"OLD MEN'S QUARTETTE" BROKEN AFTER 40 YEARS. ~ Death of F. M. Furgason Changes Probably Oldest Musical Organization in the City.

May 23, 1909

Death of F. M. Furgason Changes
Probably Oldest Musical Organ-
ization in the City.

A new "Old Men's Quartette" will have to be organized after nearly forty years' association. When the body of the late F. M. Furgason was buried last Thursday the quartette became a trio. The G. A. R. quartette, over thirty years in commission, has just taken in a new member. The double bass singer, C. W. Whitehead, died within the year, and the famous old organization recruited Comrade Edwin Walters.

It is not often that one city can boast two quartettes, in which all the members have pulled together so long. The old soldiers were young soldiers when C. W. Whitehead, W. F. Henry, E. J. McWain and O. H. Guffin organized to sing "Tenting the Old Camp Ground," and the other army songs, and this was not much of a burg when Professor F. M. Furgason of the Franklin school, E. R. Weeks, one of his pupils, A. Holland, the shoe man, and H. J. Boyce, with C. W. Whitehead as a substitute, organized a quartette of their own. For thirty years the Whitehead-Henry-McWain-Guffin party sang at the grand army celebrations, and it looks like quartette singing was good health exercise, for Mr. Whitehead lived all these years, and his three companions are all hale and hearty, and actively in business. In the civilian quarters, Mr. Weeks, Mr. Holland and all but Mr. Furgason, who died this week, are all well.

"It seems strange that there should be any of us turn up missing," said Mr. Weeks yesterday. "We have been singing together such a long time that it does not seem natural that one of us would not be on hand for another 'sing' as we call it.

"I was only a boy, about 15, when Professor Furgason met me one day nearly forty years ago and told me he was getting up a quartette. We organized about 1870, and have pulled together ever since.

"Professor Furgason is the first to go of the regular quartette. He used to be our chorister at the Baptist church, Eighth and May, and a very good one. That was where we first started singing. We knew the G. A. R. quartette very well, for one of its members, Mr. Whitehead, used to fill out for us occasionally."

Ben Warner of the local grand army, had to think a long time before he could remember when the veterans started their quartette going.

"It has gone so long that I could not think of the posts without thinking of Charlie Whitehead and the other boys," he said. "Walters has taken Whitehead's place, so we are getting along, but it seems strange. Forty years rather makes a man accustomed to seeing a fellow, you know, and we never meet without we having our quartette along to furnish the singing."