A Greenville woman who influenced the role of women in local business in the 1980s is this year’s Gerald Turley Memorial Award winner. Cathie Wiedenhoeft will receive the honor later this spring during a ceremony hosted by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. Cathie and her husband, Bob, owned the Coast to Coast Hardware store in Greenville for 18 years.

The Wiedenhoefts came to Greenville in 1980 and quickly became involved in the community. Remembering their arrival, Cathie said, “Even though we were outsiders, I found Greenville to be a very accepting community.” Cathie joined forces with three other local businesswomen who spearheaded the Greenville Business and Professional Association (GBPA), which spawned a Main Street revitalization of downtown. 

The GBPA sponsored a number of downtown events with Dairy Day being Wiedenhoeft’s project and “most cherished accomplishment.” She saw this festival, held on the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend, as a way to show appreciation for the local agricultural community. Wiedenhoeft looks back with pride on the memories made at Dairy Day.

“Grandparents could tell their grandchildren how things were back on the farm. We had Greenville College students who had no idea how big a cow was. And a Show Me St. Louis television personality who had no idea where butter came from.”

This year’s Turley Award recipient has also served on the Chamber of Commerce board, Bond County Senior Center board, the Pierian Club, and the Greenville Women’s Club from 1981 to 2011. She’s been on the Greenville Tourism Board for over 15 years; many of those as the chairperson.

On her role as a woman in business, Wiedenhoeft reflected, “At that time, women were not at the same point as they are now in equality. The Chamber of Commerce and Commercial Club were all men. Through the 1980s and 1990s, as a businesswoman, it never occurred to me there were things I couldn’t do. But I never felt any negative feedback. I felt accepted and respected.” For the past 16 years, she has worked at NACO Printing.

The recipient of the Gerald Turley Memorial Award is selected by a special committee of the Chamber of Commerce. Created in 1994 to honor a Greenville citizen who has demonstrated personal sacrifice, involvement, innovation, and community leadership to promote the success of Greenville, the award was named for Gerald Turley, a former mayor. Last year’s recipient was Frank Joy. For more information about the Gerald Turley Memorial Award, contact the Greenville Chamber of Commerce at 664-9272.

Photo courtesy of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce



The Bond County Independence Day Festival Association continues their efforts to bring back a Fourth of July fireworks celebration to Greenville. Following their monthly meeting Tuesday night, Association President Scott Crothers gave WGEL an update on their progress.

“We’re making very good progress towards having our Fourth Fest out at Patriot’s Park this year. We’re finalizing our plans for the band and for the various other amusements we’re going to have in place. We have a lot of great food vendors lined up. It looks like it’s going to be a great night for everybody.”

For more information on the Bond County Independence Day Festival Association or their upcoming “Fourth Fest”, call 664-9272 or find them on Facebook.



A Pocahontas native who was a Sherman tank driver in World War II is the subject of a new book written by his grandson. Louch, written by Lou Baczewski, tells the story of his grandfather and namesake - from his days fishing in Shoal Creek to serving at the Battle of the Bulge. Sgt. Louis J. Baczewski, or “Louch” as he was known, grew up in Pocahontas during the Depression. Shoal Creek is referred to by the author as “the axis of this story.” The book intersperses Baczewski’s war exploits with tales of growing up in Pocahontas. Many local names appear in the book.

The Bond County Historical Society is hosting a free program with the author on Sunday, April 6 at 3:00 p.m. at the Bradford Community Room. Books will be available that day or may be purchased in advance by contacting Lester Harnetiaux at 664-4232. The book is $18 with $2 from each sale going to veteran causes. The author will be signing books at the conclusion of the program.



Greenville College is set to host its first home track meet in 19 years on Saturday, April 5th. GC’s new Athletic Director, Kent Krober, told WGEL the college’s eight-lane, NCAA-approved track is ready for a big event.

“We have ten colleges and universities coming to campus,” said Krober, “to the John Strahl Athletic Complex for an amazing day of track and field. Five of the 10 teams are ranked nationally with their track programs. We have several athletes who could set some national records. Our track is fast and they’re that good. So I would love to have the people of Greenville and Bond County come out and take in quite a spectacle. There’ll be over 400 athletes in that afternoon out at our Greenville College Track and Field area.”

GC’s John Strahl Athletic Complex is located on Elm Street, south of Harris Avenue.


The American Farm Heritage Museum’s annual banquet drew a big crowd last weekend for entertainment from Greenville College’s Larry Sayler. 

Sayler demonstrated skills he learned while a student at the Ringling Brothers Clown College in the 1970’s. Sayler’s finale included death-defying fire juggling. Virgil Streeter conducted the charity auction. Museum founder Ollie Schaefer told WGEL the banquet was a very successful event for the museum, located just south of Greenville.



There are several meetings scheduled in the area today...

The Campground Cemetery Association annual meeting is today at 1:15 p.m., in the Bradford Room.

The Mulberry Grove Board of Education scheduled a special meeting with a public hearing to consider health life safety amendments. The public hearing is today at 5:00 p.m. in the district library. For more information, call 326-8812.

The City of Greenville Tourism Committee will meet today at 5:15 p.m. in the municipal building. Agenda items include a report on fireworks, a report on Hill’s Fort Anniversary event, a report on the Greenville Bicentennial, a request from the Bond County Historical Society Quilt Show, and the tourism budget.


William C. Lurkins

William C. Lurkins, age 88 of south of Greenville, passed away Tuesday, March 25 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri. Funeral services will be Saturday, March 29 at 11:00 a.m. at the Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville. Burial will be in Mt. Auburn Cemetery with full military honors. Friends may call Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to Greenville First Christian Church.

William Clyde Lurkins, the son of Fred Lurkins and Matilda Louise Wernle Lurkins, was born on August 19, 1925 on the Lurkins farm in Pleasant  Mound Township. He was raised there and attended Fuller one room school and graduated from Greenville High School in 1944. Bill answered his country's call by joining the United States navy on March 1, 1944 in Chicago, raising to the rank of Aviation Machinist's Mate Third Class SV-6 serving in Chicago, Farragut, Idaho, Shoemaker, California and was a member of the Air Transport Squadron Three. Bill was honorably discharged on June 3, 1946. He was awarded the American Area Medal and the Victory Medal. Bill returned to Bond County where he worked for Farm Service in Charleston until 1949. Bill and Georgia returned to Bond County where they farmed south of Greenville purchasing their farm in 1959. Bill farmed Dairy and grain until 1974. Bill then worked as a welder for American Steel for 11 years, was an engineer for the Zeller Mental Health Center in Peoria for 11 years then helped Roy and Ron Tischhauser on the farm for another 13 years. Bill enjoyed traveling, was an avid Cardinal Fan, enjoyed quail and pheasant hunting with his friend George Pierson, and enjoyed his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Bill and Georgia Lee Cripe were united in marriage on February 21, 1947 in Greenville and have enjoyed over 67 years together. Georgia survives as do six of their seven children: Carol (Larry) Boatright of Carlyle, Janis Lurkins of Greenville, Dale (Deb) Lurkins of Carlyle, Gary (June) Lurkins of Mulberry Grove, Carl (Terri) Lurkins of Greenville, Thomas (Rhonda) Lurkins of Centralia, daughter in Law Juli Lurkins of Greenville, 12 grandchildren:Stacy (Mike) English, Teena Stewart, Chris Lurkins, Neil (Mindy) Boatright, twins Michelle (Todd) Reinacher,and  Heather (Trevor) Heinkhaus, Jill (Brandon) Tally, Justin Lurkins, Shawn Lurkins, Hunter Lurkins, Alyssa Lurking, Sophia, Lurkins, 13 great-grandchildren: Chelsie, Zachary, Carissa, Caden, Kaleb, Andrew, Teyton, Kaitlyn, Madeline, Jayden, Tenley, Emma, Maizee, one step granddaughter Nnichole Koonce, and two step great-grandchildren Colton and Ava.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents and son Gale Melvin Lurkins who died on June 29, 2011, and is the last of his generation of 7 Lurkins children being preceded in death by Mildred Schewe, Myrtle Roe, Harold "BUB"Lurkins, Julius Lurkins, Darrell Lurkins, and Samuel Lurkins in infancy. .

Bill is a member of the Amvet Post 140 of Greenville, American Legion Post 1994 of Keyesport, and the Greenville First Christian Church.

Karen Frances Turner

Karen Frances Turner, age 71 of Greenville, passed away Monday, March 24 at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. Memorial services will be Thursday, April 3 at 11:00 a.m. at Perfetti Funeral Home in Sorento. Burial will be in Reno Bethel Cemetery. Friends may call Thursday, April 3 from 10:00 a.m. until service time at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the family.

Betty J. Winkeler

Betty J. Winkeler, age 81 of Carlyle, passed away Wednesday, March 26 at her residence. Funeral services are pending at the Zieren Day Funeral Home in Carlyle.

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