Offered free land at the close of the Civil War in 1865, many northern veterans settled in and around Erie, which was founded in 1867.
Veterans would look forward to reuniting when possible to share stories of the war and talk about farm problems. In 1873, these veteran pioneers decided to bring together old soldiers and sailors and celebrate with a bean feed.
“To the old soldiers, beans meant the Army. … As salt pork and navy beans were a staple food of the soldiers in the Civil War, it was natural for the boys to cook up several kettles of beans, sit around the fire and tell stories and listen to speeches,” the American Legion Post 102 wrote in a history of the event.
(Read more: Parsons Sun)