Local farm family continues ag heritage with participation at fair
Love of the land and appreciation for agriculture runs deep in many farm families of Union County.
Families with names Kimmel, Eddleman, Jones, Hileman, Miller, Knupp, Powell, Boyd, Johnson, Craver, Hess, Hartline, Plott, Corzine, Howell, Benson, Ford and Littleton were early settlers who helped to tame this wild country.
Along with others, they prepared the way for descendants to prosper in Union County some 200 years later.
During the 2018 Union County Fair in Anna, which was held Aug. 17-26, Sarah Hileman Song, whose ancestry includes all of those named as early Union County pioneers, overcame numerous obstacles and traveled many miles to attend and participate in the annual Union County agriculture showcase.
Her families have boasted for generations about how they “laid by the melons,” “packed a picnic,” “hitched up the teams” and “went to the fair.”
Sarah Hileman was a 4-H and Union County junior show participant in the 1980s and 1990s and is pleased to return as an adult competitor.
Along with her parents, Doug and Beth Hileman, she showed her horse at halter and competed in the driving classes.
In this Illinois bicentennial year, the Hileman family enjoyed portraying life of an earlier time with their horses, equipment and pageantry.
“There was more participation in these classes this year than in 2017, and we hope there will be even more participants next year,” Doug Hileman said.
Hileman-Song lives in Fort Worth, Texas. The Songs (Matthew, Sarah and their children Joshua, Abigail and Gideon Boyd) have a small farm, where they raise chickens and a lamb. The lamb accompanied them to Illinois but did not get to the fair.
Doug and Beth Hileman trace their ancestry back to the early 1800s.
Their families had established farms in the Jonesboro, Union County, community even before 1818.
As youngsters, they participated in 4-H and Union County Fair junior show in the 1970s.
Thirty years ago they stood in almost this same location as Union County 4-H king and 4-H queen to help dedicate a flag and standard in front of the grandstand.
True to the heritage of their farm families, they continue to live on and love the land. They are eighth and seventh generation farmers in their community.
They proudly showed their horses and participated in the 2018 Union County Fair horse show.
(Editor’s note: the accompanying article and pictures were shared by Barbara Boyd Bauer, who also is descended from the pioneer farm families who were mentioned in the article.)