Local History and Genealogy

Monday, May 17, 2010

Old Settlers Day - August 15, 1901

Another Old Settler Day has come and gone, and as was anticipated an immense throng of humanity, old, middle aged and young, filled the streets and public places of Angola to overflowing.  The dawn of day, Thursday, August 15, 1901, denoted fair weather, and at an early hour the streets began to put on activity in the preparations for the coming multitude of visitors from near and far, all of which signified the birth of another red letter day for our town.  As early as eight o'clock the dust covered farmers and their wives and children, began to pour into town on the four leading thoroughfares, many of which repaired at once to the court yard park and lines their vehicles along the east and south sides for occupancy during the day.  Livery and feed barns were soon filled and also every nook and corner of the town from center to circumference were utilized for vehicles and horse storage.

About 9:30 o'clock the Angola City band and the Edon, Ohio Cornet band went to the depot to meet the excursion trains from north and south.  The south train with seven coaches filled with people along the road from Fort Wayne to Angola, pulled into the station first, and as excursionists were alighting, the train from the north came came in well loaded with people along the line from Hillsdale to Angola.  Here was a great mass of people, friends mingling with friends and strangers with strangers, but the amusing feature was to see strangers looking for friends in the big crowd.  When the multitude started up town the walks on both sides of Maumee street were literally jammed, while the street was filled with vehicles and bands. The ladies military band from Waterloo took the lead while the Angola City band was in the rear with the Edon cornet band sandwiched between.  The view of Maumee street as seen from the Hotel Hendry at this juncture will long be remembered by both young and old.

The crowd, estimated at from 10,000 to 12,000 people was pretty well scattered over town, and perhaps at no one time was there more than two-thirds of the crowd around the park and public square.  The center of attraction was the court yard where speeches were made, songs sung and invocations offered. The meeting was presided over by Cyrus Cline, Rev A.G. Neal opened by prayer, then James Catchpole sang a solo which was heartily received.  O. F. Rakestraw, secretary, then read the list of pioneers who had died during the past year - forty-two in all.   Solos were sung by Allie Truesdale, Pyrl Gates and Vieve Dutter, after which W. H. Keyes of Hamilton interested the audience with some of his early day reminiscences.  "Jake" Rivers, a well known colored gentleman of Reading, Michigan who was a Virginia slave, gave a short speech after which came adjournment for dinner.

During the noon hour, hotels, restaurants, private houses, streets and door yards were filled, and all sorts of tables were spread with up-to-date picnic dinners and all seemed to most heartily enjoy the festive occasion.
After dinner the crowd gathered in the park again to listen to speeches.  During the afternoon music was furnished by the bands, High School Mandolin Club, College Quartet, Salem Center Chorus Club and F.H. Alcott, making it a very enjoyable season for all present.

This gala day closed with a fine display of  fireworks in the evening from a stand on the public square, after which seven or eight hundred people repaired to the Croxton Opera House to witness the play, "Human Hearts" by the Angola Dramatic Company.

Meeting of the Old Settlers Association
Steuben Republican - August 21, 1901