Faulk County, South Dakota
“A Beautiful Adventure: In Memory of Sadie Miller”
The First Memorial Day
History of Faulk County South Dakota, by Captain C. H. Ellis by Astor, Lenox And Tilden Foundations - 1909
transcribed by Veneta McKinney
THE FIRST MEMORIAL DAY.
Among the pioneer settlers of Faulk county, the veterans of 1860-1864 were a goodly number, who had served their country in the Civil War. On the near approach of May 30, 1884, there was a general desire to appropriately observe this national holiday. Upon the coming of the day the people went forth with flowers to decorate the graves of our fallen heroes. The rains descended to baptize the floral offerings that came from sincere and sympathetic hearts. While the day opened rainy, and Unfavorable to those intending to come from distant parts of our county, the patriotism, love of country, enterprise and intelligence indicated by the number who did come, necessitated the idea of an indoor meeting being abandoned, and an outdoor meeting to be held. The procession was formed at the school house, headed by some thirty children bearing wreaths of flowers; next came fifteen old soldiers, of which the following is a roster, viz:
John H. Shirk, Co. E, 79th Reg., Penn. Vol. Infantry;
J. P. Sutton, Co. D, 34th Reg., Iowa Vol. Infantry;
H. K. Hursh, Co. A, 89th Reg., Indiana Vol. Infantry;
L. K. Parmenter, Co. A, 14th Reg., Illinois Vol., Infantry;
J. W. Parker, Co. G, 45th Reg., Illinois Vol. Infantry;
G. Niederauer, Co. G. 1st Reg., Michigan Vol. Infantry;
Rev. C. Douglas, Chaplain, 18th Reg., Mo. Vol. Infantry;
W. H. DuBois, Co. D, 9th Reg., Indiana Vol. Cavalry;
J. A. Pickler, Major, 3rd Reg., Iowa Vol. Cavalry;
M. Summy. Co. , 9th Reg., New York Cavalry,
H. A. Humphrey, Co. A, 8th Reg., Illinois Cavalry;
Peter Hawn, Co. Q, 8th. Reg., Illinois Cavalry;
George J. Jarvis, 3rd Wisconsin Battery;
P. B. Durley, Q. M., 124th Reg., Illinois Infantry;
J. S. Hamilton, U. S. Navy.
Then followed a large body of citizens. The column marched from the school house to a monument erected above a new made soldier's grave. The procession formed on three sides of the monument and grave, when the president of the day, Capt. J. H. Wallace, announced that exercises would be opened by prayer by Comrade Chaplain Clinton Douglas, followed by singing "Cover Them Over," by the Glee club.
The children then decked the base of the monument with wreaths and covered the grave appropriately with flowers. Then followed an able and eloquent oration by Major J. A. Pickler, which was followed by the song, "Battle Cry of Freedom." The program closed with the reading, by Miss Ella Hamilton, of Will Carleton's beautiful Memorial Day poem, entitled, "Cover Them Over With Beautiful Flowers."
The exercises were so intensely interesting that an hour was spent in reminiscences and song before the patriotic company broke up.