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Rock Lake Boys to War

7/25/2004:

It was about this time in July 1918 that ten young men from Rock Lake were going off to fight in World War I. The Rock Lake Ripples called their send-off “the largest assembly of any as on previous occasions in our village...”

The Town Hall was undergoing repairs at the time, so the event was staged outside. Benches made of planks were arranged in front of the hotel, a piano was moved out onto the veranda, and folks who came by automobile were asked to park out back so that there would be plenty of space for the crowd that gathered.

The Ripples reported that the program began with the “rendering of several selections by the Rock Lake Bank,” which leads a person to wonder just what types of renderings banks provide. There were also readings, a vocal solo, and an instrumental solo. Then, F. C. Robeson delivered the address, which was described as “abounding in pith, pathos and patriotism.”

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm