10th Annual Elmwood Speaks

September 14, 2021

By Cris Cawthon

The historic tour through Elmwood Cemetery takes you back into the past lives of individuals from the community. Each actor or actress studies the role of their individual.

During the tour, the actors and actresses stand in front of their individual’s grave and share where that person worked, what their family life was like, and how they died.

This year’s performers were John Stuehmeier who portrayed John McNeil, a blacksmith, musician and mayor; Cherokee Ray who portrayed Oliver McClelland, the owner of a saloon with a tragic life; Wilfred Pennington who portrayed E.B Marshall, brother of “Annie” and the owner of a business that made leather doctor bags and leather horse saddles; Doug Hixson who portrayed J.L. Johnson, Centralia’s first postmaster; Timothia Reid who portrayed Nancy Page, a woman who was once a Kentucky slave but later owned her own home and is said to have lived to be 112; Frank Buckingham who portrayed Donald Ed Lance, a high-school sports standout who later worked for Burlington Northern; Amber Nail who portrayed Anna Margrethea Hohner Yauch, whose uncle was the founder of Hohner Harmonicas; and Brandon Smith who portrayed Bobby Jo Mason, a star basketball player for Centralia High School who later went on to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.

For more information on how you can stream current or past tours, contact Centralia Cultural Society at 618-532-2951, or artcntr@msn.com.

John Stuehmeier
as John McNeil

Cherokee Ray
as Oliver McClelland

Wilfred Pennington
as E.B Marshall

Doug Hixson
as J.L. Johnson

Timothia Reid
as Nancy Page

Frank Buckingham
as Donald Ed Lance

Amber Nail
as Anna Margrethea Hohner Yauch

Brandon Smith
as Bobby Jo Mason

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