Salute to Agricultural Heritage

History Center Gala
to honor La Grange’s Crady

The longtime volunteer
collects antique tractors

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

LA GRANGE, Ky. (September 2008) – From his quiet, unassuming de-meanor, one would not expect Edward Eugene Crady to seek the spotlight or draw attention to himself. But that is just what will happen Sept. 26 when Crady receives the J. Chilton Barnett Champion of Oldham County History Award, presented by the Oldham County Historical Society during its seventh annual fundraising Gala.

September 2008 Kentucky Edition Cover

September 2008
Kentucky Edition Cover

Last year’s event raised $42,000 for the society. This year’s event is being sponsored by Green Acres, an agricultural oriented magazine based in Buckner.
A long-time volunteer of the Oldham County History Center in La Grange, Crady, 65, has donated a large portion of time and talent to one of his favorite subjects: history. He has “worked on the grounds, mowing and clean-up, laid part of the brick walkway, helped gather materials for our Rob Morris and Mason’s exhibit, and then began the antique tractor display on Oldham County Day, which has resulted in our Antique Iron Club,” said Nancy Theiss, the society’s executive director.
A native Oldham Countian, Crady has been responsible for recruiting individuals to become members of the History Center through the Antique Iron Club. The club is a new branch of the History Center and its members have been active by participating in 15 events so far this year.
Tractors were a part of Crady’s life while growing up on a dairy farm in Brownsboro in southern Oldham County.
He frequently attempts to teach youth about the past when displaying his tractors, giving them a sense of what life used to be like before all of the modern conveniences and fast-paced lifestyle we all experience.

The Green Acres
Annual Gala

• 6:30-11:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, at the Oldham County History Center, 106 Second Ave., La Grange, Ky.
• Reception, silent auction, live auction, dinner, dancing to The Vinyl Kings.
• Tickets: $125 per person; $1,250 for table of 10.
• To reserve: (502) 222-0826

“If you understand other’s hardships, you know what you’ll do in life,” said Crady.
Antique Iron represents the past technology for agriculture and business, said Theiss. “He supports the mission of the History Center by telling the story of Oldham County’s past through Antique Iron.”
The Gala will include a reception with open bar beginning at 6:30 p.m. A catered dinner will be served by Ladyfingers Catering at 7:30 p.m.
Cost is $125 per person and in addition to open bar and sit down dinner, the ticket price includes live music by the Vinyl Kings and a live and silent auction. The latter will continue through dinner.
Among the silent auction items will be a hay ride for 20 people with a bonfire and wiener roast; special art items from local artists; University of Kentucky and University of Louisville basketball tickets; a private ghost tour for a party of 12; special handcrafted quilt by Ruth Klingenfus; and a Victorian settee and chair.
The theme of this year’s Gala is “Green Acres” in tribute to Crady and the founding of Antique Iron, said Theiss. Most of the tractors come from local farms and businesses. Like Crady, “Each machine has a particular history in the way it was used, where it was used and by whom it was used.”

Cannon Fire

Photo provided

Live cannon fire at Westport Daze
festival. The re-enactment was
sponsored by the Historical Society
and Oldham County Parks Department.

The Gala is also a 1960s salute to the county’s agricultural heritage and “people are encouraged to come in black tie or overalls,” said Theiss. It aides in raising one-third of the History Center’s annual budget, designating it as an extremely important event for the History Center.
Crady’s wife, Janet, said she thinks he is well deserving of this award. “He has done quite a bit at the History Center,” she said. Married in 1963, the couple has two sons and four grandchildren.
“We both grew up in Oldham County,” said Janet. “This is where we belong, and we both want to see things continue like they used to be.”
Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966, Crady served as a truck driver and boat operator in Alaska for two years. This was the beginning of his 35-year career as an over-the-road hauler, racking up more than 2 million miles on the road. He drove for himself, local companies and United Parcel Service, hauling hazardous materials, vending supplies and mail packages.
Crady spent time driving stage show equipment for the Kenny Rogers Christmas Tour for two years. “It was the most fun job I ever had,” he said of driving coast to coast for Rogers.
A lifelong member of Crestwood United Methodist Church, Crady believes in giving back to the community. Since 1969, he has been a member of the Masons and is a Life Member of Albert Pike Scottish Rite Club. His father, Edward F. Crady, was a Mason as well as was his wife’s grandfathers.

Archeological dig program

Photo provided

Volunteers take part in an
archeological dig at the Gatewood
Plantation in Bedford, Ky., where
abolitionist Henry Bibb once lived.

“It seemed like the people I had the most respect for while growing up as a youngster were Masons,” he said. In his role as a Mason, Crady has participated in countless parades, fundraisers and scholarship dinners for local high school students.
He has been dedicated to the Masonic organization, working his way through the various chairs of the organization and becoming a Master Mason in 2004. He is an honorary member of numerous lodges, has been named Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Masonic Homes of Kentucky, Louisville and Shelbyville.
Crady is a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, American Legion Post No. 39, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Oldham County Shrine Club of La Grange.
You can’t be a Shriner unless you are a Mason first, said Crady. “And you don’t have to be asked to be a Mason.” Fellow past recipients of the Champion of History Award have who have also been Masons include Milton Carl Stoess and Theodore Klein.
Crady will take his place beside them as his dedication to his Masonic responsibilities and his great love of history has earned him the 2008 J. Chilton Barnett Champion of History Award.

Back to September 2008 Articles.



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