On November 11, 1918 the word of the armistice quickly spread to Woodstock Illinois. This photograph showcases the 100-car parade that was held that day in spontaneous celebration.
These excerpts from the Woodstock Sentinel, November 14, 1918 details how Woodstock learned of the news, and the celebrations that followed:
"Word of End of War Received About 3 a.m.
Woodstock citizens were awoken at 3:30 a.m. by the sounds of whistles.
Telephone bells began to jingle and the glad tidings were spread that the armistice had been signed.
Quickly donning street clothes, not even stopping to think of breakfast, they made their way to the downtown district to join in celebrating the great dawn of peace. Grabbing anything that would make a noise they started the grand march throughthe streets of the city. Like the proverbial snowball, every move meant an addition to the ranks and by the time daylight broke through the eastern horizon a small army was gathering together.
The Weldon band was soon on the job to assist and at a few minutes past 7 o'clock on that never to be forgotten morning of the 11th of November, 1918, Woodstock was witnessing and joining in the celebration of the birth of a real world democracy. The people gave full vent to their enthusiasm this time because they knew that there was not the slightest doubt as to the authenticity of the report. It was not like Thursday of last week when all American celebrated and then found out that the report was untrue. There was no damper placed on anything, mufflers were wide open and everybody was happy. Absolutely!
It was plain to see that Woodstock did not intend to do much work on Monday. The only man at the Oliver factory who seemed to have shown up for work was the fellow who blows the whistle, and if his labor early Monday morning is any criterion he must a valued employee of that company
A few of the leading citizens got together and decided to organize for a real celebration.
Word was passed that this city was going to have a parade at 2 o'clock and speaking to follow.
Everything was in readiness at the appointed hour. Marshall George Eckert was astride his fiery steed, but after going a short distance the horse evidently decided that this was no day for work and the next time around the square Marshall Eckert was leading the procession afoot."
End of Woodstock Sentinel article
The parade included a band lead by Prof. Weldon; members of the Grand Army of the Republic, Women's Relief Corps, Red Cross. St. Mary's school students; Girl's Patriotic Service League, Women's Auxiliary, the Boy Scouts marched next followed by a truck from the Oliver Typewriter company, the city fire truck, followed by aprox. 100 decorated cars (pictured here).
After the parade was ended, leading citizens spoke at the Park (believed to be the City Park in the center of the Square). Among the speakers was the Hon. E.D. Shurtleff of Marengo, State's Attorney V.S. Lumley, and Judge C.H. Donnelly.