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Mark Simonson

March 2, 2013

Oneonta's Company G witnessed presidential inauguration in 1913

Not long ago, many local residents made the trip to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration ceremonies of President Barack Obama’s second term. The same was true 100 years ago, but a difference back then was that presidential inaugurations took place later, in early March. Company G of Oneonta made the trek south to witness the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson.

Company G of the First New York Regiment of the National Guard was one of 12 state companies to make the trip to Washington. The cost per man was about $15, and each was responsible for it from his own savings.

Nearly 60 men departed by train from the D&H passenger station on today’s Market Street on Sunday evening, March 2. The Star reported how, “the large crowd numbering several hundred people present at the D. & H. station when they embarked evidenced that the city takes pride and interest in its excellent company and is the fact that it will for the first time participate in a national event of this magnitude.”

“The company presented a fine appearance that will reflect credit upon the city and they were greeted with cheers at the station. Captain Parish, who has labored indefatigably in bringing about this consummation, was in command and the men were anticipating a most enjoyable stay in Washington, where they will have unusual liberty to visit and inspect many points of interest.”

Extra coaches were provided on the train, as Company F of Walton joined them at Sidney. At Binghamton, Company H joined in, and the train continued to make the trip, passing through Scranton, Pa., Trenton, N.J., and Philadelphia, Pa., set to reach Washington, D.C., on Monday morning. They arrived “safe and sound” at 8:30 a.m.

The entire First Regiment had obtained a place to stay, at what was called the Washington Inn, described as “an abandoned hotel,” rented at a cost of $1,500. It was reported on March 6 “when the soldiers gathered it was found inadequate to contain them, and many were compelled to bunk in the halls.”

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Mark Simonson

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