Newspaper Archive of
Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
July 13, 1961     Times
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July 13, 1961

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PROF. FRED H. NUM. AND HZS MOUNT PULASKI CONCERT BAND. The picture was taken at a band picnic held In Rentschler's Grove, 4 miles north of Mount Pulaski, more than a half century ago. Several musicians came over from Lincoln and accompanied the band to Benton Harbor, Mich., ProL Null's home city before he came to Mount Pulask/, and later to Lincoln. It is difficult to figure out all of the band men, as some are from Lincoln, but the following attempt will be made: Front RowFlrst three from Lincoln, then Henry L Mayer, Floyd Holler, Walter A. Schafer, ProL Null (standing), Virgil Fenton, Julius Myers, George Zimmer- mann, Thomas Noonan (Lincoln), and John Bender. Rack Row--First two from Lincoln, then Ernest Holst, Edward J. Anderson, Tony Romer, Louis Yarcho and Charles Dehner, these two from Lincoln; Albert F. lapp, Page Waddell, Sr., Fred A. Schafer (musician from Lincoln), George C. BoAdler, and William B. Jenner. Prof. Null celebrated his 83rd birth- day at his Benton Harbor, Mich. home in 1959. Sixteen bron2e adorn 16 granite light rounding the square, bearing the name of a donors who purchased these modern lighting The funds for purchasing ornamental light secured by popular In sums varying from $10 $100. Those making the mum contribution were memorial plate to be one of the pole& A the contributors placed the or names of loved ones passed on and had important part in the u of the community. The standards bear the ing names: l S. erick W. Meister, S. Lirm I D. Clark, William DlttUS, Schafer, Mrs. Mary E. and Mrs. It. Bertoni, Mr. J. M. Rothwell, I.O.O.F. bekahs, City Council, Fire Department, First National Township and Mt. phone Co. Former Mount Pulaski Band Director Honored On 83rd Anniversary [Rapids, Mich., and Null's 68- Benton Harbor, Mich. Pays Tribute To Fe Musician Tuesday, May 26, 1959, a lengthy newspaper article appeared in a paper in Benton Harbor, Mich., which had to do with Fred Null, a band director in ML Pulaski many years ago, who had return- ed to his old home city of Benton Harbor. If you read a story in a paper or magazine it might prove in- teresting, but not as much so as what you are about to read of a musician who has a large num- ber of friends in the Mount Pul- year-old brother, Lester, of Cow. en, Mich. Lovell read the fabulous his- tory of Null that was prepared by his son ,Tohn, and is as fol- lows: "Born in Berrlen Center, Mich. in 1876, the son of a band direct- or, Null played his first cornet solo when he was eight years old, at the local Baptist church. Null directed and organized his first band at the old Central School in 1890. While a young man, he directed orchestras and traveled in 20 states and British Columbia with the Katie Put- nam Theatrical Show. Null played and directed or- chestras at Silver Beach for four seasons, and was playing in the old Yore Opera House on the night it burned. Null moved his family to cen- tral Illinois in 19, where he askl area. Not only was he popu- [ lar as a band director, but alsoJ as furnishing music for dances j in the old Knights of Pythias I Hall. [ Now in the year 1959, Fred[ Null played at a testimonial din- net in Benton Harbor in honor directed concert bands in Mount of his 83d birthday anniversary, and drew a standing ovation when he played the piano at the event. He played his own com- position, "Elks of the U.S.A." The words were sung by his two sons, Ray and John. Following is the story as it appeared in the Benton Harbor News-Palladium: Fred NulL lhmlar Musician "You're not a man of great wealth, but your ability to bring happiness to thousands and thousands of people will make your name go down in history." This statement, made by mast- er.of.ceremonies Pete Lovell, echoed the feeling of over 150 men who gathered at the Elks lodge hall Monday night, May 25, to pay tribute to the twin cities, Benton Harbor and St. Joseph. and "Mr. Music," 83-year- old Fred Null. The tremendous lift Null got out of his testimonial dinner was shown when he spryly marched down the aisleway at the head of the Elks' honor guard at the start of the program, and when he humbly addressed his fellow Elks and friends at the close. Null received standing ova- tions when he played the piano and when Elks' Chaplain Robert Turner presented him with a $400 check on behalf of Elks Lodge No. 544. Words of, praise rang out for Null from the several Elks' dignitaries that were pres- ent at the banquet. Also, ringing prame for his "buddy of 65 years", was Jim Dwan, who is being honored at a testimonial dinner this Tuesday night, sponsored by the Benton Harbor American Legion. Dwan is observing his 85th birthday anniversary this May 35th. Among those sitting at the head table with the guest of honor were his two sons, John, a Benton Harbor city commis- sioner, and Ray, Athletic Direct- or at Aquinas Collele in Grand Pulaski, Lincoln and Assumption, and played the piano for dances and silent movie theaters. Null returned to Benton Harbor in 1917, and directed orchestras for the Caldweli Theater in St. oseph, then managed by Dwan. He opened the Liberty Theater in 1921 with a 10-plece orchestra, and played there for several years. In the 1920's Null direct- ed the St. Joseph city band on Lake Michigan Bluff. for eight rears. Null directed the St. Joseph high school band for four ears, and the Stevensville and St. Joseph Catholic high school bands. He played the piano for the Benton Harbor Lions Club for many years and was honored by this organization on "Fred Null Day" in the year 1950. He still plays at their weekly meetings. A member of the local musicians' union and llfe mem- ber, Null was honored at a testi- monial dinner by this group in 1956. Null was Initiated into the Elks in 1903, and was organist for the Benton Harbor lodge for 35 years. He is presently organist for the St. 3eph Elks Lodge, a Job he has held for the past 10 years. His two sons are past exalted rulers of the Benton Hat- bor Elks. Null was Michigan State Elks organist in 1954-56. Nulrs orchestra played for dances all over southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana. He has given individual music lessons on any instrument from piano and cornet to violin and saxaphone to thousands of youngsters and adults all his lle. His musical compositions in. clude "Michigan Triumphal," played by Paul Lavelle and his Band of America, over NBC radio in 1952. He also cmnpowd "Elks of the U.O.", which he played at the banquet, while his sons sang the wools. MOONY PULASKI BAND back in the late 1890's. Back Row: Byron THbury, George Kreig, George Beldler, Ed Anderson, John Binder. Middle Row: Jay Webster, Albert Mayer, Fred A. ust Brookmyer. lhnt Row: Julius MyerS, Walter and Ed Mayer, Billy Connolley. Many words of praise were be. I streets of Benton Harbor, I re-I Editorts Note: Mr. Null stowed upon NulL Among themlmember one of the first fel]owsi ning orl being a SiLT were remarks by Stanley Ran-ito buy a paper from me was[ itor but death claimed yon, editor and publisher of theiFred NulL I have been a stal.[ 11, 1960. One of his cc Benton Harbor News-Palladium,wart supporter of his ever since.I "Michigan Triumphal", wno said: "60 years ago when l[It's a privilege to say, Fred Null, i the high school band was a hungry urchin selling[ "God bless you through all your I played during the papers at one cent each on thei remaining .years." [.their concert. FOil# 1.4MO... 0#'/4O 14,41,0.. Our future is our land. Let's keep the land in our future product- ive. Soil conservation is an all-year, every.year job. Keep the greedy hand of erosion from robbing your land of its valuable top soil. Terrace and contour-plow to provide adequate drainage and prevent torrents of water from gouging sterile valleys in your acre- age. Our patrol equipment is now available for soil conservation work, building waterways, terracing, etc. We also do: Tiling, Bull- dozing, Open Ditch Work, Clearing Farm Ponds and Concrete Structure. As our city pauses to Celebrate its 125th Birthday, we'd lille to say a big "thank you" to all our friends and extend our best wish- es for a fine celebration. FRED HOLMES, ,/ /