Military Tournament Fund-Raiser in 1896

Ladies’ Hospital Board Met Yesterday to Perfect Final Arrangements for Tournament

The ladies hospital board met in the Young Men’s Christian association parlors at 10 o’clock yesterday morning.  The object of the meeting was to hear reports from the various committees appointed to solicit refreshments, etc., for the military tournament at Lake Ottosee next Thursday.  As is already generally known, these ladies are to serve the refreshments on that occasion.

The reports of the committees were very encouraging, and gave evidence that the public is in sympathy with the movement.  Sufficient cakes, hams, breads, etc., have been promised to supply the stands that will be open on the grounds, and the ladies anticipate having quite a fund on hand at the conclusion of the day’s work.

The tournament will, without doubt, be a success, and the ladies are doing their part to make it such.

The badges which are to be worn Thursday were distributed to the ladies yesterday.  The are of white ribbon, upon which is a red cross and the word “hospital.”  These are significant of the cause in which the ladies are working.

All persons who have promised articles to be used on the day of the tournament, are requested to send to the residences of either Mrs. H. G. Bayless on Main street, or Mrs. W. C. McCoy, on East Fifth avenue.

Source: Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, July 14, 1896, page 3


Military Tourney Crowning Event of the Season at Lake Ottosee.  Street Parade Pronounced the Grandest ever Seen on Gay Street.  Essenics and Pythians Complimented

The military tournament, about which so much has been said for many weeks past, is now a thing of the past.  It will go down in history as the most auspicious outing of the season of 1896.  Never before have the people of Knoxville been favored with an affair, gotten up by and among the local young men, which created so much favorable comment and such a general sentiment of approval.

The day was all that could be desired and the favorable weather added much to the attractiveness of teh parade especially.

As is generally known the tournament was given by the Essenic army and the Uniform Rank Knights of Pythias.  These orders alone represent 600 men in the city of Knoxville all of whom are from among the best families of the city.

The grand street parade in the morning at 10:30 o’clock was pronounced by all who saw it as being the grandest procession that ever passed down Gay street.  It was fully half of a mile in length and contained innumerable features all of which were new and novel.

The line of march was thronged with anxious spectators long before the hour appointed for the procession to move, and not one in the vast throng was disappointed, but all seemed pleased with the spectacle to which they had been witnesses.

The parade moved up Gay street, from the French and Roberts building to Wall street, thence to Walnut street, thence to Main, thence to Gay and out Gay to the starting point, where the cars of the Citizens street railway conveyed the crowd to the lake park, where the tournament was held.

General Alex Allison was in command of the column, and he had as his aides Col. W. L. Morgan, Major L. S. Hall, Major W. P. Chandler, and as a staff officer, Capt. L. Jones Price, surgeon of the Uniform Rank Knights of Pythias.  These officers were mounted upon war like steeds and marched immediately in rear of the Legion band.

The order of the column was as follows:

1. Mounted police officers.
2. Mystic Wheelmen, riding in column of twos.
3. Legion band.
4. Company A, Essenic Army, commanded by Capt. A. Y. Barrows.
5. Davy Crockett Division, Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias, commanded by Capt. Maury Nicholson.
6. Cavalry squadron of Roman soldiers arranged in reegalia [sic] characteristic of the ancient Romans, commanded by Knight H. C. Burns.
7. Cavalry troop of Red Men.  Members of Minneola tribe, Improved Order of Red Men, commanded by Chief W. Chamberlain.
8. Float bearing officers of Ancient Essenic Order, in full regalia.
9. Float bearing Roman senators, nobles and courtiers, of the Knights of Pythias.
10. Float bearing Kings, and stationed officers of the various Knights of Pythias lodges of the city.
11. Float suggestive of the realms of “goatdom” with the would-be Knight “en route” to the goal of his ambition.  Credit for the preparation and designing of this float is due Mr. J. H. Waters a member of Knoxville Senate of the Ancient Essenic Order.  It was a fitting conclusion for the grand display going before.

The parade created a favorable impression upon all who witnessed it, and the appreciation of the public was demonstrated by their attendance at the tournament in the afternoon.

At the Lake

The crowd begun to congregate at the lake soon after the parade, and by the time the shades of evening fell fully 1,200 people were inside the park inclosure.  Every car brought numbers of people, and the traffic continued to increase until the closing hour last night.

The program was begun at 2 o’clock and was executed without the least hitch, the tug of war between the Knights of Pythias and Essenics being the only feature omitted.  The events were as follows:

1. Swimming Race — Open to all, new bathing suits for all contestants.  Prize, Fine Hat.
2. Diving Contest — Open to all:  longest time under water.  Prize, Pair Tan Shoes.
3. Archery Contest — Open to all comers.  Prize, Archery Outfit.
4. Bicycle tournament — Riding for rings.  Successful contestant had free use of the following privileges; refreshments, dancing, boats, bowling.
5. Mystic Wheelman’s Tournament — Conducted by a team of the best riders in the city, all in new uniforms.  Prize, Handsome Gold Medal.
6. Fancy Bicycle Trick Riding — For boys 14 years old or under.  Prize, ice cream, lemonade and boat privilege, to successful contestant.
7. Display Drill — By Essenic Army.
8. Display Drill — By U. R. K. of P.
9. Sword Drill — By the Mascots of U. R. K. of P.
10. Bowling Contest — For the best score made with six balls, during the day.  Prize, Gold Medal.

The archery contest was won by James Berger, and he was awarded the archery act for his efficient marksmanship.

John House proved to be the winner in the free-for-all bicycle tournament.

Knight W. P. Biddle, an Essenic, won the gold medal for capturing the most rings in the Mystic Wheelmen’s contest.

Saxton Crawford demonstrated the fact that he was the best trick rider on the grounds, and consequently received the award of free use of various privileges on the grounds.

The display drills by the two companies were especially well received, and both combinations put up excellent appearances.  This was the first time the Knoxville public has been favored with a genuine display sword drill, and the grand-stand was accordingly thronged with spectators.  The Essenic company numbered 18 and the Pythians 16, all of whom were crack drilled men.

The ladies of the hospital board were present to serve the refreshments for the occasion, and well did they cater to the wants of the hungry and thirsty public.  The Essenics and Pythians had courteously given the ladies this privilege, free of all cost, and it was indeed appreciated by the ladies.  It is expected that a considerable sum will be realized for the benefit of the proposed hospital.

The committee in whose hands have been all the arrangements for the tournament was composed of Messrs. A. Y. Burrows, chairman; W. . Morgan, M. Nicholson, Albert Ross, A. G. Mann, W. A. J. Moore, J. P. Stanton, E. C. Epps, T. C. Pollock, T. F. Adams.

Dancing was begun at 7 o’clock last night and continued until mid-night.  The Legion orchestra furnished the music, and the following gentlemen had charge of the floor; E. C. Epps, chairman; J. E. Borches, J. P. Stanton, L. S. Hall, T. C. Pollock, Charles McTeer, Jr., T. F. Adams, M. L. Hicks.

The Military Tournament is pronounced as the most successful and auspicious event of the season.  It is the desire of the public that the knights make this an annual affair and it is quite probably that such will be the case.

[Transcriber’s Note:  Last paragraph was edited from the original; the sentences were incorrectly typeset and printed.]

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, July 18, 1896, page 3


A Financial Success.  Military Tournament so Pronounced by Pythians and Essenics

The military tournament at Lake Ottosee last Friday was a success financially as well as otherwise.  The executive committee has not yet determined the exact amount made by the orders interested.  They feel safe, however, in saying that a handsome profit will be netted above all expenses.  The public showed their appreciation of the efforts of the knights to provide a meritorious entertainment by a generous attendance and liberal patronage of the affair.

The hospital fund was considerably increased by the patronage of the refreshment stands on the grounds.  These were in charge of the ladies hospital board, and they are appreciative for the courtesies extended them by the visitors to the park.

The executive committee of Essenics and Pythians will meet in Captain Burrow’s office at 11 o’clock this morning at which time all financial details will be closed up and if possible the exact result of the tournament determined.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, July 20, 1896, page 3

Leave a Reply