Breese Historical Society

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  E36- Concordia Hall

The Concordia Saengerchor was organized on January 29, 1862, and is one of the oldest organizations in Breese. The Society vas founded principally for the purpose of planning improvements for the City of Breese. The purpose also included good singing and a great deal of dancing.

The building was a large, one-story structure with the entrance on North Main Street A large stage was at the rear of the building. The dance floor was in the middle of the full length of the building and was surrounded on both sides, with benches, with a raised floor and railings. Coat racks were along the walls and two large, pot bellied stoves were on each side to the rear of the building. The stage had a number of painted canvases as backdrops for their plays. Out houses were constructed along the alley behind and east of the building.

A charter was issued to the Concordia Saengerchor on March 16, 1881, which made it a legally organized corporation. The society holds its annual meeting on the last Sunday of the calendar year for the purpose of planning their annual banquet, which is always held on the Saturday nearest the 29th of January and to approve of new members with the organization. Membership rules were quite strict at that time. An approval system required placing a white or black marble into a wooden box about six inches square with a handle. Each officer was given white and black marbles and as a prospective member was voted on, the voting box was passed around and a marble was dropped secretly through a small hole in the top of the box. When votes were counted, if a black marble appeared in the box the membership was not approved, hence the term 'black balled.' This system of approving new members was discontinued some time later.

The property was sold to the American Legion Post 252 with an agreement that the Society could conduct its meetings and hold it’s annual banquet free of charge for as long as the organization existed. A new brick building was erected on the same site by the American Legion Post 252 and meetings and banquets are still being held to this day.

A.J. Appel served as Secretary for many years and later Norval Kreke served for many years.

Those who served as president in later years were Ralph Kruse, Marvin Schulte, Fritz Wesselmann, Jim Reilman, Bill Loddeke nd Jim Taylor; also, other officers were Bob Astroth, Art Kniepman,Don Tonnies and Bill Kuhl.

The Concordia Hall was razed in late June, 1948, and a new American Legion Hall was built on the same site.



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