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Local History

Fourth of July 1895

Springfield Democrat, July 4, 1895 page 5

As Americans ought, the Fourth to be celebrated very much here

The Fourth will be celebrated in divers and sundry ways in and about Springfield today as it never was before, and an immense crowd of people will be attracted from every point of the compass. The principal attractions will be the races at the old fair grounds in the afternoon, amusements at Doling Park, bicycle races at the Zoo and a grand display of fireworks on the public square at night.

The races at the old fair grounds will doubtless be the greatest attraction of the afternoon. There has been $1,000 in purses offered and quite a number of the fastest horses in the west will be put on the track. There will be a novelty race for $150, donated by the merchants, which will be a great attraction. Thirteen horses have been entered for the three minute trot, some of them amateurs. The 2:18 pace will be one of the features of the day, as well as the 2:10 trot. Horses will be here from Carthage, Billings, Monett, and other neighboring points. There will also be a race of eight ponies. A large number of entries for the various races have been made.

The bicycle races at the Zoo in the afternoon will be one of the most attractive features of the day. The best amateur cyclists in Springfield and other points in the southwest will participate for a long list of valuable prizes. George Powell, of Fort Scott, will give exhibitions of his skill as a trick rider. 

Doling Park - This beautiful and picturesque resort will have especial attractions today. There will be high diving from a tower erected for the purpose, boat riding, swimming, swings, etc., and music by the Marine Band. There will be a magnificent display of fireworks at night. The cave will be open throughout the day.

Baseball and Cricket - A picked nine from the McGregor-Noe Hardware Store will cross bats with another from the Rogers-Baldwin Hardware Store at the old fair grounds at 9 o’clock a.m. admission will be free. There will be a match game of cricket this afternoon between an eleven made up from the furniture factory and a town eleven, on the grounds adjoining the Crescent Iron Works. All players are requested to be on the grounds at 1 o’clock sharp.

The fireworks, ordered by Will P. Stewart have arrived, and everything will be in readiness for the grandest display on the square tonight that has ever been given in Springfield. As the square will not be big enough to hold the spectators the display will be given from an elevated platform in the center, so that good views of the fireworks may be had from College, South, St. Louis and Boonville Streets. The catalogue price of the pieces that will make up the program is $1,200, and in includes many novelties that were exhibited on special occasions at Chicago during the World’s Fair. Among the sublime sights that will be exhibited are the Tear of Liberty, Revolving Sun, Evening Star, Dragoon’s Nest, and other fantastic pyrotechnic ingenuities. Especially magnificent will be the Niagara Falls, which will consist of a dazzling and bewildering profusion of falling sparks. Hobart’s Band will furnish the music. The firemen of both districts will be ready for a prompt run in case of fire, and those of No. 1 [Firehouse] will probably stand with their equipment on the Square during the evening.

Many of the stores on the north side will close at 10 a.m. The offices of the federal building and the city hall will be closed. The railroad offices will remain at work. Most of the drug stores will be open all day to supply arnica and bandages for the maimed, wounded and singed. 
 

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