The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 3, Page 18.



No community is complete without at least one good male quartet and Valparaiso has had many. One of the most popular was the Lytle Quartet and Glee club, composed of Tom Polk, bass; Alvin Jones, second tenor; Arthur Scott, first tenor, and C. L. Bartholomew, first tenor, organized in 1904.

This quartet visited nearly every state in the union and also made trips to the Panama Canal zone under the auspices of the U. S. government. For a number of years it was engaged in chautauqua work. It enjoyed the distinction of being one of the first western quartets to be sent to eastern cities.

Later Omar Covert took Mr. Scott's place, and Vernon Archibald of New York City, took the place vacated by Dr. C. L. Bartholomew. In 1912 Mr. Polk was the only one left of the original group. During the world war the quartet was offered an opportunity of going to France to sing for the soldiers, but did not accept.

Of the members, Mr. Polk is in Indianapolis, Mr. Covert and Mr. Scott in Chicago, Mr. Jones is in Gary, and Mr. Archibald in New York.

The Amphion Quartet of 1895, composed of Grace Groth, soprano; Jennie Thatcher Beach, alto; J. B. Showalter, tenor, and Harold L. Butler, bass, was one of the finest mixed quartettes to sing in this city. The quartette filled many engagements in various cities.

Another old time quartette was the Heritage Ladies' quartette. They comprised Victir MaAlister, first soprano; Eva Baum, second soprano; Nora Whitney, first alto, and Jennie V. Beach, second alto. They were named after Professor Richard A. Heritage, head of the music department at Valparaiso university.

A popular quartet of the eighties was that of the Letherman Brothers, Dr. Andrew P. Letherman, William C. Letherman, Laurie Letherman and Joseph Letherman.

In the nineties there was Arthur B. Christy, Gene Smackles, Gordon Reynolds, Ora W. Smith and Stephan McCallum. This group of artists favored with melody in the year 1895.

Later the following year, the Valparaiso Mandolin and Glee club comprised of Warren Elam, Charles White, Ray Elam, Gordon Reynolds and Harry White held center of the stage.

They were followed by Reed Salyer, Guy Hinkle, Edward Brewer and William Hinkle. These men sang at political gatherings and always scored hits.

Of late years the Schneider Brothers Quartette, composed of Harry Carroll and Arthur Schneider and Walter VonDoehren, has proved one of the best of these musical groups. Assisting them at times have been William VonDoehren and Vernon L. Beach, both fine singers.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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