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NOTES ON THE CELEBRATION.
The Norfolk Guards Association was organized specially for the occasion, through the efforts of Captain Guild, John F. Newton, Esq., Mr. John Dove, and other well-known citizens and former active members. The company was organized in 1818; was reorganized in 1838, after a temporary intermission, and was disbanded in 1855. Captain Guild was the only commissioned officer of the company present; he commanded the corps about 1846, during some of the palmiest days of its history. Captain Guild furnished a room in Guild Row for a temporary armory, and during the week preceding the celebration those veteran volunteers met for preparatory drill, as many as thirty, forty and fifty appearing together on the same evening. The hour preceding the forming of the procession was spent in the same laudable manner,
company having previously enjoyed a collation in Guild Row. The success of this reunion of the Norfolk Guards was a most pleasant as well as a really remarkable feature of the day. The company had not. had a reunion since 1860, and the surviving members are all well advanced toward the period in life when marching in a public procession could hardly be expected of them. But the call to march in honor of Old Roxbury was irresistible. These veteran citizens promptly assembled, and the association presented a combination of social and business elements seldom seen in one detachment of a local parade. After the procession was dismissed, the association returned to their temporary armory, where most of the members signed the roll. The names, ages, and date of membership when given, are appended :
Date of Membership.
1818 1823 1824
1823 1824 1834 1831 1830
Job T. Grash (charter member)
76 75 73 68 72 70 72 70 66 66 64 54 68 69 62 67 45 66 60 72 61 62 52 42 55 54 48 60 63 61 60 65 65 60 61 66 57 62 60 69 47 62
There were several who accidentally missed the opportunity to sign the roll. The hope is indulged that a permanent association will be one result of the reunion.
Among the members of the Roxbury Artillery Association taking part in the celebration were Past Commander Isaac S. Burrell, the chief marshal; Past Lieutenant Joseph Hastings, who had charge of the police detail ; Past Captains Samuel S. Chase, John L. Stanton, Charles G. Davis, J. P. Jordan; Past Lieutenants Josiah Snelling, Obed Rand, Wm. H. McIntosh, Charles H. Blodgett, Wm. C. Capelle, Henry A. Thomas, John T. Robinson, Edwin R. Jenness, Wm. H. Cowdin . and Wm. W. Graham. Lieutenant Snelling joined in 1829, and was the oldest member present. Lieutenant Obed Rand served consecutively from 1837 to 1861. General Burrell served from 1840 to 1857. Lieutenant Hastings joined in 1837, Captain Chase in 1838, and Captain Stanton in 1840. Among those who may be classed among the veterans were Benjamin Hawse, 1838; William Ewell, 1840 ; Atwell Richardson, 1842; William H. McIntosh, 1843 ; Greenleaf C. George, 1845; George R. Matthews, 1845; William Brock, 1846; George W. Downes, 1840; James Bell, 1848 ; John A. Scott, 1849; Joseph S. Knower, 1850; Charles H. Blodgett, 1850; Joseph Wiggins, 1842. The Old Roxbury Artillery was organized in 1784; there was a slight break-up in 1796, and a reorganization in 1798, since when there has been no interval of disorganization. In 1858, three years after Governor Gardner had ordered the old foot artillery to be changed to infantry, the Roxbury Artillery, after a long and sharp fight among the members, abandoned the old name and classification, and became the Roxbury City Guard. The present association was formed in 1868, and is composed of past members of the City Guard and the old Artillery Company. Of those who paraded, eighteen served through the Rebellion with honor. The Roxbury City Guard furnished three companies in the Rebellion, who served out the terms for which they respectively enlisted, namely, three months, one hundred days, and three years. The City Guard were represented on the Chief Marshal's staff by Past Commander Isaac P. Gragg. Among the active members of the Guard who participated were Lieuts. Geo. 0. Fillebrown, who was in charge of the ushers at the church ; Geo. E. Hall and H. C. Gardner, who were in the ranks.
The time allowed Gen. Sargent to prepare the oration was much too short, and only by a neglect of his private business was he enabled to complete it. Very little had been published of the history of Roxbury before and during the Revolution, and a large part of the data had to be obtained by a personal inspection of old records. A work evidently so laborious could have been performed in so brief a period only by one actuated by the most ardent devotion to the home of his childhood, and a patriotic desire to rescue its history from the obscurity with which it has so long been enveloped in dust-covered manuscripts, and in the passing allusions of historical writers.
Many residents on the line of march displayed the national colors, and otherwise manifested their interest in the occasion. The most notable decoration was by Charles K. Dillaway, Esq., in front of whose residence on Roxbury street was an arch bearing the words : “ This house was built in 1750, and for eighty years was the home of the ministers of the First Church.”
Among those who made substantial contributions to the success of the celebration were the livery-stable keepers of Roxbury. Mr. Owen Nawn gratuitously furnished the horses for the artillery, and two four-horse barouches for the invited guests; and barouche was supplied on the same terms by each of the following firms: Benjamin Franklin, Northend & Foster, Parker Bryant, Cassidy Brothers, J. A. Rogers.
The restricting of the admissions to the church to ticket-holders was a double necessity : first, the church would not hold all who