Source: News-Journal, January 6, 1936


The death of A.L. Beachley last week leaves only seven survivors of the old North Manchester  band, so far as local people can recall. They are James Taylor, Charles Felter and George Enyeart of North Manchester, George Shupp of Columbia City, W.H. Webber and "Shorty" Miller of Wabash, and William Thomas of California. Mr. Beachley was a tuba player and according to James Taylor was some fine tuba player.

Memory of living members does not recall when the bank was first organized, but it was probably shortly after the Civil war. The original members are all dead. A.B. McFann of Liberty Mills directed the band for a number of years and it gradually reached its highest efficiency in the late eighties and early nineties. The band was in demand at state and national encampments of the Grand Army, in many political campaigns, especially the Hayes and Tilden campaign, and for Decoration day ceremonies.

Dr. Ira E. Perry tells of one incident of the old band. He was not a member of the band, but remembers when he worked for Dr. Ginther and had to polish the Doctor's baritone horn. The band was in a competitive meeting at Winona and an old German musician was the judge. clay Grube of Liberty Mills was an excellent player but could not read a noted. As the band was playing, and Clay was tooting for all he was worth, the old German stepped up behind him, and looked at his music. When the piece was finished the judge said to Grube, "Vy does you blay mit der music upside down." Grube with ready wit, answered in the same brogue, "Doh vas der vay I learned it." Whether or not the reply helped any, the North Manchester band won the competition.

Source: News-Journal, April 20, 1936


The constitution and by laws of the Union Band of North Manchester, an organization once famous in this part of the county, came to light last week as Charles Sheller was going through some papers belonging to his father, H.B. Sheller. The paper is long, yellowed with age, but is undated. Mr. Sheller thinks it must have been written about 1877. It gives the rules of conduct, rules for the care of instruments and music, and the order of business.

The names of the members heads the paper. They are: W.T. Cutshall, D. Ginther, A.B. Powell, Daniel Sheller, Benton Olinger, L.W. Blickenstaff, C.E. Kinney, Samuel Lautz, A. Taylor, John H. Knowles, E.V. Whittow, Bert Riddey, W.G. Sheller, C.G. Frame, James F. Kinney, G.K. Toland, Homer Smith, Samuel Mills, J.A. Cowgill, W.E. Thomas, B.F. Shilt, A.E. Williams, John Whisler, H.G. Sheller, R.A. Schoolcraft, George Crill and Frank Lavey.

Next comes the constitution. It starts: "This society shall be hailed and known as Union Band of North Manchester, Indiana. The officers shall consist of a president, vice president, recording secretary, financial secretary, treasurer and leader, who shall be elected semi-annually at the first regular meeting in January and July of each year and serve until their successors are duly elected and qualified."

Rules of decorum were very strict. When the members were assembled for practice "no one shall do any blowing upon his horn or beating upon his drum unless ordered by the leader. Smoking "segars" or pipes, or profane language were not tolerated in the band room. A member guilty of intoxication while on duty should be expelled at the next regular meeting."

Perhaps this resume of rules, decorum, and names of members will bring memories of old days when a band was in demand for every occasion, when a band concert was looked forward to from week to week, and when a member of a band was a personality in the town.