Back in more ceremonial times, late May's Decoration Day was reserved to honor war veterans. In Lucas County, there would have been Grand Army of the Republic-led processions to cemeteries in the towns where G.A.R. posts were located (Chariton, Russell, Lucas and Derby), small flags would have been placed in G.A.R. flag-holders at veteran graves, children would have scattered flowers on those graves and most likely there would have been a patriotic address or two and perhaps some music from the town band.
Also in those times, the multitudinous members of the county's various lodges and their auxiliaries generally honored their deceased members in late spring, too --- but on different days. The program generally was similar --- a procession, a program at the cemetery during which organizational flags were placed in lodge flag-holders, and a service of some sort before, during or after.
Which brings me to this picture, taken on June 12, 1894, in Russell, immortalizing but sadly not identifying members of the Russell lodge who participated in I.O.O.F. Memorial Day observances there during that long-ago spring.
The I.O.O.F. code of 1906 prescribed that I.O.O.F. Memorial Day be observed when possible on the second Tuesday of June --- and June 12, 1894, was the second Tuesday.
I don't know much about the Russell lodge, other than the fact it probably was that community's largest fraternal organization at the time and that its lodge rooms were at one time above the Russell bank.
Marie Cobb Harlan, then living in California, donated this photograph to the Lucas County Historical Society during 1976. She noted that those photographed included her father, Miles Edwin Cobb (1861-1943); her uncle, Harry Clowser (1871-1948); and her stepgrandfather, John Clowser (1841-1914). She didn't say which was which, however, nor did she mention any other names.