Knights of Honor

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Knights of Honor
Type Non-profit government organization


The Knights of Honor. The Sixth Anniversary: Parade and Picnic at Highland Park

  • The Knights of Honor. The Sixth Anniversary: Parade and Picnic at Highland Park; An Address by John VanNostran[1]

Monday last was the sixth anniversary of the organization of the first Lodge Knights of Honor, of the U.S., and it was considered a proper time to have a picnic and public manifestation of the life of the Order in Wooster. The proposition to have a festival day was carried unanimously, and the following committees were appointed at once.

Committee on General Arrangements--

  • Past Dictators: Geo. Plumer, Daniel Funck
  • Dictator: D. W. Bechtel
  • Vice Dictator: Isaac Johnson
  • Brother: J. T. Maxwell

Committee on Transportation and Provisions--

  • Brothers: H. J. Kaufman, H. R. Harrison, John F. Barrett, Albert Plank, D. B. Ihrig

Committee on Tables--

  • Deputy Dictator: James Numbers
  • Past Dictators: James L. Gray, and Frank W. Miller
  • Brothers: Jacob Lawrence & David Nice
  • Also the following ladies: Mrs. George Plumer, Mrs. D. W. Immel, Mrs. Jehiel Clark, Mrs. H. R. Harrison, Mrs. J. F. Hill, Mrs. Samuel Ames, Mrs. Jacob Balmer, Mrs. Harry McClarren, Mrs. E. B. Childs, Mrs. J. H. Carr, Mrs. James L. Gray and Mrs. D. C. Curry.

Committee on Music--

  • Brothers: T. P. Baumgardner, Geo. W. Reid, A. G. Rich and Daniel Pierson

Committee on Amusements--

  • Brothers: J. H. Carr, Samuel Ames, R. N. Warren and J. W. Nimmons

Chief Marshal--

  • Past Dictator: Jehiel Clark
  • Assistant Marshal & Past Dictator: Daniel Funch

Monday came with beautiful weather, a cool atmosphere and dust-laid streets. The parade took place in the forenoon, the Knights assembling in their hall in the Iron Block at 10 o'clock. The committee on music scored the attendance of the Congress Band, who under the competent leadership of Mr. John H. Brown, afforded the best of music. Sixty nine Knights were found in double column, in the following order:

  • Chief Marshal, Past Dictator Jehiel Clark
  • Guardian, H. R. Harrison, with drawn sword, escorted by F. Abinger, with banner.
  • Congress Band
  • Assistant Marshal, Pastor Dictator Daniel Funch
  • The Vice Dictator's Banner borne by John A. Moore
  • Knights wearing badges
  • Guide J. B. Hartman and Reporter H. J. Kauffman
  • Financial Reporter: D. W. Immel and Treasurer Harry McClarren
  • Vice Dictator: Isaac Johnson and Assist Dictator Jesse McClellan
  • Chaplain: J. F. Barrett, with open Bible
  • Dictator: D. W. Bechtel, with gavel;, escorted by J. B. Childs, with banner
  • Past Dictators: J. C. Plaumer, Frank W. Miller, J. W. Crismore and GEo Plumer
  • Sentinel: Andrew Reed, with drawn sword, escorted by John Dague, with banner

The line of march was from the hall west on Liberty to Grant Street; south on Grant to South Street, east on South to Market, north on Market to Larwill Street, east on Larwill to Bever, north on Bever to Liberty, west on Liberty to the hall, where the Knights were disbanded.

At two o'clock p.m. the picnicers began to assemble at Highland Park, the most beautiful place of resort within many miles of Wooster, and soon the Park was thronged with a gay and joyous company. It was the first public picnic held on the grounds this season, consequently the improvements that Mr. Quinby has recently made were looked upon for the first time. A convenient and artistic depot has been built at the landing by the roadside, the pillars which support the porches were taken from the old Court House. A dam, with a water wheel attached, is one of the novelties about completed across the creek. An elevated bridge spans the deep ravine that divides the steep bluff on the west, and we mistake not that lovers will linger in this sequestered spot, looking down into the shining miniature lake below, trying to discover the bliss for which they sigh. It is hoped no discarded or discomfited admirer will ever jump from that lofty height into a watery grave. There is no telling to what extent Mr. Quinby will allow his enterprising spirit to lead him in the adornment of High Park. It has already become the pet of the public.

Surrounded by interesting contests in croquet, panic-stricken at times by the approach of an exciting game of football, lulled to ecstatic imagination by the delightful music, the table committee of ladies carried on their work on arranging and preparing the vast quantity of provisions that poured in on every hand. Their efforts were crowned with success, and when supper was announced, there was nothing for the people to do but sit down on the lap of mother earth and be fed. The Knights appointed for the purpose, with other volunteers, passed round the paper platters and Eighth of January silver_____ closely followed by Mother Snyder's hot coffee, the sandwiches, cold tongue, sliced ham, chicken, & c., pies, cakes, lemonade and pickles, and when all had been fed there were several basketfuls left.

It was five o'clock before the supper was over and the few remaining hours were far too short for those who loved the excitement and sport of football. Tom Kinney and Jacob Balmer, two of the smallest (?) men on the ground were chosen Captains, and with Rev. Dr. Wiles on one side and Rev. T. H. Bacher on the other there was hardly room left for Josh Nachtrich in Tom Kinney's crowd. Josh was selected for his admirable running qualities. Dr. Wiles became the "chief corner stone" of a pile of men who were anxious to kick something, but only succeeded in getting on top of the Dr. The coming darkness put an end to the best and most important picnic that has been held in Wooster this season. All honor to the Knights of Honor for their glorious achievement.

The address of Mr. John Van Nostran was delivered just before the call to supper. Col Carr mounted the wooden mortar and introduced the orator to the audience seated around on the grass. The speech was closely listened to and gladly received. It was short and witty and handsomely delivered. The principal part of it is given below.

Mr. Van Nostran said, "In this pleasant date, beautified and adorned by the artistic skill of its proprietor, beneath the shady branches of these ancestral trees, beside these loft, time honored and romantic hills we meet, to celebrate with becoming ceremony, the sixth anniversary of the institution of the first Lodge of the Knights of Honor of the Word, in the United States, and on this festive occasion we greet you all with a hearty welcome. He specially welcome the ladies whose smiling faces left a special charm to this occasion. He asked God to bless the mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and (if he would be pardoned by Bros. Frank Miller and Albert Plank) the sweethearts of our brotherhood, and wished that the fond association with father, husband, brother and son would be unclouded by the loss of these loved ones until the Supreme Dictator of the Universe deemed it otherwise. He extended a generous welcome to visitors outside the pale of the order, and a fraternal greeting to the brothers of other Lodges who were present, and participated with them on this occasion. He said that on the 30th, day of June 1873, at Louisville, in our sister State of Kentucky, witnessed the establishment of our order, destined ere many years to achieve miraculous prominence, and develop unprecedented numerical strength as a powerful organization for the protection of dependent ones bound to its members by the ties of consanguinity and love. At the time there was but one Lodge with a limited membership; to-day, was this anniversary to be generally observed, , 1617 chaplains, of an equal number of Lodges, would invoke the choice blessings and petition for the wisdom and guidance of the Supreme Dictator of the Universe, and with bowed head and reverential attitude, would listen, and at its close, the responsive Amen would fall from the lips of 60,000 members enlisted in this glorious cause.

Eight hundred widows have looked up through grief's scalding tears, and with voice trembling with emotion given thanks for a fond husband's legacy. Thousands of orphans are now enjoying an ample inheritance which grew out of deceased father's provident solicitude. The beneficial results of this magnanimous order are beyond the computation of human agency, but borne upon the prayers of the numerous recipients of our bounty, they will be carried there where they will be shaped by Divinity's skill into the "brightest jewels worn in heaven."

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  1. Wooster Republican, Wooster, Ohio. 1879 July 3, p. 3.

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