Grayson County TXGenWeb
North Texas Band Association
Contest, 1890

Old Timer Writes Interesting Letter

Greenville [name of newspaper illegible; Texas]
29 July 1937

The following letter received here by Walter Monroe, from E. A. Nealy of Madison, Wis., will be read with interest by many of the older residents of Greenville. Mr. Nealy lived here many years ago and was director of the old Fifth Regiment Band, which was well known all over Texas and which won quite a few prizes.

            “Dear Mike: In rummaging through some old music papers the other day, I came across the medal that the “Old 5th” won at Denison, our first contest.

            “It is dated July 4, 1890. It is inscribed “For the best band and best equipped band in the North Texas Band Association.” Forty-seven years have passed and my life is mostly past.

            “Memory has gone back to the old boys when life was young and the “Old 5th” was in her glory. I am wondering where the boys who helped us win that glory are: how many are still alive and how life has dealt with them.

            “I am 70 years old now and when the band played that contest, I was 23. Life was young and ‘hope kept trysting with our youth.’ A flood of memories sweep over me, and I live again the days of our glory. I am “retired” now by ill health, broke down in 1930. Twenty years ago on Sept. 1, I came to Wisconsin and took up the school work in Richland Center. Built the first school band in Wisconsin and this band went on to National fame. You no doubt know to what proportions the school movement has reached.

            “Mrs. Nealy is still with me. We live with our daughter, a widow, with two children, a girl 16 years old, very talented and bright, a boy ten years old, bright but as yet too young to show just what he will do. Well, I am asking that you will get in touch with the boys there and tell them I wish they would write me and I will appreciate it very much if you will tell me [illegible] are.

            “Boaz Maddox, Dr. [illegible] Lige Rudolph went to Gai[illegible] Ernest Harrison, Jack Bone, Fred Moulton. George ————— married Lula Anderson, Rufe Turner, Toots Obenchain, lived at McKinney; poor Jim Gee, dead. Jeff Wagner and there was some one else but I can’t recall.

            “Meus Melton, Estes Anderson, George Lindsey, and the nephew of Obenchain who was a piano tuner. John Dennis, George Dennis, Ed Riley, Herbert Gee (dead) and some one else. Haynes Dugan, Albert Bull, George Dugan, Frank Schoonover, Will Horn, McMurtray, Mike Monroe, George Wilson, Ed Nichen, Roy Anderson.

            “If I have missed any, tell me of those too. It seems that your brother John played alto awhile. Write when you can. I will be glad to hear from any and all that are in reach.

            “With best wishes for you and yours, I am,

                                                Your friend,

                                                E. A. Nealey

                                                205 N. 6th St.

                                                Madison, Wisconsin


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