Some 70 years ago five of the towns
in Worth County had "town bands". Allendale, Grant City,
Sheridan, Worth and Denver each had a town band and at least four
of the towns, Grant City, Sheridan, Worth and Denver had bandstands.
The town bands have long been gone and only the bandstand at Denver remains to remind us of that part of our history.
Some time ago I was browsing through some old issues of the Worth Tribune and came across an item in the Denver news in the June 11, 1913, issue that the new bandstand was almost completed. Two weeks later there was a little notation that the bandstand was practically complete and would be dedicated in a few short weeks.
In the July 16, 1913 issue of the Worth Tribune Delph Simons carried the following front page story about the dedication.
"Denver did make merry Saturday night when in the presence of 700 to 800 people the Denver Band, Fred Williams leader, assisted by the Worth Band, Gilbert Gladstone leader, dedicated the new $500 cement bandstand in Denver's beautiful park. The stand is built entirely of cement with eight cement pillars supporting the roof on top of which is a flag pole for Old Glory. About $100 will be expended yet on building around between the cement pillars, a brick railing, bringing the total cost to $500. Louis Powvanz, the cement worker, is certainly to be congratulated on the excellent job. The gas lighting system is a fine one.
The ice cream supper in the park, the proceeds of which went to the band boys, had twenty-five gallons of ice cream and ran out about ten o'clock. The proceeds were over $38 and much more could have been sold had they had it.
The Denver Band, while a new organization, (there is a world of historical evidence that this was not the first band in Denver) is an excellent one and bids fair to become as fine a band as there is in Northwest Missouri. The Worth band, who assisted them, put on their regular Saturday night concert here (Worth) before going to Denver where they played a number of pieces and were heartily encored.
The members of the Denver band are Fred Williams, leader; Chas. Wilson, Cleo Roberts, Walter Sharp, Casey Jones, Rudolph Bram, Peter Bram, Daniel Abplanalp, Clarence Taylor, John Ray, I.C. Wayman, Elijah Miller, Jr., Jess Miller, Riley Childers, Basil Robertson, D.W. Mathews and Lee Williams.
The members of the Worth Band were, Gilbert Gladstone, leader, Lewis Thompson, A.E. Walker Marion Brandt, Harold G. Clark, Verne Long, Wilmer Wallace, Luther Pierce, Commodore Foland, Sam Batman, Chas. Marshall, Claude Canaday and Guy Baker."
The Denver correspondent noted in the next issue that there had been a total of 37 cars in Denver for the big event.
The gas lighting system referred to in the news article was installed in the basement area beneath the floor of the bandstand and was most likely a carbide system.
Not only is the Denver bandstand the only one remaining in the county but it is the last one that was used for regular concerts by a community band.
In the mid-1940's Lester Lutes formed a band in the old Amity school district. Loyal to a fault, it was known as the Amity Band. In the summer they gave a concert each Saturday night from the Denver bandstand.
The members of that band were, Lester Lutes, leader along with his sons Jim and Bill; Sanford House; Melville and Catherine Mathews and their son Jack; Marilyn, Madeline and Leo House; Clifford Wilkerson and his daughter Meredith; Ruth Hunter and her children Billy and Rita; Roberta Findley and Bobby House.