The First Brass Band

The first brass band was organized September 13, 1879. The horns were purchased with the proceeds of a festival in Donley's Grove.

The first instructor was John Burke. Members of the band were: Charles Fox, John Lewellen, William Lewllen, John Maxon, Roll Turner, Elmer Bradley, Donley Miller, Charles Bradley, Louis McClure, Cole Lewellen, Frank Lewellen, Benson Strosnider, William Wade, George W. Hatfield, George Whiting and Walter Baremore. To our knowledge only four of these members are now living, Dr. Hatfield, Charles Fox, Frank Lewellen, and Elmer Bradley.

Some time later a band wagon was secureed. The band traveled to distant points and was in great demand at all celebrations.

The writer remembers when he was a boy of 10 years of being sent to a field after a team of horses, when another band from Mt. Morris was going to Waynesburg to play at the fair and went by the way of Big Shannon. They were playing as they drove along. He thought it was the Cooley Gang coming and he ran all the way down the hill to his home. Then he found out what made all the noise.

The Cooley Gang was a a gang of robbers that lived in a cave in Cheat Mountains and was reported being in the Mt. Morris vicinity.

The old band wagon has disappeared and the band is only a memory. At that time bands were in the following places: Kirby, Davistown, Carmichaels, Taylortown, and Osage.

Big Shannon Run can boast of two marital bands within the last 60 years. The following men were cornet players who resided on Big Shannon since 1890: Lindsey Delaney, Leroy Stephens and Dr. Arthur L. Headlee. Dr. Headlee is the only one living.

It was a faavorite pastime for the people of this valley to sit on the porches in the evening twilight and listen to these cornet players, as the music echoed from hill to hill, up and down the valley.

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