They Left Their Mark In Oakford, 1872

Page 78

Oakford First Band 1890s

This band was known as "Oakford Coronet Band" in the late 1890s. Front row: Less Sutton, Will Davis, Harve Watson. Middle row: Will Bailey, Jim Davis, Alex Stith, Back row: Little Jim Ishmael, George Whitley, Joe Elder, Kurt Stith.

Oakford Kitchen Band Front Row: Fern (White) Brauer, harpist; Etta (Lee) Reemsten, thimbles and washboard; Kate (Davis) Bailey, xylophone; Maggie (Moore) Lounsberry, drums; Jessie (Davis) Bailey, bass drum and piano.
Back Row: Margaret (Lounsberry) Eilks, accordian; Pearl (Davis) Bailey, coronet; Mima (Gum) Lounsberry, tambourine and bells; Nettie (Lounsberry) Hollis, saxophone; Norma (Lounsberry) Altig, trombone and piano.

The Oakford Kitchen Band was quite popular in 1934. Organized to raise funds for church improvements, they played in Kilbourne, Havana, Greenview, Newmansville, Chandlerville and at home. Louis Brauer transported them by bus. Their instruments were fashioned from common kitchen articles such as spoons, knives, funnels, pans, bottles as well as washboards and thimbles. They had white uniforms with ties besides the ones pictured here of burlap bags trimmed with small ice cream spoons.

The love of music is clearly indicated by the number of people who played in the various bands through the years. On March 17, 1900 the Band Boys joined the Modern Woodman Club band. The new members earned their dues by playing in Athens and Ashland.

During the years 1908-1912, the band members were as follows: Jim Davis, Conductor; Erbie Thomas, Weston Lee, Jim Davis, Will Davis, Robert Altig, Homer Stith, Crit Bailey, Will Bailey, Willie Emerson, George Cox, George Whitley, John Whitley, Walter Thomas, Robert Lynn, Rollie Emerson, Chris eager, George Miles, Otis McDole, Oral Ray, Harry Spilly, Bill Barkes, Edgar Hollis.

Each year the band went to Petersburg by train, then marched to the Court House Square, then went by truck to the County Fair for a concert.

A bandstand was erected on the lot where Boeker's Store now stands. A concert was given each Thursday night. This group played for the Fourth of July celebration, the annual picnic in Lounsberry's timber and for ball games played in a field west of town. Occasionally they played for dances and held concerts near Shankland Chapel (destroyed by fire) between Mt. Olive and Primitive Baptist Church. They owned a portable bandstand. Their uniforms were blue-green with a stripe. They practiced in Pestel's Hall, above Kendall's Store.

Oakford Band members John and George Whitely



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Illinois Ancestors