By Charlene Shields
Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."
Copyright ©2001 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Barry Cleveland, editor, "The Carmi Times."
The following is reprinted from a local newspaper of November 1918:
HOLD BIG JUBILEE IN THIS CITY. City Goes Wild Over Peace News-Business
is Suspended, the Schools are Closed, and Big Parade Held.
The people of Carmi were awakened at 5 o'clock Monday morning by the
blowing of whistles and ringing of bells, which announced the glad news
that Germany had signed the armistice and that the war was over. People
hurried down town to learn if the news was official this time, and those
residing in the country came to town from every direction in their
automobiles to hear the good news. When they learned that Germany had
surrendered and that the kaiser had abdicated, all felt the time for
great rejoicing had arrived.
By nine o'clock, the streets were packed with people. The stores,
residences and automobiles were decorated with the stars and stripes,
and every vehicle or carriage of any kind on the streets was decorated.
All were getting ready to take part in the parade which was to take
place at l:30 p.m.
The band played on the street during the morning, and people met and
congratulated each other over the good news. The schools and business
houses were closed for the day so all might join in celebrating....
The parade lined up at the South Side school house..., headed by Frank
McGhee, who carried a life-size portrait of President Woodrow Wilson.
George H. Brown was color bearer, and the Carmi Commercial Association
band was next. Next were the members of the Registration Board, composed
of Dr. J. Niess, T.W. Hall, W.A. Ball and George Wiist. Then came the
Red Cross chapter, headed by Elder W.C. Arnold, county chairman. Elder
Arnold carried a banner upon which was a large Red Cross. The ladies
were gowned in white and wore white caps, making a neat and pretty
appearance. Back of the Red Cross chapter came the members of the
National Council of Defense...followed by people of all ages, men,
women and children who carried flags and banners, shouting and hurrahing
over the great victory which was brought about by the boys of the good
old USA. The schoolchildren were next...and there were hundreds of
little folks who rejoiced with the older people in the glad victory. The
automobiles were next, and there were many of them, all nicely decorated
in the national colors.
The Ebner Ice and Cold Storage plant wagon was next in the parade,
drawn by their fine team of black horses. The wagon was filled with a
happy crowd of ladies and children. The Threlkeld Grocery Co. auto truck
brought up the rear, and in this were a large crowd of young boys with
their horns, drums, etc. On the back part of the truck was a long pole
upon which a dummy, representing the kaiser, was suspended with a rope
around his neck. His clothing was smeared with red paint, representing
the blood he had caused shed while he reigned at the head of his nation.
In the evening the crowd assembled on Main Street, in front of the M.E.
church, where the band and speakers' stands were arranged. After the
band had played a few selections and the audience had sung several
patriotic airs, the meeting was opened with prayer by Elder W.C.
Arnold, after which addresses were delivered by Judge P.A. Pearce, Hon.
Ulys Pyle, Rev. R.A. Honn and others. They were much appreciated and
were met with rounds of applause. After the offering of prayer by Rev.
Honn, the meeting closed and the people returned to their homes, feeling
it was one of the happiest days of their lives.
The next big celebration will be when our boys come home.
The Genealogy Library is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.
Address letters to Genealogy, White County Historical Society, PO Box
121, Carmi, IL 62821.
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