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Turner Society (1894)


Posted By: Nettie Mae (email)
Date: 2/1/2024 at 16:32:10

Clinton Sunday Age, Clinton Iowa, Sunday, June 24, 1894

Sixteenth Annual Turn-Bezirk Opens in Clinton Today.
Several Hundred Turners and Visitors Arrive in the City Last Night---Many
Delegates and Visitors Today.
Historical Sketch of the Society Its Object and Aim Program and Line of
March Committees - Etc.

The annual meeting of the Upper Mississippi Turn-Bezerk will convene in this city today and continue in session for three days. Between six and seven thousand Turners and visitors are expected here during the meeting and the even promises to be one of the most interesting in the history of the society.
The steamers Verne Swain and Helen Schulenberg will arrive here this morning with excursions from Davenport, Rock Island, Moline and Intermediate points. Two special trains will arrive at 9 o'clock this morning from Dubuque - one on the C. B. & Q. and another by way of the C., M. & St. P. Large delegations from Burlington, Cedar Rapids and intermediate points will also arrive here at 9 o'clock this morning over the C. & N. W., and about the same time a special train will arrive from Anamosa over the Midland branch of the C. & N. W.
The local committees have made ample provisions for taking care of the crowds during their stay in the city. Meals will be served on the park today and tomorrow and hotel accommodations have been secured for all visiting delegations. It is probable that many of the visitors who arrived in the city last night and this morning will return to their homes on the evening trains. The excursion tickets, however, are good for three days on any regular passenger train.

As the exercises of the Upper Mississippi Turn Bezirk commence in this city today, a brief history of this popular organization will unquestionably be of interest to the AGE readers.
Physical strength was the veritable god of antiquity, and we therefore find the elements of a system of gymnastics in most nations, from remotest time. In the early ages, when "might was right," education consisted chiefly in practicing such feats as tended to develop physical strength, for very often a man's life hinged upon his endurance.
With the advent of gunpowder, the warfare of nations changed. With the death dealing cannon and rifle, physical culture, to a certain extent, was neglected. In 1810, however, a native of Germany by the name of Friedrich Jahn conceived the novel idea of organizing the Turner Society. In this he was encouraged by the German Premier Stein, wo saw therein means to overthrow the despotism of Napoleon; under whose yoke the German nation was then groaning. And the first Turn school was organized in Berlin in 1811.
The movement of Jahn met with popular approval, and soon every village and hamlet in Germany had its "Turn-Platz"; where the German youth was put through a regular course of physical training. It is, undoubtedly, to this school of instruction that Germany owes her present military strength, and the success which attended her in her late wars. This custom was brought to this country by the German emigrant when he left his fatherland, and almost everywhere that the German language is spoken extensively, you will find the Turner Society.
The organization in this country is independent of the parent organization in Germany, but to a certain extent modeled thereafter. Only such changes were made as were necessitated by the different form of government. And today this society is, beyond question, the largest athletic organization in the world. The members are divided into three classes: active, passive and honorary. The children, both boys and girls, of members, are admitted to the Turn school upon payment of such tuition as is fixed by the by-laws of the local society.
The general government is divided into three classes, vix: the local society (so-called Verels or Gemeinde; the district (Bezirk) comprising a number of local societies; and the national association (Bund).
The national organization comprises all the states and territories in the Union and Canada. Each district sends delegates to the national convention, which convenes at Denver this week. This district is represented in that convention by five delegates. The membership in the United States is 40,190. The Turning schools are attended by 17,998 boys and 9,185 girls; 175 paid teachers are employed. 200 societies own their halls, the estimated value of the same being $2,963,206; and the entire property owned by all the societies amounts to $5,088,592. There are 317 societies and the finances are in the best possible shape.
The object of the Upper Mississippi Turn Bezirk, as set out in their constitution, is the organization of the following societies:
Davenport Turngemeinde,
Northwest Davenport Turnverein,
Muscatine Turnverein,
Buffalo Turnverein,
Des Moines Turnverein,
Ottumwa Turnverein,
Dubuque Turnverein,
Burlington Turngemeinde,
Clinton Turnverein,
Wolcott Turnverein,
Holstein Turnverein,
Durant Turngemeinde,
Waterloo Turnverein,
East Davenport Turnverein.
For a united effort toward bringing up their youth to be men of sound and powerful bodies, free minds, and good morals. This Bezirk was organized about thirty years ago, and now has a membership of 1,307, and owns property amounting to $270,042. The number of active Turners in the Bezirk is 136; ??ngers, 114; boys, 525, girls, 240; lady Turners 114; and 9 instructors in turning.
The Clinton Turn Verein Vorwarts was organized in February 1883, in Capt. L. H. Seeber's barber shop, the president elect using Butch Messenger's boot black chair for the chair of state.
There were eight called together to organize, of whom the following were chosen as officers:
President - Ben Jacobsen.
Turn Teacher - L. H. Seeber.
Treasurer - Julius Petersen.
Secretary - Paul Lubbers.
The local organization started with sixteen charter members and today it has 120. That was but twelve years ago and the society started with no capital but the energy and frugality and industry characteristic of the German by birth or inheritance. Today they own a business block which they have refused $25,000 for, and a park which the society declined by vote to take $15,000. The number of active and honorary Vorwarts is large, including many of the substantial business men of the city, their sons and daughters, and right royal good times they have when congregated together.
Besides the officers, the other first members of the present Vorwartz were Chas. Krebs, Robt. Brumer, John Rohwer and W. H. Bock.
To Chas. Arlen, now departed, must much of the honor of the present prosperity be given. He it was who made it possible to buy both hall and park, now so valuable.
There were, some years previous to the present organization's life, another Turner society in Clinton. In it were Frank and Charley Pipping, L. H. Seeber, Fred Rixon, A. W. Bockel, and others, who hired a teacher from St. Louis, had a hall in Clinon National Bank block, and flourished for a time about 1876 or 1878, but seemed to have suspended, for some reason.
Last February, a branch organization was started in Chancy, which numbers about eighty members. The society owns its hall at the corner of Fourth avenue and Second street, and the park on the bluffs, the estimated value of the same being $40,000. In the accumulation of this property they have levied no special assessments, but have given entertainments at different times, the proceeds being carefully invested. Anyone can become a member by making application, three blackball rejecting applicant. The fees for initiation are $2; yearly dues $3. The society pays $3 weekly sick benefit.
The local society will be well represented at their festival by a well drilled class of turners, and excellent class of singers and the ladies class, all of whom have been drilling for several months past.
An AGE reporter had the pleasure of seeing them drill the other evening, and an organization that will outrival them in the competition for prizes must be a good one.

The line of march as been arranged so as to avoid passing any church or house of worship, the Turners being desirous to avoid giving offence to any religious society, in their annual festival, and thus advance their main principles "to further friendship, educate, instuct and encourage the development of more perfect men physically."
At 9:00 a.m. the parade will form on Fourth avenue. At 9:30, the parade will move from Second street and Fourth avenue, north on Second street to First avenue; countermarch on Second street to Eighth avenue; countermarch on Second street to Fifth avenue; west on Fifth avenue to Sixth street; north on Sixth street to Second avenue; west on Second avenue to Bluff Road; north on Bluff Road to Union Park.

The parade, under the command of Joe Warnecke as grand marshal, will be formed as nearly as possible in the following order:
Platoon of Police
Turners' Drum Corps of Davenport
Mayor and City Council
Judges, etc., in Carriages
Hinrich's Military Band
Active Turners in Uniform
Glee Clubs
Ladies' Clubs in Carriages
Nasal's Band
Visiting Societies
Sash Factory Band
German Society of Clinton
North Star Society
Danish Band
Danish Society
Turn Verein Vorwaerts.
The Davenport Turners brought Strauss' Union Band with them, which will be in the procession this morning, and all lovers of good music will have an opportunity to hear this famous band at the park, during the day.
The Dubuque excursion will also bring a drum corps with them.
It is impossible for the AGE to give the list of premiums to be awarded at this time, as that is a matter over which the local committee has no control. These arrangements are made by the officers of the Bezirk, and will be announced by them today. The judges are teachers of the Chicago turning school, and have no class at this meeting, hence all partiality and favoritism will be avoided, and true merit win.
The local committee has labored hard and earnestly to make the festival a success. About $1,200 was raised by subscription, the balance will come out of the society's funds. The park has been fitted up for the occation, and the even promises to be the most successful tournament ever held in the west. Only one thing may be lacking, and over that the committee has no control - that is the weather. May the weather favor them, is the earnest wish of the AGE.

Following are the active lady and gentlemen Turners of the clinton society, Prof. C. L. Jones being the teacher of both classes:
Anna Petersen
Minnie Hansen
Clara Hansen
Hattie Petersen
Lena Gosch
Emma Gosch
Lizzie Freund
Lizzie Edens
Emma Edens
Tottie Mickelsen
Emma Long
Carrie Kaninka
John H. Edens, Jr.
Richard Zacher
Herman Wiebers
Johannes Peters
Gus Lund
S. Carstensen
Fred Titus
John Cole
Albert Petersen
Fred Wagner
Arthur Schulthies
Peter Haas
Emil Diebner
Henry Schwenssen

The following gentlemen comprise the members of the several committees:
Executive -- Oscar Majer, chairman; Paul Lubbers, Nis Nissen, Martin Ingwersen, Joe Warnecks.
Finance -- B. M. Jacobsen, chairman; C. Nickelson, Joe Rederer, Louis Seeber.
Hotel -- Fr. Dieckmann, chairman; Fr. Struve, Godber Hansen.
Decoration -- Horace Schryver, chairman; Hans Jacobs, Chas. Spormann, Hans Hess, Henry Kipp, John Nissen.
Halls and park -- John Edens, Sr., chairman; Carl Joens, Detlef Paysen, Fred Rohwer.
Transportation -- Edward Carstensen, chairman; J. H. Frahm, C. F. Kellogg.
Reception -- Hans Behr, chairman; Ed. Arlen, Aug. Hinrichs, Henry Warnecke, M. Schultheiss, Phil Ray.
Music and entertainment -- Joe Warnecke, chairman; Geo. Eyer, A. W. Bockel.

The following gentlemen comprise the members of the singing class of the Clinton Turnverin Vorwaerts:
First tenors -- martin Ingwersen, J. H. Frahm, Gerhard Sohr, Henry Schwenzen, Jacob Stodden, Fred Rohwer.
Second tenors - Fred Peters, John Lausen, John Bach, Carl Buhn, Peter Benson.
First Bass -- Michael Schultheiss, Henry Warnecke, Detlef Detlefsen, Nick Manyelsen.
Second bass -- H. Kipp, Jake Warnecke, Chris Lohndorf, Carl Volmann, Andrew Petersen.
August Hinrichs musical director.

The following is as nearly as the program can be given at this time, and is official:
7:00 a.m. Meeting of all active Turners at the hall on Fourth avenue.
7:30 a.m. Rehearsal for calisthenic exercises by all active member of the different societies.
9:00 a.m. Forming parade on Fourth street and Fourth avenue.
9:30 a.m. Parade will move from Second street and Fourth avenue.
10:30 a.m. Address of welcome at the park by Mayor E. A. Hughes and response by members of the home societies.
1:30 p.m. Commencement of the prize turning, which will continue all afternoon.
8:15 p.m. In the evening, grand illumination of the park, and prize singing by the various glee clubs.

9:00 a.m. Continuance of the prize turning during the entire day; also competition for the special prizes in club swinging, wrestling, fencing, tug of war, etc., which will take place Monday afternoon. This will be an interesting part of the program.
In the evening a grand gymnas tie entertainment will be given at the Davis Opera House, by the best talent of the different societies, under the special management of Carl Rothfuse, of Des Moines, and Mr. Reuter, of Davenport. This will be of special interest o those who interest themselves in sytematic physical training. Admission twenty-five cents. Seats can be reserved after 8 o'clock Monday morning, at H. O. Jones', without extra charge.

Awarding of the prizes. The remainder of the day will be spent in sight-seeing, etc.

The first delegation to arrive in the city came in from Waterloo over the C. M. & St. P. road at about 11 o'clock Saturday morning. The delgation consisted of ten active lady Turners and twelve active gentlemen Turners and was in charge of Prof. William Wulf, their teacher. The ladies were assigned quarters at teh Arbor House on Second street and the gentlemen are stopping at the Gerhard House. The delegation intended to stop over in Dubuque during Saturday, but owing to the heavy rain which prevailed there during the morning, came through to Clinton.
Prof. Gus. Holbach, of Chicago, who is to act as one of the judges, was also among the first arrivals, coming in from the east Saturday morning. He is registered at the Gerhard House.
Between two and three hundred Turners and visitors arrived here from Davenport on the Verne Swain and barge last evening.
Hinrichs' band, a large delegation of Clinton Turners between ten and twelve hundred people met the boat at the levee. The famous Strauss band accompanied the boat and will render delightful music at Union park today.
The Turner delegations on the boat were the Davenport, Northwest Davenport, Buffalo and Des Moines societies. They were escorted to Turner Hall where refreshments were served, after which the members of the several societies were assigned quarters as follows:

Sixteen lady Turners at the Clinton House, eight at Mrs. Fred Jurries' and one at Mrs. J. H. Freund's; twenty Davenport singers at the Gerhard House; twenty-six active Turners at the Gerhard House; ten Northwest Davenport Turners at the gerhard House; sixteen Northwest Davenport singers at the Columbia House; twenty-six Turners and ladies of Des Moines at the Gerhard House.
The Verne Swain with the double deck barge Comfort will arrive here this morning from Davenport with between six and seven hundred Turners and visitors. The Helene Schulenberg will bring about five hundred more.
At 9:30 a delegation of thirty Turners and their ladies arrived here from Burlington over the C., B. & Q. The visitors were met at the train by the Hinrichs band and escorted to Turner Hall. They were assigned quarters at the Columbian Hotel and Gerhard House. A large number of Turners and visitors came in on the late trains from Sterling, Ill., and other points east.
The teachers of the several societies and a number of prominent Turners were tendered a banquet at the Revere last night, the occasion proving a delightful one to all.

Admission to the park Sunday is 25 cents to everybody - ladies or gentlemen. Children under twelve years of age are free, if accompanied by their parents. This will afford all a chance to see all the exercises at the park.
It is estimated that between six and seven thousand people were on the streets last night shortly after the Verne Swain came in.
Hans Jacobs has som La Illusion badges for delegates. Many of the boys are delegates to La Illusion.
The members of the committee on hotels were sweating around the collars last night.
The parade this morning promises to be one of the larges ever witnessed in this city.
Many decorated Saturday and the city presents a handsome appearance.


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