A Glorious Fourth

The Standard often reported that dinners were the most delicious and lavish ever served, parties the most delightful, and good times the finest ever had.  We see a slight crack in the armor in the reporter’s description published in the July 6, 1900 edition of the Skidmore Standard:

A Glorious Fourth.
Hundreds of Visitors Celebrate in Skidmore.

Notwithstanding the seemingly tired feeling which everyone except the small boy and his older brother appeared to be burdened this year, a surprisingly large number of people came to Skidmore to celebrate the nation’s birthday. A very noticeable feature too was that everyone apparently wanted to get in a full day; crowds of visitors began to arrive at a comparatively early hour and remained until long after the shades of evening had spread over the scenes of noisy festivity and hilarious jocularity.  In this one respect, the celebration was a success in Skidmore, but otherwise it fell short of the usual standard maintained in years gone by.  Our respect for the truth compels us to admit this fact however disagreeable it may be.  The cause is attributable to the apathy which seemed to possess everyone and the feeling that it would be almost impossible to have a successful celebration this year.  However we believe that most of the visitors are glad they were here; at any rate they are not sorry.  The day was pleasant and the grove is a delightful place for picnicing.  There was an abundance of lemonade, ice cream, candy, oranges, cigars and firecrackers; three good speakers, splendid band that earned its money and several deputy marshals to maintain order and peace among any boisterous characters who might consume too much red lemonade.  So then taking it all together it was a good place to be.  Neighbors met with their neighbors and other peoples neighbors, had their talks about crops and the dust that sadly needs settling; speculated on the action at Kansas City, predicted victory for the Democrats next fall, or another four years of Republican rule.  So with a few exceptions the peopel returned to their homes benefited.

Mr. Stratford Saunders, who has acted in the capacity of President of the Day at so many celebrations in Skidmore that presiding comes almost as natural as eating, to him, gave a short address at about 11 o’clock, welcomed the people and called for music from the band.  Rev. Lane Douglas led in prayer followed by another selection from the band.  Then Mr. William M. Howden “the old reliable” who can read the Declaration of Independence better than any “trained elocutionist,” appeared before the audience without paper or notes and declaimed what our forefathers had concluded should be done “when in the course of human events it becomes necessary.”  When Mr. Howden had concluded, Mr. Saunders arose and gravely announced that “the next will be music by the band.”  Be it here understood that the President of the day occupied a very un-enviable position.  No program had been prepared and yet the speakers were not yet on the grounds; so when there was nothing else in sight Mr. Saunders invariably called for “music by the band.”  During the afternoon the people were given three good talks by Maryville orators, attorneys D. R. Baker and Cake and Judge Sayler.  The efforts of these gentlemen to entertain the hundreds of listeners were well received although the crowd was extremely undemonstrative, it being impossible to work up an enthused cheer.

The Harmonimultiform Band composed of everyone around here who plays a stringed instrument took the platform long enough to play two selections.  They did this just for fun. Miss Bessie Gray one of our most talented young lady readers, also entertained the people with a choice selection.

The open air band concert at the crossing of Elm and Walnut streets in the evening and the fireworks display later kept hundreds of visitors in town until a very late hour and July 4th went out as it was ushered in by the booming cannon and the popping of giant fire crackers.


The day was the most pleasant of the week.

The wood was full of people and so was the town.

Yesterday everybody in town felt that it was the 5th of July.

The Ringgold Band of Mound City plays good music and plenty of it.

Considering the large number of people present, the order was exceptionally good.

The members of the Harmonimultiform Band did not play all the selections they knew.

Dust!  The streets were full of dust and so was the air; people and everything was covered with it.

There were people here from Quitman, Maitland, Graham, Mound City, Maryville, St. Joseph and elsewhere.

The marshals had to arrest some boys for riding through the streets in a manner approved of “out west” a la cowboy.

A large number of our citizens would heartily favor the passing of an ordinance by the Town Board prohibiting the sale of fire crackers in Skidmore.

There was no tug-of-war.  None of our neighboring towns have organizations which contain ten men with nerve enough to pull the Skidmore Modern Woodmen team.

B. E. Wood looks very, very sorry for himself because that young cannon went off too soon.  His face is full of powder and he sincerely wishes that he had not tried to celebrate.

It would be very difficult to state exactly how many secret “cussings” those boys got the night before the Fourth for each time that roaring, sleep disturbing cannon was discharged.

Two young men from Maryville with their ladies in a carriage discharged a revolver several times rapidly, driving down Elm street which was thronged with people.  They evidently entertained no fears of arrest for they proceeded to drive leisurely along toward home; but two marshals took a buggy and team which was just coming out of Garnett & Bohannan’s barn and went after the gay boys.  The officers caught them and brought the boys back to the mayor’s office where they were assessed a fine and made cognizant of the fact that Skidmore is incorporated.

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