Check out Jan's new site enfieldmemories.com !!
7:00 PM BABY CONTEST (6 MO TO 18 MO); 7:15 PM LITTLE MISS & MISTER CONTEST (19 MO TO KG); 7:30 PM PRINCE & PRINCESS CONTEST (KG TO 2ND GRADE)
8:00 PM BINGO AND BUTTON GIVE AWAY
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 -- 6:30 PM QUEEN CONTEST
AND JUNIOR MISS PAGEANT 6-7-8 GRADES
8:00 PM BINGO (AFTER QUEEN CONTEST) AND BUTTON DRAWING
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 -- 8:00 AM TWO MILE RUN
9:00 PET PARADE LINE UP
9:30 AM PET PARADE JUDGING
10:00 AM PET PARADE STARTS
12:00 PM BINGO, BUTTON GIVE AWAY, AND MULE DAY PARADE LINE UP (HIGH SCHOOL)
1:30 PM 84TH MULE DAY PARADE, THEME TRIBUTE TO AMERICA
3:00 PM BUTTON GIVE AWAY AND BINGO
3:00 PM TO 6:00 PM MAL RODGERS COUNTRY WESTERN MUSIC
6:00 PM BINGO
6:00 PM TO 9:00 WRIGHT BROTHERS BAND
8:00 PM BINGO (BIG PRIZE MONEY) & BUTTON GIVE AWAY
9:00 PM MULE DAY ASSOCIATION PRIZE DRAWINGS
I've added some Enfield history resources on my site, Margaret Land's 1953 History of Enfield Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 . Also available is the 1989 History of St. Patrick's Catholic Church of Enfield, Illinois. All of these, especially part 3 of the Enfield history, is full of potential family connections. I brought my laptop to Mule Day '99 and was able to visit with several folks, but I need a better strategy for future years. The Enfield Town House, which hosted a craft exhibit for many years, is no longer being rented for personal use, and the Senior Center, always a good visiting destination, gets very noisy when full. I guess people don't really want to talk about genealogy on Mule Day.
Mule Day is one of the oldest festivals in Southern Illinois, beginning as a community picnic in conjunction with fall mule auctions held in the community. Legend has it that mule owners were attracted to Enfield because of superior local breeders. Millage Miller, a merchant and mayor of Enfield, is credited with organizing the first parade and carnival in 1921. It has prospered over the years under the direction of the Mule Day Association.
Mule Day is foremost a homecoming
celebration, and many classes of the former Enfield High School use the
occasion for their reunions. My Class of 1972 likes having reunions after
Thanksgiving, when other family obligations have been met. Locals
enjoy it for the visiting, entertainment, and eating. I love to see people
with lawn chairs in the middle of main street listening to the Saturday
The Village of Enfield was founded in 1853, based on speculation that a railroad would soon be built through the town. It arrived in 1872. Town organizers were largely from two communities: The old town of Seven Mile Prairie, located a couple of miles east and south of modern Enfield, founded by Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and Methodists who moved north from Kentucky and Tennessee from 1813 to 1835, and Irish Catholics, who had started a settlement a mile southwest of the new town in the 1830s. Patrick Dolan, auctioneer of the first sale of town lots, was the first Irish settler after coming to Illinois to work on the railroads, and he recruited other Irish from the east and the Old Sod--especially Queen's County (now Loais) and Sligo. Among the Scots-Irish families was that of Thomas Rutledge, including daughter Ann, who gained immortality as Abraham Lincoln's love at New Salem.
Legend has it that Southern Illinois University, now of Carbondale, and the Arthurs railroad car factory which spurred the growth of Mt. Vernon, IL, could have been built in Enfield but were opposed by local residents. The original Southeastern Illinois College was founded in 1871, and the building was used for a high school until the 1930s. Efforts to save the building in the 1970's were unsuccessful. Enfield also received some notoriety in the 1970's as the home of the "Enfield Monster", a big-foot like creature only detected by Mr. Henry McDaniel, who once reported my husband and Circuit Judge Henry Lewis as foreign agents to the FBI because they repossessed his car for Chrysler Credit.
"A parade favorite for many years was Joe Pierce, pictured, and his white mules, Kate and Lou." I couldn't resist adding another Mule Day photo.
Modern Enfield is a quiet and friendly town. Williams Amusement, which was headquartered in the town for many years, recently purchased a warehouse in Carmi although it still employs many Enfield residents. The Mule Day Association bought the old opera house and uses it for activities year round. There's the Ecko Motel and The Four Corners Restaurant at the "intersection" of US 45 and Illinois 14, Jerry's Gas station and convenience store, First Bank (new building dedicated in 1995), Booth Grade School, Rick Basinger's Country Company's Insurance, the Enfield Farmer's Mutual Insurance, Oscar's Grocery/Meat Market which is officially known as the Food Shoppe, Billy Bob's and Nina's restaurant newar the park, a grain elevator, the Elledge Funeral Home operated by Bill Stendebeck, the post office and other municipal buildings, the now-closed Docie Ray Ruemmler's Drug Store and Wallpaper Mart, a locker plant, a sewing factory, a hardware store owned by Donnie Duckworth in the old lumber yard, a nursing home, a sawmill north of town, a craft and candle store in the old jewelry store, a couple of beauty shops, four churches plus the Catholic church a mile away, the McSparin Center (a half-way house for substance abusers), and approximately 700 residents. There's a nice park on the northwestern edge of town, named for long-time Postmaster Willis.
Farming in the surrounding hills and "flats" is a major industry, and oil production continues. Enfield High School, home of the Trojans, closed in 1985, but has an active alumni association, established by Braden Willis and friends. Reunions are held in July or August, approximately every two years. The next will be in 2006.
For more information call Rick Basinger, President of the Enfield Mule Day Association, at 618-963-2621. Mule Day souvenirs are available, including hats, embroidered denim and polo shirts, T-shirts and sweatshirts, charms and necklaces, travel cups, and Mule Day license plates, valid for the 60 days before Mule Day. The Village offices can be reached at 618-963-2222. The Norris City Banner publishes an official Mule Day newspaper, and the Carmi Times still has an unofficial Mule Day section on the Monday before the festival.
The 2004 edition of Mule Days was blessed by excellent weather and big crowds, especially for the parade. There were several mules, mostly from members of the Southern Illinois Trailriders Association. We always need more mules at Mule Day!
Check out Jan's new site enfieldmemories.com !!
I've also found out about at several other Mule Days celebration, including one in Benson, North Carolina. They have a rodeo and several western-themed events. See their site at Benson Online and their page on Mule-themed celebrations at Muledays.
This is a nice site Columbia Tennessee Muleday. They had a Mule-Lennium theme for their March 31-April 1 2000 celebration.
AT 10:00 AM ON MULE DAY THERE IS A HORSE PULL
(ILLINOIS HORSE PULL ASSOCIATION SANCTIONED), WHICH IS BEING HELD ABOUT
2 MILES FROM ENFIELD ON ROUTE 14 AT PROPERTY OWNED BY JOHN WILLIAMS. THIS
EVENT IS NO LONGER PART OF THE OFFICIAL MULE DAY SCHEDULE. BRING A LAWN
Last updated 9/18/2005. Please send corrections and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Your help will be appreciated.