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On the Porch

In the Marshall Independent of Nov. 20, 1982, Steve Olson wrote a story on the 1924 Lyon County Band. The photograph featured this week is half of the original photograph of the band taken in St. Paul. The photograph was taken of the 1924 Lyon County Band while the band was in St. Paul for the 6th Annual American Legion Convention. The band took 2nd place at the convention competition. At 138 members, it was the largest band at the convention.

In order to play at the convention, the band gave little concerts around the county to raise money for train fare. The band traveled out on a Pullman car that was their home for three days. Once they arrived in the Twin Cities, the band engaged in a 12 mile march through St. Paul’s streets, playing their instruments the entire time.

For the 1982 story in the Marshall Independent, three of the band members, Ralph Moon, Edgar Jones, and Kenneth Morgan were interviewed. Kenneth Morgan recalled in the article that he remembered being so tired that every time his drumsticks fell out of his hands, people would run up to return them to him. Morgan, who in 1924 was 21 years old, was the only snare drummer in the entire ensemble. As a result, he had to struggle to make his drum heard. “I really had to hammer,” recalled Morgan. “I have never forgotten it. To a kid on the farm, that meant a whole lot to us. To attend an American Legion convention back then was something great.”

Most of the band’s membership came from Garvin. The entire Garvin City Band was incorporated into the county group. Most of the players learned their music from their fathers or were influenced by teachers or the city to take up an instrument. In the article, Edgar Jones said that “when I was a kid, my father played in the old, original Garvin band. He played the tenor upright (horn). I used to sit back in the closet and play the scales over and over so I wouldn’t bother anyone.”

The Lyon County Historical Society is a non-profit, member-supported organization. For more information on membership, research, volunteering, or the museum’s collection, please contact us at 537-6580 or director@lyoncomuseum.org. Like our page and follow us on Facebook.

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