Monday, July 05, 2021

More about The Old Thirteen and July 4, 1911

I celebrated Independence Day Sunday by posting a photograph of a patriotic parade entry created soon after the turn of the 20th century by members of Chariton's The Old Thirteen chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. But I'd neglected to note the date a couple of years ago when I photographed the image in its permanent location --- the D.A.R. chapter's first scrapbook, now in the Lucas County Historical Society collection.

I went back to the museum Sunday afternoon for another look and discovered that the image was dated July 4, 1911, so it had indeed been an Independence Day parade entry. Here it is again.

I'd hoped to find mention of the float in Chariton newspaper reports published on July 6, 1911, but that seems to have been a banner year for parade entries --- so many floats that the D.A.R. received only polite mention in a sentence noting the 13 girls wearing banners representing the 13 colonies.

I also wrote Sunday that Chariton's D.A.R. chapter, chartered in 1895 as the Sarah McCalla chapter, had been renamed The Old Thirteen during 1900 in honor of a recently deceased member, Corilla Copeland Lewis, who had written the words to a patriotic song with that title. A copy of the song also is included in the scrapbook --- complete with musical setting (top) and then just the lyrics (below).

Also included in the scrapbook is a photograph of Mrs. Lewis.

And a copy of her obituary.

Although it wasn't noted in the obituary, Corilla died of tuberculosis --- and her life had not been an especially easy one.

Her husband, Evan Lewis, was associated with his brother, Elijah, and sister, Lucretia, publishers of The Patriot for many years in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Evan, however, was one of Chariton's notable alcoholics at a time when the condition was not understood and no 12-step programs were available. Competing newspaper editors on several occasions ridiculed Evan in print, thinking I suppose that it would discredit the family newspaper --- but also airing the tribulations of his wife and children very publicly.

Evan died at the state hospital for inebriates in Knoxville (later the Knoxville Veterans Administration Medical Center) on July 7, 1908, nine years after Corilla died, of acute alcoholism. 

Their daughter, Hettie, had by this time married Mortimer Wilson, another Chariton native who went on to a distinguished career as a musician, conductor and composer. So music continued to play a role in the extended family.

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