Fremont County, Iowa

Chautauqua
by Pat Claiborne
View from the Attic ~ A Weekly Series
Fremont County Historical Society
Week of October 12, 2009

Chautauqua showcased local Tabor talent

Records show that the first Chautauqua in the town of Tabor, Iowa, was set up and performed on July 29, 1913.

Much later, a story in a July, 1933, Tabor Beacon newspaper tells of the success of a traveling Chautauqua, using talented Tabor residents, appeared during the Farmers Merchants Picnic and in neighboring towns, too. The story was as follows:

Chautauqua opens this week in other towns

The four-town cooperative Chautauqua is opening this week at Randolph and Riverton, running from Tuesday until Friday, inclusive.

The Tabor musical program will be given at Randolph Thursday night and at Riverton Friday night.

Next week the programs will be given at Tabor and Farragut, the Tabor talent appearing at Farragut Wednesday night and at Tabor Friday night.

A splendid and varied program has been arranged with an array of talent that will not disappoint the high expectations of the audiences.

There will be a saxophone trio composed of W. H. Darrah, Eleanor Gregory and Darrell Cotter; a contralto solo by Miss Fern Hanson of Sidney; a male quartet composed of Ben Hall, W. A. Reeves, W. H. Darrah and Hubert Hanson.

There will be a trombone solo by Lydner Sharp; gypsy scene by Miss Gertrude Laird and Ben Hall; vocal duet by Mrs. Jessie Weatherhead and Ben Hall; reading by Mrs. Annabelle Estes; clarinet octet composed of Rachel May Adamson, Eleanor Gregory, Beth Weaver, Dorothy Fargo, Marjorie Lebert, Grace Roark, Weigelia Hallam and Catherine Seeger.

The band will give a group of numbers to conclude the program. Supt. J. M. Ireland will be platform manager for the Tabor talent at all four towns.

A good-sized tent has been engaged, which will accommodate a large audience, and it is hoped that it will be filled at every session.

Since the days when circulating Chautauqua shows were in their prime, we have had few opportunities to hear this class of program. The woman’s Union has gone to a great deal of work and some expense to bring the programs here, and it is hoped that the community will show its appreciations by a liberal patronage.

(More stories are around on local chautauquas. The historical society would appreciate hearing from anyone who has knowledge of these (or other) events from the past.. Send to Fremont County Historical Society, Box 671, Sidney, Iowa, 51652)


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