Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

The whistle-stop of General Eisenhower to Warsaw several weeks ago, the old-fashioned barbecue at the fairgrounds when Governor Schricker visited our county, and the big parade in Warsaw last night have brought the present political campaign very close to the people of our county.

The parade or torchlight procession is probably the best medium by which a local community can express its enthusiasm for a political party. As a consequence, we find our files of past local newspapers full of accounts of big political parades. the usual practice is for each township organization to prepare a float, and usually several bands from Warsaw and neighboring communities take place.

On October 3, 1876, a giant Republican parade was held on the streets of Warsaw. The occasion was the visit to our city of Benjamin Harrison, candidate for governor of Indiana.

There were three floats in that parade which were exceptionally interesting. One float featured 37 young ladies dressed in Martha Washington costumes of one hundred years before. This was patriotically appropriate because the year 1876 was the centennial observance of the Declaration of Independence.

Another float in that parade had a log cabin with a pet coon. William Henry Harrison, grandfather of the candidate for governor, had used the log cabin and pet coon idea in his successful presidential campaign of 1840. Incidentally, Benjamin Harrison was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers during the evening's festivities. This was a tribute from the wives of those whose husbands had voted for his grandfather.

A third float consisted of an old street car which was captioned "Tilden's wrecked railroads". Samuel Tilden was the Democratic candidate for President, and as governor of New York, he pursued a policy which his opponents claimed had ruined a number of railroads. There was a horse-drawn street railway in operation in Warsaw at one time, but it was abandoned as a losing proposition. It was that old street-car coach which was pressed into service for the parade.

Bands in the parade were from Syracuse, Pierceton, Liberty Mills and Warsaw.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Oct. 28, 1952