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  • Writer's pictureRochelle Gridley

Chenoa and Gridley 4 H Boys travel to Chicago


In 1937 the members of the 4 H clubs in Chenoa and Gridley hired a special car to travel to Chicago for the International Livestock Show. Apparently you could still hire a railroad car for your private party back then, much as farmers would contact the railroad to reserve cars to send livestock to distant markets, but more comfortable.

The first act of the boys on finding their seats in the car was to open up the box lunches their mothers had sent -- fried chicken and rabbit were the treats inside!

Yergler, John; Phillis, Dale; Gilmore, Lyle; Hoobler, Junior

The seats in the car look so elegant, very plush velvet with rolled arms. And opening windows with real wood trim.

These boys were studying the program for the livestock show -- they were planning their day carefully, so as not to miss their favorite events.

Myers, Leroy; Brady, Leroy; Standing; Elson, Lyle; Oltman, Charles

You can see the paneled ceiling of the car in the shot above.

Even the club leaders, a principal and ag teacher, enjoyed fried chicken on the train.

Schreck, Jacob; McKey, Paul

Once in Chicago the show could begin. Here the boys view a pen of cattle. Note that almost every boy is wearing a hat -- they are in the big city and don't want to be taken for a sloppy local yokel!

In addition to live exhibits, there were cases of models of livestock as well. Here two boys and a chaperone look at a Corriedale ram in a glass case.

Cable, John; Eymann, Lynn; Schickendanz, Jerome

What is a show without souvenirs?? Canes were all the rage at the livestock show. I wonder if any of these are still lying about in McLean County.

People traveled from all over the country to attend the Chicago Livestock Show. The boys met up with the boy who traveled the farthest to come to the show -- all the way from Washington State!

Oltman, Charles; Cramer, Kenneth

Look at the crease on his trousers! his mother slaved over those pants I am sure.

The boys said good bye to Chicago in high spirits and boarded the train at the end of the day.

The ride back to Chenoa was considerably quieter:

Skaggs, James; Cable, John

And it was an entirely different car, as well, with bench seats and hard arm rests, no wood trim -- and of course these boys have their feet on the opposite seat (ugh -- they were just at a livestock show and someone has to sit on those seats tomorrow.)

Walker, R.J.; McKey, Paul

Two teachers relax and enjoy the quieter ride home! (Also with feet on the opposite seat!)


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