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Nov. 11, 1918 - the biggest demonstration in Bluffton's history

Word flashed over the wire that the Armistice was signed

By Fred Steiner

Bluffton celebrated the end of the Great War in an all-day-long event on Nov. 11, 1918. The Bluffton News coverage stated it was the biggest demonstration in the town's history.

Following is the Nov. 14 Bluffton News account of the Armistice. And, following that story are several additional Bluffton News reports leading up to Nov. 11.

Nov. 14, 1918
The biggest demonstration in the town’s history began Monday morning at 3 o’clock, Nov. 11, as word flashed over the wire that the Armistice was signed.

Whistles, bells and auto horns heralded the Allied victory from dawn until dark. The noise increased in volume from 3 o’clock on, and a big parade organized, marched up and down the main street Thorofare, terminating with the building of a spectacular bon fire in the square.


Shortly before seven o’clock a second parade formed, headed by a part of the citizen’s band and carrying Bluffton’s service flag marched thru the town serenading every home in Bluffton.

The cry, “The armistice has been signed,” resounded over the community as the people celebrated the rolling down of the curtain on the greatest tragedy of mankind.

The afternoon celebration topped all such performances ever held in the community – 65 autos gaily decorated in bunting and flags, were in a parade containing organized marching of every organization in Bluffton.

To a packed crowd N.W. Cunningham delivered the address of the day following a flag raising ceremony. The evening program found the churches filled with large audiences holding praise and thanksgiving services.

Taps were sounded for the first time in Bluffton Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 o’clock. As the call was given the flag was lowered from the flag pole in the church park. The call will be sounded here every afternoon.

Memorial services for Corporal John Wenzinger, the Bluffton boy who made the supreme sacrifice on the western front, will be held in the St. Mary’s Catholic Church Friday morning, The service will be conducted by Rev. Father Mulligan.

A piece of a German airplane sent by Carl Mumma from France is on display in the Bluffton News window. The souvenir was sent here to his mother, Mr. Z.T. Mumma, by her son, who is in the mechanical department of the army.

The rest of the story plus several photos are HERE.