Crawford County Farm Bureau

by Floyd L. Reed, Organization Director
Typed by Rita Millis from a history originally done about 1955 - 14 August 2000

The organization of the Crawford County Farm Bureau grew out of the food production committee of the State Council of Defense. It was organized December 12, 1917.

The original board of Directors, known as the executive committee, was as follows: Carleton Trimble of Trimble, President; A. C. Everingham, Hutsonville, Vice President; E. G. Stifle, Robinson, Secretary; H. N. Fox, Palestine, Treasurer; E. E. Pifer, Palestine; N. F. Goodwin, Palestine; Brady E. Newlin, Annapolis; Smith Kirk, Oblong and Walter Ducommon, Robinson, were the additional members of the committee. This entire board was re-elected at the annual meeting in January, 1919 and again in December, 1919 and thus became the first board of Directors of the Crawford County Farm Bureau.

Besides those mentioned above, many other progressive farmers, land owners and business men gave valuable assistance in bringing the organization into existence. Since the very first, the county newspapers have co-operated in a whole-hearted way; they all deserve the thanks and appreciation of the farming interests of the county.

The committee employed C. C. Logan, of Robinson, as the first Farm Adviser. He commenced work April 19, 1918. The Organization was incorporated under the laws of the state of Illinois April 19, 1918.

To get the object for which this organization was formed, I refer to the corporate document, which states: "The object for which it is formed is, to advance and promote the Agricultural, horticultural, livestock and dairy interests of Crawford County."

Like all other Farm Bureaus of the state of Illinois, the Crawford County Farm Bureau was made possible by the passage of the Smith-Lever law by Congress in 1914. The War Emergency Act of 1917 gave further financial support to the work and this was supplemented by an appropriation by the State Legislature. The Farm Bureau became an education center for agriculture, spreading know how and co-ordinating the work of the farmers for the production of food in 1917 and 1918. Financial support was further given by the progressive farmers of Crawford County.

The board of Supervisors also encouraged the new organization by giving them office space, providing them the use of typewriter, filing cabinets, etc. The incorporators of the Bureau were E.G. Stifle, F. W. Lewis and Walter V. Newlin.

When the Bureau began its operations, 242 land owners, tenants and business men were members of the Bureau. It was a critical time in the life of the state and nation when the Farm Bureau opened its office in the Court House in Robinson.

In December, 1919 the Farm Bureau co-operated with the Illinois Agricultural Association in a joint membership campaign which resulted in a membership of 625 for the farm Bureau, 513 of which were members of the State Association. January 22, 1929 the Crawford Count Farm Bureau joined with the Jasper County Farm Bureau. This union lasted until January 20, 1937.

The signers of the articles of incorporation for the Crawford, Jasper Farm Bureau organization were: C. M. Rains, President, and Chester McCord, Secretary. The articles of incorporation operating these two county Farm Bureaus were signed by: Harold Kincaid, President and Lewis Henry, Secretary.

I am sorry that time and space will not permit me to give the names of the hundreds of farmers who have spent money and donated their time to a cause which they thought would build a higher standard of living for the rural people and at the same time make a stronger state and nation. These farmers had vision; they built well. To my knowledge, corruption has never gained a foothold. Politics is out. Policy is made for the common benefit, regardless of politics.

I have made quite a study of the Farm Bureau leadership, from the national down to the local level. I have found these leaders to be honest, courageous, and intelligent.

The Farm Bureau has been in existence approximately forty years. During this period there never had been an officer, staff personnel or executive employee called before any house or senate subversive investigating committee. That means "communism" has never been able to penetrate this truly American organization.

I served under the following presidents during the eight years I have been Organization Director: Byrl Fulling, Palestine; Thomas Maddox, Flat Rock; Leath Postlewaite, Palestine; Henry Maddox, West York, and Perry Musgrave, Oblong who is president at this time. (1956)

The present personnel of the Board of Directors are: Perry Musgrave, President; Eldon Fox, Vice President; Robert N. York, Secretary; and Charles Thomas, Treasurer. Directors: John Dart, Elbert Miller, Warren Mehler, Harry Price, Leo Buntin, and Wilvin Paddick.

The present Farm Bureau home, located at 300 East Locust Street, Robinson, was purchased September 20, 1949. The Bureau moved in their new quarters in late winter 1950 after remodeling the building, which was formerly a garage. A very large debt faced the Farm Bureau membership. The size of the membership increased. The debt was all paid off in three years. A new room was then built on the east side, 25 by 50 feet. By the time it was finished, enough money had been collected by dues to pay cash for all labor and material.

The Illinois Agricultural Association gave our membership in 1948 as 748. March 31, 1956 our membership was 1,236. A Farm Bureau membership is a family membership, but is counted as one. Certain regulations prescribe when the boys must have a membership of their own.

The Farm Bureau of Illinois co-operates with the extension service of the University of Illinois. The Farm Bureau spends about 40% of their budget in supporting the extension service in this county.

The co-operatives connected with the Crawford County Farm Bureau are: The Crawford Service Company, Producers Supply and the insurance service.

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This page last updated on February 05, 2015,