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On the Porch

On Sunday, Sept. 4, 1910, former president of the United States Theodore Roosevelt emerged from the rear of a special railroad car on the Great Northern railroad line by the depot in Marshall to address a gathering of Marshall residents. According to the Sept. 9, 1910 edition of The News Messenger of Lyon County, the paper had given notice a week prior of Roosevelt’s arrival time for it was necessary for his passing train to make a brief stop at the station. In the Sept. 9 paper, it was reported that Roosevelt was greeted by hundreds of citizens.

Roosevelt’s train had started out from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He directed his secretary to send telegrams to stations where stops were necessary that he would make no speeches and requested no demonstrations, owing to the fact that it was Sunday. However, the newspaper reported, “This would go east of the Wisconsin and Ohio lines, but not in the west, where no day is too good for a worthy demonstration or a good deed, and when Marshall, as the first important town after leaving Sioux Falls was reached, the Colonel quickly saw that an intelligent and appreciative people was bound to ignore his secretary’s well intentioned respect for the day.”

“The Colonel had been informed by the Great Northern official in charge of the train that Marshall was one of the liveliest cities on the line and that it would be useless for him to try and avoid greeting and speaking, even if it were Sunday. And as the train slowed up Teddy made his appearance on the rear platform as smiling as a Sunday school boy with his lesson in his head and a swimming hole after service in his thoughts. His first greeting was from the big steam whistle of the city power plant, which welcomed him long and loudly.”

Roosevelt spoke to the crowd about good citizenship and the necessity for proper legislation, of honesty, and the importance of teaching correct life to children. He continued to talk to the crowd as the train pulled out and his voice could no longer be heard.

Roosevelt’s train proceeded to Willmar, where it was run on the main line and departed for Fargo. In Fargo the next day, he spoke to a Labor Day demonstration. On that Monday evening, Roosevelt departed for Minneapolis and St. Paul. The speech he delivered in St. Paul on Sept. 6 is on page 1 of the Sept. 9 newspaper. Roosevelt spoke of conservation and national efficiency.

The photograph featured this week shows a sketch of Theodore Roosevelt that appeared on page 1 of the Sept. 9, 1910 edition of The News Messenger of Lyon County.

The Lyon County Historical Society (LCHS) is a non-profit, member-supported organization. LCHS operates the Lyon County Museum at 301 W Lyon St in Marshall. The museum is open! For hours and more information, visit our website: www.lyoncomuseum.org, call: 507-537-6580, email: director@lyoncomuseum.org, or check our Facebook page.

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