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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Microfilm Sings Tune Of Some Early Warren County Bands

Dallas Bogan on 17 August 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

While scanning the microfilm at the Warren County Museum, I came across some information on the early bands in the county. The article was in the Warren County Record, dated 1902.
Praise was leveled on Benjamin Lewis for his accomplishments as the head of King's Mills Band. His staff of musicians was ranked among the first in the State. He was also the leader of the bands in South Lebanon and Oregonia.
The admiration of Mr. Lewis' bands was known throughout the countryside. At this time (1902) he was the leader of the up and coming Lebanon band.
Solomon Fred sponsored different bands on Saturday nights.
The appearance of the first band in Lebanon is not known, although many of the older residents remembered the early band of James B. Graham, Walter Hinkle, Charles Peckinpaugh and William Woolwine, which performed in the 1840's.
Mr. Peckinpaugh was an outstanding performer on the flute and the clarinet. The high standard of the band was not recognized, but it was comparable to the other bands of the time. They played for all occasions of a public nature, the monetary gains being absent. The musical instruments in that day and time were clearly not as advanced as they are today.
This band lasted quite a period. In later times, the county fair and political occasions were a grand gala of different performing bands. Level had a "Coronet Band," as it was called, with the name painted brightly on the side of their wagon.
Goshen furnished a band. The members would come to the county seat in an attractive band wagon that sat above the wheels high in the air. The wagon was usually drawn by four "gaily- decked" horses that left the older and younger gazers awe-struck.
Maineville had a band that made its appearance in the same fashion as the Goshen band. It appeared as though the north side of the county did not give much to music at this time.
The Lebanon band became non-existent for a period of time. Sometime in the late 1850's the "Guthrie Grays," (a company of soldiers who later served in the Civil War) pitched camp on the Waynesville pike near Lebanon, just to the north side of town.
The company was considered the crack military unit of the West. The girls at that time were flabbergasted with the wonderful pleasure that the visit of the soldier boys gave them, the fine dances that were given, not to mention the generous receptions.
Of course, the frolic could not be festive without a band. The soldier boys brought with them Menter's Band. The honor of the best band in the West and the United States deserved.
The band stayed during the whole camping season, playing at all parade occasions. They performed evening concerts in camp, and then came into town and serenaded.
The Lebanonites were wild about Menter's Band. They listened to its sacred concerts, and danced to its enlivening music. The music was so inspiring that it was talked about for many years afterward. The band would not justly come up to the standards of today's bands, but in that day and time, it was a unique episode.
Menter's Band inspired the folks in Lebanon and a movement was presented to form a local band. In just a short time a band was organized and the new Lebanon Band was playing on the streets. Some members of this band were: James B. Graham, Walter Hinkle, John A. Bone, George Sausser, Sidney Keyte and Samuel Linder.
At the outbreak of the Rebellion, many of the band members went off to war. John A. Bone was the leader of this band when it attended the Benjamin Butler meeting at Dayton, and the music was of such superior quality that it was presented a place at the stand.

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This page created 17 August 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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