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Memorial Day, a uniquely American tradition

By Carol Sones Shelter - | May 27, 2021

photo provided (left-right): Joseph Brown, Zack Jackson, Jonah McGinley and Parker Campbell, members of the trombone section of the Hughesville High School Spartan Band. They carry on the Memorial Day tradition as Art Clapp did decades ago.

MUNCY – As so many family and friends had recently perished due to the pandemic, a therapy for healing might be attending a Memorial Day service at a local cemetery. While some will remain void of parades, the solemn words and music afforded this day will occur at cemetery services, in most instances, hosted by local veteran associations.

With activities scaled back, we might instead visit Memorial Days past. In Muncy, Daniel “Arthur” Clapp would have been seen with fellow veterans, carrying his trombone in the marching band.

Clapp was both a red blooded patriot and a blue blooded Muncian. The latter, a member of two pioneer families. a son of Daniel and Sarah Lloyd Clapp, intergral as part of Muncy’s history.

As a red blooded patriot, he’d served in World War I. Born February 10, 1892, he fell into the age bracket for the military lottery. Clapp was assigned to the 314th Infantry Division, AEF, serving in France from July up to the most horrific fighting at wars end in November 1918.

On the wartime transport ship’s list, Clapp was listed among the bandsmen, following the officers names. After his return in late May 1919, he attended Penn State, graduating with a degree in Architectural Engineering. He was first employed many years by Sprout-Waldron, and then by the Robinson Manufacturing Company retiring in the late 1950s.

photo provided by First UM Church of Muncy D. Arthur Clapp, a member of Muncy’s First United Methodist Church, as he appeared in one of its directories.

In the Luminary, his obituary stated that, “Clapp was an outstanding musician, a trombonist, an excellent horn man and fine teacher. Clapp played in dance bands during the 1920s and 30s, and later in such organizations as the Elks Repasz Band and other fine units of central Pennsylvania. For most of his life, he was regarded as one of the most outstanding musicians in the West Branch Valley.” All was attested to by former student, the late Philip Sholtis.

Clapp was also a member of Muncy Lodge No 299 F&AM; the Williamsport Consistory and its Imperial Teteque Band, where he was often a soloist during special events.

For many years, Clapp was a member of the Muncy Cemetery Board. He was a lifetime member of Muncy’s First United Methodist Church.

At the age 84, D. Arthur Clapp died April 4,1976 a resident of the Methodist Home in Lewisburg. The musician’s only survivor was a nephew and namesake, Daniel Arthur Clapp II of Bellevue, Ohio.