Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!
In the early years of DeKalb County, entertainment often came in the form of the local band.
Silver Coronet Bands—some of the earliest musical groups in the county—were formed in Waterloo, Butler, and Spencerville during the 1870s. Band members purchased their Silver Coronets from traveling salesmen who also instructed them in how to play, a practice which possibly inspired Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man.
After the Silver Coronet Bands came other groups. The Auburn Band formed in 1897, and the early 1900s featured the Butler City Band, the Coburntown Farmers’ Band, and military bands from Garrett and Auburn, among others. The Royal Black Hussars—a band from Auburn—participated in parades and were described by The Evening Star as holding their audience “spellbound.”
These bands often played for special events, including the DeKalb County Fair, various parades, and the dedications of the Eckhart Public Library and the DeKalb County Courthouse.
Although high school bands gradually replaced these private groups, there are still some local bands who put on concerts and play at community events, such as the Auburn Community Band, which was formed in the 1970s.
To see more, click here and search “John Martin Smith” and “band.”