Way Back When

Stock show time in McCulloch County reminds me of the times in the 1930s and 40s when Rochelle had its own stock show. Usually the ag teachers were in charge. I recall in about 1936 they had a fair with the stock show, and they had goat roping, a quilt show, games and a full day of entertainment. I remember seeing Ralph Neal showing a Hereford steer, Sidney Salter showing a sheep, Boyd Turner showing a calf. They also had pigs, chickens and turkeys. I.O. Sturkey ws the first ag teacher I can remembere in Rochelle. There haven’t been too many of them. Most of the ag teachers stayed a long time. Keith Simpson, the present ag teacher, has been here for about 26 years or so. He is also a Baptist preacher at Mercury. T. Wood was the ag teacher here for many years, and he probably did some preaching as well as a lot of singing. The only ag teacher I have heard preach was Miers Johnson. He got a person’s attention one evening in Menard. The man had gotten smart with Miers, and he made a bad suggestion that they go outside and settle it. Other ag teachers I remember in Rochelle were V.A. Underwood, Mr. Tull, Bobbie Williamson, Mr. Herrington and Alvin Bolton. It takes 20 students to get enough money for an ag teacher. That is why Rochelle and Melvin shared an ag teacher. After the Melvin school closed, we put some girls in the ag classes to made 20 students. In 1942, the largest ag classes I knew of was 60 boys. David Bratton was the president, and Jack Kirby was the vice president of the ag chapter. The members were Leroy Alexander, Bruce Blauvelt, Tommy Brisco, Glenn Bush, Wayne Bush, Alton Byrd, Lester Caffey, Wallace Clary, Billy Cooper, Earl Cox, Alston Davenport, J.B. Deans, W.J. Deeds, Jackie Finnigan, Theron Gamblin, Glen Henderson, J.R. Jones, Glenn Jordan, Norman Kilmer, James Larre-more, Johnny McBee, Willie McCartney, Glennon McLemore, Leon Milburn, Ralph Neal, Johnny Nichols, Ramon Parrish, James Reed, Paul Pennington, McObert Rankin, Dudley Sansom, Elmer Roper, Jayton Segrest, Tillmon Shafer, Gayle Hufstutler, Dean Jordan, Lewis Jordan, Hilmer Kruckemeyer, Otis Woods, G.W. Young, R.W. Young, D.W. Valliant, Cecil Moore, Billy Moore, Jack Woodford, Bobbie Williamson, Bussy Williamson, S.H. Gainer, Joe Whitaker, Ray Weatherman, Eldon Weatherman, Vernon Waddill, Jr., Glenn Turnell, Howard Turnell, Nelson Strong and Garland Jordan.

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