This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

Keota Ladies Band

16 February 2010

The Keota Ladies Band of Keota, Iowa from a postcard mailed in 1909, in their fine hats and uniforms. Note the modern font style for Keota on the drum, and those are mellophones and not horns carried by the ladies on the left.

Here they are from around 1911-14 wearing what I think must be the summer fashion. The postmark on this card is difficult but it's a few years later because written on the back is "Bess Holmes and Stella Fish are missing." The writer is Pearl, whom I believe is Miss Pearl Warrington the cornet soloist, first row left in the first photo and in the second photo, seated to the right of the director. He is Professor O.W. Glass.

I know all this from finding a 1909 Iowa newspaper on the web which had a marvelous civic booster article for Keota. It included a print of the first picture and all the band members' names, along with a detailed description of all the civic and business culture for this small town. Here is an excerpt and I include the bit on the horses because I think it is interesting that so many horses were imported and exported from this little place in Iowa -  

The Muscatine Journal, Muscatine, Iowa
from December 16, 1909.

Keota, The Home of Booster's and Booster For Home
Its International Business in Fine Draft Horses, Its Splendid Residences and Its Two Widely known -Bands.  But a Few of the Remarkable Destinations of This Thriving Keokuk County Town.

Iowa's most musical town, population considered, is Keota. The town claims to have an array of local talent unequalled anywhere else in Iowa, among the smaller towns and has two excellent band organizations to back up the claim. Twenty-five young women of the town, constitute the membership of one which is known as the Keota Ladies' band, which was one of the most popular features of the Columbus Junction chautauqua last year and which is known all over the state. The Keola "Koncert" hand of 35 pieces, is also a home organization with home talent exclusively. The townspeople are enthusiastic for music and when; either of the musical organizations play at public functions, they are given a rousing reception. The members of both bands are versatile musicians, many of them being able to play several instruments; and several of the young women arc vocalists of more than ordinary ability. The Ladies' band was organized a year ago. There are a row among the members who were unable to play wind instruments when the band was organized and the rehearsals were the means by which they learned to play.
Much Musical Talent
''Keoia has more musical talent," said Professor 0. W. Glass, director of both bands. than any other town of its size in this part of the country. Many of those here, who show talent and who develop it , play more than one instrument and lend their services to church orchestras. The result is we have good orchestras in all the churches and the music is therefore one of the most delightful features of the services. "One thing about the members of both bands which accounts for the wel l selected programs that they give, is the good musical taste of the members. While al! bands, or many of them, can play the classics with a certain degree of proficiency they cannot without some taste and natural desire for the classics, play with as much enthusiasm. While the ladies' band has not been organized more than a year nothing they have attempted, seems to have been out of. their reach."

Rehearsals are held once each week and the members of the organizations show thei r interest by regular attendance. A room has been furnished in the Keota State bank building for the headquarters of the musicians and the resounding notes of the cornet , the clarinet , the mellophones, the trombones, the drums and other band instruments, can be heard from the street every Monday and Tuesday evenings.

Many Important Engagements.
The Keota Ladies' band played a number of important engagements last year besides the Columbus Junction chautauqua and at all of the public gathering's and celebrations besides the regular outdoor concerts both hands played. The people or the town are liberal in their support and the organizations have never lacked funds to exist. Much of the credit for Keota's prominence in a musical way belongs to Professor Glass. He came to the town two years ago and the success of both the young men's band and that of the young ladies is due to his energy. For the Keota Koncert band and the Keota Ladies band the people of the town and numbers who have been able to develop their talent, can thank Professor Glass.

Keota Koncert Band.
A, A, Clenrlenning is president , of the Koncert band. J. A. L. Schreckengast, secretary, and L. Elmer Hulse treasurer.
The members of the band with the instrumentation follows:
Solo cornet: Edward A. Hulse.
Cornets: L. Everet Hulse, L. S. Richardson, T. J. Fish, B. Sheriff and D.V. Mulhern.
Flute,and piccolo: A. L. Richardson.
Solo clarinet: O. W. Glass.
Clarinets: W. P. Anderson, M, B. Glass, J. S. Chesney, H. A. Helscher.,

Keota Ladies Band.
The members of the Ladies' band, with the instrumentation, are as follows:
Solo cornet: Miss Pearl Warrington and Miss Mary De Yoe.
First Cornet: Miss Bessie Holmes.
Second cornet: Miss Stella Fish and Miss Eva Reed;
Mellophones: Misses Bessie Smock, Hazel Williams, Vina Dow and Ruby Hulse.
Siide Trombones: Mrs. Sarah Stewart and Misses Mae Dorrance and Ruth Lindauer.
Baritone: Miss Clara B, Stewart and Mrs. Maud Schaunberg.
Tuba: Misses E. Lois Stewar t and Gertrude Palm,
Eb Clarinet: Mrs. M. Glass.
Solo clarinet: Mrs. Mamie Nelson, Mrs. Hazel Foster and Miss Blanche Torrey.
Second clarinet: Mrs. Ella  M. Pettit.
Snare-drum: Miss Nell Fish.
Bass drum: Miss Mary Burke.

Many Orchestras.
The Methodist Episcopal, Christian and Presbyterian churches all have orchestras. Miss Pear l Warrington directs the Presbyterian church orchestra and her musical gift, ability as a leader and energy has resulted in an excellent seven- piece organization. Elmer Hulse leads a ten-piece orchestra at the Methodist church, and Miss Clara Stewart leads the Christian church orchestra equally as large. All of these musicians are enthusiastic members of the bands and besides Miss Stewart is talented as a violinist, having a class of progressing students and always enjoyed in public. Miss Lois Stewart, who plays tuba in the band, is cellist in the Christian church orchestra and a soloist. Miss Nell Fish is also proficient as a violinist, and Mrs. 0. W. Glass is a harpist. These are but a few of those who make up Keota's extraordinary musical talent. And the fact that the concert is always a success in the town speaks for the generous support of the people and their appreciation of music.

Many Horses Imported.
Outside of the state of Iowa, Keota is known to the far corners of the nation for its importers of thoroughbred horses. The Keisers and Singmasters do the business on the most extensive scale of any horse importers of the United States, a claim conceded by horsemen.

TheSingmasters and Kaisers import horses from France by the shipload and by the train load. On the last trip from France to America, 250 head of the finest bred stallions were brought over. In the Singmaster barn there are now 72 head of horses and at Maplehurst , the ranch of Shipmaster & Sons, which comprises 1,200 acres, there are more than 500 head of horses. In the barn, the stallions are valued from $1,200 to $2,500, the Journal correspondent was told; and they are very fine specimens of horse flesh, which is the reputation of the animals sold by the Singmasters the world over. At Maplehurst, C. F. Singmaster and his sons. C. A. Singmaster and J. Oraer Singmaster, have three beautiful residences, elaborate in appointments and modern throughout. The ranch is two miles southwest of Keota. Thomas Singmaster has a $40,000 home just at the edge of town, the finest in Washington county. It is just over the line of Keokuk county, the Keota town limits being the county line. Surrounding his residence is one section of the 3,600 acres of land owned by Mr. Singmaster.

A Good Town.
The population of Keota is given at 1,100. It is 52 miles from Muscatine and 80 miles from Davenport, in the eastern portion of Keokuk county. Its citizens are progressive and its businessmen enterprising and up to the time's in everything. Six denominations are represented in the churches, the Methodist Episcopal; the Presbyterian; the United Presbyterian; Church of Christ; Baptist; and Catholic. There are three lodges, the Odd Fellows; Knights of Pythias; and the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; besides the Modern Woodmen of America. The town has an excellent public school system with a modem brick building in the tower of which the people of the town placed a clock that cost $1,200. The town has a tile factory and supports its own waterworks system. Robert Morris operates the electric lighting system. The franchise was given for this enterprise twelve years ago and since Mr. Morris took hold of it about two years ago, he has improved the system until the people have as good service as could be hoped for.

No comments:


  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP