HAWLEY- One hundred years ago on Memorial Day, a huge celebration was held on the streets of Hawley, Pennsylvania. The end of World War I was marked that day, May 30, 1919 with a large parade and red, white and blue adornments decorating Main Avenue.
Vintage pictures reveal some of the passion Hawley's citizens felt when the War to End All Wars- was finally done.

HAWLEY- One hundred years ago on Memorial Day, a huge celebration was held on the streets of Hawley, Pennsylvania. The end of World War I was marked that day, May 30, 1919 with a large parade and red, white and blue adornments decorating Main Avenue.
Vintage pictures reveal some of the passion Hawley’s citizens felt when the War to End All Wars- was finally done.
The day was honored across the nation remembering those who died, those who served in the “Great War.”  Six months had passed since Armistice Day- later known as Veteran’s Day- was on November 11, 1918 when Allied Forces and Germany ceased hostilities.
A large banner is strung across Main Avenue near the River Street intersection, with bold letters, “WELCOME HOME.”
A final picture shows a huge crowd of people packing the old steel Eddy Bridge. A furled American flag is visible held up by someone on the bridge. A basket of flowers is seen falling into the Lackawaxen River.
In the background one can see the Park View Hotel, a large building that once stood across Church Street from the Eddy Hotel today’s Cora’s 1850 Bistro). Both the Park View Hotel and the steel truss bridge were washed away in the May 22-23, 1942 flood- during the 2nd World War.
This old bridge, which was aligned slightly different than the current span, held this great throng of Hawley patriots happy to have their “boys” home.

Newspaper account

A detailed account was found in The Hawley Times’ section of a Honesdale newspaper, The Wayne County Citizen, June 6th, 1919 edition. For a period of time, the Hawley newspaper had ceased publication, and the Citizen carried it until someone to run The Hawley Times could be found.
Called the largest patriotic celebration to date in Hawley, the annual Memorial Day parade honored 47 soldiers, six sailors and five officers who were in the procession.  The parade was  coordinated by a well respected Hawley citizen, D. James Colgate, a Civil War veteran an Hawley postmaster. He was assisted by Max V. Plum.
The parade was to start at 10 a.m. but was a half hour late. Hawley Band played before the parade began, in front of the GAR Hall (the Civil War Union veterans’ organization).
In the procession was most of the Hawley student body, 291 students and 13 teachers led by James Caughlin with a flag. Then there were 20 members of the Hawley branch of the American Red Cross, the banner carried by misses Fay Weber and Florence Geisler; the Hawley Band with 21 musicians with Marshal Colgate and Edgar Shelp in front with flags; the World War veterans; 31 Hawley Boy Scouts led by scoutmasters Carlton and Plum and Ellis Tuttle carrying the flag; 16 members of Jr. O.V.A.M.; and 11 Civil War veterans riding in automobiles.
The parade took went down Main Avenue and down Church Street to the Eddy Bridge, but not without first going up Church and around on Maple Avenue, Keystone Street, Chestnut Avenue and River Street back to Main.
At the Eddy Bridge, Charles S. Houck, cashier at Hawley Bank, gave an eloquent address. Flower girls dropped baskets of flowers into the Lackawaxen, in honor of departed sailors and marines. The loss of four soldiers and marines was remembered in the ceremony (Note: the newspaper is not clear if they were remembered at the bridge ceremony or at the following cemetery service).
Next was a ceremony at the old Eddy Cemetery off Hudson Street, led by the GAR Post. Commander Jacob A. Collum spoke. High school student Thomas Golden led the Gettysburg Address. Edward Marshal led in prayer. Rev. Clarence Carter of the Lakeville Methodist Episcopal Church, spoke of the sacrifice of our Armed Forces defending democracy. Rev. B. Walter Pfeil gave the benediction.
The procession next went up Hudson and disbanded on Main Avenue by the Odd Fellows Hall.
Observing the large crowd which lined Main Avenue in the photographs, they appeared well dressed. One might think the men and women were ready for church. It would appear that great respect was shown for the parade of veterans as they passed by.
That day, a large Memorial Day parade and ceremony was also conducted at Honesdale.

Those who served

There were 37 men from Hawley and vicinity listed on an honor roll who served in World War I. In that war, those who were killed in action from the Hawley area included George A. Kelch, William Sheridan, Curtis J. Wilson, Robert Eckweiler and Reginald Kuhn. All were privates.
Among Hawley’s sons who served in the war was Major General James W. McAndrew.
McAndrew served as Chief of Staff of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during the First World War. He was born June 29, 1862 to John and Eliza McAndrew and was schooled in Hawley. His birthplace still stands on Highland Avenue, where there is a commemorative plaque in the yard.
He entered West Point and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in 1888. Among his Army career highlights, McAndrew was commandant of the Army War College in Washington, D.C.
Following West Point he participated with the 21st Infantry in the Sioux Indian Campaign, 1890-91. During the Spanish-American War, he served in the Santiago Campaign and the Philippine Campaign. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1917 and served in France during the First World War.
He and his wife Nellie (Roche) had one child, Mary, who died young.
The highly decorated military commander died at Walter Reed Hospital on May 1, 1922. Among those at his bedside was his friend, General John J. Pershing. All troops stationed in the Washington area were ordered to attend the funeral. McAndrew was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Post 311 forms

American Legion Post 311 first met in Hawley on September 2, 1919 and received a charter on December 12. Warren P. Murphy was the first commander. The 1927 Hawley history book gives George W. Gilpin as commander. At that time they were raising funds for their own quarters.
The Post came to be designated as the Wilson-Kelch Post 31, remembering  two local heroes of World War I, George A. Kelch who was killed in France on Aug. 16, 1918 and Curtis Jole Wilson, who was killed in action, July 19, 1918.
Thus, 2019 marks the centennial of Post 311. Still very much active today, Post 311 has its headquarters at 521 Church Street.