Simon Knaebel and “General Taylor Storming Monterey”

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Simon Knaebel (1812-c. 1880) was an American composer, arranger, horn player, violinist, cellist, and pianist of German origin. Knaebel was born in 1812 at Baden, Germany.  He immigrated to the United States in the mid-1830s and took up residence in Boston, MA, where he became well known as an arranger for Ned Kendall’s Boston Brass Band. The noted African-American composer Justin Holland studied with Knaebel in the late 1830s. After a brief trip to Germany in 1846, Knaebel returned to Boston and joined the Philharmonic.  Knaebel, as one of the violinists of the orchestra, was an exceedingly versatile German performer, able to turn his attention at will to horn, violoncello, or violin. He was also a composer, and wrote

Around 1848, Knaebel composed General Taylor Storming Monterey for brass ensemble.  This is a curious composition. While we do not know its date, it was probably written not later than 1848, the year Zachary Taylor was elected President on the strength of his brilliant military success in the Mexican War, and despite the efforts of his commander, fellow Whig, and political rival, General Winfield Scott. Many popular compositions celebrating Taylor’s victories appeared during his political campaign, though this particular work is not known to us in a published form. But it is almost certain that such a piece would not have been composed after Taylor became President, and especially not after his death in 1850.

On April 30, 1851, a Jenny Lind concert series was announced by P.T. Barnum, the concerts to begin May 7.  Julius Benedict would conduct a Grand Orchestra of “nearly 100,” comprising the best New York musicians combined with the Germania Society.  The orchestra included the foremost members of the New York Philharmonic and the entire Germania Society which had been touring with Parodi.   Among the second violins was Knaebel.  A complete listing of the orchestra personnel is found in the Boston Herald of May 11, 1851.

On April 14, 1852, a ”Grand National Concert” at Castle Garden celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill with the first performance of a “descriptive symphony” or cantata entitled “The Battle of Bunker Hill” by Knaebel.  The work consisted of a setting for male voices of the poem “The Battle on Bunker’s Hill” by the American poetess Lydia Sigourney, sung by the German Liederkranz under their leader Herr Agricol Paur, followed by a musical description in twenty sections of the battle, performed, not by a military band but by two separate “Powerful Orchestras”  representing the American and British armies.  Each of the twenty subdivisions bore a programatic title, sometimes musically explained, as in section 2, “Digging Fortifications”; or section 16, “’The Fall of General Warren,’ a Marcia funerale preceded by a choral of four Trombones”; or section 18, “Charlestown on Fire.” It all ended with a belicose “March and Combat, between both Orchestras, on the National Airs.” “The Battle of Bunker Hill” enjoyed a measure of popularity in its day.

At the final concert of their eventful twelfth season, on April 22, 1854, the Boston Philharmonic, in a huge program, gave the first performance of  the Symphony No. 20 by the prodigiously  prolific German composer Friedrich Schneider (1786-1853), a work dedicated to the Society in appreciation of the composer’s having been elected an honorary member in absentia in 1853. Additionally the Society yet again repeated Spohr’s “ponderous” Die Weihe der Töne” and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture.. Also on the program a Duo Concertante on the Air “Araby’s Daughter” by F. Baumann for two french horns and orchestra played by Messrs. H Schmitz and S. Knaebel.

In 1854, the Philharmonic Society noted that it had performed numerous works “written on American soil” by locally resident composers” albeit mostly of assorted foreign origins, including Knaebel  from Germany.  Other works by Knaebel include the Medley Quickstep for Band, the Hykshos March for brass ensemble, and the State Street Grand March.  He died around 1880 at Ossining, NY.

My collection includes the following work by Simon Knaebel:

“General Taylor Storming Monterey” (1848).

William Appo and “John Tyler’s Lamentation”

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William Appo (1808-Jan. 19, 1880) was a pianist, hornist, and conductor of African descent.  Appo was born at Philadelphia, PA, in 1808, the son of John ‘St John’ Appo from Pondicherry, India (1779-1818) and Ann Carnes (d. c.1829).  His sister Helen (1801-1875) married bandmaster Francis ‘Frank’ Johnson (1792-1844).  His brother Joseph (1803-1829) played in the Frank Johnson Band.  His sister Ann (1809-1828) was organist of St. Thomas African Episcopal Church in Philadelphia

In the 1820s, Appo played at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia.  In 1836 he was married to a schoolteacher named Elizabeth (1818-1863) from Washington, DC.  They had two children: Helen Appo Cook (1837-1913); and William Appo Jr. (1840-1862) who fought in the Civil War for the Union with the 30 N.Y. Infantry and died at the Battle Bull Run in Virginia.

From Nov. of 1837 to Apr. of 1838, Appo Sr. toured England as member of the Philadelphia Military Band of Francis Johnson and played for Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace in London.  In 1844, during the presidential election campaign, Appo composed “John Tyler’s Lamentation” for male choir with words by T. G. Stephens of the Utica Clay Glee Club.  It was published by R. W. Roberts of Utica, NY, in 1844.

In 1848, Appo bought land at Saranac Lake in North Elba, NY, but in 1850 he was still residing in Philadelphia.  From 1858 to1863 he lived in Burlington NJ, where his wife died, and then from 1863 to 1870 at 13 Grand Street in New York City, NY.  In1870, he settled permanently in North Elba, retaining his house at 13 Grand Street to teach music until 1876.  In1870, at the age of 62, he married 20 year old Albertine Thompson of North Elba, and they had a daughter, Maud Appo (1872-1946).  He died from paralysis at the age of 72 on January 19, 1880, in North Elba, NY.

The following work by William Appo is contained in my collection:

“John Tyler’s Lamentation” (1844)

Furnessville Schoolhouse, North Chesterton, IN

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Furnessville Schoolhouse Shop

278 East CR-1500 North

Chesterton, IN 46304

In 1886 the Porter County Westchester Township School system erected, atop a high sand dune, the two room Furnessville schoolhouse. The building was designed in the Romanesque Revival style and made from local bricks. Its architecturally imposing bell tower was placed over the front entry door. A prominent spire topped the belfry which was made of four open louvered panels squared off to house the large calling bell – now long gone. The building’s corners were tastefully designed with pseudo buttresses. Then the arched windows were dramatically designed in height to accommodate the nearly twelve foot ceilings. The overall look of exuberant proportion and elegant grace was complete and the charm of the area was extended by the enchanting Furnessville cemetery across the street.

Before the turn of the century the Funesses and Morgans had acquired much land making a living from farming blueberries and cranberries and selling lumber (to rebuild after the great Chicago fire of 1871). Furnessville became a stop on the Michigan Central Railroad connecting Chicago and Detroit.  The construction of U.S. highway 20 in ’31′& ’32′ also made the area more accessible. The Furnessville gas station was in operation complete with three pumps with glass gasoline bowls. The nearby Lewry General Store thrived and included a post office.  In the 20′s the school was abandoned. In the mid 40′s T.W. and Babs Pape impulsively purchased the building out from under a competitive bidder who intended to remove the bell tower and fashion it as a chicken coup!

It was just past World War II and the Papes spent a lot of time making the structure livable. Eventually, but still in the 40′s, they began to sell fine art, primarily on consignment. Furnessville already (since the late 20′s) had been evolving as an art community. In the ’50′s the Papes widened the art range to include consignment of different types of art. Then the gift shop concept began to take hold as Babs creativity expanded the lines. In the 60′s two additions were carefully added so as not to compromise the integrity of the original schoolhouse architecture.  The shop flourished under the Pape ownership. In 1980 Bill and Babs retired and turned management over to their son Tom Pape and his wife Maura who ran the shop until 1986. At that time Mary Louise Reey and her husband purchased the shop and operated it until 1995.

July 7, 1997 witnessed James D. Ruge and Roy J. Krizek purchasing the Schoolhouse Shop from George Tichac, an investor uncle of Mary Louise Reey.  The old office was turned into the Tree House Toy Room and the kitchen shop is now touted as The Magic Pantry. The long dormant lower level was tiled and brightened and filled with antiques and more.  In the spring of 2009, Schoolhouse Shop once again redefined itself with the opening of Dune Clothiers, which features affordable apparel and accessories for women and men.  Nestled in the heart of Furnessville and the Indiana Dunes, the shop boasts an eclectic array of unique gifts, artisan foods, stylish clothes and more. Dating to 1886, this former Porter County Schoolhouse now serves as the finest shopping destination in the Dunes region.

Henry Dielman and “President Harrison’s Funeral March”

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John Caspar Henry Dielman (Apr. 26, 1811- Oct. 12, 1882) was a German born early American music professor and composer.  Dielman was born on Apr. 26, 1811, at Frankfurt am Main, Stadtkreis Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany.  He emigrated to the United States and in 1834 married Emily Dawson (1815–1879) of Maryland.  They had three children, Mary C. Dielman Cretin (1835–1899), Lawrence Dielman (1847–1923), and Adelaide J. Dielman Jourdan (1852–1911).  A long-time Professor of Music at Mt. St. Mary’s College, Emmitsburg, Maryland, he composed the dirge “President Harrison’s Funeral March” in 1841.

The Christmas anthem “With glory lit the midnight air (A New Christmas Hymn for Choirs)” was first published by Henry McCaffrey in Baltimore in 1853. The author of the text, Dr. John McCaffrey (1806-1880) was President of Mount St. Mary College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, from 1838 to 1872. The music was composed by Dielman, whose name is sometimes spelled Diehlman. Having come from Germany, he was Professor of Music and Organist under John McCaffrey at Mount St. Mary College, as well as organist of several churches in Baltimore.

Dielman is noteworthy for having been the first person to be awarded a Doctor of Music degree by an American university.  His Mus.Doc. degree was conferred by Georgetown University. In later collections the text as well as the music of this anthem also was often erroneously attributed to Dielman, but Dielman in fact only wrote the musical setting. He died, aged 71, on Oct. 12, 1882, at Emmitsburg, Frederick County, Maryland, and was buried in St. Anthony’s Catholic Shrine Cemetery.  The Life and Music of Henry Dielman was published in 1956 by David D Shaum.

My collection includes the following work by Henry Dielman:

“President Harrison’s Funeral March” (1841).

Alexander Coffman Ross and  “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”

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Alexander Coffman Ross (May 31, 1812- February 25 or 26, 1883) was an American merchant, amateur musician, and song writer.  Ross was born in Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio, on May 31, 1812, the son of Elijah Ross (1786–1864) and Mary “Polly” Coffman Ross (1788–1862).  From a boy Ross was interested in scientific inventions, and is said to have produced the first daguerreotype ever made in this country.  His wife’s name was Caroline Granger Ross (1819–1905), and they had 3 children, Charles Hill Ross (1838 – 1910), Ellen Granger Ross (1841 – 1915), and Eliza Brice Ross (1844 – Unknown).   He was one of the most enterprising business men in Zanesville, and accumulated a large property.

Ross became a merchant and jeweler in his native place, sang in a church choir, and in the presidential canvass of 1840 was a member of a Whig glee-club. A friend having suggested that the minstrelsy tune “Little Pigs” would be a suitable chorus for a political song, Ross set himself to compose the song, and one Sunday during sermon-time produced “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” adapting thee music to fit his lyrics. This was sung by his glee-club at a mass-meeting in Zanesville, and at once became popular. When he went to New York in September, to buy goods, he sang it at a great meeting in Lafayette Hall, the audience took up the chorus, after the meeting it was repeated by crowds in the streets and about the hotels, and thenceforth it was the most successful song of a canvass in which General Harrison was said to have been sung into the White House.

“Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” originally published as “Tip and Ty,” became the most popular and influential campaign song of the Whig Party’s colorful Log Cabin Campaign in the 1840 United States presidential election. Its lyrics sang the praises of Whig candidates William Henry Harrison (the “hero of Tippecanoe”) and John Tyler, while denigrating incumbent Democrat Martin Van Buren.   Ross apparently never copyrighted the song.  “Little Pigs” itself is not well documented, but the available evidence suggests that there was a substantial adaptation of the score for “Tip and Ty.”

Ross’s song firmly established the power of singing as a campaign device in the United States, and that this and the other songs of 1840 represent a Great Divide in the development of American campaign music.  The song was, in the political canvas of 1840 what the ‘Marseillaise’ was to the French Revolution. It sang Harrison into the presidency.   “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” is possibly the most important political campaign song in American history.  Tippecanoe is a river in Indiana where Harrison led American troops in a 1811 battle against Native Americans who occupied the land. This earned him a reputation as a war hero, and the “Tippecanoe” association. His pick for vice president was John Tyler, thus “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.”  In 1840, politics could get ugly and personal. In this song, Harrison bashes his opponent, Martin Van Buren: “We’ll beat little Van.. Van is a used up man.”

Ross’s version has twelve verses and a rousing chorus. There is repeated reference to rolling balls and constant motion, and rolling great canvas balls became a physical prop in the campaign pageantry, alongside the better-known log cabins and hard cider barrels. The song’s appeal has been compared to that of a great pop novelty song, as against the relative seriousness of most campaign songs.  Martin Van Buren is derided as “Little Van” and “Little Matty” and his supporters as “Vanjacks.”  These are contrasted with the rustic virtues of Harrison and the inevitability of his victory throughout the states.  The refrain for Tippecanoe and Tyler Too is highly euphonious: it exhibits a triple alliteration, an internal rhyme, and nearly forms an iambic tetrameter. There were many variations on the song published at the time, especially ones with new verses. It has been called a satirical, expandable text that permitted, nay urged, singers to add their own lines.”  Today, however, the slogan Tippecanoe and Tyler Too is better remembered than the song itself.  Ross passed away aged 70 on Feb. 25 or 26, 1883 in Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio.

The following work by Alexander Coffman Ross is contained in my collection:

“Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”

Henry Schmidt and “General Harrison’s Log Cabin March and Quick Step”

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Henry Schmidt (?) was an early American musician, piano teacher, conductor, and composer.  Very little information is available about Schmidt, his background, or his life.  A number of citations which reference him can be found, similar to the following:  “William Mason (1829-1908) was born the third of four sons to Lowell and Abigail Mason. William showed an early proclivity towards music, and began to study piano and organ with his father. He continued his studies with Henry Schmidt, and appeared in a number of concerts before departing for Europe in 1849.”  According to these references, Mason “around 1845, began productive piano study with Henry Schmidt at the Boston Academy of Music, while also composing and publishing his first pieces for the piano, Deux Romances sans paroles, Op. 1. His successful professional debut came in 1846 at the Boston Academy of Music, with a performance of the Variations on the Air from Méhul’s Joseph, Op. 20, by Henri Herz, for piano with string quintet accompaniment.”

From such citations, it may be gleaned that Schmidt was a lecturer and leader of the orchestra for the Boston Academy of Music, and that on January 15, 1842, Schmidt conducting the Academy of Music at the Boston Odeon in the U.S. premiere of Ludwig von Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, Opus 68.  In 1836, Schmidt composed the Hero’s Quick Step and respectfully dedicated it to the New York Light Guards and Boston Light Infantry.  He also composed the Sears’ Quick Step, published by Geo. P. Reed, 17 Tremont Row, Boston.

In 1840, Schmidt composed The Tippecanoe or General Harrison’s Log Cabin March and Quick Step, published by Henry Prentiss, No.33 Court St., Boston.  The sheet music cover for this melody composed by Schmidt and dedicated to Whig presidential candidate William Henry Harrison features a wreath of entwined branches, between which appear the seals of the states, surmounted by a bust portrait of Harrison flanked by an arrangement of flags and cannon. The wreath enframes a rural scene, supposedly of the candidate’s home on the North Bend of the Ohio River. Harrison stands outside the two-story log house, hailing a visitor who holds a sign “Harrison Our President.” Nearby are a tethered horse, covered wagon, ox cart, and farm implements. A woman stands in the open door of the cabin.  Music played a key role in building party unity during the 1840 election. The Whigs were especially active in commissioning new tunes and lyrics to support their candidate. The Tippecanoe or Log Cabin Quick Step is just one of many campaign songs written that year, all featuring references to log cabins, hard cider, and “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too.”

My collection includes the following work by Henry Schmidt:

General Harrison’s Log Cabin March and Quick Step

Graffton School House, Rockville, UT

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Graffton School House (a.k.a. Adobe Meeting House)

Smithsonian Butte Road

Rockville, Utah

First settled in 1859-1862, Grafton, Utah, inspires visitors today with its historic homes, its green pastures and orchards, as well as its stunning scenic beauty on the banks of the Virgin River, at the base of the Grafton Mesa and with views of Mount Kinesava. After Brigham Young and his group of Emigrant pioneers settled in the valley of the Great Salt Lake in 1847, the Mormon President determined that church members would populate the region, which he hoped would become the “state” of Deseret and a place they could practice their religion without persecution.  For the next 50 years, the Mormons established some 500 villages in an effort to claim the territory and secure resources for self-sufficiency. Soon, a number of  cotton farming communities sprouted up along the upper Virgin River, including Virgin in 1857, Wheeler/Grafton in 1859, Adventure in 1860, Duncans Retreat and Northup in 1861, and Shunesburg, Rockville and Springdale in 1862.  In 1859, five families from Virgin established the small settlement of Wheeler; however, it was soon destroyed by a week-long flood of the Virgin River in January, 1862. Moving about a mile upstream, they built another settlement which they named New Grafton, after Grafton, Massachusetts. Two years, later the small settlement was called home to some 28 families and supported about 168 people. The town boasted a number of log houses, a post office, a church, and a combination school and community hall. Each family farmed about one acre of land in narrow strips along the sides of the Virgin River, dug irrigation canals, and planted cotton, orchards, and private gardens.  The Grafton Ward was organized in 1877 and quickly outgrew the little log school house of 1862. The two-story adobe school house, which they also utilized as a church, and a community center where social activities and meetings were held, was begun in 1886 and dedicated on July 8, 1888. The ward was demoted to a branch of the Rockville Ward in 1907. The last classes were taught in the school building during the 1918-19 school year, at which time the enrollment had dwindled to nine students. The following year students were transferred to the school at Rockville.  It was decommissioned altogether in 1921 and the chapel has not been used since that time.   The town and its meeting house were featured in the 1930 film “The Arizona Kid” and more recently in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

Two efforts to preserve Grafton faltered while the town’s buildings suffered serious deterioration and vandalism. Lu Wayne Wood, who was born in Grafton in 1911, initiated a new effort to stabilize the town’s church/school in 1995. The adobe building was in imminent danger of collapse. From this focus on a single building, the project expanded to include the entire town site. The need for action was urgent as pressure was growing from developers who wanted to purchase the land surrounding Grafton and construct condominiums. The Grand Canyon Trust joined the partnership to support the preservation of the fragile Virgin River riparian environment. The Trust took on significant fundraising for the project as well as scientific analysis of the site. David Hatfield, mayor of the nearby town of Rockville, accepted the chairmanship of the partnership. His patient leadership helped the ideologically diverse members of the partnership reach successful compromises. The Grafton Heritage Partnership’s achievements are many. It has sensitively renovated the historic church/school and secured commitments from the private landowners in the townsite to keep their land in agricultural use.  By the turn of the century, the nearby towns of Duncan’s Retreat and Shunesburg had been completely abandoned, but Grafton still maintained a few residents, most of whom had by then given up farming and turned to ranching due to the unpredictable river. The church and the cemetery are almost all that is left of Grafton, once considered the most promising of settlements in southern Utah. It seemed to have everything in its favor, good soil, water easily available and a breathtakingly beautiful location. Set in the midst of world-famous Zion National Park, the remains of the once-bustling Grafton now stand as a ghost town in honor of the hard work that so characterized the early settlers.