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Yesteryears - the history of Albany

Miscellaneous,   pp. 107-114 PDF (3.5 MB)

Page 108

a whole ox was roasted) there was a patriotic parade
which included these bands and two martial bands with
local membership. As a result of the patriotic fervor of
the day, most of the band boys enlisted, many in Co. E.,
13th Regiment, of the 13th Wisconsin Volunteer Infan-
In 1865 members of the Brass Band were requested to
meet at their rooms for the purpose of reorganizing.
Now that the war was over, "and there being no danger
of being called up, let us take hold with a will. Signed,
C. S. Tibbits."
Albany's Comet Band was organized in 1881 by Scott
Darling. The first members were: Charley Putnam, J. P.
Atherton, Charley Wilder, John Flood, Andrew Wessel,
John Pryce, Hector Carradine, Willie Bliss, Jim Keegan,
Tim Keegan and 0. H. Atherton.
In July of 1883 the editor says: "The music discoursed
by the Albany Comet Band and Mr. S. R. Eldred's Mar-
tial Band on Saturday night last, was excellent and
greatly enjoyed by all. In fact, the whole town seemed
full of music." The band usually played a part in com-
munity functions. They played at Albany's skating rink,
in the Opera House, at prohibition rallies and at
meetings to promote the building of the railroad.
The Comet band lost many instruments in the fire of
1883, but had "enough of the toot left to make some first
class music for the edification of our citizens." Several
benefits were held for the band boys.
In 1886 need was felt for the building of a bandstand
so that the band would not have to perform in the dust
and mud of the street. It was reported in 1887 that "The
ladies have recently raised enough money to build a
bandstand," and continuing, "the ladies of our
beautiful village-or rather, the beautiful ladies of our
village -are more public spirited and enterprising than
the gentlemen." At this time the band was being re-
ferred to as the Silver Comet Band.
In 1896 Albany could boast three musical groups; the
Albany Band, H. Atherton, Leader; Warren's Or-
chestra, F. Warren, Director; and the Hewitt and
Atherton Orchestra, E. E. Atherton, Director.
The Albany Cornet Band played a large part in the
many patriotic rallies held during World War I. In 1918
the band was giving weekly concerts from their new plat-
form wagon. The band was active into the 1920's, play-
ing on Memorial Day, at the opening of the new bridge
and having a "tag day" to earn money for expenses.
In the 1930's there were Saturday evening band con-
certs downtown orl Water Street, the membership of the
band consisting of former village band members and
alumni and current members of the high school band.
Reuben Folsom
On the banks of Sugar River just above the Village of
Albany is a picturesque cavern known as Reuben's Cave.
It was in this tiny unwholesome crack in the rock of the
river bank that Reuben Folsom, the famous Nimrod of
Green County's early history spent many days of his
hunter's life.
Accounts vary as to the place of Reuben's birth, but
many authors believe that he was a native of Canada
and that he served in the regular United States Army
before he drifted to Green County in 1841. His ancestry
is presumably highly respectable although little is cer-
tain as to his early history. His brother is thought to have
been a celebrity in the field of medicine. There are also
differing stories about old Reuben's love affairs. One
legend says that he was married three times and that the
fourth time the marriage was declared illegal so the con-
tracting parties went their separate ways and Reuben
arrived eventually in the middle west.
Other legends have it that disappointed hopes and
blighted love were the misfortunes that led Reuben to
live the life of a partial recluse and to become an habitue
of the woods and caves.
Old Reuben had no regular habits but was at home at
almost anybody's house and he never was unwelcome.
He spent many nights at the Broughton farm near
Albany and in order to get the family up for breakfast so
that he could go hunting by daylight, the old fellow
would arise at three or four o'clock and go out to the
chicken coop and start crowing. This started all the
roosters to imitating him and the family awoke, got
breakfast and he put in a full day and sometimes several
days and nights hunting deer and wolves. It is said that
Reuben was a hunter from the time he was five years
old. Legend has it that one day he looked out and saw a
fox running across the field, gave a whoop and with no
further formality he and his dog were after the fox. He
captured his prey and from that time on there was no
more indoor education for Reuben. The woods and
fields claimed him as their own and he grew up in the
great school of nature.
Folsom hunted deer at times, but he was much more
interested in the ferocious wolves that had been annoy-
ing the settlers and killing their cattle and sheep. Boun-
ties were offered for scalps and the skins were valuable so
the canny, thrifty old hunter spent most of his time trap-
ping and killing the wolves.
The tradition is that he never killed a female wolf and
if he found a den of young ones he kept them secretly
hidden away until they reached a size which enabled
him to get the largest bounty afforded by grown wolves.
This was about five times as much as that for young

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