Towanda 4H Club-- Kelley memories "For over 5 years Clarence Keighin was leader of the boys 4-H Club in Towanda Township. He and Mrs. Keighin farmed and raised cattle. Mr. Keighin was a good leader; everybody liked him. We had farm tours every summer. The club would tour from one member's project to the next, eyeing the cattle and swine. Mrs. Keighin had a good eye for cattle. She would size them up and be able to tell their weight. It was uncanny . She would be within 20 pounds of their actual weight." Bob Kelly and Paul Keighin drove cattle to Chicago in a little truck. It held 7 cattle. Paul drove all the way there; and all the way home. Bob didn't have his license yet. To get to the meetings, someone would drive the Kelly boys to the Thomas house and Orville would drive them to the meeting. Bob remembered the sound of the clutch every time Orville used it. Girls also belonged to the boys 4-H and usually took chickens for a project. Ann remembered that the Boys 4-H was very social. All her friends from Bloomington wanted to come and stay overnight and attend the meetings. Jane and Ann Kelley remembered that Mrs. Margaret (Joseph) Merna was leader of the girl's 4-H Club. They learned sewing and cooking and met in the members' homes. They always had a nice dessert after the meeting. From about 1938 to 1945 Towanda 4-H had a softball team. The pitcher was Al King and the team was coached by his dad, also called Al King. Bob and his brother Joe played shortstop or outfield. Bob remembered playing 2nd base and making a good catch one time and Al walked out to congratulate him. They played once a week in the summer. They didn't win often, but they won some. They played good teams--like Hudson and Cooksville. Other members were Kenny Keighin, Orville Thomas, Bob and Dave Carmody, Jerry McAvoy, Dan Gould, Jim Merna--Jim Merna was good--he played 1st base. Wes Rafferty and Don Wey were on the team too. Bob raised cattle. Most members had swine. Joe Kelley (Kelly) had champion barrow at the McLean County Fair in 1941 and 1942. His Poland China boar won Grand Champion in 1945. There was no state fair in those years because of WW11. Another memory of Bob Kelly "One year Al King's dad rented 10 acres of alfalfa from the Kelley's dad. The field was directly across the road from the King's house. He pastured his sows there and they had their litters. He walked across the road twenty times a day with a bucket in each hand feeding and watering the sows."
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Illinois State University, Milner Library, Normal, IL, 61790 - for the Towanda Area Historical Society/Towanda District Library
Towanda Area Historical Society/Towanda District Library
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