Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Halloween Night

The Evening Post, Columbia City, Indiana ~ Saturday, November 1, 1919

Nearly a Thousand Were Masked And Young And Old Enjoyed The Frolic
Big Crowd At The Dance.

The Community Halloween held in this city Friday evening was a big affair and there were simply hundreds and hundreds of people masked. It seemed there were flocks of ghosts or colored folks and injuns and witches and old men and old women and gypsies and clowns and young men and young women and Uncle Sams and Gold Dust Twins and faries and just one Devil, and fat men and hobos and grown up Indians and musical groups and family groups and many in "miscellaneous" lines.

The bad, threatening weather forced a slight change in the program and instead of having the parading and judging done on the street it was done in the City Hall auditorium. The crowd was so dense there and the number of entries was so great that it was difficult to do the judging with any speed, but each group was called and the winner chosen from them.

Many people came in to see the show, so instead of confining it all to the City Hall, a parade was first staged around the public square. The band lead the procession through the street and back to the city hall. The various groups were assembled together as well as could be for the parade and it was quite a spectable to see them all.

It is estimated that five hundred masked individual were in the city hall, and nearly that number remaining out on the street. The masked individual had a big advantage in that he knew who you were while you were helplessly handicapped in knowing to whom you were talking. There were folks who "cut up" Friday evening who have always been as meek as Moses and their very antics mislead their best friends. Some did not even mask, representing some type of citizen, but there was no end of fantastic costumes. Wonderful originality was shown in many of the make-ups and there is no question but that the Community Halloween is a howling success. It will be bigger than ever next year.

The Prize Winners. The prizes were divided into two general classes, those under fourteen years and those over fourteen years.

The winners under fourteen who received $1 each were:
Ghost, Milrie Leaman.
Clown, Stephen Clark.
Indian, Michael Walker.
Gypsy, Catherine Stemen.
Negro, Robert Anderson.
Fairy, Bernice Quinn.
Uncle Sam, Stemen Foust.
Charlie Chaplin, Charles Mannen.
Santa Claus, Samuel Stump.
Gold Dust Twins, Pauline Magley and Louise Johnson. Prize 50¢ each.
Colonial Group, Frances Clark and Florence Waterfall. Prize 50¢ each.

Over Fourteen. One $1 cash prize.
Devil, Adelaid Trout.
Ghost, Mary Francis Raber.
Clown, William Oberkeiser.
Fat Man, Catherine Eyanson.
Gypsy, Edith Smith.
Witch, Dorothy Biggs.
Hobo, Mrs. William H. Crowell.
Negro, Nellie Souder.
Family group, Vern Diffendarfer and family (consisting of Mrs. Diffendarfer and son Carter and baby, Vern, Jr., Mrs. Schuyler Luckenbill, Miss Ruth Boyd, Mrs. Will Oberkeiser and Mrs. Ralph Grant). Prize $2.00
Musical group, Lois Heller and Walburga Eyanson. Prize $2.00

The Side Features.

The side features included the Hula Hula Dancer, the Chamber of Horrors, two Fortune Tellers and the refreshment boot. These were located about the City Hall. Bob McNagny was the caller for the Hula-Hula dancer and the crowds flocked in. A couple of "native Hawaiians" with masks over their faces, but with their hair hanging down their backs, were the "decoys" who stood beside Mr. Mac as he challenged all to enter and see the famous dancers in their native costumes. A capacity house was required before the famous dancers would come out, but no trouble was experienced in getting such a house. A victrola was started and out came a mammoth, not a Hula dancer. It was Edgar Lorber, dressed in the true Hawaiian garb and as the "uke" music rolled from the music box, Edgar danced like a fairy from the islands, while the crowd shrieked and applauded. It was indeed great.

The fortune tellers were at the northwest corner and they disclosed the future to many a young man and young woman. This work was done by the Misses Hilda Grund and Hildreth Sharp. Louis Daniel called the crowd that way.

The Chamber of Horrors was in the Council Chamber at the foot of the stairs leading from the main room. Milton Lorber stood at the bottom of the stairs, being the ballyhoo for this and few there were who had the strength of character to control their imagination sufficiently to return home without visiting this chamber of mysteries. Here Miss Margaret Baker was the snake charmer, a wax figure was reposing within a casket, with a piece of mosquito bar over it. Beatrice Binder was the hypnotized lady of mystery and Thelma Daniel was the bearded lady. Elizabeth Clugston and Jean Trembley were the Siamese Twins.

The entire arrangements were in the hands of the Children's Auxiliary of the Civic League, and Miss Frances McLallen was the chairman of the committee which had the affair in charge. It was a big undertaking, but admirably handled. A committee of ladies from the league served sandwiches and light refreshments and all of the proceeds from the side shows, etc., went to defray expenses and provide prize money.

Mayor John W. Baker was King Halloween and his train was carried by two pages, Jimmy Northam and Johnny Trembley. He lead the parade, just behind the band and upon the return to City Hall he mounted the platform with the band and made the announcements from there. At the close, after the prize winners had been chosen by the judges, Phil McNagny, Tom Pontius and James Adams, the winners were called to the platform and received the cash awards.

The Dance.

The Community dance at the Commercial Club was a fine affair. Perhaps seventy-five couples were present, many of them wearing fantastic make-ups, but dropping off their masks. The music was furnished by local musicians. Miss Farnan, of Fort Wayne, who is conducting a dancing class here, arranged for the Friday evening dance.

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