The cease fire to end World War One came on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. When news arrived in Sherburne County, celebrations started early in the morning and continued throughout the day.
|A.E.F. troops in France, 1918|
“The Union church bell began clanging out the good tidings to the sleeping public” the Sherburne County Star News reported. “Soon the school bell joined in. A freight engineer went through town with his whistle blowing drum beats.” The paper went on to report the community anticipated the news. “Without any further information Elk River knew that Germany had surrendered.”
With the news, a spontaneous celebration involved the entire city of Elk River. A spontaneous parade developed, taking over the main streets throughout the city. Businessmen closed their shops and joined the celebration. “Old and young were included in the ranks of the paraders,” the newspaper reported. “Every conceivable noise making instrument was used in announcing the progress of the revelers.”
The entire country had been anticipating the end of fighting. Unfortunately, one week earlier the local news had prematurely reported and end to the war, only to disappoint Elk River citizens with a retraction of the report. In spite of the false report most citizens realized peace was near.
The readers of the Star News celebrated the end of the war and predicted this would introduce an extended time of peace. “Never again will the wires carry such momentous news as was flashed over the country,” the paper predicted. Unfortunately, only 23 years later, the wires carried news of a new war to end all wars. The Great War would become known as World War One and a new generation of men would be called upon to defend the country. But on November 11, 1918, the celebration carried the day. The war ended and peace was at hand.