The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

By Dessa Rodeffer/Quill Publisher


Meet your neighbor Betty Slagel, married to Jerry, both graduates of Galesburg High School.

Betty and Jerry moved to Galesburg in the 70s after purchasing a farm near Oquawka. Betty was a housewife and a Secretary at Standard Oil Co. pipeline and her husband ran a used car lot and service station in Galesburg.

They both enjoyed going out on the river in Oquawka, but says farming allowed little time for that after they moved here. They grew corn and beans and then moved a 100 acres into produce. Betty says she and her husband are now semi-retired helping their son Doug who has been running the business for many years.

They stagger the produce so there is plenty throughout the summer. They pick daily, Betty said and will not sell anything that is a day old.

"Sweet corn loses its sweetness every day it sits, my son says." Betty was running the food stand at the east side of Oquawka which is open June through October.

"We trick or treat the kids on Halloween on our last night," Betty said, they keep busy with farmers markets in East Moline (near the high school) and Rock Island near Trinity Hospital. Produce is trucked daily to grocery stores there and in Galesburg, Abingdon and around the area.

What does Betty do? She works in the fields, picks, cleans, and boxes produce, runs the stand, "whatever our son needs me to do," she said.

In her spare time, she enjoys the grandchildren. Doug has a son and a daughter, and their daughter Debora (Shawn) Parrish have two daughters and live on Lake Braken.