Bio: Tibbett Family Reunion (Sleigh Ride - Feb 1967)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Tibbett, Heck, Hergenrother, Ledoux, Schnider, Mrotek

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 2/16/1967

Tibbett Family Reunion (Sleigh Ride - February 1967)

A total of 44 people, mostly from the Chicago-Rockford, Ill., area, took part in an old-fashioned sleigh ride in Neillsville recently.

It wasn’t because they don’t have snow in that area of Illinois, goodness knows; but rather, “they don’t have the horses and equipment,” is the way George Tibbett of Neillsville put it.

Actually, they were members of the Tibbett family who came here for a family reunion and to, among other things, observed the birthday of Mrs. William Tibbett of Neillsville, the mother, grandmother and great-grandmother of those present for the event. She was 89 years old on January 20.

The sleigh ride was not just incidental. Some of the members of the family recalled fondly the day when George Tibbett and his brother, the late Jack Tibbett, made a business of taking people of the area for sleigh rides during winter. They wanted their children to enjoy that experience, too. Conducting sleigh rides was a commercial bit for the Tibbett brothers in the old days. It was fun for the kids, and many groups of young people (at that time) of the city will recall with some emotion going on such rides in the old Tibbett sleigh.

The sleigh was the same. It was p0urchased by the late William F. Tibbett, father of George, in Chippewa Falls about 1920 and was brought to Neillsville in 1930 by George. So the rig is about 47 years old, and is probably one of the few of its kind remaining in the country.

The horses, however, posed something more of a problem. The Tibbett brothers used to have their own in abundance. They used them, for dray work and delivering ice throughout Neillsville.

But horses gave way to the gasoline engine and trucks which used them, and finally they were gone. George Tibbett found a team at the Ervin Heck farm, north of Christie, and these are the horses shown in the picture. The difference was that the Tibbett’s used to pull the sleigh with four-in-hand. (Sorry we can not display the picture.)

There were too many for the horses and the sleigh to accommodate in one trip, so two trips of about an hour each were made during the afternoon. The sleigh-loads toured the city, going to Memorial Hospital, past the Calvary and United Churches, to the golf course and other points of interest in the city. The sleigh ride starting point was at the American Legion Memorial Hall, where the family reunion was centered.

In the picture are (Sorry again we are not able to display the picture, folks): Mrs. Ruth Tibbett, Mr. and Mrs. William Hergenrother and three children, Mr. and Mrs. Art Ledoux and two children, and Mr. and Mrs. Dick Schnider and four children, all of Chicago, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Tibbett and four children and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Tibbett and child, all of Rockford, Ill.; and Mr. and Mrs. George Tibbett, Mrs. Irene Tibbett, Mrs. Patricia Mrotek and two children, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Tibbett and five children and Mr. and Mrs. Tom Tibbett and four children, all of Neillsville. (All 44 were accounted for!)



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