BLOOMINGTON — Two Pantagraph-area families have been honored by the Illinois 4-H community.
At age 98, Cathryn Frisby of Avoca was selected as the Class of 2019 inductee into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame, participating in the Illinois 4-H Foundation celebration at this year’s Illinois State Fair in Springfield. She was presented with a medallion during the program at the Orr Building.
In addition, the descendants of Peter and Anna Mohr of McLean County were honored as the Illinois 4-H Foundation Family Spirit winners.
“Four-H has been a part of Cathryn Frisby’s life for over 90 years. In 1929 at age 8, she joined the 4-H club in the rural Livingston County community of Avoca. Through the organization, she gained much more than learning about sewing, darning and cooking,” the Livingston County Extension office said in its nomination.
Frisby and several other local teens loved their 4-H experience so much that they continued to meet as part of a Rural Youth program. Once the members started getting married, they formed the Country Couples. The group created and operated a food stand at the county fair, donating the proceeds to the local 4-H program.
Decades later, the Country Couples continue to meet regularly, participating in educational programming. Frisby and her late husband, George, had three daughters, all of whom continued the 4-H tradition.
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Frisby was a teacher in Fairbury for many years, then started a program for children with special needs in Peoria before returning to the area.
After staying home for 13 years to raise a family, Frisby taught at Fairbury’s Westview Elementary School, currently Prairie Central Elementary, until retirement.
Peter Mohr came to America from Germany in 1857 and married Anna. Their children, Jacob, Anna, Emmanuel, Maggie, William, Iva, and Elmer, were raised in McLean County.
Jacob’s daughters, Laura and May Mohr, born in 1896 and 1906 respectively, led the Silver Leaf Let’s Go Girls 4-H Club for 40 years. Jacob’s daughter-in-law, Alyce Mohr, led a club for 15 years.
In total, 75 family members are affiliated with 4-H. Combined, they share 530 years of membership, 303 years of club leadership, and 368 years of volunteer service to 4-H.