The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Fun Of The Trails

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

October 7, 2009

I really look forward each year in traveling about our county to see sites and visit with our neighbors and those who come from afar, during Heritage Trails in Henderson County.

The event, started by the county's historical society, is now being run by the county's economic development organization, and one can see why. It is a great way to promote our area and to feel pride in what others before us have done in developing what we have. It also teaches us the work ethic and sacrifices it takes to make counties a good place to live. The Weir Fruit Farm rural Gladstone, is one fine example of families who have worked and remained constant in providing us with fresh apples and wares for 125 years. South Henderson Church, was one of the first establishments to bring our religious heritage to the area.

The Cemeteries have a great story to tell of our ancestors and it is told well through volunteer actors during their periodic "Cemetery Walks." We tip our hat to director Diana Taylor. A lot of history is housed in the county museum in Raritan. In Oquawka, the restored Phelps house is a treasure and the Oquawka Museum has several monuments - Lincoln's was unveiled due to his "house-divided" speech given there.

Many worth mentioning not on Heritage Trails, but significant in our history include: the late Lyman E. Fort, attorney who donated for baseball, "Fort Field," plus major funding for Annie Jane Fort Nursing home, the late Clarence Neff, Buick, John Deere dealer, bank president, state representative and many others. I hope we continue to seek traditions that make us strong.