Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Because of events which have occurred since Nov. 11, 1918, the various observations of Armistice Day held in our county this week were of a solemn and serious nature. The original celebration, however, was one of great rejoicing. One account says that "Warsaw was carried out of all bounds of reason--at least of dignity--sharing the inundation of enthusiasm and hilarity which swept away all considerations of age, social position or personal appearances."

When the news was flashed around the world that a "cease-fire" had been arranged in 1918, citizens of Warsaw made hurried plans to celebrate. Capt. William Ostermaier, the commandant of an army training camp at Winona Lake, was placed in charge of a parade. First in line in the parade came the Warsaw Military Band followed by autos in which the veterans of the Civil War rode. Also in the parade were a company of state militia from Goshen, 56 uniformed member of the Warsaw high school cadets, as well as the soldiers stationed at the Winona Lake camp.

The presence of so many uniformed men gave a much more military atmosphere to this celebration than the spontaneous once held on Aug. 14, 1945, which observed the end of hostilities in World War II.

The feature of the 1918 parade was a float on which was mounted an excellent likeness of the German Kaiser. Every automobile and army truck from the Winona Lake camp was in line--making a long string of khaki colored machines.

A platform was erected on Buffalo street from which the band gave a concert. It was rather difficult to obtain fireworks, but all that could be found were "set up" on the court house lawn.

A giant bonfire was built just north of Center Ward school and the highlight of the evening's festivities was when the likeness of "Kaiser Bill" was thrown into the fire and devoured by the flames.

Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Nov. 15, 1952