Merlin Woodruff, a legendary livestock auctioneer in Champaign County and beyond, is remembered as this year’s county fair approaches. He contributed much to this county’s fair and others. He was instrumental in starting the county fair’s livestock auction, the calf scramble and the 4-H Girl and Boy of the Year recognitions. It is difficult to visualize what the Junior Fair would look like without his contributions.
Looking at the photo of “Woody,” one can almost hear his clarion voice calling for bids, engaging buyers and drawing laughter from the crowd.
Considering the unusual circumstances of this year’s fair, it is particularly important to look back at the contributions of people like Merlin Woodruff who have made it the great event that it is.
Submitted by the Champaign County Historical Museum, a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The free public museum, 809 East Lawn Ave., Urbana, is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.