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Letters to the Editor

Host families and others are thanked for contribution

Dear Editor,

The Fields Project, Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and its subcommittees (CAL and Mix-It-Up) wish to thank out farm host families; Erin Folk, CPRP, assistant executive director of the Oregon Park District; the Oregon Park District Board; Andy Egyed of the Oregon Park District; Marsha Zaccone, director of the Oregon Public Library; Beth Simeone, an Eagles Nest Art Group historian; the editors of our local newspapers; and the City of Oregon.

We thank them for their cooperation, contributions, and commitment to help promote the goals of the Fields Project, Inc., namely to promote educational programs and projects
which blend the agricultural resources of the area with the arts as a means of promoting Ogle County as a center for practicing artists and those with an appreciation of the arts and agriculture.

The Fields Project, Inc. in completing its 14th year, continues to work to perpetuate the artistic heritage of Lorado Taft’s Eagle’s Nest Art Colony.

Artists from across our country and beyond are invited to come to live and be involved with area host farm families for a nine-day period culminating in an Art Festival relocated to the beautiful Oregon Park West location.

The all-volunteer committee appreciates the expanded media coverage, help from non-committee members, and the community’s reception. Without the help of these groups and individuals working with the Fields Project, Inc. committee, we would find it difficult to achieve our goals.

You are encouraged to view our website for more about us,, describing Plein Aire artwork, the CAL program, Mix-It-Up, and other events.

Joseph S. Popp


Joanne Juriga

Vice Chairman

Fields Project, Inc. 2011-12

Conover Square Association thanks all who helped with book sale

Dear Editor,

The Conover Square Association would like to thank all who volunteered or participated in any way with the book sale that took place at Conover Square Mall.

All proceeds, a total of $586.88, have been donated to the Friends of the Oregon Library.

What Friends Are For: The Friends of the Oregon Public Library District is a volunteer, non-profit organization.

Through free public programs, fundraising and volunteer work, these Friends make a real difference in our community!

The Friends meet quarterly to plan activities to benefit the library and enjoy the company of other library enthusiasts.

Two annual fundraisers, a book sale during Autumn on Parade and a Holiday Cookie Sale, allow the group to purchase items for the library; and to sponsor local authors, lecture series and other educational and recreational programs for all ages at the library.

Because of the generous donations of books, we had many left after the sale.

So, it was decided to keep the doors open and continue to sell books for $1 a bag.

It was a great deal for book lovers and for the Friends of the Oregon Library.

Special thanks go out to Sue Engelkes, Lou VanderWyst, Laurie Behan, and many more. Thank you.

Kim Boyden

Conover Square Association

Liked "Century of Farming" section

Dear Editor,

I very much enjoyed the section of the Oregon Republican Reporter titled "Century of Farming." It would be great to see a series on these places.

If we take just a moment to reflect on the families who settled our county, and then offer a word of thanks for their courage and fortitude, it brings us a unique perspective.

I particularly enjoyed the section regarding the Hardesty family. You see I remember my great-grandfather on both sides of my family.

I also had the unique good fortune to spend a great deal of time with my grandparents Kate and Fred Hardesty.

Kate Hardesty was the daughter of Archibald Campbell of Chana (her brother was the father of the late Peg Fridley - my favorite cousin).

My Grandpa Fred hoed corn to get a little money to take Kate on a date before their marriage. She was worth it! Yes, she taught me to "drive" also.

The article discussed Mike and John Hardesty, the sons of Mary Louise and Robert Hardesty. Yes, I knew they were the sons...and Robert was the son of Kate and Fred.

There is one other that I would like to mention...that was my mother, Phyllis Hardesty. She was the daughter of Kate and Fred and the sister of Robert, and the aunt of Mike and John. Seldom is she mentioned in family history. It's usually about the sons.

My mother married my father, Clifford Chaffee, who was a Chicago pipefitter and travelled the country following the work back in 1937.

I remember one time my mom Kate and Fred from Texas where my father was working. She put me on the phone to talk with Grandma Katie and guess what! I talked with a Texas twang. My grandma told my mom to get on a train and bring me back to Ogle County so I would learn to talk "right."

That is exactly what happened. Sometimes though I still talk "funny."

This series is great and I enjoy our history and heritage very much. Just wanted to give my mom her part of the story. She was living in Arizona when she died of ovarian cancer.

My sister, Susan, married a Texan, had two great kids, and died early of MS. I am auntie to her children, Mary and Joey and am very proud of both of them.

Yes, we are all part of our Hardesty heritage. Sometimes sons are the focus and the daughters are left in the background. My mom shall never be forgotten! And now you know the rest of the story!

I highly recommend you stop at the library and pick up a copy of the "Story of Oregon." It is well worth the read. I am very proud of being involved in the publishing of that book.

Lynne Kilker


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