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History of the Organization, &c.,
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The Tri-State Old Settlers' Association of Illinois, Missouri and Iowa owes its origin to the earnest desire on the part of many old citizens of Keokuk to meet their friends of early days and renew old friendships and acquaintances, and to form new ones. To this end the organization known as the Citizens' Association, was asked to take the preliminary steps toward establishing, on a permanent footing, an association that would bring together, in annual reunions, the pioneers of the three States.
Accordingly, the Citizens' Association invited the citizens of Keokuk to meet together on the evening of July 3d, 1884, at the U.S. Court room in the Estes House, to determine the question as to whether such reunions should be held, and if so, the time, place, etc.
A large number of citizens responded, and it was resolved unanimously to arganize a Tri-State Old Settlers' Association. The following Executive Committee was selected: J. M. Reid, Geo. F. Jenkins, J. O. Voorhies, D. F. Miller, Sr., J. B. Paul, S. E. Carey and J. H. Cole. September 4th, 1884, and Rand Park, were agreed on as the time and place for holding the first reunion.
At a subsequent meeting the Executive Committee reported the Constitution, which was adopted, the programme of exercises, and October 2nd, 1884, as the date for the first reunion, on account of the local fairs being held in surrounding counties in September.
A Committee on Invitation was appointed who sent out about 3,500 special invitations. Responses to many of these were made in person and to some by letters, which may be found in their proper place.
The weather, which had been very rainy and disagreeable, changed on the evening of October ist, and gave on the 2nd a most delightful day.
The programme, arranged as below, was strictly adhered to, and in addition thereto, a dancing platform, a soldiers' dinner, (hard tack, pork and beans, etc.,) for all old soldiers, a game of base ball, and other features of a social character filled up the day and interested the various classes gathered together.
ASSOCIATION CALLED TO ORDER,
“Ye Olden Times.”
ADDRESS OF WELCOME,
RESPONSE FOR MISSOURI,
MUSIC—“OLD SETTLERS' SONG."
RESPONSE FOR ILLINOIS,
APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE
RECESS FOR DINNER.
MUSIC-BY KEOKUK MILITARY BAND, AT 2 O'CLOCK P. M,.