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August 19, 2011

Noble and Cooley snare drum

Filed under: Item of the Day — Lizzie Ehrenhalt @ 9:30 am

Noble and Cooley snare drum

Snare drum used during the Civil War by musician John Schaefer of the 8th Minnesota Infantry Regiment, Company K.  The drum was reportedly procured from the 6th Minnesota Regiment because the 8th had no drum.  The red painted drum is marked “Star of the North, 6th Min. Vols.” and has red, white, and blue rims.  Manufactured by Noble and Cooley in Massachusetts for Munger Brothers in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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4 Responses to “Noble and Cooley snare drum”

  1. Jay Jones Says:

    Good Morning,
    A friend sent me this link and I am really interested in the history of this drum.

    I am the 6th generation owner of Noble & Cooley Co. and we are actually re-issuing the contract snare for the 150th of the Civil War.

    We would be interested in more pictures of it for our Civil War display. We could even re-head the drum for you if it is structurally sound.

    You can check out our museum at http://www.NCCHP.org

    Please contact me!
    413 357 6321

    Matt Anderson reply on October 31st, 2011:

    Thanks for your comment on the drum! There’s not too much to add to the story, apart from the fact that the drum came to our collection in 1947 after a “second career” with the Salvation Army. I appreciate your offer of the new head, though I’m afraid the drum may not be strong enough for it anymore.

    Matt Anderson

  2. David Menninger Says:

    Do you know anything more about John Schaefer, the original owner? How did you determine it was his drum? (Something written on the drum or a piece of paper with it?)

    I’m curious because I have a great, great grandfather by the same name who lived in Ramsey, Minnesota from ~1862-1880 and it would be fun to learn something more about him.

    Dave Menninger

    Lizzie Ehrenhalt reply on January 10th, 2012:

    Thanks for your comment, Mr. Menninger. As Matt wrote in his comment above, MHS acquired the drum from the Salvation Army in 1947. On December 5, 1947, MHS museum curator G.H. Smith telephoned the drum’s donor, Grace Zirkelbach, to find out more information about its original owner. Smith’s notes on their conversation are preserved in our records:

    “[Zirkelbach's] grandfather, John Schaefer, used the drum, inscribed for the Sixth Minnesota Infantry, during the Civil War and after. He was a member of Co. K, Eighth Minnesota, and since this regiment did not have a drum, one was obtained from the Sixth. Schaefer was educated in music in Berlin, and was said to have been a very fine drummer. (Minn. in Civil and Indian Wars, 1:415, roster, gives name as Schaeffer, musician.)

    “About Feb. 12, 1929 (?1930-32), a program of the National or Columbia Brocasting Co., on a nation-wide hook-up, used the story of Schaefer, stating that he drummed before President Lincoln.”

    Lizzie Ehrenhalt
    Collections Assistant

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