Emmetsburg Democrat, July 18, 1906

Only Words of Praise

Neighboring Newspapers Speak Highly of Our Semi-Centennial Celebration


Emmetsburg celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the first permanent settlements in Palo Alto county, last Friday, and did it on a magnificent scale, and with complete success.

* * The Algonians were royally entertained. Every courtesy that could be extended to them was freely given. Many of them wore the Palo Alto souvenir button, which bore a picture of the old Michael Jackman log cabin, that was built fifty years ago, a few miles up the lake, by the old pioneer, and which is still standing. Many also were kindly entertained at Emmetsburg homes and feasted off the fat of the land, and all the delicacies of the season. * * * The great jubilee demonstrations were in charge of officials who had carefully planned every detail, and they were on the ground working like heroes to make the event a success * * * Emmetsburg is a splendid town to hold such a jubilee, on account of the great amount of shade that is to be found in every part of town, especially the court house park where thousands roamed all day long. The attractions were widely scattered so at no time did the crowds all center at one place. The old settlers day, while we were there, was the third day of the Semi Centennial jubilee. The business men had decorated profusely so that the city presented a most beautiful appearance - Algona Advance

From the Emmetsburg Democrat-Wednesday, July 11, 1906:

Such was the Big Semi-Centennial Celebration
Nothing occurred to Mar the Pleasure of the Occasion-Everything Went Off Splendidly
Emmetsburg Will Often Be Praised for the Creditable Management of the Undertaking

The Semi-Centennial celebration of the first settlement in Palo Alto county, held in Emmetsburg july 4,5, and 6, was perhaps the most successful gathering of the ???? ever witnessed in northern Iowa. Teh weather was all that could be desired. The sun shone brightly and the atmosphere was just wam enough for people to enjoy themselves without feeling uncomfortable. Fair luna lit up the heavens each evening and seemed to smile approvingly on the thousands of happy young and old people who were on hand to enjoy the festivities of the occasion.

The Attendance.

Every town and township in the county was largely represented and hundreds were present from Algona, Whittemore, Livermore, Bode, Ottosen, Dickens, Spencer, Wallingford and Fenton. Estherville sent down over 500 of its best people and its splendid Military band to assist in furnishing music for our thronging thousands. Wednesday's attendance must have exceeded 12,000. Thursday perhaps no more than half this number were present. Friday was a record breaker. There must have been 15,000 people in town. The writer has never met a more good natured, peaceful, orderly people. There was not a quarrel during the three days and we did not notice more than three or four who showed signs of intoxication. Our city marshals and their assistants and officers of the day certainly deserve credit for the manner in which they discharged their duties.

The Decorations.

The entire city was beautifully decorated and presented to the large numbers of strangers present a most inviting appearance. The committee in charge of this feature of the undertaking did splendidly. A place of 20,000 could not have made a more creditable showing.


The Parade.

The parade was gorgeous-by far the finest ever witnessed in Emmetsburg. It was indeed a credit to our various business and professional firms. The representations were as follows.

Emmetsburg National Bank. Buggy handsomely trimmed in white with two occupants throwing pennies to the small boys along the street.

Farmers' Savings Bank. Surrey trimmed with white and other appropriate colors with the bank's name in large letters.

First National Bank. Large safe representing the vaults of the institution. It was neatly painted.

W.J. Black & Co. Large float trimmed with pink and blue over white and carried fancy dress goods and laces. It was driven in tandem fashion.

The Hub. Represented by steam boat, which was built on the plan of the modern sea going vessels and was manned by youthful mariners. The large paddle wheels on the side were full of sea weed that was taken from the Hub's counters before the parade.

Ground Floor Studio. A beautifully decorated float. The upper part of it represented a flying machine and underneath, on the platform, were tow little girls performing on a trapeze.

The Tribune. Horse and buggy driven by two little girls. The latter wore red hats and red dresses. The horse, harness and buggy were all trimmed in red. A very neat sign entitled, "The Palo Alto Tribune, Always Read," was carried.

Foy & Wilcox-Bed room suite on a wagon. A girl was sitting on a rocking chair reading a newspaper. This was a very pleasing display.

Moran & Scott-Different kinds of furniture piled on a wagon. There were chairs, rockers, and numerous other articles. It was very good, indeed.

Emmetsburg Bottling Works- Wagon load of pop bottles, some in cases, others tied to the sides and top. It was a very neatly gotten up float.

Starr Livery Barn- Buggy artistically decorated driven by a fancy team and carried our mayor, sheriff, and chief of police.

A.W. Jennett-Rubber tired, yellow trimmed trap, neatly decorated. Carried the livery barn's sign on the side.

Palo Alto County Agricultural Society- A very neatly painted wagon. W.S. Parcham(?) prepared it for the parade. On the sides were the dates of the fair, September 18,19,20 and 21.

Scott's Milinery Store-A buggy and horse neatly trimmed in national colors. It was a very pleasant display.

Eastman Studio. Boy carrying banner with name of studio.


Notes about the Celebration.

J.E. Williams recited the Declaration of Independence. It was a pleasure to listen to him, he did it so well.

All the dances were largely patronized. The young people enjoyed themselves.

J.K. Benda was chairman of the general committee on arrangements. Who will say that he did not do his duty?

The old settlers' camp fire Friday evening was not very largely attended and was not the success it was anticipated it would be. May of them were too tired to remain. They did not care to celebrate any longer.

Mrssrs. Jones, Jackson, Anglum, Fagan, Ruthven, and many others are deserving of praise for their untiring efforts to make the barbecue a success.

If there are any who did not secure badges they should call on T.L. Crose at once. He has a large number left.


[Note: this article is accompanied by a number of picture of early settlers. I would have scanned them in; however, they are too dark to be of any use. I will include here the captions written under the pictures.]

J.F. Neary-A member of the first Irish colony. Chosen presiding officer Old Settlers' Day.

Mayor T.F. Shea-Who welcomed the old settlers to our city.

Mr. and Mrs.James Nolan-Parents of James F. Nolan and Mrs. M.T. Washington. Both were members of the first Irish colony, but have been dead several years.

John Neary-One of the few survivors of the original Irish colony.

Lott Laughlin-son of Martin Laughlin, an early resident of our county. His mother was first housekeeper in Irish colony. The first telegraph services in the county were conducted at the Laughlin home.

Patrick R. Jackman-One of the few survivors of the original Irish colony.

John McCormick-Settled near the present town of Rodman in 1851. Was first superintendent of county.

John J. Mahan-Who came to Palo Alto with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Mahan in 1856.

James L. Mahan-First white boy born in Palo Alto county. Son of Mr.and Mrs. Edward Mahan.

Charles T. Nolan-Came to Palo Alto in 1856 with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Nolan.

Col. W.E.G. Saunders of Laton, Cal., who donated two steers for the barbecue.