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Roy M. Emory Family

2010, Family Spirit Award

Roy M. Emory Family

Although Roy M. Emory was not able to participate in 4-H as a youth, he began the first 4-H club, the Prairie City Livewires, in Prairie City township, McDonough County, in 1932. All four of Roy’s children and 19 nieces and nephews were members of the Prairie City Livewires.

Roy’s family followed his example of great dedication to 4-H. Collectively, the Roy M. Emory family has forty-six individuals who have been 4-H members, leaders, or volunteers. The family has amassed 257 years of 4-H club membership and seventy-two years of serving as club leaders. The Emory family has also been highly involved in 4-H on the state and national levels with two family members attending National 4-H Club Congress, four family members participating in the various State Judging Teams and one member attending National 4-H Leadership Conference. Currently, there are five generations of 4-Hers from the Emory family.

Today, the third and fourth generation family members are living in nine states and are pursuing many different careers. They are nurses, teachers, secretaries, farmers, a carpenter, a fireman, armed service members, a doctor, stay-at-home moms, etc. Their 4-H experiences of giving talks and demonstrations, holding offices, being junior leaders, and completing a variety of projects and activities, is helping them achieve success in their careers and communities and in raising their families.

Many family members have fond memories and benefitted from attending 4-H Camp. In appreciation for those camping opportunities, the Rex Emory family donated $15,000 in 2002 for the restoration of a cabin at the 4-H Memorial Camp at Monticello.

The late Rex Emory wrote in his 1944 Outstanding Member Application, “It has been my aim during my eleven years as a 4-H club member to prepare myself for the future by completing 51 projects, interacting with other 4-H members throughout the nation, and taking responsibility in leadership whenever possible. I feel that 4-H has developed within me a greater sense of responsibility, learning, leadership, and confidence in myself.”

Dorothy Giese Emory, a 2008 Illinois Hall of Fame inductee, commented that the work to compile the Emory Family 4-H story “has been an interesting project and it has brought back many special memories of our involvement in 4-H”. The family states, “4-H has played an important role in developing this extended family into the community leaders and productive citizens we are today”.

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