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  • Writer's pictureRochelle Gridley

Buell "Boots" Herrick

Buell Herrick, better known as Boots to his friends at BHS, ISNU and throughout Bloomington, was born in Bloomington in 1920. He attended BHS and formed a band that performed at different school events. He was a "cut up" at BHS and acted as master of ceremonies at different events.

Boots and Charles Reynolds at a BHS carnival in 1938. At Illinois State Buell was a clown with the Gamma Phi Circus, from 1938 to 1940.

One event that his band graced was the Raymond School recreation dance in 1941. Here he is talking with some of his fans.

In 1941 his band included Frank Warren, Bud Funk, Dan Faufe and Dick Quanstrom all men from BHS. Buell is holding a trumpet in this image (center).

Boots was also active in the State Farm Highlanders Bagpipe Band. This image could be the last that ever appeared in the Pantagraph of Buell Herrick (11/18/1941). (playing bass drum)

At some point Boots moved from Illinois to Kentucky. In Kentucky he worked in advertising for newspapers and eventually created his own advertising and publicity company. He showed Cairn Terriers with his wife Jean Coots Herrick -- with great success. He was a member of a flying club that flew Stearman bi-planes and owned a boat on the Ohio River, where he entertained music loving friends. It was while Boots was at an air show that he suffered a heart attack and died in Tullahoma TN at the age of 54.

By the time Boots died his brothers had left Illinois and his parents had died, which perhaps explains why no obituary appeared in the Pantagraph for Boots, but I feel a little sad that no one publicly remembered Boots in Bloomington at the time of his death.

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