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Los Angeles Herald
Los Angeles, California
February 23, 1910

Iowans Gather in Big Reunion -
35 Thousand in Eastlake Love Feast
 Left to right:  J.J. Stedman, chairman program committee; C.H. Parsons, secretary; Stephen Townsend, president; F.H. Nichols, treasurer and Dr. R.S. Walker, the principal speaker
An ear of golden colored corn emblazoned on a field of white, around which peeked rays of a Southern California sun and a hog couchant, the state badge of the Iowa Society of Southern California, presented a sight that warmed the hearts of 35,000 Iowans, former and present residents, yesterday when they met in annual reunion at Eastlake park to commemorate the natal anniversary of Washington.
In many ways the picnic bore resemblance to a state fair at Des Moines. In others it gave the appearance of the political love feasts which have obtained prominence at Illinois state fairs given at Springfield. Politicians from the "peanut" type up to the large, brainy, wholesouled man who is in politics for his country's good where everywhere in view. Elbowing them were circulaters of nominating petitions. Both were met with hearty "Howdoyoudos," and equally cordial handclasps. Iowa, justly proud of its corn and hog products, is not the less proud of its politicians, clean of scandal, and its pretty women.

Rivaling the attention given the "homespun" speeches, uttered by men who eulogized Iowa, were the ninety and nine county reunions. Space for the individual county reunions was marked off in the large open playground south of the conservatories. Here the Iowans found friends, relatives and acquaintances, exchanged greetings and messages from the home state and indulged in reminiscences. Back of the speakers' stand, built in a grove of eucalyptus growth, came a rumble of snare drums, the shrill notes of the fife, the groaning of the overburdened swings and the roaring music of the merry-go-round.

The bitter cold and storms which have passed across Iowa since November formed the general topic. Coming at the heels of this was the often uttered "I am mighty glad I'm here and not back east this winter."

Los Angeles, the home of perpetual summer, and one of the few places where picnics and reunions may be held the year through, is scheduled to receive advertising of unlimited wealth from the Iowa picnic of yesterday. Among those who will scatter the praise of Southern California as a mid-winter picnic ground will be hundreds of tourist Iowans who were there. They will write or convey in person that they met there such former Iowans as Judge Curtis D. Wilbur, Major John A. Donnell, formerly district attorney of Los Angeles county and one-time state's attorney of seven counties in Iowa. They will tell of how they met Calvin Hartwell, coroner of Los Angeles county; Josiah Utterbach of Pasadena, formerly a bander at Sigourney, Ia.; Will Beatty, who conducted a photographer's shop in the same city; Frank D. McDowell, formerly mayor of Clinton, Ia., who is a double to the late President Cleveland; J.F. Clements, a Clinton retired chair manufacturer; Edward Hopkins, assessor of Los Angeles county; Don Orril, who is holder of the second place in the Yuma land allotment line; Mayor George Alexander of Los Angeles; former State Senator W.W. Dodge; Attorney John Beardsley; Rev. C.A. Stilson; T.F. Cooke and others as prominent.
Mingling with these were Attorney John Lafferty of Oskaloosa; E. Laffer, a Sigourney banker; Simon Shoecraft, a Clinton fuel dealer; B.D. Howes, a jeweler from Clinton; Iowa State Senator D.O. Harrison of Humboldt.

The picnic was a half-day affair and was organized into a reunion after the lunch. Stephen Townsend, the retiring president, was chairman. He introduced in succession Dr. R.S. Walker, Rev. Matt Hughes, former Congressman Daniel Kerr, S.W. Dodge, D.O. Harrison, Dr. Levi D. Johnson and Mayor Alexander as the speakers.

"Home Sweet Home," sang by W.L. Jones of Pasadena, carried memories and hearts back to Iowa.

Former Senator Dodge, who came from Burlington, Ia., said: "The call of civic duty and state pride demand of each of us, as former Iowans, to give our loyal support to ever measure, plan and means that has for its ultimate end the moral, intellectual and material advancement of this great commonwealth of California."

Former Congressman Daniel Kerr spoke in remembrance of the late Hon. Delos Arnold, honorary president of the society. Dr. L.D. Johnson spoke in a similar vein of the late Dr. C.J. Cooke. Mayor Alexander gave utterance to the declaration that "Iowans are the best citizens everywhere except in Los Angeles, where all are equal."

The officers for the ensuing year will be: Honorary president, Stephen H. Taft of Sawtelle; president, Dr. Edward Henderson; vice president, P.S. Rishell; secretary, C.H. Parsons and F.H. Nichols, treasurer.
~ transcribed and submitted by Sharyl Ferrall Iowa Old Press IAGenWeb Special Project

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