Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Menasha Celebration

June 19, 1919, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern
Roughly 97 years ago this weekend, the city welcomed back its soldiers from World War I service.  It was known as The Great War then.  Earlier in this blog, we'd featured a photo of the parade: and another photo was featured in the book:  

The article above is hard to read in places, so a transcription is provided below for ease in viewing:

Menasha’s two days of celebration for her returned heroes ended in a blaze of glory last evening.  The big street parade, an aeroplane flight, review of the returned men by Major Martin, day and night fireworks, concerts by two bands and a drum and bugle corps and public dancing on the court of honor kept the crowd of several thousand people in a happy frame of mind and even a heavy shower at 8 o’clock last evening failed to dampen the spirit of rejoicing.  There was nothing too good for the men who served their country and the citizens of Menasha provided every possible form of entertainment for the men and their friends.  The celebration easily outdid anything of the kind ever attempted here before.  It is estimated that 10,000 people were gathered about the main section of the city last evening.

Emil Fenske, who served under Captain Hill with the Menasha company in France, narrowly escaped death by drowning in the Fox River here yesterday afternoon when a canoe in which he was riding capsized.  Then returned soldier was wearing his uniform at the time, in preparation for the parade, and the clothing became heavy when water soaked and interfered seriously with his fight for life.  He managed to cling to the overturned canoe until the craft drifted to low water above the dam.  The accident was witnessed by a large number of people who were powerless to go to Mr. Fenske’s assistance because of the absence of boats.  
Capt. Walter VanderHyden has left for the east to resume his military duties after a furlough spent with his parents.  Mr. and Mrs. Henry VanderHyden.  Fred Walter is here from Milwaukee.  Rev. L.A. Dobbelsteen, who has been engaged as director of the choir at St. Patrick’s church for several years, will spend the summer at New York City, serving as relief pastor.  A special meeting of the Menasha lodge of Elks will be held tonight to make arrangements for a special train to carry local and Fox river valley Elks to the state convention at Manitowoc on Saturday.  Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and Appleton Elks will be invited to join with the Menasha delegation.  Matt Stilp is enjoying his annual vacation from duties at the post office.  Mr. and Mrs. Stilp will leave Sunday for a visit with relatives in Minnesota.  Mrs. Raymond H. Wise and daughter, Raynita, have left for their home at Billings, Mont., after a visit of a week in Menasha.

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