SEVENTEEN

How a drill master in the English army and seventeen young women from Lexington gained statewide acclaim | History

Written by ayunda · 5 min read >

The letter pertained to the house of the The second world war canteen owner Rae Wilson, as if from an additional century, an additional battle, and an additional team of young, patriotic North Platte women.

” We were lately informed by a friend that there was still a image of the Hamilton Cadets in the waiting area at the train terminal (Union Pacific Depot) near your canteen,” created a Charlotta (Day) Cheesman from Vallejo, The Golden State in a letter published in The Telegraph on October 31, 1942.

” It might be of short-term rate of interest to inform you that (that) my sis Reba (Day) Dickey and I were pleased participants of this company and as a team played a duty in the release of the National Guard to the Spanish-American Battle in 1898, and “Introduction the soldiers as they march via.

” I am so pleased that North Platte still proceeds its typical friendliness.”

It appears that “Canteen Spirit” has much deeper origins than the North Platte canteen in 1941-46 – which transformed 80 on Xmas Day.

However Cheesman’s letter increases a interesting inquiry: That – and what – were these “Hamilton Cadets”?

Not a simple ‘mop brigade’

They were across the country feelings – twice as several – 125 years earlier.

First in Lexington (1894-96) and once again in North Platte (1897-98), supervisor William Henderson Hamilton educated 17 teen women to carry out army workouts with a accuracy that astonished audiences.

Hamilton’s Lexington Initial gotten go crazy testimonials at the Nebraska National Guard’s yearly camps in Hastings and the 1896 Nebraska State Fair in Omaha.



10-9 Ode to Hamilton Cadets Dawson County Pioneer.jpg

This ode to the initial Lexington version of the Hamilton Cadets’ all-female basic training group showed up in the Dawson Region Leader on October 24, 1896, 12 days after their last significant look at the North Platte State Watering Program.


Dawson Region Leader (digitized from magazines.com).

Along with sending out North Platte’s Guard device to battle, his follower device pleased target markets at the 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Event in Omaha.

Both variations accompanied a late 19th century motion to motivate athletics for young individuals. Hamilton’s systems, nevertheless, appear to have absolutely nothing to do with the Hamilton Cadets of the USA, that flaunt drill systems for 14 to 17 years of age in several cities in the eastern USA.

Young women typically wound up with dancing regimens in institutions. However some institutions created “mop brigades” that executed army workouts with mops or wood rifles.

The 1862 Morrill Act needed land-assigned universities to show army strategies, created Gary and Caitlin Mitchell in 2020 in Nebraska History Publication concerning a “mop brigade” at Omaha Central Senior High School.

” However the legislation had not been concerning sex, so some colleges have army systems for women,” they stated.

So did a previous constable in main Nebraska.

Covert skills

William Hamilton was birthed in North Ireland in 1849 and arrived to the USA in 1872. A tale dated June 17, 1898 in Lincoln’s Nebraska State Journal stated he was “previously a drill supervisor in the English Army.”

Popular in Lexington, he won two-year terms as Dawson Region Constable in 1889 and 1891. He likewise offered on the Region Fair Board and as the Lexington Fire Division principal.

The Lexington Clipper-Citizen noted his newest task on Might 11, 1894: “WH Hamilton is showing numerous of the young girls in secondary school to maneuver the headscarf drill they will carry out at an approaching college efficiency.”

” Music Drill, Component 2″, a book from 1892, called the headscarf drill “an exceptionally eye-catching and stylish drill for women”. However “Armed Forces Weapon Drill” is “particularly ideal for children”.

Assistance regional journalism

Your membership allows our coverage.

{{featured_button_text}}

Not simply children, Hamilton determined.

On December 21, 1894, Lexington’s Kids of Veterans held a night “home entertainment” to increase funds for inadequate professionals and locals. Among his “unique features” was “the army drill of young women,” the Clipper-Citizen created on November 30th.

Outdoors a “crowded” Grand Central Hall, “the workout executed by 16 attractive young girls from Lexington Senior high school was superb, and its efficiency mirrors the advantage of WH Hamilton, that worked as the workout supervisor,” the paper created on Jan. December.

Hamilton likewise ran a Lexington Drill Corps of 16 secondary school children. However his all-girls device obtained individuals’s interest at citywide occasions.

State-wide paper records would certainly be astonished at their accuracy and connect Hamilton’s device to the implementation of as much as 350 motions without a solitary voice command.

” It’s risk-free to state that no team of young women can defeat them,” stated the Omaha of her look at the July fourth, 1895 party in Lexington.

Difficulty declined

Hamilton and his 17 cadets – he had actually included a drummer – taken a trip to Hastings in August for the yearly “camp” of the Nebraska National Guard and the Excellent Army of the Republic of the State Civil Battle Veterans Club.

The males, the Omaha World-Herald clarified, would certainly “satisfy a trained army of young women that will certainly test the entire brigade to produce a business with the nerve to head out and defend preeminence in the art of battle. …

” The oppositions assert with self-confidence that they can beat also the renowned Thurston rifles (the Guard) or any kind of various other culture of commoners.”

The guard did not risk this outcome.

” It must be kept in mind that the released program makes no stipulation for the competitors to which the Hamilton Cadets, the Lexington women ‘business, tested all Guardsman business,” created the World-Herald on August 23, entitled “Girls’ Business Snubbed.”. “

Participants of the Lexington Hamilton Cadets

Participants of William H. Hamilton’s all-female Hamilton Cadets Lexington Armed Forces Educating Group (1894-96), based upon paper records and Dawson Region Historic Culture documents (wedded names are provided where relevant and understood):

” Drill participants: Eva Banks, Tena Gunn, Laura Smith (Wiese), Jennie Hanna, Rose Fagot, Edna Smith (Volk), Lulu Holliday, Zelpha Squires (Wallace), Bertha Kirkpatrick, Maud Willis, Poise Fry, Roxie Kennedy, Cecelia Ashley, Laura Knappen, Flossie Hyde, Dora Zimmerer (Krier), Cora Hiser (Bancroft), Etta Baird (Hiser), Florence Cole (O’Hara), Ida Little, Cornelia Krier (Jacobson), Absolutely Fink, Clara Bradley, Vena Warrington, Kate Strolling help.

” Drummer: Ella Cole.

” This noninclusion is not clarified, however it does indicate that the policemans of the National Guard normally recognize the supremacy of the Cadets.”

However the guard invited them anyhow and provided quarters near Guv Silas Holcomb’s camping tent.

They “attracted a terrific and appreciating group” for a early morning workout on August 28, marched in the midtown ceremony that day, and “did a great exhibit workout on Secondly Road that was wonderfully done and much valued,” the stated Hastings Independent Tribune.



10-9 Hamilton Cadets in Formal Uniforms Lexington.jpg

Supervisor William H. Hamilton rests in the facility of this photo of his initial, all-female basic training group, the Hamilton Cadets in Lexington, which was pointed at the city’s secondary school and executed from 1894 to 1896. His ventures consisted of looks in the Nebraska National Guard- Great Army of the Republic camp at Hastings in 1895 and 1896, the 1896 Nebraska State Fair in Omaha, and an October 1896 watering reasonable in North Platte.


Thanks to the Dawson Region Historic Culture Gallery.

They used “blue skirts, white t shirt blouses, light blue silk connections, and red capes with white needlework and the words’ HC” “created the State Journal. “Your tiredness clothing consist of white chip hats and red connections and blue Zoaven coats.”

Although the Hamilton Cadets changed fifty percent of their schedule in 1896, they went back to Hastings for the guard camp. Omaha was following.

” Little in number however huge in destination,” “they won the hearts of the masses” at the State Fair Ceremony, reported the . “They were supported noisally along the line of the march,” included the World-Herald.

A significant dedication stayed: an “Watering Fair” from October 9th to 15th in North Platte, headed by William F. Cody’s really sneak preview of “Buffalo Expense’s Wild West” in his home town on October 12th.

The following day, the Hamilton Cadets pierced to terrific praise in front of the stands. “The Hamilton Cadets are the satisfaction of Lexington,” The Telegraph stated on October 15.

Within a year, a totally brand-new version would certainly be the satisfaction of North Platte.

Much More from Todd von Kampen

It was an honor to discuss Individual retirement account L. Bare’s heritage in the centenary of its 1920 2 quantity Lincoln Region history.

This tale takes a take a look at the residences the Codys had throughout their years below, and offered viewers a glance of the 1930 house on the 2nd Welcome Wigwam website.

The Telegraph gave considerable understandings right into the significant galleries and areas that protect the heritage of William F. “Buffalo Expense” Cody.

We have actually connected Mark Schults of North Platte with the household of the WWII soldier whose 1944 letter was discovered on the rear of a mounted card.

While the job proceeds, Jay Mitchell’s very early breakthroughs have actually delighted several in our area.