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Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Early Years of the Ney Band

The first newspaper reference found naming the Ney Band was in the Defiance County Express on March 14, 1890, although it is likely that a band in some form or another probably existed earlier in the village.

"Winfield Scott Yarlot and Mary Elser, both of Washington Twp., hied themselves unto the sandy shores of Michigan, and were joined in the holy bands of wedlock, Saturday, February 22d.  The NEY BAND and a posse of kids gave them a howling old serenade last Monday evening, the racket being heard 4 miles away."

Photo imprinted on the front - John Bergman, Ney.  Undated
 The June 12, 1900, Defiance Weekly Express stated:

"A band of twelve pieces has been organized at Ney.  Many were already trained in a former band so they can render excellent music in a short time.  The Ney band will play at a social to be held after the junior entertainment at the Methodist Episcopal church Saturday evening, July 14.  The entertainment promises to be good.  Admission free."

 The band was mentioned as playing for Labor Day festivities, at memorial services, at open air concerts, at the fair and even at a picnic in Defiance at Island Park.  They seemed to be quite active from 1900 onward, at least until the early 1930s. 

In this closeup, one can see the band leading a parade of some kind.  Could it be veterans of the Civil War following behind the band?  In a closeup, it appeared all the men wore sashes across their chests.  Perhaps it was a Memorial Day parade.  Who were some of the folks who played in the band?  If you know more information, please comment.


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