Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000 Page: 12
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Club, were more successful, publicly arguing about women's suffrage, the career of Napo-
leon Bonaparte, or whether war or drunkenness was the greater evil. In two remarkable
debates in the summer of 1874, the Plow Boys Club decided that Indians had been treated
worse than blacks, and that blacks should not have the same privileges as whites. On July 3,
1874, the Osage debaters expanded their interests, changing the name of the organization to
the Crockett Literary Society, and devoting at least part of their efforts to the production and
appreciation of poetry.'3
Organized sporting activity was sporadic. In 1872, after the games at the Volks
Fest, Columbus baseball teams played at least two games against teams from La Grange,
winning the first and losing the second. Probably, the Volks Fest continued to feature a
baseball game. Certainly, at the Volks Fest in 1874, a Columbus team beat a team from
Brenham, 61-35. Another Columbus team was organized in April 1875, but it is not known to
have played any games. Two summers passed before, in December 1876, another team was
formed. That team finally played its only known game, beating a team from Schulenburg by
the astounding score of 51-2 on April 26, 1877. However, by the end of that summer, the
young men of Columbus had abandoned baseball and turned their attention to public games
of checkers, played on a board installed on the courthouse square. The following year, they
embraced gymnastics, again using the courthouse square for their public demonstrations.'4
In Columbus, the black population continued to stage annual celebrations of
their emancipation from slavery, usually on June 19, or "Juneteenth" as it came to be known.
In 1876, the celebration featured a parade, a dance, speeches by local white citizens, and,
evidently, a baseball game. Similar festivals were held at Oakland in 1877 and at Weimar in
1878 and 1879. The 1879 Columbus Juneteenth celebration, held at the grove north of town,
attracted some 600 people.'5
The continuing series of annual Volks Fests in Columbus, however, ended with
the fourth one, conducted in May 1875. The Third Annual Volks Fest, held May 26 and 27,
13 Colorado Citizen, May 11, 1871, March 21, 1872, November 19, 1874, December 17, 1874,
December 31, 1874, January 14, 1875, May 6, 1875, July 8, 1875, December 2, 1875, April 20, 1876, May
11, 1876, June 1, 1876, June 8, 1876, August 31, 1876, October 26, 1876, November 2, 1876, April 19,
1877, March 28, 1878, April 11, 1878, November 14, 1878, November 28, 1878, July 17, 1879; Osage
Debating Club Records (Ms. 49), Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus. The records of
the debating club and literary society contain four or five handwritten poems. Three were written by
Ann Elizabeth Townsend, the widow of Moses Solon Townsend and mother of Marcus Harvey
Townsend. The authors of the other poems cannot be determined.
14 La Grange New Era, May 24, 1872, June 7, 1872, August 2, 1872, Colorado Citizen, May
14, 1874, May 21, 1874, May 28, 1874, April 29, 1875, December 21, 1876, April 12, 1877, May 3, 1877,
May 10, 1877, July 12, 1877, April 4, 1878.
15 Colorado Citizen, June 24, 1875, June 22, 1876, July 5, 1877, June 20, 1878, June 12, 1879,
June 26, 1879. The Weimar Juneteenth celebrations in 1878 and 1879 were held at Grace's Grove.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000, periodical, January 2000; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151408/m1/12/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.