Blog # 71 – Best Chautauqua Ever

Chautauqua is Entertaining Crowds and Pleasing Everybody
(Reprinted from the Kinsley Graphic, August 29, 1918)

 “The best Chautauqua we have ever had is now going on under the big brown tent.  The opening program was given by the best girl company Horner has ever put out, and the audiences have been responsive and appreciative.

The lecture by Captain Lougher was pronounced by those who have heard hundreds of war lectures, the strongest plea for the necessity of speed and spirit for winning a victory they had ever heard.

Captain Lougher has been in the service for four years and was brought home by the government to speak on the Chautauqua circuits.  Captain Lougher held his audience spell-bound for an hour and a half.  He presented to them the vital points that illuminate the war, and America’s duty in helping to win it.

Major Marr and his Canadian soldiers went straight to the hearts of our people.  They are all returned soldiers, wounded many times, and unable to fight, so they are doing their bit in another way.

Cimera’s band was pronounced by everybody the best band Mr. Horner has ever given us.  The woodwind section of it is very fine, and the tone textures more like an orchestra than a band.  Mr. Cimera is an artistic conductor and his interpretation of the beautiful numbers “The Benediction” from “The Hugenots” and the overture from William Tell delighted the big audience.  The conductor at the request of the audience played on afternoon and evening programs a trombone solo, which was encored over and over.

Madame Cafarelli, who has a beautiful voice, a perfect method and a charming personality, was soloist of both concerts.  We believe she gave more pleasure in her singing than any other soloist we have had.  She had the advantage of the delightful accompaniments played by the band.  Mr. Cimera is from Bohemia and like all the people from his country who come to us, is an intensely loyal American.  He watches from afar the bitter struggle of his people for freedom.

The big feature on the platform this year was the talk by Captain David Fallon on “Fighting Thru Hell.”  The speaker was introduced by Congressman Jouett Shouse, who was given a rousing welcome when he appeared, and who made an interesting talk, which came to us straight from Washington.

Captain Fallon speaks from the heat of his own experiences fighting Germany, as a soldier in the infantry, in the flying service and in the tanks.  He has the gift of language and set before his hearers a somber picture of what this war with Germany has meant to the countries invaded, and to the civilized world, painting it in words tipped with flame of suffering.  He bears on his body the scars of his sacrifice, and his gallant spirit grieves more because he cannot get back into the fight than because of the wounds.  A student of world affairs, a teacher of military training in the English schools of both India and Australia before the war, he gave an address from our platform that will do more to make our people realize their duty, their danger, than any other speaker.

His book on the Gallipoli campaign is one of the big books of the war, and it is rightly named “The Big Fight.”  The largest audience for this year’s Chautauqua greeted Capt. Fallon under the tent last night.

Mr. Welch, who has been managing our Chautauqua because the regular platform men are in the army, is a prince of manager and Kinsley likes him. The Chautauqua service flag ahs 250 stars on it.”

Closing of Chautauqua  (Reprinted from the Kinsley Graphic, September 5, 1918)
Closing Programs are Best Ever and Plans are Made for Next Year

“On Thursday afternoon of the press last week, one of the very finest programs of the week was given by the American nurse, Harriet Bird Warren.  She has a beautiful speaking voice and told in a way which held her audience, the story of her work with the French army for the men who are wounded by the Huns. She is a surgical nurse, her specialty being plastic surgery.  She touched the hearts of her hearers, and paid the same fine tribute to the French women who are carrying on the work of France and keeping up the morale of their men that all who have spoken on the war have done.

She plead with American Women to do their full duty here and to volunteer for service overseas if possible.  In the evening Montraville Wood gave a scientific lecture which explained the use of the gyroscope in this war, the violet ray, which he illustrated in some fine experiments, and the submarine.

He had a full-sized torpedo with ears that seemed the most human piece of machinery ever invented, and gave many ideas about the new scientific things now in use in the war with the Hun, which will be in general use after the war.

Kansas composer, Mr. Thurlow Lieurance, and the Premier Quartet gave the afternoon program Friday and the prelude to the play ‘The Climax’ in the evening.

Mr. Lieurance is the foremost authority on American Indian music and the composer of many songs in which he uses the thematic material secured from the long study on Indian music.  He has a new rhapsody using the Indian songs, and collaborating with Preston Ware Orem.

The Premier artists were Mr. Haverstraw of Lincoln and Mr. Parvin Witte of Kansas City, Miss Edna Wooley (Mrs. Thurlow Lieurance) and Miss Grey of Kansas City, and it is the finest singing organization Mr. Horner has ever had on this circuit.  Mr. Haverstraw is a composer of note and ‘My Soldier,” one of his songs, was on the afternoon program, sung by the composer.  Miss Wooley sings the beautiful Indian songs of Mr. Lieurance better than anyone else, having a voice of great beauty with a flute like quality, which brings out their loveliness.

At the close of the program enough people had signed the contract for next year to assure Kinsley of a Chautauqua in 1919.

Practically the same public spirited citizens went on the guarantee as before.  The Horner management did not push the matter at all, as they have lost money every year on the town.  But Mr. Horner takes the ground that if a town wants a Chautauqua he will come and take his chances on coming out even in some other place.  The sale of tickets for the lecture of Captain Fallon illustrates the matter.  Kinsley sold sixty-six dollars’ worth of single admissions and Stafford, a town of the same size, sold one hundred and seventy dollars’ worth for the same lecture. That seems to hold good on all Chautauqua talent. But the old guard, or most of them, saved the day as usual….”