By the time you get your newsletter the first tractor ride of the season may be in the books already. Remember the Slow Boys ride is on April 8th. It’s time to get those tractors out and ready for the season ahead. There are many drives and pulls over the summer including the Half Century of Progress Show and the Morris Tractor Ride (formerly the Heritage Tractor Adventure) which we haven’t seen in a while. Locally there will be Olde Time Farm Show, Will County Thresherman’s Reunion, the Bonfield Fourth of July parade and pull and the Pull in the Park in Chebanse. Don’t forget our own Club’s rides at Herscher and to the Veteran’s Home. I’m sure there are many, many others to attend. If you don’t see them listed in our newsletter, drop me a line so I can add them to the list.
This month’s feature is Nancy and Jerry Snedecor of rural Bonfield, long time members of the CIGC, and been known to participate in many tractor rides. Nancy tells me she grew up in Lincoln, IL as one of 6 children. While retired now she is very active at Church and serves on the Board at Prairie View Lutheran Home in Danforth, IL. Nancy formerly worked at Country Companies in Bloomington, IL, at the Bonfield Grade School and retired from Meece Engineering. She has two stepsons Kevin and Eric Kirschner who live locally.
Jerry grew up in southern Illinois near El Dorado on a chicken farm. They raised 24,000 chickens per year. Jerry spent a couple years in the Army, received his training at Ft. Leonard-Wood and later served in Manheim Germany. Thank you for your service Jerry. He later became an employee of Caterpillar Inc. in Joliet, IL where Jerry retired from. He has two sons Matthew and Jeff. Both Jerry and Nancy lost their spouses and found each other in 1999. They have spent many hours and miles trail riding horses and touring the Country on a Gold Wing motorcycle. After retiring Jerry became a driver who delivers camping trailers. He has delivered to all lower 48 states, Alaska, Canada and New Foundland. Needless to say, Jerry likes to drive.
The Snedecors own several tractors each with a good story. The first is a’48 International “C.” Jerry helped Nancy’s mom out on her farm during a family hardship and in return she sold it to him for 25 cents. The second is a ‘51 International “M” which Nancy’s husband owned that she sold Jerry for $100. He restored it and built and ride-along seat for Nancy. In recent years Jerry and Nancy bought an International 656 from Nancy’s cousin which now serves as their tractor ride transportation.
The Snedecors regularly participate in many different tractor rides including local ones. But when talking about rides they told me about several worth telling about. In 2012 they took their ’51 “M” to the Mount Rushmore Ride in South Dakota. Their ride was two and a half days at Custer’s State Park, Mt. Rushmore and to Deadwood. Jerry also told about treading the needle, a portion of the ride full of switch backs that tested the endurance of a lot of tractors and drivers. Along the way, they saw buffalo up close and personal, burrows who were demanding apples and rode on a steam train. There was also something about the purple house and the “pie lady” that you should ask them about. Might be worth the trip. They also told about the drive at La Crosse, WI that took them 2 days full of hills, curves, beautiful scenery, wineries and private collections of tractors and farm machinery. They also said that they enjoyed the rides at Arthur, IL and the Covered Bridge at Park County, IN.
We enjoy the Snedecor’s friendship and the Green Club. Jerry serves as a Director and is always there to help. When you get a chance, ask them about some of their rides. They are good story tellers.