Thursday, April 04, 2013

Mrs. Rasche & the St. Vincent March

Example of another March
written by Mrs. Rasche

[Source:  Library of Congress]

I put to you, dear Reader, a St. Vincent MYSTERY to solve!

Published in the St. Vincent New Era in 1890, is the following news:
Mrs. Rasche, the celebrated Musical composer done St. Vincent the honor of composing a march, entitled "The St. Vincent March" as a souvenir of the Fair of 18901, and done the editor of the ERA the honor of dedicating it to him for which favors St. Vincent and us are enthusiastically grateful.
As you can imagine, to read that an actual musical composition was written for and about St. Vincent is an exciting and unexpected discovery in my ongoing research about my hometown.  Who was this Mrs. Rasche?  Why did she feel compelled to write the piece for this event?  Was the 'Fair of 1890' a special fair moreso than other years?  It is possible that she was just helping the town by being so civic-minded.  It was still trying to grow.  All we have is speculation - I would like to find out the story behind the story!2

What we have found out so far:

1.  They had a connection to Kittson County; they are mentioned in an obituary as being called on to perform at a local funeral...
St. Vincent New Era
Obituaries for March 7, 1890
James Carey At Northcote, Minn.
February 28, 1890: James Carey, Esq.
The train from the South brought to Northcote Rev. Father Lawler, Hon. H. A. Rasche and lady, and a great number of friends from Hallock. 
The ceremony commenced with a Solemn High Mass of Requiem which was celebrated by Rev. Father Lawler. Mrs. Rasche presided at the organ and sang the "Requiem aeternam" and the "Sanctus". Mr. Rasche sang "Jesus Take Him There" in an exceptionally touching manner. "Jerusalem” was another beautiful rendition of Mr. Rasche's, who has a rich melodious voice, of great power and compass. 
Rev. Father Lawler delivered the most telling discourse and went affectionately upon the kind and generous disposition of his long life friend. Of the high excellence of the husband and father, and the irreproachable model of the true Christian in the man now lying before him, cold and still and silent and dead. 
The funeral was the largest seen in Northcote and touching, illustrating the estimation in which the deceased was held. The interment was in the family lot at Northcote cemetery. 
Mr. Carey was well known and highly respected in Winnipeg3, where he accumulated a large fortune in the boom times. He invested a great amount in Pembina, N.D. property and was a constant welcome visitor at St. Vincent and was chosen year after year as one of the judges of our Agricultural show. Northcote however was his home where he built a handsome residence and engaged in mercantile pursuits besides owning and working a large farm adjoining the village. Wherever known, he was loved for his kind, generous disposition and remembrance of the affectionate husband and gentle parent they have lost must cause poignant grief to the bereaved widow and children of the deceased. He is mourned by friends, relatives, and the whole community. 
The Era respectfully offers its condolence to the afflicted family.
2. They had lived for a period of time in Kennedy, MN (a town in Kittson County)...
OBIT: Veronica M. (RASCHE) ROBERTSON, 1986, Meyersdale, Somerset County, PA 
Veronica M. Robertson, 93, died Thursday, May 1, 1986, at Meyersdale Community Hospital. Born Feb. 22, 1893 in Kennedy, Minn., she was a daughter of the late Henry A. Rasche and Kathryn (Rowan) Rasche. She was preceded in death by her husband, William H: Robertson, in 1934. Surviving is a sister, Mrs. Agnes Brooke, Chicago, Ill. Services were conducted at the Stewart Funeral Home, Saturday at 11 a.m. by the Rev. John A. Grant Interment, Oakland Cemetery. 
The Republic, May 8, 1986

1 - I posit that the 'Fair of 1890' refers to the annual fall fair then held in St. Vincent, which was considered a county fair.

The clue the stranger gave me
2 - I recently learned more about Mrs. Rasche and her husband.  My research helped, but I got lucky when a online stranger emailed me about a local history book.  In that book was a passage that mentioned her music as performer, teacher, and composer, as well as a reference to their time in Kittson County:  "During the time they made their home in the west, Mrs. Rasche longed for Maryland..."  They eventually return there; why they came here in the first place, I do not know.

3 - It's possible that Mr. Carey at one time was highly respected in Winnipeg, but after he left, he definitely was not. According to the January 30, 1888 edition of the Manitoba Daily Free Press:

Osborne v. Carey—The bill in this case
was filed by John Osborne, Son & Co., of
Montreal, on behalf of themselves and all
the other creditors of James Carey & Co,
against Rose Annie Carey. James Carey
formerly carried on business in Winnipeg
as a liquor merchant, and purchased
goods from the plaintiffs, for which he
gave them notes which still remain unpaid.
Carey subsequently sold his business
to Alex Mclntyre who gave him notes
which he endorsed over to his wife
the defendant. He also made an assignment
to her of the book debts, besides the
notes and the book debts he had no property
wherewith to satisfy the claim of
the plaintiffs or any of his other creditors.
The plaintiffs charge that at the time of
the assignment Carey was insolvent, and
he subsequently left the Province with
the intention of defeating his creditors.
The bill prayed that the assignment of the
book debts might be declared fraudulent
and void as against the plaintiffs and all
other creditors, and that the defendant
might be restrained from negotiating the
notes made by McIntyre. The case was
held before Mr. Justice Bain who dismissed
the bill without costs. Against
this decision the plaintiffs appeal to the
full court. Judgment reserved. Mr.
Cameron for plaintiffs. Mr. Davis and
Mr. Gilmour for defendants.