Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

We are including in our column today a picture of the Warsaw Cornet Band and a poem written by Earle H. Davenport in honor of that organization. We are indebted to Miss Leah Power for the picture and Mrs. R. O. Nusbaum for the poem.

The Warsaw cornet Band was organized in 1860 and for the next several decades was an outstanding musical organization in this area. The band probably reached its height of popularity about 1885. The personnel of the band changed from time to time which accounts for the fact that there are a few differences in names between the poem and the picture. We would guess that the picture was taken about 1890, while the poem describes the band as it was about 1884. Perhaps some of our readers can straighten us out on those dates.

The poem follows:

The Warsaw Cornet Band
by Earle H. Davenport

I've heerd a lot of music in my lifetime you kin bet,
An if everything turns out all right, I hope to hear more yet,
But of all the bands that I have heerd, in this glorious land,
There's none, sez I, that stands ace high, with the Warsaw Cornet Band.

They had no great director who wore medals on his breast,
It was jist made of hum town boys, the ones who played the best.
But when they played old "Thirty-One", I tell ya it was grand,
They didn't take back seats for none, that Warsaw Cornet Band.

John Lathrop was the leader, played a silver belled cornet,
And say! by jing! he could make it ring; I seem to hear him yet.
If you only could have heard him, I know you'd understand
Why my thoughts go back memory's track to the Warsaw Cornet Band.

Hugh Hanna, he played the alto horn, believe me he could play,
They ain't no one could beat him, no matter what you say;
"Skip" Milice played the snare drum, and played with either hand,
Say, they warn't none but artists in the Warsaw Cornet Band.

Charley Downs played the "tuby", and I never envied him,
Fer the horn was big, and round, and fat, and Charley then was slim,
Twas sich a load to carry I couldn't understand
How Charley could stand marchin' with the Warsaw Cornet Band.

Horace Kegg played the big bass drum, and my how he could beat it;
The folks I uster know to hum loved to see old Kegg mistreat it;
But his boom--boom--boom--boom--boom, most certainly was grand,
They couldn't do with Old Kegg in thet Warsaw Cornet Band.

Charley Funk played the clarinet, and he could make it toot,
While "Stubby" Sharp starred as well at playin' on the flute,
They entered in all tourneyments and won on every hand,
The best one in the country was the Warsaw Cornet Band.

Eli Snyder was drum major, majestic one, at that.
With skill he juggled a baton, and wore a high fur hat.
When e'er the band was on parade, Eli was in command;
With him in front they warn't afraid, that Warsaw Cornet Band.

But all them days is past and gone, that band don't play no more,
The players have all gone to rest, their playin' days are o'er.
But somehow I feel that somewhere, in some far better land,
Some day I'll hear the music of the Warsaw cornet Band.

(Caption under the picture) The Warsaw Cornet Band about 1890 --In this picture the Warsaw Cornet Band is posing on the south side of the old Bash home which stood where the postoffice is now located. Standing from left to right: Austin C. Funk, Samuel Bearss, Logan Williams, William VanNess, High Hanna, Al Moreland, Eli Snyder, Elmer James, Charles A. Funk, Lee Nusbaum, Frank Manchester, George McConnell, William Reeves, Charles Grospitch, Press McFann. Kneeling: Horce Kegg, Will F. Power, Chester Snyder (child). Sitting on ground in front of drums. Ed (Skip) Milice.

(Picture from newspaper, to dark to reproduce)
Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Dec. 9, 1952