Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

The Warsaw Chamber of Commerce is again sponsoring a minstrel show this year. A local group is hard at work on the Fourth Annual Minstrel to be given at the Warsaw high school auditorium next Tuesday and Wednesday, February 17 and 18.

A group which called themselves the Merry Minstrel Makers put on a similar entertainment at Mentone on November 26, 1926. The purpose of this minstrel of 27 years ago was to help pay off the indebtedness on the Community Forum, which was Mentone's newest building. The Forum had been built during the winter of 1925-26 as a place to hold basketball games and other community events. A special corporation was set up to finance the building and the proceeds from the show went to pay off part of the indebtedness of the group. Tickets were adults 35 cents and children 25 cents.

The minstrel was advertised as composed of the best talent obtainable in Mentone, Rochester, Talma, Tippecanoe, Burket, and Beaver Dam. The Birdland Trio of Rochester and the Meadow Lark Trio of Beaver Dam were featured.

Solists were A. I. Nelson, Vance Johns, and Ivan Tucker. With choral accompaniment they sang "My Gal in New Orleans:, "Tucky Home" and "Sun Goes Down in Dixie".

C. L. Manwaring was the interlocutor and Fred Busenberg, Maurice Dudley, Noah VanDoren, and Vance Johns were the black-faced end men. Comedians were George Mollenhour, C. D. Meredith, W. A. Warner, and Earl Himes. Mrs. A. I. Nelson was the pianist.

Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Feb. 14, 1953