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Reproduced from the Centennial Edition of the Brainerd Daily Dispatch (1871-1971).
Reproduced exactly as published in 1971 - no updates, no corrections.


photo: bands

  BRAINERD'S CITY BAND in 1899 was directed by William Dresskell and included, among those pictured: Will Spencer, Ralph Slipp, George Putz, Dr. Frank Sykora, Jim Mcpherson, Barney Mattson and others.

Bands Played by 1882


The Brainerd City Band came into existence in 1882, organized by William Dresskell, a band leader at the age of 17 years. Dresskell had served in the 55th Ohio Volunteer Regiment in the War of Rebellion, playing in the regimental band during his term of service. He had also been a cornet soloist with a well known group, Peake Family Bell Ringers, traveling extensively throughout the country. Dresskell operated a jewelry store, specializing in watch repairing, and handling bicycles.

The City Band gave open air concerts one evening a week. Gil Hartley gave the city a band stand in Depot Park on Front Street and also furnished 24 uniforms for band members. In the early 1900's. William Graham, cornetist and operator of Graham Music store (established in 1898), led the Northern-Pacific Band in Brainerd.

Records show a Municipal Band organized June 30, 1907, under the direction of William Bartsch and Dr. Frank Sykora, and a Unity Band, dated at about 1915, directed by a Mr. Long and comprised mainly of residents of Milltown in north- east Brainerd.

Christ Elvig, E. H. Bergh and Weimer Bakkila are also mentioned among early men in Brainerd. Edwin Harris Bergh held a violin school here and also directed the Brainerd Symphony Orchestra.

photo: bands

  A BANDSTAND once stood in a small park at Sixth and Front Streets where the theatre is today. Politicians and campaigners of various kinds gave many an oration from this vantage point during the 1880's.

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