The Quakertown Band

Our Historic Past, Set the Stage


In late February 1877, Ulysses S. Grant was president of the thirty-eight United States. He would be succeeded eleven days later by our nineteenth president, Rutherford B. Hayes. Shortly afterwards, on April 24, 1877, the last vestige of northern control of the South, control in effect since the American Civil War had ended in 1865, was due to cease as federal troops were removed from New Orleans.

The world of 1877 was unfamiliar with a three-year-old British lad named Winston Churchill. The second annual Kentucky Derby had already been run. News of General Custer's defeat the previous year at the Little Big Horn could be spread over Bell's new telephone. And people were reading Mark Twain's new 1876 book "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

In 1877, Edison's phonograph was just around the corner in 1878. Proctor and Gamble's "99 and 44/100% pure" soap was about to hit the market. The population of these United States was approaching fifty million, and the appearance of Coca-Cola as a refreshing drink was still ten years away. And there was more to come!

In Quakertown, Pennsylvania, a group of twenty-three men had music--live music--on their minds and in their hearts. These men, as others before them, had played in various bands which ran continuous cycles of organizing and disbanding, of beginning and ending. They were determined to organize a new band which would endure and provide musical enjoyment for the people of the Quakertown area.

These men met on February 22, 1877. It was Washington's Birthday. The rest is history...

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