Alma Nash was born in 1883 to Dr. and Mrs. George Nash, Maryville.

On March 24, her life was dedicated with a memorial plaque placed in the pocket park in Maryville’s downtown. The event was hosted by the Downtown Maryville group and the Nodaway County Historical Society.

Nash was a musician who played in orchestras across the US and was also director of a quartette and a quintette of musicians in Maryville. She opened her own music school on Buchanan Street.

In her school’s catalog, she wrote that she had studied in Denver and played drums with well-known bands and orchestras in the East and Midwest, as well as playing five seasons at the Empire Theater, the building at Second and Main streets.

With some of her students, she created the Missouri Ladies Military Band. The band played at the Empire for Corn Days and for many other events in this area. In 1913, the band learned of a Woman’s suffrage parade to be held in Washington, DC, and wrote to offer their services. They were accepted and were first in the parade on March 3, 1913, which was an exciting day for the 22 young women. Nash directed them, and her mother served as chaperone on the journey.

After her father’s death, Nash and her mother moved to Kansas City where she played for silent movies at the Doric Theater. She taught music all the rest of her life, having had an estimated 4,000 pupils. She played as a trap drummer, as well as mandolin, banjo and guitar. Her drum can be seen on display at the Nodaway County Historical Society museum. Among her many honors, the Fretted Instruments Guild of America cited Nash as the grand lady of the mandolin.

Exhibits at the Nodaway County Historical Society Museum, 110 North Walnut, Maryville, honor Alma Nash and the ladies band.

The museum is open 1 to 4 pm, Tuesdays through Fridays, and by appointment.

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