor and escort him through town. Salutes by the St. John Battery, Capt. Haight.
7 o’clock evening: Salute from the Battery. 7 ½ to 9½ evening, reception at the residence of D. A. Millington. Ladies and gentlemen who desire to pay their respects to the Governor are invited to call at that time. This is a general and cordial invitation. There will be no special invitations.
Winfield Courier, February 23, 1882.
The Governor’s Visit.
Governor St. John arrived promptly at 11 o’clock Saturday morning on the Santa Fe train and was received with a salute from Capt. Haight’s St. John battery, and a delegation of citizens with about thirty carriages, who escorted him through the principal streets of the City. The sidewalks were lined with dense crowds of enthusiastic people, who manifested their gratification at his arrival by rounds of cheers. The escort left him at the residence of Mr. Millington, who was to entertain him during his stay. In the afternoon the Governor conversed pleasantly with such friends as he happened to meet, and was driven about the city to observe the various improvements which had been made since his last visit. In the evening at 7 o’clock, the St. John battery fired salutes and an informal reception was held at Mr. Millington’s and notwithstanding the sleet and storm which had set in and continued, a large number of ladies and gentlemen called to pay their respects to the governor and the rooms were pleasantly filled with admiring friends to a reasonably late hour. The storm continued throughout the night and increased in violence. All day Sunday and during the evening, the wind was strong from the north and stinging with cold, the sharp hail cut one’s face like shot, the sand-like snow covered the ground to the depth of several inches, and it was almost impossible to walk on the streets and sidewalks. As 2 o’clock approached, the governor thought it impossible that many could get to the ball and desired to have it announced that the exercises would be adjourned until evening. Senator Hackney so announced to a few already assembled at the Hall, but immediately thereafter, Capt. Scott arrived with about sixty energetic ladies and gentlemen of Arkansas City who had come up on a special train chartered for that purpose, and who were determined not to miss the treat. Immediately the citizens came pouring into the hall and the Senator promised them that the governor should come forthwith and speak to them, and then went to the governor and escorted him to the Hall, where they found every seat occupied and many standing, an audience of more than seven hundred.
The exercises opened with Hackney in the chair, by an appropriate song from the quartette composed of Messrs. Buckman, Black, Blair, and Snow. Rev. J. E. Platter offered a prayer, another song by the quartette, and the chairman in a neat little speech introduced the speaker, who then addressed the enthusiastic and appreciative people for an hour with one of his grand, telling, and characteristic speeches. Another song by the quartette, benediction by Rev. F. M. Rains, and the courageous audience reluctantly retired.
It now became evident that more seats would be wanted and the managers procured two hundred and fifty more seats and filled the hall with seats to its full capacity. In the evening nine hundred seats were early filled with people and a great many were obliged to stand in the passages. More than a thousand people were present.
Exercises opened by prayer lead by Rev. H. A. Tucker, and song by the quartette, followed by one of the grandest speeches ever delivered. The governor held this crowded audience in rapt attention for about an hour and a half, and we believe they would have listened to him all night without exhibiting a sign of weariness. Another song by the quartette and Rev. C. H. Canfield dismissed the audience with a benediction. In this connection it is due to the gentlemen of the quartette to say that their music was of the highest order of merit and added greatly to the pleasure of the performances, for which they have the thanks of the entire audience and the compliments of the governor.
The events of this day prove beyond cavil, the affection, the high esteem, and admiration with which the people hold their governor, and are also a pretty strong indication that prohibition is not unpopular in this city. We are now convinced that had the weather been good, thousands of people from the country would have been present and thousands would have had to return disappointed, unless indeed the speaking had been done in the open air, for the country is where we find the real enthusiasm for St. John and the cause of which he is the most prominent exponent.
Not sure if they are referring to St. John Battery in next item...
Winfield Courier, May 25, 1882.
Judge Bard is now a Kansas “Sojer,” having been commissioned First Lieutenant of the First Battery by Gov. St. John.
Winfield Courier, July 6, 1882.
Winfield had no Fourth beyond the very successful Methodist demonstration and a small gathering in the park. Our people mostly hied themselves to other fields and assisted their neighbors in unfurling the “glorious banner of the free.” The larger part went to Arkansas City. An excursion train left at half past twelve consisting of four coaches, two combination cars, and a baggage car, and loaded with about five hundred Winfieldites. A COURIER representative accompanied the train. The celebration was held in a fine grove east of the city, on the banks of the Walnut, which was so jammed full of people that it was almost impossible to get in. St. John’s battery of this city furnished the “boom” to the satisfaction of all. We arrived too late to see the procession, which was an immense affair and extended from the city to the grove—nearly a mile. The program at the grove was excellent. The Band discoursed sweet music and speeches were made by Cal Swarts, J. F. McMullen, and others. In the evening a fine display of fireworks kept the 3,000 people entranced until nearly ten o’clock.
St. John’s Battery, First Kansas Artillery???...
Winfield Courier, July 13, 1882.
At a meeting of St. John’s Battery, First Kansas Artillery held on July 8th, 1882, the following resolution was adopted and the Secretary instructed to furnish each of the Winfield and Arkansas City papers a copy for publication.
Resolved, That the officers and members of St. John’s Battery extend to the people of Arkansas City their sincere thanks for the hospitable manner in which they were received and entertained by them on the Fourth of July just past. J. M. REED, Secretary.
Winfield Courier, September 7, 1882.
Attention Battery. All Members of St. John’s Battery are hereby ordered to report in person at the Courthouse in Winfield, Saturday, Sept. 9tth, at 1 o’clock p.m.
By order of N. A. HAIGHT, Captain.
Winfield Courier, September 7, 1882.
Special trains will leave here on the A., T. & S. F. Monday and Tuesday mornings between 4 and 5 o’clock. The cost to everyone for a round trip ticket from here to Topeka, including one days admission to the fair will be $4.50. The regular trains will also run as usual. St. John’s Battery leaves on a special train Monday morning.
[TORRANCE CORRESPONDENT: “A SPECTATOR.”]
Winfield Courier, September 28, 1882.
EDS. COURIER: The State Fair and Reunion are numbered with the things of the past, and judging from the immense multitude of human beings swaying to and fro for miles, it would seem as if everybody was there. But I know of a certainty that they were not, and for the benefit of those who remained at home, I will, with your permission, give an abbreviated sketch of what I saw and heard.
Our party arrived at Topeka at half past two o’clock on Monday, the 11th; was taken at once to the fair ground where we pitched our tents and prepared to make ourselves at home; but with dust and heat in abundance and water scarce and warm, it didn’t seem very home-like, after all, and our minds would involuntarily revert back to the pure, cold water in Cowley—and had it not been for the abundance of ice, the water would have been unbearable. As our five days’ stay was confined principally to the fair grounds, we had ample opportunity to inspect most everything on exhibition, and our first impression was, “Where did they all come from?” But on closer examination found about everything to be of Kansas production. When I heard old stock men and men who had been judges at fairs for years say it was the grandest stock show they ever saw, I began to think it was a big thing indeed. Such an immense amount of grain displays in the different halls was wonderful, there being 65 varieties of spring and winter wheat from the Agricultural College. It was hard to decide which county had the most tastefully arranged hall, but to my mind Rice County took the lead.
In the Horticultural hall was the grandest display of floral designs that any imagination could possibly conceive of, and any attempt at description would end in a positive failure; but the fountain and aquarium attracted more attention than all else. The display of jewelry and silverware was one of the prominent features of the Fine Art hall. The specimens of minerals were simply a wonder, some of them presenting perfect and beautiful flowers, fish, roots, and nuts. The collection of stuffed birds and animals was very large and life-like. The insect kingdom was well represented, judging from the long rows of glass cases containing them. The music, painting, pressed flowers, marble works, etc., were of course the very best.
I suppose the races were grand, judging from the amount of people crowded into the amphitheater, and all around the whole race course; but as I do not approve of horse racing, I will leave the description for someone else.
I come now to the most important and interesting part of the great program—the “soldiers.” To me they were the grandest of all the grand things I saw. The sound of corps drums, martial music, drilling, and marching was only a reiteration of the sad and mournful scenes enacted a few short years ago, in such terrible earnestness, and while tears of mingled pride and pain streamed down our cheeks, the one sentiment, “God bless them,” would well up in our hearts again and again, and my prayer to Him is that they may be saved from the blood and carnage that was the fate of their comrades, fathers, and friends in the war so lately closed. I wish everybody could have heard the grand speeches made to them. They would have to be heard to be duly appreciated.
The thousand dollar display of fire works was wonderfully beautiful; and on the whole, the main street in Topeka on Friday, the 16th, was the most beautiful sight it has ever been my lot to see, the city being lighted up almost entirely by electric lights.
My visit to the State house was highly enjoyable, but space forbids any further detail. I have already omitted many important features; but I cannot close without offering a word of praise to the members of St. John’s Battery and the conspicuous part they played in the sham battle. And it was through the kindness of Capt. Haight that our party enjoyed such unlimited privileges of sight seeing. A SPECTATOR.
Winfield Courier, October 12, 1882.
First Light Artillery.
The members of St. John Battery will meet at the courthouse in Winfield on Saturday, Oct. 14th, 1882, for the purpose of electing officers and other important business.
By order of N. A. HAIGHT, Captain.
Winfield Courier, December 28, 1882.
The Spy of Atlanta.
The Committee on behalf of Winfield Post No. 85, G. A. R., and St. John’s Battery of this city, wish through your paper to express our high appreciation of the presentation of the Spy of Atlanta given here on the evenings of December 14, 15, and 16 by Col. L. D. Dobbs.
Col. Dobbs gave us a first-class entertainment, surpassing the expectation of everyone who witnessed it; and causing our best judges of theatricals to pronounce the Spy of Atlanta the most interesting entertainment ever given in our city.
To say that the performance under the skillful management of Col. Dobbs was a complete success, and to commend the Spy of Atlanta under the management of the Col. to the Grand Army of the Republic of Kansas is only an act of justice.
S. V. Devendorf as “Jake Schneider,” was immense, a complete show in himself—his every appearance convulsed the audience in roars of laughter. Devendorf as a comedian is an artist and will always be welcomed in Winfield with a crowded house.
Mrs. R. Jillson was as fine a conception and presentation of the character of Maud Dalton as could be wished; natural, graceful, and original. She won the hearts of the audience and gave to the character of “Maud” a sublime pathos that melted and moved our hearts and tears at her bidding.
The Post and Battery most cordially thank her for contributing so much talent for our benefit.
Mrs. Haight as Mrs. “Dalton,” showed all the true motherly feeling of the character she represented. She was a true mother and we know no higher praise.
Miss Josie Bard, as “Carrie Dalton,” was just what you would expect her to be. Her presentation of the flag was perfect, her singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” grand, and when her wonderfully sweet and cultured voice accompanied by her guitar rendered the “Vacant Chair,” we were glad the chair was vacant, that we might hear the song.
R. M. Bowles as “Edwin Dalton the Spy,” was equal to the leading character of the play. Mr. Bowles is a cultured actor, and his rendition of “Edwin Dalton” was grand. As husband, brother, soldier, prisoner, and spy “Richard was himself” a natural artist.
George H. Buckman represented “Farmer Dalton” so naturally that we thought we were in the country, and felt like we wanted to stay there the balance of our life with the grand old gentleman.
Col. Whiting as “General Sherman,” was a fine conception of the character of the general of our army. He looked and acted the soldier and though surrounded by a brilliant staff was the hero.
The children, Harry and Lottie Caton, as “Little Willie and Nannie,” captivated the audience. Brave “Willie!” Gentle “Nannie!” God will surely bless such noble children.
The tableaux were the finest we ever saw and the young ladies who composed them are as beautiful off the stage as they were in the tableaux.
We would like to describe the beautiful angel, but if we speak of one justice would demand the same of all and our communication would be suppressed on account of its length.
We must thank the “Sisters of Charity,” Misses Ida Bard and Mary Berkey, and felt like we would be willing to be wounded ourselves, if we could look up into their sweet faces.
Samuel Davis as “Pete,” was a life-like personation of a true southern darkey. He was one of the best actors in the cast.
To the soldiers commanded by Capt. Finch and others, we tender our thanks for their assistance and military bearing.
In this notice is it impossible to do justice to all, but rest assured that we feel grateful for the kindness shown us by the entire cast.
SAM. BARD, Chairman; H. L. WELLS, N. A. HAIGHT, J. E. SNOW, T. H. SOWARD.
[ST. JOHN’S BATTERY.]
Winfield Courier, June 7, 1883.
The Battery Surprised.
After the ceremonies in the hall on Decoration day were concluded, Judge Soward called the officers and members of St. John’s Battery forward, and, after having them form on the stage, brought out a beautiful banner, made of lemon yellow silk, with costly fringe and tassels, and inscribed “St. John’s Battery, 1st Kansas Light Artillery” on either side, surrounding two cannon. In a neat and appropriate speech, Mr. Soward informed the boys that the splendid flag was a gift from Ex-Governor John P. St. John. The whole matter was a great surprise to the boys, and especially to Capt. Haight, who responded to the Judge’s remarks with considerable feeling, assuring Gov. St. John, through him, that “its bright folds should never be stained by any act of theirs.” The Battery then filed out, formed around the flag in the street, and gave three cheers for the donor, after which a general inspection of the flag by citizens took place.
[ST. JOHN’S BATTERY.]
Winfield Courier, June 7, 1883.
HEADQUARTERS, ST. JOHN’S BATTERY K. S. M., WINFIELD, Kas. May 30, 1883.
The following resolutions were reported by the committee.
Resolved, That the members of St. John’s Battery, K. S. M., hereby tender to Ex-Gov. John P. St. John, their most cordial and earnest thanks for the present of a most beautiful, magnificent and costly flag to be borne at the head of this organization.
Resolved, That when we look upon this splendid banner, it will ever keep in lively remembrance, the noble friend with princely heart who has presented it.
H. D. GANS, C. TRUMP, J. M. REED, COMMITTEE.
Adopted unanimously. N. A. HAIGHT, Captain. C. S. WRIGHT, O. S.
[JULY 4TH PROGRAM.]
Winfield Courier, June 21, 1883.
Program of the Day’s Doings.
At sunrise on the morning of the Fourth, the artillery will inaugurate the festivities of the day by a salute.
The procession will form on Main Street, right resting on Tenth Avenue, at 10 o’clock a.m., in the following order.
Mayor and City officers.
Courier Cornet Band.
Posts of Grand Army of the Republic.
St. John’s Battery.
Societies in Regalia.
Citizens in wagons and on horseback.
The procession will enter Riverside Park at the east gate, drive to the center, unload, and then drive on to the open ground in the west of the Park, where they can be quartered. Such as desire can drive on through the west Park gate, across the road into the Fair Ground Park, where teams may be placed. Persons must carefully avoid damages to trees in either park.
There will be addresses and a basket picnic dinner at the park, which will be followed by trotting, pacing, and running races, games, etc., on the Fair Grounds, as follows.
1st. Mixed pacing and trotting race, free for all county horses, best two in three mile heats—10 percent entrance. Four to enter, three to start. 1st, $45.00; 2nd, $22.50; 3rd, $7.00.
2nd. Running race, free for all, half mile dash—10 percent entrance. 1st, $15.00; 2nd, $10.50.
3rd. Slow mule race, free for all, half mile dash, change riders, last mule out gets $5.00.
4th. Tub race, winner takes $3.00.
5th. Sack race, $2.50 to boss runner.
6th. Base ball Tournament for a premium ball and bat, $5.00.
7th. Potato race, 1st, $3.00; 2nd, $2.00.
8th. Apple string; the one who bites the apple gets $1.00.
9th. Wheelbarrow race, blindfolded; one who wheels closest to stake gets $1.00.
10th. Greased pole; he who climbs it gets the $5 gold piece on top.
11th. Glass ball shoot, $5. Premium. $1.00 entrance fee—best shot takes 50 percent of premium and entrance money; second best, 25 percent; third 15 percent; fourth, 10 percent.
At 4 o’clock the sham battle will take place on the Fair Grounds under the direction of Col. Whiting, marshal of the day, participated in by the 1st Kansas light artillery and several posts of the G. A. R.
The Courier Band will furnish music during the day.
In the evening there will be a grand flambeaux procession of 200 men, bearing Roman candles and accompanied by illuminated balloon ascensions.
Winfield Courier, July 10, 1884.
RECAP. Fourth of July Celebration: Fully Fifteen Thousand People Present.
On the evening of the 3rd the old soldiers gathered in large numbers at the G. A. R. headquarters and marched to the tune of “Old John Brown” to the beautiful Fair Ground Park. Here they found tents already pitched and everything in readiness for them to chase the festive bean around the camp fire and retell the thrilling stories which will never grow old to the comrades-in-arms. Regular old-fashioned “hard-tack” had been supplied in abundance and a happy reunion was had that night by the boys who wore the blue. After supper, headed by the Burden, Courier, and Juvenile bands, a torchlight procession marched into town. By sunrise Friday morning people from all sections began to pour in. . . .
As we watched the old pioneers as they came into town in their handsome turnouts, we noticed on their countenances pictures of gladness and independence which can’t be beaten anywhere in this broad Union. . . .
At ten o’clock Col. Wm. Whiting and Capt. H. H. Siverd, with a score of assistants, formed the procession and the march to the Park was taken up. The procession was headed by the Burden Band, led by Frank McClain. . . .
Tony Agler, with his clown suit and goat teams, trick ponies, and other things of his own get-up, was attractive in the procession. Tony takes great pains in training his “pets” and shows commendable enterprise in turning out with them on all public occasions.
St. John’s battery was prominent in the procession, and awakened the echoes by booming of cannon from Thursday evening until well along in the next day. The members of the Battery worked faithfully and well for the success of the celebration.
The Robinson and Telegram Fire Companies made a splendid appearance in the procession. The paraphernalia was all beautifully decorated with red, white, and blue, and the Robinson Fire Company represented the Goddess of Liberty with one of the prettiest little misses of the city, Nina Nelson, gracefully seated on their hose cart amid the drapery. O’Meara & Randolph had a representation of their boot and shoe business, accompanied by plantation music from darkies. A feature which attracted wide attention and showed great enterprise was the stone display of Mr. Schmidt from his quarries near town. A large, wide-framed wagon was loaded with fine specimens of stone and men were at work all day sawing it up and distributing the smooth blocks among the people. Oration was delivered by Hon. J. Wade McDonald, who reviewed the progress of the Union from its birth to the present day. Then came dinner followed by an address by Mrs. Helen M. Gougar, the famous lady orator of Indiana.
Then came the amusements. The trotting race, mile heats, best three in five, purse $90, was won by “Basham,” owned by Mr. Wells of Burden over Billy Hands’ “Nellie H.” The running race, quarter mile heat, between the Blenden mare and a lately arrived horse, was won easily by the former, purse $60.
Andy Lindsey of Winfield got $5.00 for climbing to the top of the greased pole. Another ambitious boy preceded him, but on reaching the top slid down without the money, supposing it was in the hands of a committee and all he had to do was to climb the pole. the crowd soon turned his disappointment into gladness by making up the five dollars. The wheelbarrow race, by blindfolded men, some six or seven taking part, furnished much amusement and was won by Allen Brown, a colored man of Winfield. It proved the uncertainty of “going it blind.” The greased pig, after a lively chase, was caught by Phenix Duncan, a colored boy. The festivities of the day closed with a flambeaux procession with Roman candles, etc. The Gas Company turned on a full head both Thursday and Friday evenings and the sixty bright lamp posts, with the stores illuminated with gas lights, gave the city a brilliant appearance. The Firemen’s Ball at the Opera House was largely attended.
Credit was extended to Messrs. J. C. Long, Jas. H. Vance, D. L. Kretsinger, J. P. Baden, A. T. Spotswood, R. E. Wallis, Wm. Whiting, C. C. Black and Fred Kropp for the success of the celebration.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 30, 1885.
All members of the 1st Battery Light Artillery K. S. M., are hereby ordered to meet at Manning’s Opera House, Winfield, Kas., on Saturday, May 2nd, 1885, at 1 o’clock p.m., for the purpose of organizing under the new militia law. By order of N. A. HAIGHT, Capt.
MEMORIAL AND DECORATION SERVICES.
The Program Entire as Adopted by Winfield Post No. 85, G. A. R.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, May 14, 1885.
Post commander and comrades of Winfield Post No. 85, G. A. R.: Your committee appointed to report to the Post a program for memorial and decoration services submit the following as their report.
1st. The committee recommend the following as the order of services for Memorial Day, Sunday, May 24th, 1885.
That there be memorial services held in the 1st Baptist church of the city of Winfield on Sunday morning, May 24, at 11 a.m., and that this Post, with visiting comrades and all old soldiers, with their families, be requested to attend said services and that Dr. Kirkwood, of the Presbyterian church, be requested to deliver the address or sermon at said time and place, and that memorial services be held in the Methodist Episcopal church in the evening of said day, the address to be delivered by Rev. J. H. Reider, and that the Post march in column from their hall to each service.
The following committees are suggested to carry the above recommendations into effect.
Committee of 3 on procuring churches.
Committee of 3 on procuring speakers.
Committee of 3 on decorating churches.
Committee of 3 on seating and ushering.
Decoration services May 30th, 1885.
The Post to meet at their hall at 9½ o’clock a.m., and immediately thereafter to send committee of three to Vernon township to assist the citizens in decoration of soldiers’ graves at Vernon Center cemetery. A committee of five to decorate the graves in the Catholic cemetery; also a committee of five to decorate the soldiers’ graves in the cemetery south of the city. These committees to perform their duty and immediately thereafter to report themselves to the Post commander.
At one o’clock p.m., an address in the Opera House by Rev. H. Kelly, with appropriate music.
At 2 p.m., the parade will form on Main street facing west, the right resting on 10th avenue.
1st, twelve little girls dressed in white and twelve little boys with blue jackets and caps with flowers in the van.
2nd, Winfield Courier band.
3rd, Visiting Posts, Winfield Post, old soldiers not members of Post, ambulances with disabled soldiers and Woman’s Relief Corps and wagons with flowers, in the order named.
2nd division, Winfield Union Cornet band, Company C, State Guards, 1st Light Artillery, Kansas National Guards, Winfield Fire Department.
3rd division, Adelphia Lodge, Winfield Chapter, Winfield Commanders, Winfield Council, Winfield Lodge, K. of H., Winfield Council, No. 5, N. U., Winfield Lodge, No. 18, A. O. U. W., Winfield Lodge, No. 16, S. K., Winfield Lodge No. 101, I. O. O. F., Chevalier Dodge, No. 70, K. of P., Winfield Lodge No. 20, I. O. G. T., and W. C. T. U.
4th division, Winfield Juvenile Cornet Band, Mayor and city authorities and citizens.
Line of march, north on Main street to Eighth avenue; east on Eighth avenue to Harter street; north on Harter street to Fifth avenue; east on Fifth avenue to Michigan Avenue, in Highland Park, and thence north to cemetery. The services in the cemetery to be held on the mound in the center of the cemetery. The officers conducting the manual services of the G. A. R. and Miss Campbell, who will recite the original poem to be on said mound; the comrades and soldiers to be formed in double rank around the drive-way next to said mound. After the poem and manual services by the G. A. R., the twelve little girls and boys and a detail of twelve veterans with baskets of flowers will follow by the column and proceed to first decorate the soldiers graves in the southwest portion of the cemetery, then in the northwest portion, then in the northeast, and then in the southeast.
The committee recommend that the Post Commander command the column and appoint such assistant commanders and aid de camps as he may desire.
We recommend that the committee on securing tombstones from the national government be appointed a committee and be ordered to secure small, white headboards, and have the name of the dead soldiers in our cemeteries, with company and regiment printed thereon, and placed at each grave not so marked, first obtaining the consent of the family of the deceased soldier, and to also mark each grave with a flag of the United States.
The committee would further recommend that the Post Commander appoint an executive committee of five, who shall have the power to appoint all sub-committees to carry this of the programme that may be adopted into effect.
The committee suggest the following committees for Decoration Day:
Committee of three on Invitation.
Committee of three on Music.
Committee of three on Procuring Children.
Committee of ten on Flowers.
The committee would further recommend that the Woman’s Relief Corps be most cordially invited to cooperate with us, and that they be requested to act with us on our committees.
Your committee further recommends that the Mayor of the city be asked to request, by proclamation, our businessmen to close their places of business from 1 to 3:30 P. M., on Saturday, May 30th, and participate in decoration services.
Respectfully submitted in F. C. & L.
T. H. SOWARD, J. J. CARSON, H. H. SIVERD, A. H. LIMERICK.
ANOTHER GOOD ENTERPRISE.
The Kansas National Guard’s Association of Winfield Organized.
An Armory and Hall.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 2, 1885.
The charter of “The Kansas National Guards Association,” of Winfield, has been filed with the Secretary of State. The corporation is formed for the purpose of purchasing ground and the creation of a building to be used as an armory. It is formed for a term of twenty-one years, and its capital stock is ten thousand dollars, divided into one hundred shares of one hundred dollars each. It is made up of Company C., K. N. G., containing sixty members, and St. John’s Battery Company, of thirty-three members. It is controlled by six directors, those chosen for the first year being Thomas J. Harris, Frank W. Finch, C. E. Steuven, N. A. Haight, O. Trump, and W. E. Tansey. This is a splendid move, one that should receive the hearty co-operation of every citizen. We have the oldest and best drilled militia company in the State, composed of enterprising, reliable, and energetic men. Under the law passed by the late legislature, every militia company of the State is furnished full uniforms and $100 a year for armory rent. We have half of the only artillery company in the State, with the Captain, N. A. Haight, and First Lieutenant, W. E. Tansey. Cities in different parts of the State have been trying to get our battery; but owing to both our militia and artillery companies being the oldest and best drilled, Capt. Tansey, representing Winfield before The State Militia Board last month, held the captain and lieutenant, two guns, and half the State company here. The other half was stationed at Topeka. But in order to hold the prestige now established, we must have an armory, and this corporation is intent on having it. The members propose to construct a stone building one hundred feet long, two stories, the upper a splendid hall, suitable for any entertainment. They expect our citizens to go in and help them—take a number of shares and boost it in word and action. We think our people will recognize, at once, the benefit of such a building and offer without reluctance a friendly hand. The Directors of this association met last night and elected W. E. Tansey, president; Frank W. Finch, secretary; and Tom J. Harris, treasurer.
Excerpts from a lengthy article...
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 9, 1885.
Another ga-l-o-r-i-o-u-s Fourth has come and gone. The Great American Eagle of freedom has flapped off the ends of its wings, feasted on red lemonade, soda pop, and hunka dora speeches, and is laid up for repairs. Our reporter got in a balloon Friday evening and fell out at Arkansas City amid the roar of fire cracker and the shouts of the small boy with one suspender, a toy pistol, and fourteen sore fingers. The freight train was numerously loaded Friday evening with Winfield folks, to turn loose their liberty valve and see the white elephant from the tip of his tail to the end of his proboscis. Hitched to the tow string of Dick Howard, the genial Republican faberizer, and Charley McIntire, the pious man of the Democrat, our reporter was kept from under the chariot of over exuberance and numerous caldrons always set for the innocent. The American bosom heaves like a surging sea, on every Fourth of July, with an unquenchable desire to go somewhere, they don’t care where. The biggest end of Cowley rounded up at the terminus, seeing wonders in the air. At least ten thousand people were surging around looking at each other—men and matrons, young men and maidens, boys and girls. At 4 o’clock in the morning the First Light artillery, which had gone noiselessly from here during the night in charge of its captain, N. A. Haight, split the air in twain with cannon’s roar. At 10 o’clock the procession formed. It was headed by our juvenile band, under its splendid leader, Harry Halbrook, and we must remark right here that the boys distinguished themselves grandly, eliciting the highest praises from all. It was their first public appearance away from home and the proficiency they exhibited was a surprise to all. Their selections were beautiful and splendidly rendered throughout. The Buckskin Border Band of The Terminus, ten pieces, were out for the first time in their buckskin uniforms, fringed like unto the ranger of the plains. Their appearance was very unique and their playing good. It is a new band, and of course, is not yet at its best. The Winfield Fire Department marshaled by its chief, Will Clark, all in their bright uniforms, with cart and hose, with alarm bell attachment, was conceded to be the best feature of the procession. The procession was formed as follows: Winfield Juvenile Band; city government; Knights of Pythias; Winfield Fire Department; Buckskin Border Band; thirty uniformed little girls, representing the states; Ladies Relief Corps; Gents on Horseback; Rag Muffins; trade representations, citizens, etc. Rev. S. B. Fleming read the Declaration of Independence and Col. H. T. Sumner, of Arkansas City, delivered the oration. The grounds were in terrible shape owing to the late rains and backwater from the river. The approach was a half mile long and mud all the way. The weather clerk turned the crank the wrong way. The greased pole was the only public amusement on the grounds and a Winfield boy got the lucre off the top. Winfield usually gets there. Private enterprises for extorting, with as much ease and grace as possible, the lucre of the people, were as numerous as usual on such occasions. The public always takes so much money to a celebration and will get rid of it if they do have to give it away.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 11, 1885.
In Arkansas City, The Crowd Estimated at 10,000.
July 3rd on the evening train visitors from Winfield and other towns up the Santa Fe road came pouring into Arkansas City. Bright and early Saturday morning, the firing of cannons roused the sleeping portion of the inhabitants of our city. N. A. Haight, with the First Light Artillery, of Winfield, had come down during the night and it was they who furnished the cannon’s roar.
OFF FOR TOPEKA.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 1, 1885.
Company C, K. N. G., under Capt. Steuven and Lieuts. Finch and Snow, with the Courier Cornet Band, sixteen pieces, and the First Light Artillery, took a special train for the Topeka Soldier’s Reunion, Sunday, at 3 o’clock. The boys left in high spirits and their bright new uniforms and looked war-like: with a dozen or two watermelons to load up with. There is no doubt that our company is one of the best drilled in the state and will carry off high honors. The artillery, under Capt. Haight, will make the echoes resound and will be a fine adjunct to the Reunion. And the Courier Cornet Band will win golden laurels. The music they selected for the occasion is of the highest order and will be rendered charmingly. It will be a hard job to find a band in the state to excel our boys.
Our Militia, Light Artillery, and Bands Come Home From Topeka
With Bright Laurels.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 8, 1885.
Company C, the First Light Artillery, and the Courier Cornet and Juvenile Bands got home from the Topeka Soldiers Encampment Sunday morning at one o’clock. Our fellows were prominent variously in the Reunion. Company C, under its Captain, C. E. Steuven, was conceded to be by far the best drilled and best behaved company on the grounds, while our Artillery Company, under Capt. N. A. Haight, was the only one there. The Courier Cornet and Juvenile Bands received marked attention among the hundred or more bands present. They did themselves proud. The Border Buckskin Band, of Arkansas City, was also a good representative of Cowley, with its unique buckskin uniforms. Our folks all came home elated over the glorious week they spent. It was one of the grandest reunions ever held on American soil. Thursday last was the biggest day Topeka ever saw or ever will see again: over sixty thousand visitors present. Company C comes home with new equipments entire—new guns and complete tenting outfit.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 29, 1885.
DEXTER, KANSAS, OCT. 26, 1885.
To the Editors of THE COURIER, Dear Sirs:—We see a communication in the Telegram of last week charging Dexter Post, No. 133, G. A. R., with passing resolutions denouncing Capt. Haight because he charged us ten dollars for one of the cannon at our reunion, and we will just say, nothing of the kind ever occurred, as the G. A. R. organization is non-partisan, and we believe we have one amongst the best posts in the department of Kansas, and we want to keep up our organization, and to pass any such resolutions, our charter would be taken from us and our post disbanded and the most of us old soldiers would feel aggrieved to be charged with such a thing. Now, as the article referred to, as we believe, was written for electioneering purposes and the Telegram man either knew he was misrepresenting Dexter post, or he does not know as much as a last year’s bird’s nest about the rites and rituals of the Grand Army of the Republic, whilst the Sons’ of Veterans did not think it right to charge us for one of those guns, we do not intend that it shall be used in the present campaign against Captain Haight or anyone else. Those of our post that are Republicans, will vote the Republican ticket, and most of our post that are Democrats will vote the Democratic ticket. Who in the name of God has a better right to vote their sentiment than the men that helped save this nation, let them be Democrat or Republican? Now Mr. Telegram, Dexter post would very respectfully invite you to keep its name out of all petty party quarrels, and oblige the boys of Dexter. We, the undersigned members of Dexter post approve of this article.
Signed, S. H. Wells, J. V. Hines, Sam Nicholson, J. D. Salmon, and John Nichols.
A wee bit of historical background on “Kansas Militia” follows...
KANSAS CYCLOPEDIA, Edited by Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph.D.
Volume II, Copyright 1912, Pages 280 and 281.
1855: The first session of the territorial legislature, which met on July 2, 1855, passed a long act of 27 sections providing for the organization of the militia. [This was what is known as the “bogus legislature,” elected by the votes of Missourians, and the actual residents of the territory refused to be governed by its enactments.]
1858: On Feb. 12, 1855, the first free-state legislature passed an act declaring every white male inhabitant between the ages of 18 and 45 years subject to military duty and a part of the militia of Kansas.
Soon after Kansas was admitted into the Union...
1861: A thorough reorganization of the militia was effected. By the act of April 22, 1861, all male citizens between the ages of 21 and 45 years were declared to be part of the militia, except such persons as might be exempt by the laws of the United States; those who had served for five years in the United States army or the active state militia; superintendents of the state charitable and penal institutions, and railway conductors or engineers actually engaged in the train service of any railroad company. Persons having conscientious scruples against bearing arms could be exempted by payment of $5 annually.
The active militia was defined as the members of volunteer companies, subject to the call of the governor, who was commander-in-chief.
From three to six companies of the active militia were to constitute a battalion.
From five to eleven companies were to be formed into a regiment.
All enlistments were to be for a period of five years.
[There was more stated in 1861 with respect to militia that I skipped.]
1885: By the act of March 7, 1885, the militia of Kansas underwent for a second time a complete reorganization, and the name was changed to the “Kansas National Guard.”
There were four brigade districts, each under the command of a brigadier-general.
The law provided for an annual muster and camp of instruction.
The first annual muster was held at Topeka from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3, 1885.
[Note: I quit in the middle of April 15, 1886, Winfield Courier.]