Civil War Records of Francis W. Knapp
News item for Francis W. Knapp
Obituary for Francis W. Knapp
Concord Enterprise, April 27, 1921
FRANCIS W. KNAPP
Leader of Famous Marlboro Band
Passed away last week
Francis W. Knapp passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs J. W. French, on Thursday, April 21. Funeral services were held on Sunday afternoon conducted by the William B. Eaton Post, No. 199 of Revere and Mr R. J. May, pastor of the Acton Center Congregational Church.
Music was rendered by two soloists from Maynard and a quartet from the Marlboro band of which Mr Knapp was the first leader, consisting of Joseph Renaud, Henry Werner, Edward Chabot and J. F. Bradford, rendered The Vacant Chair.
Interment was at the Mount Hope cemetery in West Acton. Members of the Isaac Davis post acted as pall bearers.
Francis W. Knapp was born in Boxboro, Dec. 31, 1835. His early life was spent in Boxboro and Acton where he learned carpentering and the trade of tinsmith. Later he removed to Marlboro, where he soon become [sic] known as a cornetist of ability. Through his efforts the Marlboro Brass Band was organized in 1858.
Later they offered their services and were attached to the 13th Mass. Regt. in the Civil War. They served one year and then received an honorable discharge. Besides leading the ranks into battle it was the duty of the band members to act as stretcher bearers and take the wounded off the field after battle.
The cornet which Mr Knapp used when in the war is held as a prized possession of the Marlboro Band, he having presented it to them.
Mr Knapp played with several famous bands after his war service. Rindach's and the Brockton band and at the Peace Jubilee in Boston in 1872 he played with Gilmore's famous band.
He always held his affection for the Marlboro Band which he formed and when Marlboro was recruiting young men for service in the World War, Mr Knapp, although then nearly eighty years old, was glad to use his cornet once more to call the boys to the colors.
The love and respect of the Marlboro musicians for their founder was shown by those who attended the funeral and offered to play in his honor. Mr E. L. Lafrican, well known in musical circles, also attended.
Mr Knapp leaves four daughters, Mrs Lila Rikeman, Mrs Emma Dunels, Mrs Leora Crafts and Mrs Daisy I. French, also nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Mr Knapp has lived here with his daughter, Mrs French, much of the time for the last few years. Although his advanced years kept him from being much about town he was loved and respected by all who knew him for his kindly nature. The sympathy of all goes out to those to whom he was the beloved father and grandfather.