The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill."


The boys and I've been talk'n how we're still missin' the rains but finally a little cloud buster came through the northern part of our area in the wee hours of Tuesday mornin', enough to give a little drink ta whatever's try'n ta grow outside.


The drought seems ta be extend'n out, cover'n an even larger area of crop land.

Me and the boys are pay'n close attention ta how the lower leaves are begin'n ta drop off the corn stalks by watch'n how fer we can see into the fields from the road. Cornelius Farkwad said some of the corn is start'n to fire in these parts.

The beans have the ability ta be on hold and they are affected by sunlight, so they can hold off longer durin' the dry weather we are havin'.

But, the early corn is send'n roots down and so there's proper growth and it's a look'n good for that first plant'n.

The second plant'n of corn looks good as well, but Jasper Jenks said that some of his and the neighbors third plant'n has some concern on how it will pollinate and finish up fer harvest'n.


The boys were a notice'n the crop planes a fly'n to counter-act any disease that's out there and apply'n the fungicide aerially.

Sandy Bob says the crop duster told him it sure does make for a more difficult task on how to apply because there's quite a variable of how the corn was replanted and rows are in various stages of growth.

The markets have gotten the boys cross'n their fingers, hope'n for a good yield and a profitable year. We fear some farmers could be harvestin' in the snow. One never knows fer sure.


Some of the boys were talkin' about takin' a break before harvest and attendin' the Iowa and Illinois State fairs with their families.

I sure enjoy take'n time off ta be with the family and grandkids and attendin' these.

The boys agree that the 11 days of events at the Illinois and the Iowa State Fair are both amazing and amusing.

Cornelius had been readin' up on the fair and said the state fair in Illinois began in 1853 and moved around ta 12 various cities throughout the state including Chicago, Alto, Peoria, Freeport, Jacksonville, Decatur, Quincy, Ottawa, Du Quoin, Olney, Centralia.

He read that in 1863, the 10th Anniversary of the state fair was hampered due to the Civil War and the economic depression. Premiums were awarded, but without a general Fair site. In Sept. 24, 1894 Illinois moved the state fair to its first permanent location in Springfield. Admission was 50 cents fer adults, 75 cents fer one person on horseback and $1.25 fer a carriage load of four persons.

The Iowa state fair has also been a popular place for farmers since 1854 and has been held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa since 1886! The boys were rave'n about the pork chops that had there.

This year both state fairs begin Thursday of this week a runnin' from August 8 ta August 18th.

Some interest'n history about the Illinois state fair, Cornelius said, is about one of their former buildings. The Dome Building, which was on the Illinois State Fairgrounds 22 years - from 1895 to 1917.

It was originally built for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The glass dome, 222 feet in diameter, was the world's second-largest unsupported dome.

Followin' the Chicago event, the state fair purchased the structure for $69,000 and it was dismantled and reassembled in Springfield. The building, located across the street to the east of the Exposition Building, housed horticultural displays and National Guard offices. It could hold 10,000 people!

Jasper said he remembers his dad a tellin' how the Dome Building burned down in August of 1917, just before the Fair opened.

Illinois fair runs eleven days, and is filled with many excitin' attractions and outstandin' entertainment. Through the years, it has had one of the most extensive agriculture shows in the country.


If'n ya been see'n a lot of motorcycles headed north this past week, it might be they are headed for Sturgis, South Dakota for the 79th Sturgis¨ Motorcycle Rally which runs August 2-11. I hear this trip is more than a Harley-Davidson Rally Point. It's 10 days/nights of ridin', food, and music.

Cornelius and Jasper says they are stick'n to their pick-up trucks and head'n for the state fair, but for me, I'll have to think about that fer a spell".


This time of year is reunion time. Our clan usually gathers in July or August.

The food in days of old at our reuions was home-cooked, plentiful, and ever so good!

Now-a-days it's more like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hy-Vee deli salads, but I'm not say'n it still isn't finger-lick'n good, and there is still some road-side stands sell'n watermelon and canteloupe that show up nice and juicy at the reunions.

At our reunions there is much visitin', we's always give a proper prayer and dig into all the fix'ns and enjoy every bit right down ta the desserts until our bellies are full.

We circle the wagons which means ever one puts their lawn chairs in a circle, young and old, and talk on matters of casual importance such as how the crops are do'n, politics, the economy, how the latest newlyweds are do'n or the latest babies.

Young and old learn of family connections and hear brothers tell'n stories on another brother or sister, or even better hear of a long forgotten story of the family.

If'n you are not have'n family reunions, it's not too late to start or restart the tradition to preserve some of your family heritage. It sure does beat be'in glued to the tube or the phone.

Well, that's it for this week. Remember it's headin' into "back to school" time so get in your last weekend trip to the state fair, or Springfield Lincoln Museum, or take in a Bee's ballgame or maybe even just a picnic and invite family an friends over to yer backyard for a social time. Here's a note:

* RESPECT your elders. They graduated from school without the Internet.

I'm hopin' ta see ya in church this weekend. Remember, where ever ya is, what ever ya be a do'n, BE A GOOD ONE!

Keep on smile'n,

Catch ya later,