Founded as International Corn Husking Hooks and Pegs Collectors Association in 1981
At Argyle State Park, Colchester, Illinois
Corn Items Collectors Association, Inc. History
By: E. Eloise Alton
The Club was founded in September of 1981 at Argyle State Park, Colchester, Illinois by Val Ferrin, Boots Sears, Brian Cooper and Gary Kupferschmid with Val being the first President. Val wrote the first newsletter until Millie Byrne became the first newsletter editor. The name of the organization was International Com Husking Hooks and Pegs Collectors Association.
Val Ferrin was elected President; Gary Kupferschmid, Vice President, and Wilard "Boots" Sears was Secretary Treasurer. By 1982 there were 16 Charter Members. There are only 5 of the original members still members. The Charter Members were: Millie Byrne, Earl Drehrnel, William Grapes, Kewanee Historical Society lnc., Edward Koehler, Jim Moffet, Everett Montgomery, Howard A. Nelson, Lawrence Schafer, Don Taylor, Kenneth C. Teachout, and Terry's Specialties.
The Club grew to 86 members by 1985 and the name was changed to Com Items Collectors Association at the September 1986 meeting in Argyle State Park.
Eloise Alton was appointed newsletter editor January 1986 and she edited and published the newsletter for the next 13 years at which time Bob Chamberlain and wife Carolyn graciously accepted the editorship of the news1etter.By January 1986 the club had grown to 93 members.
The club was incorporated in Illinois September 3, 1988. At that time By-Laws were written and approved and the Club was granted tax-free status by the Internal Revenue Service September 1, 1989.
The Club continued to grow to 106 members in 1989; 124 members in 1980; 163 members in 1989; 124 members in 1990; 163 members in 1991; 2;55 members in 1992; 262 members in 1993; 373 members in 1994; 283 members in 1995; 306 members in 1996; 355 members in 1997; 344 members in 1998; 344 members in 1999; 320 members in 2000; 214 members in 2001; 171 members in 2002; 175 members in 2003; 176 members in 2004; 202 members in 2005; 169 members in 2006. These numbers varied during the year due to new members joining the Club.
The following presidents and years served were; Val Ferrin — 1981-1985; Bill Vesper - 1986 — 1987.; Val Ferrin — 1988 to 1989; Tom Junkins — 1990 -1991 (Deceased January 1991); Curt Norskog — 1991-1994; Lloyd Mitchell — 1995-1998; Ron Dillavou 1999 - -2001; Kevin Wake — 2002 — 2005 Richard Raber - 2006 to present.
A contest was held in 1990 to name the Newsletter. The entry that won was submitted by Tom Junkins and the Newsletter became "The Bang Board”. Tom drew the masthead for the Bang Board featuring a wagon with a bang board in a field of corn. This masthead was used until 2000 at which time it changed.
The Club displayed in several states usually in connection with another organization but occasionally on their own. However the "founders show" was always held Labor Day Weekend in Argyle State Park at which time election of officers was held every two years. At least four of these shows were designated as a regular meeting and meetings were held at which time any additions/changes were made. All other displays by members were designated as Mini-meets.
The Club has always been well received and enjoyed by members as well as visitors. Many displays showed the variety of collections each member had collected. There were many unusual and hard to find items displayed making this a learning process for all members. The Club even displayed at the Farm Progress Show held in Dalton City, Illinois under the sponsorship of GSI Bins of Assumption, Illinois.
The Silver Anniversary (25 years) was celebrated at Argyle State Park where the Club was started. It is hoped that the tradition of great displays will continue for another 25 years and a Golden Anniversary can be celebrated. Not many clubs ever reach this goal.