BLTC Press Titles

available for Kindle at

The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour

The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

Maxwell history and genealogy

by Florence Amelia Wilson Houston


Fifty years later, on the anniversary of the Fall of Sumter, was held the joint meeting before referred to. It was held in the evening in the large audience room of a church. The crowd had assembled, uncertain as to the program, when through the open windows came a thin, sweet tone, accompanied by a beating that was scarcely more than pulsations of the air. They came nearer, the sounds as they grew, touching the heart and stirring the pulses strangely with excitement. It was the Grand Army, marching to the old music of the fife and drum. None other on earth was ever like it. Marching to the strains of "The Girl I Left Behind Me," they reached the church. Then, if there was excitement, it was a solemn and stately one, as the line of veterans filed into the room and took their seats.

It was a wonderful time of comparison, a marvelous display of war relics. There were flags gorgeous and beautiful, and flags that were but little more than battle smoked tatters that were sacred. There were flags that had gone down in defeat and been lifted up in victory by the shedding of our noblest blood.

The day when Bloomington's first company received its flag was reviewed. Then Mrs. Mary Maxwell Shryer, a vision in "Lavender and Old Lace," appeared, and from her original manuscript, gave her presentation speech—the Grand Army standing as though to receive it. Judge James Black, of Indianapolis, was present to respond. He recalled the day of fifty years ago, and said that being a college man, perhaps he referred to Thermopylae—perhaps, he did. Which was as near as he came to reproducing his speech, but he stirred the hearts of his audience.

There was recalled the times when other companies left Bloomington, and later organizations, when some of these were united. Then it was asked how many of the members were present at the presentation of the flag. There was a moment's silence, a hush of awe, as four white haired men slowly rose, and stood, alone. There was a hush in the audience, but in the starting tears and the beating hearts, it was a time of tumult with the individuals.

The manuscript of Miss Maxwell's speech is preserved now, by the Historical Society, and is evidence of a record for which we are profoundly grateful. Ella D. Mellette.


Marcus Hughes Shryer was born in Cumberland, Maryland, and when a young man emigrated to Indiana and settled on a farm near Bloomfield, Greene County, Indiana. He brought into the, then, wilds of Greene County much of the education, culture and thorough business methods of the East. He was a far-seeing man—and practical—having faith to believe that Indiana, though a small State, was destined to become what she is today—one of the foremost States of the Union in all things that tend to make a great State. He found the State rich in soil, timber, iron, stone and coal. He was a man, energetic and full of enthusiasm to make his way, and find for himself and family a competence, and help his neighbors find the same for themselves; he went to work with a hopeful heart and willing hands. Most of the immigration in that day was from the South—Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas. They were people who knew little of the business methods and enterprise of the men of the East. And such a man as Mr. Shryer in their midst was a marvel and inspiration. Many men who became wealthy—rich in land and other property, improved in mind as well— owed their successful methods to Mr. Shryer. When he came to Indiana the common or free school system had not been adopted, and church buildings were few and far between. He was, as many men were not in favor of the free school system, but he became one of its early and staunch supporters; in fact he was always on the side of that which would tend to the betterment of the people. He married Miss Margaret Hoffman, of Cumberland, Md. She died the following year. Afterwards he married Miss Mary A. Eveleigh, of Bloomfield, Ind. They had four children. About this time Mr. Shryer lost his health, and had to return to the farm again to recover it.

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