Illinois State Fair Honors Bicentennial Farm Family From Wabash County as Twilight Parade Grand Marshals

SPRINGFIELD, Ill - The Illinois Department of Agriculture is proud to announce that the Wiseman Family, which owns the Wiseman Farm in Wabash County, were the Grand Marshals for the 2018 Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade last night.

The Wisemans have been recognized as one of only two Bicentennial Farm families in Illinois. They grow corn and soybeans on their land, which has been in their family since 1818.

"We're proud to have the Wisemans lead our Twilight Parade this year," said Governor Bruce Rauner. "Our farm families play a critical role in feeding people in Illinois and across the globe. And since we're celebrating our state's 200th birthday this year, it's the perfect time to recognize the contributions that the Wisemans have made for the past 200 years."

"Very few families can say they've owned the same farm ground since the year Illinois was founded. That's a tremendous feat," said IDOA Director Raymond Poe. "The Wiseman's have shown their commitment to building Illinois' greatest industry and we are proud to have them join us for the Fair this year."

The Wisemans are descendants of William Tanquary, who first purchased the farm land outside Bellmont in August of 1818. The family says the original land deed was signed by President James Monroe but was lost when the Tanquary family home burned in 1975. The farm was passed down through generations to Nell (Tanquary) Wiseman, the late wife of current owner Dr. Robert Wiseman.

"The Wiseman Farm will never be sold as long as I live. I have hopes of it being in the family until the year 2050 and beyond," Dr. Wiseman said.