The Lindley Cornet Band 1884 to 1900

The Lindley Cornet Band
From A Brief History of Lindley and It's Pioneer Families By William Hilton Burr 1951 (Transcribed by Catherine M Pierce - Town of Lindley Historian -12-18-2010 )

"Few still live who remember the Lindley Cornet Band. This organization flourished between the years 1884 and 1900. It was composed of 24 members all of whom lived in Lindley and Erwin Center. (now known as Presho-)
It is difficult today to understand how such a large organization could have been found in the town. But it was. For years, the Band led the Memorial Day parade at Lindley in the forenoon, then at Lawrenceville in the afternoon. We played at Fourth of July celebrations, political parades and picnics in surrounding towns. We were never invited to play before the King and Queen of England, but we traveled about the country as far as Corning, Addison, Wellsboro and Elkland. Our last parade was at Lindley and Lawrenceville May 30th, 1889. Two days later the great June flood came down through the valley, swept away the town hall containing many band instruments which were stored in the town hall. Some of them were later found in the bottom of the river and the bass drum was carried away and found in the wrecked town hall. Some of the band men went away from Lindley. Their places were never filled and the existence of the Band was ended by the flood of 1889.
During the time when the Lindley Band was flourishing, there was a rival Band at Lawrenceville. Rivalry between the two competing bands ran at high tide~ especially on Memorial Day. The Lawrenceville band came to Lindley to march in the Memorial Day parade in the forenoon and the Lindley band marched at the Lawrenceville parade in the afternoon. We had the largest Band, the best uniforms and made the most noise, but I have always had a suspicion that, perhaps the Lawrenceville Band made the best music.
Our Lindley band always marched in columns, four abreast. Ira Lyon and Emmet Carey played tubes, Porter Watson played the B Flat bass, William H. Burr the baritone. In the next column Harry H. Lyon and William Jones played the tenor trombone; William Huggins and Frank Camp, the alto trombones. In the third column Charles E. Bouldt and William Pepper played clarinets, William C. Riffle and Fred Carey played the B and E cornets. In the fourth column William Manley and Andrew Black, George M. Riffle, Marius Manley and Otis Riffle played cornets at times. In the last column came Henry Leavenworth with his bass drum and cymbals and L.G. Gale with is snare drum.
I well remember that the first production that our teacher ventured to let us
play was "Go Tell Old Aunt Abbey That Her Grey Goose is Dead". No one who has been a part of a Band beginners' bedlam with twenty beginners with twenty different instruments of twenty different sounds are trying to play can doubt the reason why Old Aunt Abbey's goose died. Probably she could not stand the racket. "

( If at first you don't succeed ,try and try again-especially when learning to use a new scanner-- Kitty)
Sometimes when reading a person's version of an event,you end with more questions than when you started.
Mr. Burr gives two dates for the end of the band - 1. after the 1889 flood and 2. 1900 in the title of his article.
From the invitation, we know that several gentleman were still part of the band in 1894 and playing at the Town Hall . Was this new Town Hall built after the 1889 flood.? or one built later?
We own the building which was the Town Hall/PostOffice and Grange Hall before the present Town Hall/Post Office opened after the 1972 flood. Our deed leads us to believe our"Old Town Hall " was built in 1897. Which date is correct?
A Google search wasn't very successful in finding a definition of a "Select Dance" One source seemed to indicate a musical selection was chosen before you asked a partner to dance. HMM-Logical???
What kind of dance music was popular in 1894??
William H. Burr, the author. was educated at Alfred University and Cornell. He practiced law in Rochester, then devoted his time to oil interests in Wyoming.He retired from business and at the time he wrote the book resided in Royalstown,Mass. Fortunately, Mrs. Kathryn Loughridge had a copy of of his book which gives considerable information about Lindley before Mr. Burr left for a college education . We are fortunate that a copy of his book still exists.
Unfortunately, however, much of Lindley's history for this time period has been lost . As historian, I am always excited when someone shares records and information about Lindley's history. Thanks to the blog, I am able to share some of this with the readers. I hope you find the stories interesting.
I came across a quote in a Historical pamphlet --Tradition May 1961 that I think explains a need for knowing about our past " I feel strongly that our nation cannot know where it is going unless it uses the guide -lines and guide posts of the past." Richard D.Mudd, M.D.


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