The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Henderson County Fair Queens Finishing Up an Extended Reign after COVID-19

-by Tammy Guile, Special for The Quill


When the 2019 Henderson County Fair Queens were crowned, they never imagined that there one year reign would turn into two.

In the past 2 years these beautiful ladies have had to adapt to social distancing, online learning, and virtual appearances. Through it all, they met, and handled each obstacle with grace and pride.

They made care packages for essential workers in the area, decorated windows at the nursing home, left messages and treats for our local emergency service staff, and held a virtual tea party for the Fancy Nancy. They did all this while maintaining social distancing.

They turned their disappoints into opportunities to uplift the community and brought smiles and happiness to those in need.

This spring when the mandate was lifted, they were able to attend community functions, parades, and other local county fair pageants, all while preparing for the 2021 Henderson County Fair Pageant.

Before the pandemic began, the 2019 Henderson County Fair Queen, Abby Dowell, was fortunate to have prepared, and competed, at the 2020 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant.

Abby represented Henderson County with grace, beauty, pride, and sincerity. Abby has grown up at the Henderson County Fair, she has participated in showing livestock, baked goods and vegetables.

For the past several years Abby has been committed to keeping the grounds at the fairgrounds looking their best, by keeping them mowed.

Abby is the daughter of Barry and Terri Dowell of Stronghurst.

She is 20 years old and a recent graduate of Southeastern Community College. She will attend Iowa Wesleyan University this fall to pursue a career in nursing.

Abby is an amazing young woman and will achieve many great things. She has done an outstanding job representing Henderson County!

We know she will continue to support and advocate for the Henderson County Fair. Much appreciation Abby for your dedication and service these past 2 years.

Hannah Carnes is the 2019 Jr. Miss Henderson County Fair and did a remarkable job representing Henderson County.

Hannah is the daughter of Brenda Carnes of Stronghurst. She is 13 years old and attends West Central Jr. High. Hannah never failed to light up every room with her infectious smile.

Hannah was like the energizer bunny and made every event fun and memorable. She also made it her full time job to play matchmaker for her Queen Sister, Abby.

Hannah is active in basketball and volleyball and was heartbroken when the pandemic interrupted their season.

Hannah recently was given instruction on how to operate and maneuver the family mower. It looks like Hannah will follow in her Queen Sister's footsteps as a potential groundskeeper.

We wish Hannah the best of luck for a future as bright as her smile!

The 2019 Little Miss Henderson County Fair is Islia Rodeffer.

Islia is the daughter of DJ and Megan Rodeffer of Stronghurst. Islia attends West Central Elementary School and loves any chance to sing or wear make-up.

Islia loves attending community events and helping to raise money for charity. Islia maybe retiring her crown as the 2019 Little Miss Henderson County Fair but, she was recently given the title of Junior Miss Illinois.

We know Islia will do an amazing job this next year promoting her title. We want to wish Islia the best of luck for a future filled with much success.

We encourage everyone to attend the 2021 pageant, which will be held today Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at The Barn at Fairview Acres west of Biggsville on old HWY 34.

From left to right are: Hannah Carnes- Henderson County Junior Miss;

Islia Rodeffer- Henderson County Little Miss and recently crowned Junior Miss Illinois;

and Abby Dowell - Henderson County Fair Queen.