Abendpost -- August 04, 1931The Old Settler's Festival Highly Successful
I regret the fact deeply that I have never been here before. The opportunity is excellent to meet friends of long ago. Here where the music of German waltzes penetrates the ether, years pass into oblivion. One could hear similar remarks quite frequently from the lips of white haired men and women, who, regardless of time, preserved an astonishing sturdy physique. This was the prevailing spirit among the old settlers at the 57th annual picnic held at Riverview Park.....The Little German Band added to the enjoyment, playing inspiring national and other popular songs, steadily moving from one spot or the other about the grounds.
According to the announcement made by the arrangement committee of the Chicago Turn Community, under whose auspices the festival was held, the number of old settlers who wished to participate in the contest exceeded the entry of last year.....Proud and happy citizens registered as participants in the contest. One could discern upon their faces great satisfaction 2because of the privilege and distinction which they claimed for themselves.
With a happy smile on their lips, and a dreamy look in their eyes, these people of yesteryear dwelt reminiscently in the past, while waltzing to the strains of the enchanting music. The dancers moved about with much grace and youthful gestures. Outstanding among these was Major Albert E. Gage, and his partner, dancing a charming minuet. Although the burden of years was heavy, the spirit of youth did not vanish in the persons of Julius Klose, and Marie Braecklin, contestants for the prize....Mr. Charles Schneider, director of the dances, planned a variety of entertainments for which he and the performers were wildly applauded. When the orchestra intoned songs of long ago, as "When the Swallows fly Homeward", "Old Folks at Home", etc., the entire audience joined the orchestra in singing these favored and unforgettable tunes. It was quite evident that among the weaker sex, the more aged predominated among the competitors, and, thus, 3when the first chords of dance music, familiar strains to which they danced many years ago, were introduced, a little old lady came twirling through the hall, holding a handbag tight in her arm, in deep reflection of the days when she was carried away by vigor and youth, now only a memory.
The first number was a song presentation by Mr. Emil Miersack, who danced a polka, in which he was joined by his friend, Henry Steinborn. Then came a solo dance performed by Major Albert Gage, a talent not discovered heretofore. In this happy atmosphere, hours had passed unnoticed. However, the hands on the clock indicated that time was near when the winners of the contest should be announced.
The participants and the audience eagerly awaited the result of the competition. Amidst loud acclaim, the first prize was awarded to Marie Braecklin, 6116 North Hermitage Avenue and Julius Klose, 443 Ohio Street, 87 and 496 years old, respectively...Prizes were also received by eight other couples.
The honorary members on this occasion then took their places in the center of the hall, each couple receiving a huge bouquet of beautiful sword lilies. This was followed by a graceful polonaise, led by Major Alfred Gage, to which the audience responded with loud applause.
The guests of honor were then escorted to an ideal spot on the picnic grounds, where photographers were ready for action. Reluctantly, they submitted to this part of the program, but seemed reconciled when told that their pictures would appear on the screen in the weekly review, and would be shown throughout the country. Major Albert Gage was urged to dance for the benefit of the photographers, which he and his partner obligingly did.....5
With the distribution of medals, the climax of the evening had been reached.....
After a short recreation period, the orchestra secured the attention of the audience and the honored members in the hall, and the old settlers took their places in front of the orchestra. Thus the stage was set for the speech, delivered by the president of the festival, Mr. L. O. Greiner. In his short address, the president expressed the gratitude of the Turn Community, under whose auspices the festival took place, and for the interest and excellent response from the public. "Thus," he said, "cobuilders of our metropolis, gathered in a reminiscent mood again.".....
The following persons were decorated with medals:
1. The oldest settler of Chicago and Cook County; Major Albert E. Gage, 610 North LaSalle Street. (1845)
2. The oldest female settler of Chicago and Cook County; Sarah Cornell, 2145 South Millard Avenue. (1848)
3. The oldest foreign born [Germany excluded] settler of Chicago and Cook County; Jacob Bremmer, 10414 Ewing Avenue, (1851), born in Luxemburg.
4. The oldest foreign born [Germany excluded] female settler of Chicago and Cook County; Marie Fuertsch, 1527 Howard Street, (1871) born in Austria.
5. The oldest German born settler of Chicago and Cook County; Gottlieb Klein, 1261 West 102nd Place, (1851) eighty seven years of age.7
6. The oldest German born female settler of Chicago and Cook County; Anna Letto, 1033 Wellington Avenue, (1848), ninety years of age.
7. Louis Heidbrink, 2040 Fremont Avenue, was presented with the medal as a mark of distinction for his continuous services as teacher and organist of the St. James Lutheran Church, since 1880.
8. Theodore Reese, 1557 Wells Street, received a medal for his continous residence since 1871, at the above address.
9. Andrew and Dora Specht, 10805 Hale Avenue, were recipients of a medal as the result of the biggest total of their combined ages will show. Mr. Specht's age is 84, while Mrs. Specht is 81 years old. They have been married 60 years and 11 months.
10. Julia Schreiber, 6227 Peoria Street, received a medal for her record 8as the breadwinner for the largest family. She has forty-four descendants.
11. Louis Volkmann, 4111 Addison Avenue, was awarded a prize for being the oldest veteran in the Army service of the United States. He was attached to the 57th Illinois Infantry Company G. He is ninety-one years old. As customary, this prize was given by the Abendpost.....
The last strains of the orchestra had long since died away, and the crowd dispersed when a singing quartet composed of Messrs. Adolph Gill, William Weinsheimer, Charley Schneider, and August W. Fleck, gave an exhibition of their talents, regardless of their age, totaling 280 years. It was a delight to listen to German and English songs, rendered in a fashion as only artists could.....
Well deserved tribute was also paid to singing societies, which performed 9under the direction of Joe Kellers. The ovation given to the singers expressed the appreciation for the German song infinitely better than words could ever do. Needless to say, that the festival was enjoyed to the utmost by members of other nationalities too.....Congratulations to the Turn Community for its splendid work which we hope will go on.
III B 2, II B 1 a, II B 1 c 2
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