by Diane Norek Harrison
PERTH AMBOY-This is from 1960s material: The Westminster Cadets were organized Oct. 13, 1900 by the Rev. Dr. Harlan G. Mendenhall, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, as a non-sectarian boys organization. Regular assemblies were held in the Presbyterian Chapel. John A. Danner, who had recently returned from service in the Spanish-American War, was captain with Theodore Degenring and Lawson Ramsay as his aides.
Three companies of infantry were organized with a membership of 70 boys and a year later a fourth company of older boys was organized. In 1905 the infantry companies were consolidated due to a drop in membership to 42 boys and an artillery company of 25 boys organized to use the old Garfield Battery cannon.
The Westminster Cadets have not functioned as an active military organization since 1931, the remembrance of their military drills and marshal music in civic parades still lingers. They rallied in June, 1959, to march in Perth Amboy’s 275th anniversary celebration parade.
The organization had remained active through a governing board headed by Joseph Hanson of Fords as president. Other members of the board were Lawrence E. Crouse of Perth Amboy, Fred Hendricksen of Woodbridge, Ralph Conard of Sewaren and Albert C. Krogh of Edison. The board met every three months.
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