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Newspaper Excerpts, circa 1950sFrom Marty Crull, no source or date listed.

Rural Electrification Act (not dated, probably circa 1952)

The electrification of Jersey County farms since 1938 might well be termed a “revolution” in the field of agriculture. If the man on the farm would pause in his busy day, he would realize what great things have been done in his lifetime, and what a great age of modern agriculture lie ahead – all made possible by Rural Electrification.

In the early 1930’s it had become apparent that the only way farmers would receive electric service was to band together and form rural cooperatives to serve themselves. With the aid of loans from the federal government through the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, farmers did join together and formed the farmer owned and controlled rural electric systems. Already the repayments to the government by local R. E. A.’s is ahead of schedule, one of the most outstanding records in our nation’s history.

Jersey County is a member of the M. J. M. Rural Electrical Cooperative, a tri-county association including Macoupin most of Jersey and Morgan Counties. In 1940 this relatively new cooperative – it was organized in 1938 – had around 1,200 members and about 510 miles energized; in 1951 this same cooperative had over 4,200 members and 1,380 miles energized – the years of greatest growth being those after 1947 after the bans and shortages of World War II were lifted to illustrate how the using of electricity has increased by individual users one has only to note that in 1940 the average farm used 48 K. E. H. where in 1951 it used 245 K. W. Since M. J. M. was organized the Cooperative and had paid by August 1951, $76,645.26 in local, State, and Federal taxes. Since R. E. A.’s are non-profit organizations having been set up to give services at cost, they do not pay federal income taxes.

The manager of M. J. M. is A. C. Barnes, who resides at Carlinville where the main office is located. In Jersey County the servicemen for R. E. A. are Charles Witt and William Hansen of Jerseyville and Claude McAfee of Brighton. Some of the members of the present Board of Directors are: President ??? Monck; Secretary-Treasurer Earl Hanold (Henry Eglehoff, Raymond Montague, Jersey County members).

Home Bureau in Jersey County (not dated, probably circa 1952)

No story of Jersey County agriculture would be complete without a few words about the Jersey County Home Bureau. When F. H. Schuman, Jersey County Farm Adviser, attended the I. A. A. Meeting in December, 1929, and heard the reports of County organizations of Home Bureau, he resolved that Jersey County was ready for such an organization. He began to interview women whom he thought might and should be interested in a Home Economics Extension Program for the county. This group of women were taken to State and District meetings where Home Bureau was discussed and its merits lauded. The idea grew and committees were appointed to form a temporary executive board – meetings were held at different parts of the county and workers were trained to solicit memberships for the organization. These training schools were conducted by members of the Extension Division of the University of Illinois. Before this time Mr. Schuman had gone to Whiteside County and was succeeded here by C. T. Kibler. Mr. Kibler fell in line with the proceedings of organization, and February 27, 1931 was set for a county-wide membership drive. Jersey County had enjoyed very unseasonably dry, warm, weather until the night of February 26, when one of the deepest snows of the year fell. The soliciting teams’ enthusiasm was not dampened by the big snow and 174 members signed membership cards promising to participate in the activities of a Home Bureau by attending meetings and paying dues of $5.00 per year. These dues, then as now, were used for current expenses such as office rent, equipment, secretary’s salary, car and upkeep on same, ect. The Federal and State government cooperating pay the salary of the Home Adviser except in counties where the membership warrants a supplementary amount for Home Adviser’s salary. Membership solicitation continued until 250 cooperators had signed cards.

May 14, 1931 was the day set for organizing. This meeting, the first of its kind in Jersey County, was attended by 150 women who represented every rural section of the county. The county was divided into units each of which had not previously selected a member to represent them and their interests on the Executive Board. The group was addressed by Mrs. H. E. Eldred, President of Macoupin County Home Bureau organization, which had been organized the previous October. Mrs. Kathryn Van Akin Burns, State Leader Home Economics Extension, who had been to the county at several meetings explaining the benefits of Home Bureau, was present, advising and assisting with the organization.

After Mrs. Burns had explained the many projects available, the group voted to have the first six meetings along Home Management lines. “Making Your Own Laundry and Toilet Soap” was the first lesson presented to local leaders, who in turn presented the lesson to the various unit members, thus an extension course from the University of Illinois was brought to the rural communities of the County. From this first organization day, women have appreciated the opportunity to learn new methods and ways; enjoyed the social and recreation periods in which they met and learned to know the other homemakers in their neighborhoods. Many have attended local and county-wide meetings, some have enjoyed district and state meetings and a few have attended national and international meetings – thus Home Bureau has continued to broaden the horizon of Jersey County women who have participated in its activities.

We have had five Home Advisors, namely: Mrs. Eunice Pardee who served from June 1931 to December 1934 – Miss Elsie Ross, who later became Mrs. Clyde Butler, succeeded Mrs. Pardee and assumed her duties on January 1, 1935. Mrs. Butler served us until September 1, 1936, when she was succeeded by Miss Helen Steers who served until her death of June 30, 1941. On September 1, 1941 Miss Dorothy Romersberger, who later became Mrs. Robert Gledhill, took over the duties of Home Adviser, and continued to lead the group until February 1, 1946, when she resigned to take a similar position in Rock Island County. Miss Lillian Schrader, now Mrs. Wayne Bates, assumed charge on September 1, 1946 and remained until the fall of 1946. Miss Ruth Robinson, now Mrs. Paul Erb, our present Home Adviser, assumed the office on October 1, 1947.

The truth of the old adage, “Live for self, you live in vain; Live for others you will live again.” seems to have influenced the Jersey County Home Bureau, for while its members have profited by the lessons and various phases of its activities, other persons have not been forgotten.

4-H Club work has been sponsored and hundreds of girls have been interested in all phases of homemaking – in turn the girls have shown their appreciation by doing grand jobs in their club work – in fact the highest rung in the ladder of progress has been reached by Jersey County girls. In 1937 Mary Lois Sunderland Shephard was a delegate to National 4-H Camp in Washington, D. C. for one week.

Red Cross – The first community cooperation was with the local Red Cross Chapter when the women of each unit assisted with cutting and making garments. During the first year 1,320 garments were cut and made and distributed by the women. Home Bureau still takes part in Red Cross work.

An Immunization campaign against Diphtheria was launched by Home Bureau with 739 children being immunized.

Hot school lunches were promoted by Home Bureau with 28 schools participating.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” or Mary an uninteresting girl, so Home Bureau members have participated in local and county recreational activities. They participated in the Jersey County Centennial by entering four floats – the theme being “The Jersey County Women Through 100 years.”

A music committee sponsored a county chorus – 19 members participated with the State Rural Chorus of 1,500 members at the Illinois State Fair – while three from the county joined the Illinois Rural Chorus tour to the New York World’s Fair.

Family nights when all Home Bureau members gathered together to eat, sing, and play games have been enjoyed. Picnics for the members and their families have provided a means of recreation and better understanding.

The members of the first Board of the Jersey County Home Bureau were these:

Mrs. Clarence Sunderland, President
Mrs. John French, Vice President
Mrs. George Noble, Secretary
Mrs. L. F. Nail, Treasurer
Mrs. J. D. Campbell
Mrs. Spencer Powell
Mrs. C. M. Yocum
Mrs. William Steiner
Mrs. Mary Baty (Beaty?)

The Board for the year 1951-1952 includes:

Mrs. Frank Miller, President
Mrs. Earl Richey, Vice President
Mrs. Sylvester Kallal, Secretary
Mrs. LLoyd Lyons, Treasurer
Mrs. Edward G. Hoffman, First Vice President
Mrs. Everett Edwards, Second Vice President
Mrs. T. T. Eddleman, Special Project Chairman
Mrs. Orville Breitweiser, Minor Project Chairman
Mrs. Martin Tuetkin, Major Project Chairman
Mrs. Austin Cope, Music Chairman
Mrs. Marvin Isringhausen Sr., 4-H Chairman
Mrs. William Ringhausen, Recreation Chairman
Mrs. Paul Kuebrich, Publicity Chairman
Mrs. Charles Updike, Health Chairman
Mrs. Harry Healey, Library Chairman


Field In Korea Is Dedicated to Jersey Soldier. Niemeyer Field At Seoul Named in Memory Of Pfc. Howard Niemeyer, Formerly Of Fieldon.

The memory of PFC. Howard Niemeyer, former resident of Fieldon, who was mortally wounded just before the cease-fire order became effective in Korea, will be perpetuated through a field at Seoul which was recently dedicated by officers and men of the 39th Field Artillery Battalion.

Pfc. Niemeyer, twenty year old son of Mr. and Mrs. William Niemeyer of Pleasant Hill, formerly of Jersey County, gave his life during the last night of fighting when he covered the body of a comrade with his own and sustained injuries which resulted later in his death. As a member of a Forward Observer team in the Kumsong area, he adjusted fire in support of the Greek Expeditionary Forces, from an outpost within small arms range of the enemy. The fatal wounds were suffered by Niemeyer when a mortar shell burst near the observation bunker.

The dedicatory ceremony opened with the playing of “Ruffles and Flourishes” by the Division Band followed by the trooping of the line to the tune of “Dog Face Soldier” by General Hewett. Others of high military rank present were Colonel Harry F. Hanson, assistant division commander, and Col. John F. Franklin, Chief of Staff. The invocation was asked by Chaplain Carl A. Thomas who was the soldier’s own chaplain and a brief address in recognition of Pvt. Niemeyer’s valiant action was (copy torn away at this point).

Jersey County Page     Newspapers
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