In 1912, the Sioux City Journal organized some of its newspaper carriers into a little band. After some instruction in music and marching under director Lee Maynard, the Journal’s Newsboy Band made its debut concert at Crystal Lake. The Journal bought uniforms for the boys and promoted them in the region. They played concerts around town and were remembered for the Christmas Carols they played on the lawn of the old Court House at Sixth and Pierce.
Newsboy bands were fairly common around the turn of the century and were organized by newspapers across the country and into Canada. The bands were warmly received in their communities. Promoters encouraged them as a deterrent to juvenile delinquency.
The Journal Newsboy band started to grow when Charles Lewis became the director and boys who were not carriers were allowed into the band.
When the United States entered into World War I, thirteen of the Newsboys enlisted. (Twelve came home. One boy, Theodore Loetz, died of wounds suffered in battle.)
When the war was over and the boys returned to Sioux City, many of them joined the newly organized Monahan Post of the American Legion. When the Monahan Post discussed plans to start a band, several of the original Newsboy Band members became charter members of that famous organization. When the Monahan Post Band stopped being sponsored by the American Legion, it became the Sioux City Municipal Band. It is often said that the Monahan Post and Sioux City Municipal Bands have their roots in the Journal’s Newsboy Band.
Sioux City Journal, May 26, 1935