Capt. William Frey and the Spring Garden Band
Capt. William Frey was responsible for the establishment of the Spring Garden Band. The design of the Spring Garden Band crest is influenced by their history. If you are reading this on the Ydr.com site, click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post on the original YorkBlog site; since the ydr.com site will occasionally cut off important details in the cropping of illustrations.
The web site of the Spring Garden Band contains a history page. Quoting the first three paragraphs of that history:
The Spring Garden Band of York, believed to be the fourth oldest continuously active band in the United States, came into existence long before the Civil War. In 1855, William Frey gathered together a small group of musicians who called themselves the Spring Garden Silver Cornet Band. At the beginning of the War Between the States, 1861, the band of less than twenty musicians became attached to the Ellsworth Zouaves, a local military organization; and later they were recognized as the official musical organization of the 87th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. There they served until 1862, when they were separated from the service under an act of Congress that allowed only one musical organization to a brigade. During their period of service in the war, the band was attached to units of the Union Army guarding the Northern Central Railroad near Cockeysville. They were later transferred to a site near Baltimore and still later to West Virginia.
William Frey is one of the entries within the Biographical Sketches in John Gilson’s 1886 History of York County, PA. That entry provides additional details; quoting from page 189:
William Frey was born February 7, 1834, a son of George and Mary (Spangler) Frey. Mr. Frey is the pioneer of the Spring Garden Band, starting in 1855, and held the leadership over twenty-three years. He took the band into the United States service, and it served one year as regimental band of the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers. He also held the office of Treasurer of York County, having been elected in 1876, and having served three years. He is the owner of forty-nine acres of finely improved land, and raises vegetables, fruit, etc., for market. He makes a specialty of bee culture. The family are members of the German Reformed Church.
This photo shows a band composed exclusively of family members of Capt. William Frey. Captain Frey stands at the center, backed by his sons, grandsons and a son-in-law. The occasion was the seventy-sixth birthday reunion of Capt. Frey’s family. It was held at Stoner’s Hall in Hallam during February 1910. Quoting from The York Daily newspaper article, issue of February 12, 1910, that accompanied the photo:
A band and orchestra made up of three generations of the Frey family, will render music afternoon and evening. The members of the musical organization are: Captain William Frey, his sons, F. C. Frey, Springettsbury Township; George T. Frey, Emigsville; R. E. and H. S. Frey, of Hallam; grandchildren of Captain Frey: Chauncey and William Frey, Jr., Springettsbury; Luther Frey, Emigsville; Stewart, Morgan and Roland Crumling, Victor Fisher and Claud Frey, Hallam; and B. F. Crumling, a son-in-law of Captain Frey. All are members of bands. Captain Frey, as he is known to every person in town, was the leader of the old Eighty-seventh regiment band, organized in York, and which served during the Civil War.
A follow-up article, about the birthday reunion, appeared in the February 14, 1910, issue of The York Daily. The headline was “Veterans Attend The Frey Reunion.” and this photo of Capt. William Frey appeared in that article.
Quoting from part of the article in the February 14, 1910, issue of The York Daily:
Many of Captain Frey’s fellow members in the Eighty-seventh regiment during the Civil War were present to pay their respects and congratulate the captain, and in the evening a delegation from York presented Captain Frey with a bunch of seventy-six carnations, one for each year of his age. Among the veterans present were: Harry J. Frey, 147 South Queen Street, York, who was a member of the band during the time it served in the war, and after the band was honorably discharged November 20, 1862, was one of the six men transferred to a company to serve as a soldier. Squire Bamfort, of Glen Rock, who was a member of Company D, was the first veteran to congratulate the captain. W. C. Klepper, 360 South Water [now Pershing] Street, who was the first man to enlist in the Eighty-seventh regiment, and left York without a uniform, and Frank Steininger, of South Boundary Avenue, York, were also present. The music furnished by the band was of a high-class order, and when patriotic airs were rendered, the aged veterans appeared to become inspired with the same spirit they had during the time they were in battle.
Related posts are:Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts