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Monday, May 25, 2015

Decoration Day

Clockwise: The Baylor County Banner (Seymour, Texas) - May 22, 1922,
May 20, 1915, and May 25, 1916. My grandfather, Redic Bryan, was a member
of the above Woodmen of the World (W.O.W.) Camp.
My grandmother, Myrtie Hairston
Bryan and her daughters were members of Woodmen Circles

Memorial Day, originally Decoration Day, was first widely observed at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868.  Around the country many have Monday off from work and there are huge sales everywhere. 

Was this always the case? I checked my Baylor County Banner films and found only brief mentions of Decoration Day between 1914 and 1922. The three clippings pictured above were the most lengthy. 

My subscription to yielded better results. Decoration Day services and activities were found before the day was declared a federal holiday. Sales of cemetery monuments, flowers, and flags were frequently found. Decoration Day retail sales were common before 1900 in large cities such as Chicago, New York, and Boston, but weren't usually found in smaller towns until well after 1900.  Click on any of the articles below to see additional Decoration Day articles found at 

Decoration Day 1868
Clipped from The Waterloo Press, 4 Jun 1868, Thu, Page 2

Decoration Day 1869
Clipped from Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, 14 May 1869, Fri, Page 4

Decoration Day Excursion connects to Virginia Beach
Clipped from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 24 May 1897, Mon, Page 14

Pre-Decoration Day Sale 1911
Clipped from Lebanon Daily News, 26 May 1911, Fri, Page 6


© 2015


Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, Pennsylvania). Friday, May 26, 1911.

Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Friday, May 14, 1869.

Quinn, Diana. "Moments in Time, A Genealogy Blog." : A Day of Remembrance. 27 May 2013. Web. 25 May 2015. <>.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York). Monday, May 24, 1897.

The Baylor County Banner (Seymour, Texas). Thursday, May 20, 1915. Microfilm.

The Baylor County Banner (Seymour, Texas).  Thursday, May 25, 1916. Microfilm.

The Baylor County Banner (Seymour, Tex.). Thursday, May 25, 1922. Microfilm.

The Waterloo Press (Waterloo, Indiana). Thursday, June 4, 1868.

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