The Lions Club of Oakwood was chartered December 26, 1973
Robert Wayne Acton
G. Frank Banguss
Larry E. Cox
Ernest M. Dickson
Robert E. :stock
Kenneth E. Green
Kenneth R. Hartrich
Larry D. Hansbraugh
Floyd W. Lee
James B. Moore
C. J. Oakwood
Arnold L. Raaum
Jack William Rudy
Eldon L. Winther
Ralph Henry Burke
Kenneth R Divan
Charles E. Jones
Gary L. Ludwig
Leroy T. Moore
Hubert K Seymour
Joseph C. Tharp
Alfred W. Wise
David L. Barnes
Roy Francis Burke
James IL Ellis
Jesse E. Irwin.
Glenn E. Keever
Alan W. Lockminer
Robert A. Pricer
Harrison M. Rogers
Kenneth F. Seymour
William W. Trankina
Wendell It Wilson
Walter Gene Witsman
OAKWOOD CHRISTIAN CHURCH
As early as 1883 ministers from the Christian Church in State Line City, Indiana were coming to Oakwood, trying to revive an older congregation that was once here. The second Saturday in December of 1889, Elders E. C. Swartz and S. L. Pine came from State Line and held services in the Oakwood Hall. A congregation of eight women and four men was started. John H. Young, who owned the General Store, became the first elder. W. F. Crawford became the first deacon. Rev. Pine became the first minister. Elizabeth Bridgeman, who joined our church in 1892 at the age of 13, stated in 1968, that our first minister was a black man. John Young then approached Billy Neal who owned a large building on the northwest corner of North Main and Scott Street, where Main Street Machine is now. Billy had a blacksmith shop in the back of this building and agreed to let the Church use the front. Seats were installed and lantern were hung. The crowds were large. The next minister was a Rev. Steward in 1891. He preached in a hall upstairs over a warehouse on the southwest corner of South Main and Scott Streets, where the old boarded up barber shop is now. In 1892 Reverend J.W. Marshall came and helped the congregation purchase the old blacksmith shop for 15 dollars to use as a Church. A tent was rented from the prohibition party and set up in Nancy Harrison’s pasture, about where the Bob Butchers live now, and a revival was held. J.C. Meyers of State Line City, Indiana, B.N. Anderson of Catlin and Samuel Creighton all came to preach. The revival lasted 3 weeks and raised the membership to 102 people. Samuel H. Creighton stayed as the minister. New elders were William F. Peters and Emanuel Miller. Deacons were John H. Young, John D. Rice and W. F. Crawford. Secretary-treasurer was George Rice. On August 1, 1892, lot 4 of block 23 of Ben Longstreth’s addition to the Village of Oakwood, was purchased. The trustees who signed for that lot were; John D. Rice, John Young, Wilson Smoot, J. C. Bowen and Henry J. Oakwood. Work began immediately on a Church building and it was finished in time for services December 18, 1892. It was 34 by 46 with 14 foot high ceilings. It was today’s present sanctuary. There were four tall narrow windows on each side. Heat was a pot bellied stove near the center of the room. The plumbing was outside. Sunday school was held on Saturdays. A bell tower was added in 1893. In 1911 the Church was raised 42 inches to make room for a basement. A Sunday School wing was added on the south and a baptistry on the north. A modern heating system was installed in the basement, with a kitchen, classrooms and fellowship hall. Sunday school could now be held on Sunday. During the year of 1915 our church set a Sunday School record that was the envy of many larger churches. The average attendance was 153 a week. Minimum attendance was 82 and maximum attendance was 307. The average offering was $5.97. In 1951 a Sunday School room was added on the northeast corner, with restrooms under it in the basement. Now there was indoor plumbing. The parsonage was built just north of the Church in 1959. A new entry way was built in 1972 and a new fellowship hail in 1975. A garage was built for the parsonage in 1977.
There have been many good leaders in our Church over the years. John young was the first, Walter D. Rogers was a strong leader as was his son Harrison Rogers. William Cronkite was an elder for 50 years. Emily Boyle was a Sunday School Superintendent and teacher for 30 years. There have been many others that have served equally well. They can’t all be listed. At least three ministers have come from this congregation. They are Emmanuel Miller, Camille Fourez and Howard Johnson.
At the 125th the leaders were Herb Bottger, Minister; Sam Barton, Chairman of the Board, with Henry Plotner, Waneta steenbergen, Jim haft, DO porter and Sam Barton as Elders. Our Church has served our Lord for over 100 years and by the grace of God will many more years. serve it Many, many years.
OAKWOOD EVANGELICAL METHODIST CHURCH
The ground breaking for the present Oakwood Evangelical Methodist Church was performed on June 14, 1970, with approximately 50 people in attendance. The congregation had formed after the closing of the Oakwood Evangelical United Brethren Church on West Collett Street. They had been worshiPPing in the former Oakwood Hardware Store on North Main Street.
The Evangelical United Brethren Denomination merged with the Methodist Denomination in 1968.The doctrines of both denominations were combined and revised. Many did not agree with the merger and the different standard of worship.
Some of the former EUB members began holding services July 28, 1968 on the front steps of the padlocked EUB Church building. Reverend Berton Heleine was their minister. He was a former Methodist Minister but was now an Evangelical Methodist. He was also a minister of the new EMC Church in Fairmount. Rev. Heleine helped find the old hardware store to worship in.
The new Church was officially chartered with the State, September 1 1968. Charter members
were Jack, Donna and Kathy Cox; Ernest , and Jennie Burke. , Gladys and Gina Marie Miller; Carl and Rose Shipman
The new church building was dedicated on October 11, 1970. In 1974 an Education Wing was
added on the building. Now there could be youth activities and fellowship dinners. In 1977 a
parsonage was built with nearly all volunteer help, and a new lighted church sign was installed in memory of Len Neff. Central air was installed in 1982 A new garage was added behind the
parsonage in 1988.
One of the members, Glen Sprouls, was called to bea minister and is now Rev. Glen Sprouls of
the Martinsville, Indiana Evangelical Methodist Church.
In 1993 the First Evangelical Methodist Church celebrated 25 years with a special Heritage
Sunday. The present pastor, Rev. William Ludington, presided with Rev. Berton Heleine as
speaker. Many old friends returned to reminisce about the troubles and triumphs the Church had come through. We plan to serve the community to the best of our ability for at least another 25 years.
Oakwood Church of the Nazarene
In the year of 1934 Rev. Leroy Cunningham, then Pastor of the Gray Siding Church of the Nazarene, felt the call of God on his heart to go the village of Oakwood and hold street meetings till early 1936. In the summer of 1936 a tent was pitched on the school grounds and the pastor of Danville First Church, Rev. W. S. Purinton, was called to hold a meeting. During the first service a storm tore the tent so badly there was concern about the meeting. The next day Mrs. Cunningham and Sister Leota Goble went to the school yard and mended the tent in the hot summer sun. Several people living nearby made the comment that those people who would sit in the hot sun to fix an old tent must really have something. The tent was raised once again and services were held that night. The following night the ropes to the tent were cut causing the tent to be brought down once again. This did not distract the spirit of the meetings as they continued with open air services. Following the services an old store building was made available to rent which allowed the revival to continue for five weeks. During that time several of the area pastors came to share in the preaching, singing and spirit. In September of 1936, the Oakwood Church of the Nazarene was Chartered (Charter held open till November 15, 1936).
The building being used for the church was sold making it necessary for the young church to find a new residence for worship. Rev. & Mrs. Cunningham sold their home in Danville and rented a house with a double garage in the south end of Oakwood (presently owned by Mrs. Huddleson on South Olmstead). The garage was cleaned up and services were held there for quite some time. When the property was sold there was no place to hold services once again. Services were held in the Grade School until the closing of school, then a tent was pitched north of the railroad tracks where worship services were held on a regular basis until the fall of 1938. During this time Rev. Cunningham worked on the church basement with the help of other young men and boys. The concrete blocks were made by hand, one at a time. When the basement was completed the congregation moved into the basement for services. An old Presbyterian Church from Georgetown was purchased for $175, dismantled, brought to Oakwood and rebuilt. Each board was numbered and reassembled by number. The first services held in the sanctuary were in December 1938.
The present parsonage was purchased in 1977. The fellowship hall was purchased in 1983 and remodeled. Helen Giacone was treasurer for over 40 years. She left a sizable amount of money for the building of a new church which is in the plans for the next 2 or 3 years.
Ollie Sprague has been a member for 50 years. Jesse and Bette Cundiff for over 41 years. The present minister is Kevin Sneed.
As we begin our next fifty years, let us march forward in victory carrying the banner of Holiness to our world in need.
Oakwood United Methodist Church
In the early days Methodist ministers known as “Circuit Riders” traveled from one community to another and held class meetings in the homes of the people. The Reverend James McKain, circuit rider from Eugene, Indiana, assisted in organizing Methodist classes in the Oakwood area. Such a class was formed in the summer of 1829 near Newtown. In 1835 a Methodist Church was built about one half mile south of Newtown, known as Bethel. Nearly all of the first organized groups were an outgrowth of this church. Pilot Chapel, Emberry, Finley Chapel, and Bethel comprised the “Bethel Circuit”.
The Names of J. E. French, W. Harshay, Cotton James, and Peter Hastings are given as circuit riders in this area. They held services every day of the week, whenever they were.
At Oakwood, Rev. John Long organized a class of thirty members and was their minister for seven years. John Doran was the first class leader. The first church in this section, Finley Chapel, was built at Blue Corner on land given by Wm. Harrison in 1854.) It was a union church, but under the control of the New Light Christians. James Osborne had a mechanics lien on it, and caused it to be sold to Enoch Kingsbury of Danville, who in turn sold it to the Methodists in 1860. The cost was about $1,000. It was on the northeast corner of Oakwood Street and Route 150, now Lester Wolfe’s front lawn.
In 1879, Charles Hillman, George Fox, W. H. Fox, E.C. Layton, and Joseph Truax were the trustees, with a class of one hundred and thirty members. In 1884, the lot was sold and the building torn down and all suitable material was used in the construction of a one-room building at the church’s present location. This was remodeled in 1906, when Rev. Houseman was here, at a cost of $5,156.82. A basement was added. The Sunday School room and vestibule were added to the west side. The brick veneer and colored glass windows were chosen for the interior. The basement floor was completed in 1909. Extensive repairs were made in 1955 and 1956. The exterior was cleaned and tuck pointed, the roof and belfry repaired, and woodwork painted at a cost of about $1,600.
The first parsonage was purchased in 1873 from John Cork for $800. This was at the top of Glenburn Hill on the west side of the road. Ministers living there served the “Pilot Circuit”. Later, in 1895-1899, the parsonage was at Newtown. In 1900 the Oakwood Church rented the second house north of the church, where Rev. Bennett lived. A parsonage next to the church, on the east side, was built in 1901. Rev. Collier was the first to live there. This building was remodeled in 1946. Rev. Brooks Varker was appointed at this time.
In 1917, a pulpit bible was presented to the church by the Loyal Workers Class. It was used until 1954, when the new one was given by the W. G. Green Family.
For many years a home-type organ was in the church. About 1910 a piano was purchased. On Easter Sunday, March 28, 1948, dedication services were held for the new Hammond Organ. This was initiated by the High School Class with Ethel Oakwood as teacher.
On February 28,1954, dedication services were held for the new pulpit furniture, gifts and memorials. Another was held September 23, 1956, for the altar rail, tables, cabinets, hardwood floors and the outdoor bulletin board.
For some time the name “Wesley Chapel Methodist Episopal Church” was used. The church was known in the conference as “Methodist Episcopal Church” until 1939 when the three largest bodies of Methodism united to form “The Methodist Church”. Today the official name is “Oakwood United Methodist Church”.
There have been many traditions followed through the years at the Oakwood Methodist Church. The Mother and Daughter and Family and Son Banquets, ice cream socials, Silver Teas, jitney suppers, skating, taffy pulls, family nights, fish fries, turkey suppers, street fairs, helping hand dinners, and caroling at Christmas were popular.
One Tradition was the George Washington Banquets held for 45 of the 50 years since it was started in 1910 by the Commercial Club. The first one was held in the old store below the M. W. A. Hall, two were held at the Christian Church, and one in Young’s Storeroom. Then the club ceased to exist and the Ladies of the Methodist Church took over and have held them since.
Only the men attended the first two, then they voted to include their wives and in later years anyone who was fortunate enough to secure a ticket. These get-to-gethers were held annually to renew old friendships with former residents who came back to participate.
Former Ministers of the Oakwood Methodist Church
1860 – John Long
1867-68 – B. F. Hyde 1918-19-20 – George Scrimer
1869 – D. Brewer
1921-22 – Leland L. Lawrence
1871 – C. W. Connor 1923 – Charles Spear
1924-25 – B. Spurlock
1872-73 – W. H. Cline
1874-75 – I. Groves 1926 – A. F. Zimmerman
1876-77 – G. W. Lowthers 1927 – Harmon Kelly
1878 – I. N. Tomes 1929 – W. W. Wohlfarth
1879 – D. C. Burkitt 1930 – James T. Hendrix
1880 – Jonathan Glick 1932 – J. C. Gearhart
1881-82-83 – Supplied 1934-35-36 – Henry Nylin
1884-85 – J. Slater 1937-38 – John A. Smith
1886 – P. Slagle 1939 – Henry Davies
1887-88 – Martin V. B. Hill
1940 – Ivan Nothdurft
1941-42 – Eldon R. Koerner
1889 – J. A. Hardenbrook
1943 – Dale Williams
1890 – W. J. Lane
1944 – William Burt & William Orr
189 – Henry Collins
1945 – John McCallum
1892 – P. M. Young
1946-47-48 – Brooks C. Barker
1893-94 – T. F. Pierce 1949-50 – Donald J. Essel
1895-96 – J. M. Mills 1951-52-53 – Clifford Bruner
1897 – H. N. Gowen 1954-55-56 – Harold E. Sheriff
1898 – Sheridan Phillips 1957-58 – Luther Chambers
1899 – W. S. Miller 1959 – Richard McGuire
1900- F. C. Pearce 1959-62 – Walter Gustafson
Charles Bennett 1963-65 – Darrell Montgomery
1901-02 – M. F. Collier 1966-69- Ronald C. Spore
1903-04 – Alfred L. Wicks 1969-70 – Robert H. Merritt
1905 – Elizah H. Longbrake 1970-73 – Joe E. Martin
1906-07 – Joseph H. Howsmon 1973-75 – Frances W. Samuelson
1908 – James McCrory 1975-77 – Oliver Zivney
1909 – Wm. Gooding 1977-79 – Dorotha M. Russell
James M. Goodspeed 1979-82 – William F. Ingersold
1910-11-12 – C. W. Hamand 1982 – Marty Maddox
1913 – Elizah M. Jeffers 1983-90 – Gary Gromley
1914-15 – Lewis S. Ellison 1990-94 – John E. Simpson
1916 – F. L. Cook 1994 – John Fullmer
1917 – Ulysses M. Creath
NURSERY ROLL FOR
1935 TO 1950
Clara Leone Ervin
Raymond Lee Crawford
Larry Joe Cannon
Karen Lou Johnson
Charles Donald Rogers
Sandra Lynn Oakwood
David M. Runyan
Mary E. Joiner
Charles Paul Jones
Kenneth Ray Andrews
Karen Jean Brandon
Nancy Gae VanAllen
Karen J. Wright
Charles J. Oakwood
Stephen Jay Grimes
Larry Ross Crawford
Peggy Jean Wolfe
David Alan Grimes
Pamela Jean Wolfe
Ronald Dean Renfer
Denise Ann Thornton
Patsy Joyce Clapp’
Marilyn Ida Hill
Lena May Crawford
erick McClain. Wright
Mice R. Robinson
Judith Kay Oakwood
Marian E. Wright
Stephen Alan Cannon
Mikel J. Cannon
Janice Lee Wolfe
Sheila Ann Reed
Larry Gene Gutterridge
Robert Wayne Crawford
Carolyn Sue Clark
Charles Ira Clark
Michael Lee Grimes
Jerry Allen Crites
Terry Gene Dysert
Sara Ellen Gutterridge
Katherine Ray Beaneking
Nancy Anne Meade
Michael Eugene Wilson
Kay Marie Anderson
Wilma Francis Neal
Catherine L. Joiner
Ronald Dean Wo
Stephen H. Holly
John B. Casteel
Charles C. Andrews
Sharon Jane Brandon
Mary E. Andrews
Mary Beth Meade
Edward E. Joiner
Gloria Sue Oakwood
Genette C. Johnson
Stephen W. Barnes
Stephen B. Grimes
Rita Kay Wolfe
Barbara Jean Pena
Raymond J. Beaneking
Mark Allen Crawford
Businesses and Organizations
Oakwood has had at least three different newspapers. As mentioned before, the first paper Was started in July 1, 1895 with A.D.. Wallace as editor. The Price was 75 cents a year and he promised a correspondent in every hamlet in the township.
The second newspaper, The Oakwood News, began in 1902 and lasted five years. It was first published and edited by W. D. Rogers. It started as a four page paper but became an eight page paper. Subscriptions were one dollar a year. W. D. Rogers edited the paper about three years, a Mr.. Rose for six months, then the Commercial Club of Oakwood took over. A Mr. Booe was publisher. Although the paper was much enjoyed by the citizens, it was not a financial success and was discontinued.
One interesting item was of a robbery in Muncie in the fall of 1903. It was telephoned from there that the robbers were coming toward Oakwood on a hand car. A railroad tie was laid across the track and when the hand car struck it three black men were thrown off. They ran for Hillmans cornfield. A few shots were fired, but most folks agreed that the posse ran just as fast the other way.
A third paper the “Oakwood Township Review”, a weekly paper, published its first issue February 16, 1917. The Editor and only employee was O. F. Miller. A first anniversary edition was published Friday, February 22, 1918. There are articles on many of Oakwood’s businesses with pictures to accompany them. Donald E. Longstreth is the proud owner of one of these issues that originally belonged to his grandfather, Newt Longstreth. A copy can be found at the Oakwood Library. It’s not known how long the paper was continued. Mr. Miller later moved to Danville and started a print shop there called “The Caslon Press” at 1201 East Main, Danville, Illinois., He published the booklet “Oakwood, 1870-1930”.
Oakwood Township High School put out its first edition of “The Acorn” the first week of April, 1917.
There was another paper, “The Oakwood Township News” that started about 1915 and lasted into the 1980’s. This paper was published in Fithian.
State Bank of Oakwood
The bank of Oakwood was established in 1907. The first officers were J. H. Van Allen, President; Richard Seymour, Vice President and Chivies C. Andrews as the Cashier. The directors were J.H. Van Allen, J. W. Johnston, R. Seymour, T. A. Taylor and W.F. Keeney. A building 18 by 32 was constructed of brick on the east side of South Scott Street. Business was conducted at this location for about eleven years. They advertised three percent interest on time deposits. This building later became the telephone office. Still later it was the Post Office. Today the glass front has been bricked up and the door moved to the opposite side and it has become part of the fire station.
In 1918 the bank purchased the office and residence of Dr. Snider on the northwest corner of Scott Street and Finley Avenue. A modern structure in every way was constructed with a new system of safety deposit boxes for the accommodation of its many customers. This building is now the village library.
An interesting story was told to us by Jim Rouse, a former resident was living in Tilton at the time of the telling. It seems Lucile Wooden was working at the bank and her father, Walter, stopped by to see her. He had just been to the store and purchased some eggs. Eggs in those days were not sold in a carton but sold loosely in a sack. Now Walter, who was a large man was one of those very jumpy, ticklish people. He no sooner arrived at the bank when robbers burst through the door and ordered people. He no sooner arrived at the bank when robbers burst through the door and ordered everybody to put their hands. Walter bent over gingerly to set the eggs on the floor. One of the robbers jammed a gun in Walter’s ribs and was quite surprised when Walter reacted violently, throwing the eggs and flailing his arms about. The robber, thinking he was being attacked threatened to pistol whip poor Walter if he didn’t settle down. The robbers took several sacks of money and fled in an old touring car. As they rounded the corner of Finley and Oakwood, where the money and fled in an old touring car. As they rounded the corner of Finley and Oakwood, where the money and fled in a old touring car. As they rounded the orner of Finley and Oakwood, where the Loren Thompsons lived at the 125th anniversary, a bag of money fell out. Undaunted, they stopped and one of them ran back to retrieve the bag of money. To Jim Rouse’s knowledge, the robbers were never caught.
In 1978 a new modern facility was erected on South Oakwood street with a large spacious lobby, drive up windows and a beautiful meeting room in the basement.
It’s now owned by First Farmer’s Bank and Trust.
The first barber in Oakwood was a black man by the name of John Cole who came in 1887.
Young Newt Longstreth traded two bushels of corn and a dozen hens for a barber chair and loaned it to Mr. Cole.
Mr. Cole was not a success for in those days only the well to do went to a barber and Oakwood had very few of them. Newt Longstreth then took up the comb and clippers and cut anyone’s hair free, who would let him practice on them. The first time he used the clippers they got caught in frank Crawford’s hair and he had to take them apart to free stehem. He managed to make it by selling sandwiches and soft drinks and mending shoes on the side.
The next known barber was a Mr. McDaniels.
Next came Max St. John. Johnny Saults used to help him when he wasn’t working in the mines.Max St. John was 0.1 owe his son, Norman St. John. Somewhere along here, which was in the 1930’s, Leo Wainwright cut some hair.
About 1939 or 1940 Verne Swisher took over the barber shop and he ran it until 1966, when Mike Cannon took over. Verne continued to cut hair there one a day a week until about 1975 when he finally retired. Mike Cannon moved his business to Danville about 1976.
Since then a few ladies have had a beauty parlor there. Julaine Douglass was the first. The old barber shop sits all alone and boarded up on the southwest corner of Scott and South Main Street today.
The original building on this corner was a long tall building facing the railroad. It was a ‘firehouse for grain downstairs and a hall upstairs. It burned in the 1897 fire. One source says Newt Longstreth built the barbershop around the turn of the century. This would make it the oldest business building in town. Mike Cannon was told that the Barber Shop was remodeled in the early 1930’S with windows and siding from a fair or exposition in St. Louis. Another source says that the barbershop was built in 1904 with materials from the 1903 St. Louis World’s Fair.
The Barber Shop was a two chair shop for most of its life and there were surely more barbers
than we have listed here.
Remember the Ice Man?
William C. “Bill” Cronkite (1890-1973) was Oakwood’s Ice Man for more than 20 years. People still remember him as a tall slender man who didn’t mind shipping a piece of ice off the for the children on a hot summer day.
Bill was a coal miner and had left Oakwood in 1925 for a job in Farmersburg Indiana. There he became an oiler on the big shovels. In 1926 an operator started a machine up while Bill was still on it. The guard was not up and Bill lost a leg in a very painful accident. The family lived on 60 dollars a month disability pension for a while. Bill came back to Oakwood in 1931 with a wooden leg and began working for his brother in law (by marriage) Jim Casteel, delivering ice. The ice house at that time was at 521 South Olmstead delivering ice. Jim Casteel was killed in a mine accident at Gray’s siding in 1933. Bill then bought the ice business. Bill moved the Ice House to his own residence which is now 516 South Scott Street. It sat right on the curve and today it would have been in the middle of the street.
Being an Ice Man was not an easy job. Bill’s route took in most of Oakwood Township and must have worn out more than one old truck. Some of you must remember the square signs we put in the windows with the big numbers, 25, 50, 75, and 100. You turned up the number you wanted and the Ice Man would bring in that many pounds. Lugging in all that ice must have been a chore for a man with a wooden leg. Bill easily could have been a bitter man but he wasn’t. He served as Elder in the Christian Church for 50 years. Electricity came to Oakwood in 1912 but most people could not afford it until after the depression. Nearly everyone had refridgerators by the 1950’s and Bill retired.
Bill Cronkite hauled his ice from Beard Ice company in Danville and Jim Casteel probably did too. However, ice was once cut from Logstreth’s Pond on Harrison Street. This pond had originally belonged to the tile factory and at one time had been four feet deep.
Richter: Keeping cool was harder in past
- Apr 24, 2016: Commercial News
I still refer to the refrigerator as an ice box once in a while. That description of the appliance caused my young daughter to roll her eyes when she heard it years ago. But in my early years, before rural electrification came to the farm, it was an ice box that kept things cool.
No ice man delivered the ice. It was picked up in town at the ice house. That was a small, well-insulated building that successfully defied the summer heat. By the 1940s, the ice was artificially frozen, but there was a time when it was secured from rivers and lakes.
Roy Richter, born in 1890, remembered two places where ice was harvested from the Salt Fork when he was young. He noted it only happened when there was a very cold winter and the ice froze several inches thick.
The long stretch of deep water upstream from where Jordan Creek enters the river was the foremost harvesting area. He recalled the ice was cut in blocks where the water was deep, and then moved to where the road crossed the stream at what was locally known as the ford at the Mouth of Jordan. The ice was loaded on wagons there and moved to various storage places.
There was no bridge where the road crossed the river, but the water was usually low enough to be forded by horses and buggies.
The location allowed the ice to be moved both north and south of the Salt Fork.
Roy remembered a big fire was built for the workers to warm themselves by and women brought food for the men to eat at lunch time,
The second location he recalled is one of the deepest pools in the Salt Fork, known then as the Freeland Hole. It is located about a mile downstream as the river twists and turns from the first location, but is a much shorter distance as the crow flies.
Roy remembered one of the places ice from there was hauled to and stored was the nearby facility where maple syrup was made. It was located on the east side of what is now 850 East Road in Catlin Township.
Roy recalled ice was stored on the family farm in a section of the smoke house. Heavy planks surrounded the ice and it was packed in sawdust. The outer blocks of ice also served to insulate the inner blocks. Ice stored in this manner lasted well into the summer.
The big-toothed ice saw, used to cut river ice, remained on the wall of that structure into the 1950s.
In cities such as Danville, ice was delivered to customers by a horse and wagon in the early days. The delivery man would heft a 50- or 100-pound block of ice to his cloth-protected shoulder and deliver it to the ice box.
One of the more famous of the ice men was the legendary Illinois football player Edward “Red” Grange. He built up his strength by delivering ice in Wheaton, Ill.
Those days have long since been relegated to history The appliance humming in the kitchen today is totally different from its upright predecessor with the drip pan and large claw feet. It is a great triumph of technology as it keeps things fresh, cool, and frozen. But I still sometimes call it an ice box.
Jacob Jones was the first blacksmith in Oakwood.His shop was under the big cottonwood tree*. Others who have been Blacksmiths are Ihue Shoot, Ed Lowler, who sold out in 1886 to G. Wright, X31 Neal (whose shop was on the northwest corner of North Main and Scott Streets where Main Street Machine is now.), Charles Peterson (who built a larger shop in 1901, and moved again to the state Road by 1930), and Brad Neal. Brad, who was a son of Billy, opened his shop in 1893. His house was on the southwest corner Oakwood & Collett Streets. The house faced onto Oakwood Street and the shop was behind it on Collett Street. Brad operated a shop well into the 1930’s. Gilliam Randall was a blacksmith at Blue Corner at one time. Blue Corner was where Oakwood Street crossed the State Road, (now US 150). Other more recent blacksmiths were Fred Isenhower (1885-1958) whose shop was on North ‘ Street. He lived next door on the northwest corner of North Main and Harrison Streets. The old shop still stands and presently belongs to the Redman family. Veston Crowder was another recent blacksmith who lived in the 100 block of North Harrison on the east side just north of the alley. His shop was behind the house on the alley. Blacksmiths repaired anything made of metal. After the horse and buggy days they began repairing farm equipment and were known to work on frames and undercarriages of cars and trucks. They usually made the parts they used to repair with. They also made tools and implements for farmers and townspeople alike, often inventing what was needed. There were probably more blacksmiths, that we have learned of.
The first house in Oakwood was already there when the town was surveyed, according to the dated History of Oakwood. It was actually a slab-sided cabin, (boards running up and down). It set under the large cottonwood tree. Slab sided cabins were the next step after log cabins and usually dated to the 1840’s. Lon Cambell, a farmer, built the next two houses to sell or rent. One burned 1874 and the other later became the Hotel at the northwest corner of Collett and Scott streets. Len Cambell also built a warehouse. It was run by his son-in-law, Luke Veecy. The next house was built on the northwest corner of Scott and Finley. It later became the home of Dr. Snider. In the summer of of 1918 it was moved east on Finley Ave. to make room for Oakwood’s second bank building, which is now the library.
Note – the large “Cottonwood Tree” was found several times in our search. It was apparently a landmark. Don’t look for it as it has probably been gone for close to 100 years. John Davidson (1846-1931) a civil war veteran, lived on the site of the tree. This was the northeast corner of Oakwood and Longstreth streets. Although this was actually about 75 feet south of the original village, it was on an outlot.
SALOONS & TAVERNS
Oakwood has had very few Taverns. No doubt some of the early stores probably sold some whiskey. At one time a young man by the name of Bill Hall began selling beer by the gallon in a small place by the Warehouse. When warned by John Saylor that he was about to be raided he reluctantly quit. This was probably during Prohibition, which was from 1920 to 1933. Jim Rouse tells us of the time when he was a boy delivering newspapers in the early 1930’s. He had to walk all the may out to Route 10 to deliver a paper to Jack Powers Restaurant. This was a small building that sat on the east edge of Floyd Schramm’s lot, along what is now US 150. Although this was officially a restaurant, everyone knew that it was also a tavern. Jack Powers would not subscribe to the paper, which was 3g, but told Jim Rouse to get an extra paper and bring it to him. He always gave Jim a nickel for the paper and would also give him his choice of a candy bar or bottle of pop. This was a big tip in those days and Jim was never late. One evening when Jim arrived, he found the restaurant dark and the doors locked. Jack Powers had been raided and caught with bootleg whiskey.
Jim Fahey purchased the Blueroom in 1931 and later turned it into a tavern. He ran it for a few years but he kept it open on Sunday which aroused the people of the village. Sometime during the middle 1940’s the village voted to go “dry”. About 1987 the village voted to go “wet” and we now have a tavern at the Interstate run by Mr. Ed Eaton called “The Oaks”.
J. Smith Mason Home
J. Smith Mason moved into his new home, built during the summer of 1915, just before Christmas of that year. Smith Mason had purchased the property February 14, 1914 for $660. This was a very good buy as the school house was sitting on the property. School was held till the end of May while new school was being built on the site of the present grade school. Both the old and new schools were 12 year schools. On July 27, 1914, Pat Walton took out a mortgage of $600 from the Oakwood Building and Loan, of which Smith Mason was president. He used the money to purchase the front half of the old school which he moved to his lot on Olmstead. This was two houses south of the present school where Will Hockett just built a new house. Pat Walton remodeled the old school into a large two story house which sat there until it burned about 1931. It is not known what Smith Mason did with the back half of the old School, but one can see why he became one of Oakwood’s best business men. Smith Mason’s new house was built at a cost of nearly $9,000 and was billed in the newspapers as the finest house in Oakwood. Smith Mason passed away in 1949, his wife had preceded him in 1942, and the house was sold February 21, 1951 to John and Barbara Girton. The house presently belongs to the Girton’s daughter Janis and her husband, Raymond Dunn. They purchased the house in 1990. The house has been well maintained. It is on Scott Street across the street (west) of the Christian Church. After 80 years it still stands straight and erect. There is not a sag in the roof nor can one detect a crack in the bricks. It is still one of Oakwood’s finest houses.
LODGES AND ORGANIZATIONS
Some of the secret societies or Oakwood were the Modern Woodmen, I.O.O.F. (Odd Fellows), I.O.G. T. (International Order of Good Fellows), 0 G.C . Rebekah Lodge Rainbow #142, Royal Neighbors, and the Masonic Lodge. They were all in Oakwood in 1897.
On February 1875, the Odd Fellows Lodge was organized. They met on the second story of the store house belonging to Jerome Brown, In March 1875 the building was destroyed by fire.
In December 1915 the Royal Neighbors Lodge officers were:
|OracleVice OraclePast OracleChancellorReceiverInner SentinelManagers
|Mrs. Nettie RodgersNellie OakwoodNellie Trimble Mr. C. C. AndrewsMaude MeadeMyrtle PinegarMaude Oakwood
In December 1916 the Royal Neighbors Lodge officers were:
|OracleVice OracleRecorderReceiverChancellorMarshallInner SentinelManagers
|Mrs. C. C. AndrewsNettie RodgersMrs. Harve OakwoodMrs. Maude MeadeMrs. Alta NicholsMrs. Jose VanAllenMrs. Mertie PinegarAnna Oakwood, Maude Oakwood, and Agtis Mead
In 1917 there were 145 members in the Oakwood Red Cross Chapter.
In January 1916 the Boy Scout Company was organized in Oakwood under the direction of Scoutmaster Clyde Custer. There was about a score of youngsters enrolled. Mr. Cluster is a school teacher. The movement has the backing of the Christian Sunday School. The troop and pack is still going today. There have been many adults from Oakwood that held office in the council. Some of the boys who have earned the highest award, the Eagle, are Don Huckabee, Bruce Redman, Jim Bales, Jeff Young, Kevin Tharp, Brad Cronk, Bill Moody, Chuck Martin, Larry Dunn, and John Harrison. Adults who have earned the highest award for adults are; the Silver Beaver to Don Redman, Jim Kirkpatrick, Harry Plotner; The Fawn by Martha Smith. The District Award of Merit has been earned by Don Redman, Jim Kirkpatrick, and Betty Montgomery. The Girl Scouts have been active in Oakwood. Adults in the community have been active at the Council level. Serving on the Green Meadows Council Board of Directors were; Helen Roberts (President), Nancy VanVickle (Secretary), Victoria Lallathin, Betty Montgomery, and James H. Ellis. The highest Girl Scout Award, the Thanks BadgeII has been received by Betty Montgomery. The Thanks Badge has been received by Helen Roberts and Nancy VanVickle. The First Class and Gold Award (same as Eagle Scout) has been earned by Elizabeth Montgomery and Victoria Montgomery. 1899 the George Morrison Post of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) was active in Glenburn. This was for Civil War Veterans.
THE ORDER OF THE RED MEN
The Order of the Red men of Oakwood was founded in December 1915. The Fithian Tribe of Red men was formally transferred to Oakwood. The transfer was made because it was believed that the material already on hand and the new territory to work upon a great tribe could be developed in the township. The name of the Lodge was Adota Tribe.
Daughters of Pocahontas
The snowflake council #164, Daughters of Pocahontas Lodge, the Order of Red Men Auxiliary was granted March 1, 1916, with thirty-eight charter members signing the Charter. The first elected officers in 1916 were:
Pocahontas: Lena Crawford
Prophetess: Donna Hart
Scouts: Eva Westforth
Warriors: Grace White
Winona: Myrtle Downing
Powatan: Dave Van Houston
Counselors: Sarah Rouse
Runners: Ercel Jacobs
Guards: Bessie Cook
Oakwood Campfire Girls
The Oakwood Campfire Girls organized with twelve members on August 11, 1915, with Eulalie Green as guardian. The members were; Josephine Barco, Lou Esther Ellison, Winifred Green, Maude Hughes, Marion Oakwood, Bessie Pierce, Bernice Redman, Tampa Snyder, Maude Tevebaugh, Clare Traux, and Millie Williams. ‘Kesis’ was chosen for the Oakwood Camp. The meetings were held at the Oakwood M. E. Church.
Congressional and Literary Association
The Congressional and Literary Association was organized in December 1874. The officers were elected for one month. President H. Dulin, Secretary J. F. Brown, Assistant Secretary H. J. Oakwood, Treasurer J. C. Vance and Sergeant at Arms E. Jones.
Oakwood Cornet Band
The Oakwood Comet Band was organized June 1915. The officers elected were President O. F. Miller, Secretary-Treasurer-Alfred Meade. Eighteen members were in the band:
Comets – Keith Finley, Harold Snyder, Charles J. Oakwood, Arthur Beldon, Joe Howard
Trombone – O.F. Miller, Alfred Meade, Howard Crawford, Joseph Davis
Alto – Ora Longstreth, Gene Sailor
Clarinet – Leo Wainwright, Russell Seymour
Piccolo – Will Martin
Bass – Arden Barco
Baritone – Ernest Seymour
Snare Drum – Fred Miller
Bass Drum – Ed Fox
Oakwood Chapter, #812 Order of the Eastern Star
Charter members of the Oakwood Chapter #812, Order of the Eastern Star in 1919 were: Neil Oakwood, Z. S. Saylor, Mae Redman, Mary Carnagey, Nellie Fox, Stella Oakwood, Laura Stanner, Berta V. Sailor, Martha Davidson, Nellie Williams, Millie Williams, Ruth Meade, Hazel Meiseger, Ida Meade, Alice Snider, Emma Mason, Nannie Joiner, Mary Barkman, Mildradie Frances, Alice Hillman, Mary Illk, Stella Johnston, Fannie Parnell, and Thomas Sailor.
On November 7, 1975, Oakwood Chapter #812 merged with #307 Iris Chapter in Danville, Illinois.
They call themselves the 76ers not in honor of American History, but to signify and represent an entire school district.
The 76ers Jacees were chartered in May 1980. The chapter consisted of about 35 members drawn from the Unit 76 school district. Their goal was to draw the community closer together and work as one.
The 76ers sponsored many activities including a softball tournament to furnish uniforms, build dugouts and concession stand for Newtown little League. They built bleachers for Muncie Fithian girls softball team, placed coin cards in businesses throughout the county for the March of Dimes, held fund raisers for the Oakwood Park, assisted with youth football and sponsored the annual commode races with the funds going to MD.
The Commode Race originated by Lewis Johnson and Gene Megenhardt was the most unique of all. It was designed not only to raise money for MD but to gain community involvement and interest.
The first Commode Race was held on October 11, 1980 and had only 5 entries but as the years went by the entries increased. The race drew people from all over the united states and won districts and nation awards for the Jaycees.
The commode set on a 4 x 2 ½ feet platform with wheels. They were pushed for one block down Oakwood Street south of the tracks by a 5 man team and 1 ride weighing 200 pounds. The first race was won by a team from Rossville and was clocked at 15.5 mph The second year (1981) there were 12 racers with teams coming from as far away as Florida. The winner that year was the 76ers Super Pooper clocking at 16.5 mph.
The races continued for another 3 years increasing in number of entries and enthusiastic onlookers.
Along with the yearly event held in Oakwood, the Super Pooper traveled. Jaycee members would collect pledges of money per mile and push the commode down US 150 to the WCIA Channel 3 Studio raising $900 for Muscular Distrophy.
The 76ers Jaycees along with their Auxiliary the 76ers Jaycees continued until 1985 when both chapters were dissolved.
FIRE DEPARTMENT HISTORY
OAKWOOD FIRE AUXILIARY
Some of our former Fire Chiefs of the Fire Department have been the late Robert Andrews, Truman Chew, Joe Fourez, Larry Fourez, and Ray Thompson.
We wish to pay tribute to the Oakwood Volunteer Fire Department, which was founded approximately 1902, equipped with a hand pulled chemical engine. At that time when chemical Legion Hall & Phone Co. – Later became Post Office. Later still Fire Department. pressure was used up, a 100 gallon water tank complete with buckets was kept handy. In 1947 a $2,500 Jeep pumper was purchased to protect a population of 500. In 1962 a gasoline truck was converted into a fire truck and later still the Volunteers wore protective fire clothing. New equipment and Improvements have been made steadily over the years and the Volunteers now acquire Civil Defense Firemen’s Training. Periodically these courses are in session to keep Firemen trained in the latest scientific firefighting procedures. Also, representatives of the Force go to the U. di. Fire college. Through considerable work of the Department Volunteers and Auxiliary Members, as well as liberal donations from townspeople, a Ford chassis was purchased in 1973. The Town Board put on the body and equipment bringing the total cost of the unit to $28,000 and it serves a community of 1,650 people.
OAKWOOD EMERGENCY Rescue Services
After the funeral home stopped running the ambulance, Terry Hume ran his own for 7 years using his own station wagon as an ambulance under E.S. D. A. He paid all the expenses out of pocket for gas, oil, and using volunteer help to man it.
On February 19, 1979, the village board of Oakwood, approved an ambulance service for the Village of Oakwood. The date of establishment of the Oakwood Emergency Rescue Service was in March of 1979. The first coordinator and the driving force behind the unit was Terry Hume.
They were soon the recipient of an ambulance donated to them by the Village of Tilton. Around July 1979 the Village Board provided the funds to purchase another ambulance, a 1974 van for the amount of $3,500. Included in this, they also set a total of $8,500 for the equipping of the ambulance. By July of 1979, the van and equipment had been purchased, and an open house was held in August to show off the new ambulance.
By this time (August the unit had 22 members to answer calls. All were in various levels of training hoping to reach the level of EMT A (Basic Life Support) The donated vehicle and the van were housed in a garage on the corner of Oakwood Streets and Route 150 at the resident office of Dr. Sooley. When the van was purchased. The garage door was too low and had to be raised. This was done by the members with donated materials.
Through the following years, the unit had upgraded all personnel, most reaching the EMT=A level. This being an all volunteer service, the turnover of personnel was the main problem. Just when they would think that they had the personnel, someone would move or get “burned out” and new personnel had to be recruited. Terry Hume had put many hours and personal money into getting the unit working and getting response time to a level of competence.
All went well until 1985. At that time there was a problem of ideas between the Village Board and Mr. Hume. Because of this Terry Hume resigned as coordinator November 1, 1985. By this time the unit was making approximately 250-280 runs a year. The unit by this time had become totally self supporting not needing any tax money from the village.
After the resignation of Mr. Hume, the village appointed Mike Moody as the coordinator. As with any change over of this type, personnel problems were in the forefront. Some people quit the service, but others joined, necessitating more training. Mr. Moody held this position until December 1988 at which time he reseigned. During this time Dr. Sooley moved and the village had to find a new place to store the ambulances. It was decided that the Rescue Service needed a building of their own. The village donated the property and a 30’ by 30’ building was erected at the entrance to the trailer park. An office area of about 12’ by 30 ‘ was added.
In December of 1988 Jane Drent was appointed coordinator by the village board. She held this position until 1991. During her tenure, more personnel was added, but some left as usual. Training was constantly being upgraded. The state constantly revises what the training for EMT’s must be. In this period of time, the calls were coming in at about 15 to 20 a month. The unit is also at all football games played by the High School and Little League. They also have a unit at the races at the County Fairgrounds on SUnday evenings during the summer and any foot races at Kickapoo State Park.
In 1991 Larry Davis was appointed coordinator of the unit. A new box type amulance was purchased for $69,000. This gives more room to work inside with patients. The level of service progressed from EMTA to EMT ID (Intermediate Life Support – one step under Paramedic) With this training the unit has the capabilities of starting IV’s to better stabilize the patient, use a defibrillator to monitor the patient and even shock a patients heart back in sequence or start it again. Again the state is constantly upgrading what a unit can do and more training is necessary.
Although the unit has saved many lives the level of training they have now gives them a better chance for survival of the patient. Again personnel seems to be the problem. Not everyone is suited for this type of work. It takes a special type of person to donate their time, leave family meals, outings, and friends when a call goes out. When a page is put out the personnel on call have three minutes to respond before a second page is sent. Because of the dedication of the people involved, very few second pages have been heard. This puts a load on the personnel of the unit. In January of 1994, the village board decided to reimburse the members for calls made. This was to help them pay for the gas for their vehicles to come to the garage for calls and to their training classes. This has been paid for by the members themselves in the past. An I on the transport call gets $7, an A gets $5 and a First Reponder or trainee gets $3. Not very much when you consider what they accompolish. The year of 1994 was a banner year as far as calls were concerned. They had 372 transports, just over once a day and had over 500 total. The 500 includes pages where they were called off before they got to the scene, refusals after they get there and football games, races, etc…
The unit is a volunteer unit and self supporting. This means that there is no tax money involved with its running. The volunteers have their trianing paid for by the village from the money they collect for the runs. The new ambulance was also paid for this way.
In October of 1994, an addition was started to the ambulance building. This is 30’ by 50’ addition and will have two bedrooms and bathrooms with showers. ONe for the men and one for the women. This leaves a training area of about 30’ by 30’ Before when they had their training sessions, the ambulance had to be moved out of the stalls, and the floors swept and mopped to get a clean enough area to train in. The personnel of the unit has approximately half the members who live outside the area. When they were on call, they had to spend the time at the garage. Some would sign up for the all night runs, and some work 3rd shift and would sign up for daytime runs. They were sleeping on the couches in the office, which doesn’t give much rest, then try to go back to work after sleeping on the couch with no place to clean up. Many times after a run, the members would come back to the garage dirty, (mud and blood on them), then have to get in their cars to go home to clean up. With the new showers they will be able to clean up before going to their home or work.
This new building was put up at a most reasonable cost. The main reason being the volunteer help of the local unions in the area. They furnished the manpower and the village, with the money made on runs, furnished the materials.
Although the unit has been around for about 16 years, the members feel that this is only the beginning. There is more and better things to look forward to.
OAKWOOD TOWNSHIP LIBRARY DISTRICT
The Oakwood Township Library District was newly created in August of 1986 to fulfill a need in the Township of Oakwood, Vermilion County, Illinois. With a library at Oakwood and a reading room at Fithian Community Center the District is served by a Librarian and an assistant Librarian selected through advertisement and interview processes by a committee of citizens under the direction and funding by a grant from the Lincoln Trail Libraries System of Champaign, Illinois. A referendum to establish a library The Oakwood to be funded from Real Estate tax monies brick building was held April 7, 1987 in Oakwood past as a bank. Township and passed by a three to one margin. Township Library is housed in a four which has served the community in the past and village hail
The original committee was appointed the first Board of Directors June 9, 1987 by the Vermilion
County Board. They were Mary Beth Cannon, Gordon Dillow, Harlan Johnson, Barbara Livingston, Gary Ludwig, Harrison Rogers and Donna Sharpf. Elizabeth Fisher-Smith served as the first serving as volunteers. librarian and Gayle Loschen became the assistant librarian with many persons of the communities The library has been changed to Oakwood Public Library District.
OAKWOOD POST OFFICE
VERMILION COUNTY, ILLINOIS
|POSTMASTERSWilliam H. JohnsHenry DuliniDulenGeorge W. ApplegateHenry Dulin/DulenJohn H. YoungJohn W. SaylorJohn H. YoungZarah S. SaylorJesse LeakaCharles C. YoungJ. Smith MasonRuth MeadeJames H. CawthonMiss Estella RhodesHaven C. OakwoodRobert F. BakerRobert F. BakerWinnifred QuickLinda D. VanAllenKathy G. HunterNancy E. Jennings
|DATE APPOINTEDPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterPostmasterActing PostmasterActing PostmasterPostmasterOfficer-In-ChargePostmasterOfficer-In-ChargePostmaster
- Named changed by marriage to Mrs. Estelle R. Chesnut,
May 31, 1958.
No history would be complete without the telling of some of the pranks and jokes that people pull on each other. Following are a few of those:
It seems one night in the early 1920’s some young men “borrowed” a belt from one of the mines and then “rustled” Ed Brother’s cow. They made a sling from the belt and hoisted the cow to the top of the restaurant. A fence was built around the cow and she stayed up there all day. (Roofs must have been much stronger then) Local citizens had no idea what to do with the cow. That night the young men returned and took the cow down and removed the fence.
Another time a group disassembled a wagon and carried it to the top of that restaurant (which was the Blue Room by now) and reassembled it.
At Halloween time around 1940 some rowdies were upsetting outhouses in the village. They had already upset the Rev. Leroy Cunningham’s twice. He suspected they would be back, so he righted the toilet about three feet further back than normal and covered the hole just enough so that it wouldn’t be noticed. The next morning he noticed evidence that they had been there. Needless to say, the outhouse gang stopped their dirty deeds.
The Oakwood American Legion Vincent Hayes Post 619
HAYES POST 610
NEW OAK UNIT VERMILION COUNTY ILLINOIS HOMEMAKERS
One of the first 4-H clubs in the Oakwood and Newtown areas was organized by Mrs. H. A. (Etna) Anderson in 1932. In March 1934 a Home Bureau unit organized and met at the home of Mrs. Ralph (Cecil Glenn) Culp. Since the group of women were both from Newtown and Oakwood, the name of the New Oak was readily accepted. some of the original group were: Mrs. Culp, Mrs. E. F. Joiner, Mrs. H. A. Anderson, Mrs. Mont Fox, Mrs. Orville Albert, and Mrs. Fred Chitwood. In 1836 Roy Green painted a sign for the back of his car, “From Vermilion County Illinois” drove his wife Della, Mrs. Edna Jenkins, Mrs. Bess Kirby, and Mrs. Freeman Cronk to Washington, D. C. for the meeting of the ‘Associated Country Women of the World’ hosted by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt on the White House lawn.
One of the members, Ruby Fourez of Oakwood joined 4-H when she was ten years old, showing livestock and Home Economics at the fair until she was 16 years old. She joined Home Bureau in 1928 , dropping out for a few years to raise a family, and rejoined November 17, 1947. She was recognized in 1994 for 47 years of perfect attendance. She was a 4-H leader for 24 years.Today, the New Oak Unit’s thirteen members meet monthly on the second Wednesday at theOakwood christian Church in Oakwood. Lessons have continuously changed to meet the current challenging demands on the individual and family. New members are welcome.
OAKWOOD YOUTH FOOTBALL
The Oakwood Youth football Organization was started in 1971 due to a change of boundary rules for admitting players from the Oakwood area into the Danville League. Robert Vinson Sr., Joseph Tharp, and H. “Fuzz’ Hadden organized the Oakwood team and joined the Danville Youth Football League for play starting in September 1971. Kenneth “Bud” Seymour allowed the use of eight acres in his front yard along Route 150 to become the playing fields, practice fields, and parking lot for Oakwood. He said, “I tried to grow corn and tried to grow beans and I even tried to grow weeds but nothing seemed to do well, so I tried to grow a little character.” And that he did! The organization later moved to the Oakwood Park and has been operating there for the last few years. The organization dropped from the Danville League after 1975 and together with Catlin, Bismarck, and Georgetown founded the Vermilion County League. Later the addition of Westville, St. Joseph-Ogden, Ellsworth (Tilton), and Hoopeston caused the league to become the Illini Central youth Football League. It presently plays a seven game schedule and a four team tournament in each division at the end of the seasons for the teams in the top half of the standings. There are four teams fielded by each franchise, The Peanuts, age 6 & 7, 75 pounds or less; Freshman ages 8 & 9, 90 pounds of less; Junior Varsity, ages 10 & 11, 115 pounds or less, and the Varsity, ages 12 & 13, 140 pounds or less. There is a full compliment of cheerleaders and Pom-Pon teams with their age standards but no weight limits. An awards ceremony is held at the end of each season to present individual participation awards to every player and cheerleader. The “Seymour Award” is given yearly in honor of “Bud” Seymour to a player on each team that most typifies the kind of player the coaches deem to be the most coachable. The “Vinson Award” is given yearly in honor of Bob Vinson, Sr. to an adult that has greatly contributed to the successful operation of the organization. The “Doug Hadden Award” is given in memory of Doug Hadden to the franchise in the league that accumulates the most wins during the season by their four teams.