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Local History 

Memorial Day 1933

 Springfield National Cemetery, ca. 1885, courtesy of Wilson's Creek National Battlefield.Springfield News & Leader
May 28, 1933, page 1B

Military ritual to be conducted here on Tuesday

"The Memorial Day tradition, inaugurated here in 1867 with General Sherman as a guest, will be observed Tuesday afternoon at the National Cemetery with a military program.

“Several Springfield churches have scheduled memorial services this morning and a Catholic service will be presented in St. Mary’s Cemetery on Tuesday morning.

“Scores of old cemeteries in this region will serve as settings for old-fashioned all day services both today and Tuesday.  There will be speakers and programs and placing of flowers upon mounds covering beloved dead.

W.C. Calland, Civil War veteran who has directed the Memorial Day programs at the National cemetery for many years, issued a request last night that business men close their establishments, at least by noon, in order that employees may attend Memorial services.  He urged that flags be flown.  Her urged Springfieldians visit the cemetery rites.

“On the first occasion of Memorial Day rites in Springfield, he recalled, there were 1400 persons present at the cemetery.  There were 150 wagonloads from Springfield and seven carriages, the only carriages in Springfield.  Four hundred attended on horseback from long distances, he said.

“The Springfield G.A.R. post was organized that year and since has enrolled 600 members, or whom only seven are living today.  They are W.B. Coon, W.C. Calland, commander, Perry Buchanon, John Boehm, L.W. Stone, E. H. Chiff and C. B. Pollard who will read Lincoln’s Gettysburg address at the Tuesday afternoon service.

“Dr. A. J. Croft will be the principal speaker at the services.  People will assemble at the north gate of the cemetery at 2 o’clock.  Marshal of the day, J. L. Heckenlively will lead the march to the stand where 'America' will be sung.  The Boy Scout band will lead in the 'The Star Spangled Banner' and the Rev. T. Rolla Crowell will give the invocation.  Mayor Harry D. Durst will read the proclamation.

“The memorial service in St. Mary’s Cemetery Tuesday morning will begin at 9:30 o’clock with a celebration of low mass under the direction of Father Frowin, assistant at St. Joseph’s.  Father Thomas Brady of Sacred Heart church will officiate at the Absolution of the dead and father C.A.M. Dibbins will make the principal address.  Catholic and non-Catholics are invited.

“There will be an all day memorial service at Cave Springs today with an address by Attorney George H. Skidmore at 11 o’clock, dinner on the grounds and an afternoon program.  The cemetery is said to be 100 years old.

“Prosecutor Dan M. Nee will speak at 2 o’clock this afternoon at a cemetery north of Billings at a memorial service given under the auspices of the American Legion posts of Republic, Billings and Clever.

“The annual memorial service of Mount Pleasant church, three miles west of Willard, will be today with the Rev. G. O. VanNoy, pastor of Robberson Avenue Baptist church, speaking in the afternoon at 2 o’clock.  There will be all day services with a basket dinner at noon.  Members of the Robberson Avenue quartet, Mrs. Kenneth Long, Miss Eunice East, Virgil Hartley and John Morton will assist.  Miss Thelma Brandon will be the accompanist.

“The Rev. A.E. Peterson, superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Springfield district, will speak at Routh’s Chapel this morning.  There will be a basket dinner, the Rev. C.R. Young, pastor, announced.

“There will be decoration services today at Hickory Grove cemetery near Morrisville in Polk County today, J. A. Jones has announced.

“L. O. Sanderson, minister of South National Avenue Church of Christ will preach the memorial sermon at Patterson cemetery, six miles south of Springfield at 2 o’clock this afternoon.

“A memorial sermon was preached yesterday morning at the Mount Comfort Presbyterian Church 10 miles north on Highway 65 by the Rev. H. U. Campbell, presiding elder of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.  The New Salem M. E. church South cooperated in the service.

“Prosecutor Nee also will speak Tuesday at the Memorial service sponsored by the Graham Wasson post of the American Legion at Ozark and the Goodwill club there.  There will be a parade at 1 o’clock with Mr. Nee’s speech at 2:30 o’clock.  Dedication of the six-ton field piece recently mounted on a concrete base on the court house lawn at Ozark also will take place.

“Hosea Creek post no. 19 of the American Legion at Buffalo will sponsor a service on Tuesday with a program in the forenoon on the public square and decoration of the graves of veterans of all wars at the cemetery.  Representative L. H. Presley of Dallas County will be the speaker.

“Memorial Day services will be held next Sunday, June 4 at the Monger cemetery, three miles north of Sparta.  There will be an address at 11 o’clock and songs in the afternoon.”

Photograph of the Springfield National Cemetery, ca. 1885, courtesy of Wilson's Creek National Battlefield.  Also, the 1867 date in the first paragraph may be an error.


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