Memorial Day, even though it has recently become associated with early holiday travel, picnics, sporting events and other entertainment, still retains some connection to its original purpose in honoring departed members of the armed forces.
Dave Neuhardt shared an entry from the minutes of the local Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) post of a Memorial Day celebration in 1916, when such celebrations were more extensive and for mal:
“Headquarters Burkholder Post No. 115 G.A.R. Opera House Hall – Yellow Springs, Ohio. June 4, 1916
Post met and opened in due form. – Members present: McCullough, Miller, Abby, Goetz, Rex, Hirst, Hopkins, Brewer, Warner. Adjutants report of last meeting was read and approved. Quartermaster reported amount on hand $4.83; report approved.
Comrade A. F. Hopkins moved that a check for ten dollars be forwarded to Hon. Chase Stewart for services as Memorial Day orator; the motion being duly seconded and put to vote, was carried unanimously; but as that amount was not at present in the hands of the quartermaster, it was kindly advanced by Comrades Hopkins and Rex until such time as the Post had sufficient funds on hand to refund it to them. The Adjutant was then instructed to draw an order on Quartermaster for ten dollars, which ordeer being complied with, the check was duly forwarded on June 5th.
It was moved and seconded that the delegates from the Burkholder Post to the State Encampment at Marion, Ohio; be instructed to work and vote for Comrade Wm. H. Surles of East Liverpool, Ohio for Department Commander, which being put to vote was carried unanimously.
It was also moved and seconded that the Adjutant and Quartermaster be appointed a special committee on memorial bills, and be authorized to audit and pay all bills relating to Memorial Day of May 30, 1916. Which being put to vote, was carried by a full vote of the Post.
The Adjutant was instructed to write a card of thanks and have it printed in the Yellow Springs News, expressing our appreciation for all the kindness received from citizens, for use of autombiles to transport members of the Post and Relief Corps, to and from the Cemeteries of Memorial Day; also to all who participated in the exercises and the parade and thus assisted in observing this sacred day. — These instructions were duly complied with and a copy of same can be found on page 206.
9:30 A.M.—Decoration of Soldiers’ Graves at St. Paul’s Cemetery
2:00 P.M. Opera House, . . . . Yellow Springs, Ohio
E. B.Hopkins, Chairman
Invocation……………………………………………………………………………Rev. C. Harold Clerke
Reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Addresss………Capt. Wm. H. Warner, 40th New York Volunteers
Messrs. P. W. Drake, Earle Littleton, Warren Sparrow, Fay Kershner
Reading — Rufus King, Private………………………………..Charles Jacobs
ADDRESSS……………………………………………….Hon. Chase Stewart, Springfield, O.
Flag Drill………..,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,…………Public School Pupils
Decoration of Soldiers’ Graves at Glen Forest Cemetery
All soldiers and members of Relief Corps are requests to meet at the G.A.R. Post Room at 8 a.m. so as to proceed to St. Paul’s Cemetery to decorate the graves of soldiers buried there. Conveyances will be provided for those who wish to ride.
T. C. Hirst, Adjutant George W. McCullough, P.C.
Memorial Day 1916
CARD OF THANKS
Headquarters, Burkholder Post,
No. 115, G.A.R.,
Yellow Springs, O., June 15, 1916
On behalf of Burkholder Post, we desire to most earnestly thank all our kind friends who so generously donated the use of their autombiles to transport the members of the G.A.R., the Relief Corps and the children on Memorial day, May 30th, 1916. It was a generous and patriotic act, which we greatly appreciate and will long remember.
Those who so kindly donated the used of their cars were Mr. Ned H. Straus, Dr. H. F. Baker, T. W. Neff, A. I. Drake, Earle Littleton, Morris, Littleton, Dr. R. R. Richison, Chas. Cox, Charles Birch, Dr. H. Davidson, Grant Hopping, W. C. Lacey, Dr. L. L. Taylor, C. C. Beam, Archie Crist, John DeWine, P. M. Stewart, George H. Drake, P. W. Drake, Frank Hughes, Prof. Wm. Dawson and Edward Carlisle. We also wish to thank Mr. David Hilt for the efficient manner in which he conducted the parade of those handsomely decorated cars during the day. We wish to thank Mr. Riley Corry for special donation of flowers; also we wish to sincerely thank Rev. C. Harold Clerke and members of the M. E. Church for services so kindly rendered on Memorial Sunday; and to members of the vocal quartette—Messrs. Drake, Littleton, Sparrow and Kershner, for their beautiful patriotic music. To Mr. Charles Jacobs, for his life-like reading of “Rufus King, Private.”
To members of the Relief Corps and those who took part in the magnificent Flag drill, and all members of the I.O.O.F., and Junior Order, who participated in the parade.
To all those mentioned we wish to express our sincere and grateful thanks. Geo.W. McCullough, Post Com., T. C. Hirst, Adj’t.
Capt. Wm. H. Warner
Capt. Wm. H. Warner, a veteran of the Co. E. 40th N.Y. Volunteers, who served valiantly in the Army of the Potomac for more than four years, and was twice dangerously wounded and fought through the battle of Gettysburg in Gen. Sickles’ corps, was called to the stage on Memorial day and read Lincoln’s Gettysburg address with deep feeling, and received great applause.