Photos supplied by the Historical Society of Carroll County
ABOVE: The Westminster Memorial Day parade, c.1900. This image was taken on Church Street (Main Street is to the left). Mary Shellman is at the right in a dark dress and holding an American flag. Miss Shellman initiated Westminster’s observance of Memorial Day on May 30, 1868, when she organized local schoolchildren to place flowers on the graves of Westminster’s Civil War dead. The parade began at the west end of town and proceeded east on Main Street to Westminster Cemetery’s entrance on Church Street. Mary Shellman ran the annual event until 1880 when Westminster’s Burns Post #13, Grand Army of the Republic, took over the task, but she remained active in the event.
Mary Shellman (center) with Gladys Wimert and Albert Mitten at the Memorial Day services in Westminster Cemetery, 1937. Miss Shellman returned to Westminster from her home in Rockport, Texas, for Carroll County’s centennial celebration. It was her last visit to Westminster.
Crowds wait just inside the cemetary gates for the parade to arrive.