The Old Settlers' Picnic 9-5-1888
For Auld Lang Syne.
Youth Renewed and the Past Reviewed.
Originally Published in the Kendall County Record, September 5, 1888.
Edited and Compiled by Elmer Dickson.
Yorkville put on her holiday attire last Thursday morning, and flags fluttered in the air so numerously it made the patriotic heart bound with pleasure as the blue, the white, and the red waved in harmony with the shining rays of the sun.
From the flagstaff on the courthouse tower gracefully floated the Republican club's banner, and it was beautiful, those stars and stripes emblematic of a great nation of freemen. It is an inspiring flag, and one could wish it floated over the entire continent of North America as the emblem of one county. The old flag floated from the bank, from the G. A. R. Post headquarters, from Carter's store, from Puderbaugh's place, from the livery stable flagstaff, from Democratic headquarters, and in smaller editions from various stores and buildings.
It was Old Settlers' Day. It was the day when the pioneers of the Fox River valley would assemble in social concourse and talk of the olden time, when 'you and I were young, Maggie.' It was to do honor to the fathers and mothers that these flags floated in the air.
It was a pleasant day, a bit warm, and somewhat dusty. But what cared anyone for that. We ride now in comfortable carriages and light wagons, with lap dusters and in the shade. No bumpity-bumpity-bump in old farm wagons for the old folks now, they have achieved better things.
As early as ten o'clock in the morning the gathering began, and the fair ground became a visiting ground, and before noon a large number had assembled. We have not seen so many old neighbors and friends before, for a year; old Kendall County seemed to be all there.
It is difficult to make an article about this picnic, because it is beyond description. One gathering is the repetition of others, only they become intensified as years pass, and the fathers and mothers grow more aged and the vacant places are noted.
Before dinner, President Newell called the meeting to order and made an address of welcome. This was responded to by Mr. Tenney, of Aurora. Mr. and Mrs. Evans sang one of their beautiful songs, and the good people adjourned for the picnic dinner. This is a favorite hour with all, and was a truly pleasant interlude.
At two o'clock the ball was again set rolling by Smith G. Minkler's lively talk. Reverend Andrew W. Chapman, the favorite speaker of Kendall County, made some of his inimitable remarks that pleased everyone.
He was followed by Mr. Brewer, of Ottawa. Who spoke of the wonderful improvements in farm machinery and of the grandeur of Kendall and La Salle Counties.
Secretary Cornell made some remarks and announced a collection for the band and incidental expenses. It was handsomely responded to.
The election of officers then took place, and President Newell was reelected by a unanimous vote, and Milton E. Cornell was elected Secretary.
Mr. Ives, of Chicago, one of the early residents of Long Grove, spoke of olden times, and read a list of those who used to live hereabouts before 1840.
Others made remarks, and the meeting adjourned.
The singing of Mr. and Mrs. Evans was greatly enjoyed, and the band music was a lively feature.
J. G. Stolp, the Aurora veteran was present, and met many friends; also Lorenzo D. Brady, Lewis B. Judson and N. R. Hobbs, of Aurora.
Thomas B. Finnie, of Fox Township, was in attendance, and many greeted the grand old man with pleasure.
Our old friend, Lorenzo Rank, was there from Oswego, and was as old as any of them.
Secretary Cornell reported the names of the old settlers, who have died since our last annual gathering, as far as we have been able to ascertain.