Rodney Hansen `52, entered the 1966 plowing contest probably just because he lived near the local level contest site and had time during the half time of a football game he was watching to go register as a contestant. And this was after the promoters of the local match had called him.
So, the next day he took the ol' plow (an IH 4-14) out of the shed and fired up the Farmall 656 gas burning tractor and the rest is history----After he won the local level contest, he won the state contest, and then he won the national "big plow" level land division of the National Plowing Match of 1966. This was the first time the "big plow" catagory had been held.
The Iowa (State) and National contests were held on 8 and 9 Sept 1966 at the 1100 acre AgriRama site east of Jefferson Iowa. One had to win at the state level to compete at the National level. There was no international competition in 1966.
Rodney and his family lived near Prole, Iowa at the time.
Eugene Thornton lived with the Curtis family south of Milford School. His Dad was a doctor in Waterloo but Eugene lived with his uncle in Milford Twp while he was in high school. He graduated in the same class as his cousin, Genevieve Curtis, in 1930.
Eugene was best remembered by the folks of Milford Township for his talent in theatrical productions; in his Junior class play, "Who wouldn't be Crazy", he played the part of `Pluribus' a colored man. Also, when he served as a lawyer in several mock trials in the government class he won all his cases; ------but perhaps most notable, he was a Milford cheerleader! He also lettered in basketball in 1929! It seems as though Judge Thornton got a very good start at good ol' Milford "University" in the world of drama that might naturally lead him into the theatrics of the courtroom.
Eugene's son, John, was a Judge in East Central Iowa.
During Eugene's Junior year at Milford there was a commercial law class taught by Mr. Corder and for a field trip they attended a trial in Nevada. This would have been a great insight into the world of "law" for the person who might develop an interest in that profession.