Craig Rice, a fellow journalist and former farm editor
of the Daily Chronicle and DeKalb Journal, is always there. Asked
how his two cemeteries are doing, Craig revealed that after 24
years as sexton of both the Johnson Grove and North Clinton cemeteries
he has stepped aside and Marge McDonald has taken his place.
Also found out that Wendell is now on the Oak Mound Cemetery
board not far from the United Presbyterian (UP) Church on Chicago
Road. Even though the cemetery is not connected to that church,
many of its members are interred there. And a mutual friend Bud
Burgin has been board president for a good number
Note to readers: Barry Schraders DeKalb
County Life column will appear every other Tuesday.
Each summer that I attend the Waterman Tractor Show brings
back memories from my childhood in elementary school there, as
well as fresh news from people I have known over time.
This year was no exception, as I spent five hours there
without having to rush up to the Kingston Picnic to watch the
cardboard boat races. The heavy rains forced a delay in the races
until the Kishwaukee River returns to summer levels.
My favorite pastime there is exchanging greetings and trivia
that could be found in the personals section of the
local weekly Waterman Enquirer 40 years ago. I had the added
benefit this time of Wendell Chestnut with me who has more cousins
around Waterman and Hinckley than a dog has fleas. He could spot
a familiar face and put a name to it which made it easier for
me to say Hi Reid when the president of the Waterman
Area Heritage Society Reid McAllister stopped to talk. I know
him from by his bushy beard, but sometimes a senior moment leaves
the name back in my throat.
Wendell also explained Reids genealogy which includes
a cousin named Jim Thompson, former Illinois governor. Not a
first cousin but maybe a third or fourth.
It also came to light that he is related to the late Dr.
Ralph McAllister from DeKalb who was my parents doctor
for many years at the same time Dr. John W. Ovitz Jr. was my
wifes family doctor.
Announcing the Waterman Tractor Shows Parade
of Power are from left Max Armstrong, Waterman Lions vice president
Shawn Blobaum, and DeKalb County Farm Bureau president Mark Tuttle.
(Barry Schrader photo for Shaw Media)
This 1932 Twin City KT tractor was a hit with announcer Max Armstrong.
It is owned by Logan Berge of Sandwich.
Getting back to the Tractor Show, the Voice of American
Agriculture broadcaster Max Armstrong was again the parade
emcee along with DeKalb County Farm Bureau president Mark Tuttle.
A rare old tractor caught Maxs eye and by all the photos
he took, it may featured on one of his future segments of Tractor
Tales, according to what I learned from Leonard Johnson. The
machine is a 1932 Twin City KT model now possessed by Logan Berge
of Sandwich whose grandfather, the late Chuck Haas of Somonauk
owned it before him.
Anyway, I wish I had located a family member to ask if
they are descended from Emil Haas, the old German immigrant who
was custodian at Somonauk Grade School when I attended and my
mother taught there. He remained a good friend of ours for many
I cant end this without sharing the winners of the
tractor judging. The Presidents Choice was Dwight Olson
of Maple Park and his 1965 Allis Chalmers 190 XT High Crop; Speakers
Choice went to Aaron Seim of DeKalb driving his 1930 Toro fairway
tractor; Peoples Choice was a 1959 Ford Power Master owned
by Ron and Paula Smith of Maple Park; Most Unique entry was judged
to be a 1967 MM Jetstar 3 forklift (one of only seven ever made)
owned by Ron Riveland of Serena; Most Unique Truck was won by
John Biddle of Elburn for his 2000 Custom KW Ford; and the Oldest
Entry prize went to Don Cleary of Mendota for his 1908 IH Famous
That wraps up the 15th annual Waterman Summeriest and Tractor
Show. Despite the heat and humidity which pushed the heat index
over the 100 mark, I enjoyed the day there, thanks to a fine
job of organizing by the Waterman Lions.