photo of family spirit winners
2019 Family Spirit Award

In the earliest beginnings of 4-H, the children of Peter and Anna Mohr were leading generations of youth through 4-H club work. Peter came to America from Germany in 1857 and married Anna. Their seven children; Jacob, Anna, Emmanuel, Maggie, William, Iva, and Elmer; were raised in McLean County.

The descendants of Peter and Anna were honored as the 2019 Illinois 4-H Foundation Family Spirit winners during a ceremony held Aug. 13 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The award recognizes Illinois families who have benefited from 4-H and continue to advocate for the Illinois 4-H program over multiple generations. In addition to length of 4-H membership, families advocate for the county and state 4-H programs through their community service and philanthropy.

Jacob’s daughters, Laura and May Mohr, born in 1896 and 1906 respectively, served as leaders of the Silver Leaf Let’s Go Girls 4-H Club in McLean County for 40 years. Jacob’s daughter-in-law, Alyce Mohr, also led a club for 15 years.

In total, 75 families members with roots to Peter and Anna are affiliated with 4-H. Combined, they share 530 years of membership, 303 years of club leadership, and 368 years of volunteer service to 4-H.

“We have learned, first hand, that 4-H teaches youth many valuable life skills,” a family spokesman said, “and we all enjoy sharing our time and talent to help empower the next generation of youth by teaching them they can make the best better.”

The Illinois 4-H Foundation’s mission is to build relationships to generate financial resources for Illinois 4-H, said Angie Barnard, Foundation Executive Director. “Funding from individual donors, our Illinois 4-H Project Partners, companies, and friends of Illinois 4-H help the foundation support statewide programming initiatives along with scholarships, assistance to national events, grant opportunities, and filling funding gaps.”