Edward D. Yoder’s Life Story

Ed preparing to walk in the Ameren Illinois Company's Armed Forces and First Responders Parade held in Decatur, Illinois on June 16, 2018
Ed preparing to walk in the Ameren Illinois Company’s Armed Forces and First Responders Parade held in Decatur, Illinois on June 16, 2018

My family can trace its roots back to the Decatur area for over 100 years, and Central Illinois for over 150 years. I was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in the City of Decatur and then raised on a grain/hay/livestock farm in Long Creek, Illinois. I attended Mt. Zion Public Schools from first grade until graduating high school. I was raised in a farm family of 7 siblings (6 surviving) of various ages, and money was always tight. I have been farming and operating farm equipment for as long as I could remember. In addition to farming, my family operated a small freight company and contract U.S. Mail “Star Route” delivery between Decatur and surrounding communities. My high school experience was tough due to the tight farm finances, so I began working a night job when I was a Sophomore in high school. From Monday through Saturday, 12:30 AM-5:30 AM, I drove 120 miles transporting newspapers from Decatur to surrounding local communities, 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM I had livestock chores, and then it was off to school until 3:00 PM. After school was more chores and homework, plus farming. On Saturdays and Sundays, I took on the U.S. Mail Star Route delivery from 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM. In addition to the hectic work schedule, I actively participated in Mt. Zion High School’s Future Farmers of America Chapter. I spent my high school afternoons building Decatur homes in the Construction & Building Trades Classes through the Decatur Area Vocational School. Somehow, I managed to graduate from Mt. Zion High School!

After high school, I went to Lake Land Community College (Richland Community College did not exist) in Mattoon, Illinois. After two years, I received my Associates of Science Degree in Agriculture.

Ed during USMC training, 1971
Ed during USMC training, 1971

After graduating from Lake Land C.C., I volunteered for the United States Marine Corps, and I married Cheryl. We moved to Oceanside, California, and I went to Camp Pendleton for Boot Camp. My daughter was born at USMC Camp Pendleton Hospital. After Boot Camp, rather than being sent to infantry training school as most of my graduating classmates, I was selected to become Military Police (MP), and I received police enforcement training from the U.S. Army. I was assigned to the USMC Camp Pendleton Base Military Prison, and I was the personnel guard for 86 military prisoners in the medium security dormitory. While there were armed USMC MP guards in the locked guard towers, my duty was to walk unarmed amongst the prisoners in the prison dormitory, prison mess hall, and prison yard. I was the first line of defense against a prison riot. As a farm kid from Central Illinois, this was the first time that I experienced nearly every ethnic culture from all over the United States, and I quickly learned to respect diversity as a means to maintain order in the prison yard. The guiding principals that I learned in the United States Marine Corps are the same ones that I follow today, which are honesty, respect, diversity, justice, honor, duty, family, and love of country.

After two years and nine months of active Marine Corps duty, I took an opportunity from the USMC to go on “inactive” duty for an education deferral to attend Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois to get my a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences. While attending ISU, I worked at Pioneer Hybrids in nearby Morton, Illinois as a seed production technician.

Ed and his granddaughter's fiancé at the 2018 Decatur Vietnam War Veterans Reunion
Ed and his granddaughter’s fiancé at the 2018 Decatur Vietnam War Veterans Reunion

By 1975, I had my Bachelor’s Degree and USMC Honorable Discharge, so I moved to the same farm and farmhouse that I live in today to begin farming in Long Creek Township. My son was born the following year. Since then, I have continuously raised grain crops, namely wheat, corn, and soybeans. During my earlier operating years, I also ran a custom hay/straw baling business, and I raised Angus and Hereford cattle. As a farmer, I learned how to run a business, manage employees, expenses, family, customers, government bureaucracy, and how to negotiate with banks. These are critical survival skills for all successful business owners.

I am a lifelong member of the Long Creek United Methodist Church, and I began getting interested in politics after serving on various church committees and the Macon County Farm Bureau. I started politics in local township politics, and then I progressed to the county level.

I am both humbled and proud to serve you today, and I will continue to serve you if I am re-elected for Macon County Treasurer.

Early Life

  • Born in Decatur, Illinois
  • Raised on a grain/hay/livestock farm in Long Creek, Illinois
  • Raised amongst 7 siblings (6 surviving)

Military Service

  • Volunteered for the United States Marine Corps in 1970
  • Trained as Military Police–assigned prison guard duty
  • Made rank of Corporal within 2 years
  • Received an Honorable Discharge

Education

  • Attended Mt. Zion Public Schools, Grades 1 – 12
  • Associates in Science, Agricultural Sciences, Lake Land C.C.
  • Bachelors of Science, Agricultural Sciences, Illinois State University

Church Member

  • Lifelong member of Long Creek United Methodist Church

Charities & Community Service

  • Volunteer for the Annual Letter Carrier Food Drive
  • Habitat for Humanity – home construction crew in Charleston, S.C.
  • Farm Bureau Foundation Donor
  • 4-H Foundation Donor
  • Mt. Zion Park Foundation Donor

Local Business Owner

  • Raises wheat, soybeans, and corn on farmland located in eastern Macon County

Non-Political Leadership Roles

  • Served 2 years on the Board of Directors for the La Place Grain Elevator
  • Served 6 years as the Macon County Farm Bureau Director for Long Creek Township
  • Served as the Long Creek United Methodist Church Administrative Board Chairman
  • Served as the Long Creek United Methodist Church Trustees Chairman
  • Served as the Long Creek United Methodist Church Parsonage Chairman
  • Currently serving as the Long Creek United Methodist Church Camping Coordinator of the Church Council

Family

  • Married to Cheryl for 47 years
    – Cheryl is a retired rural route carrier, but she is still an active dues-paying member of the Teamsters Union
  • Daughter is a Letter Carrier and she is the Treasurer and Union Shop Steward for the National Association of Letter Carriers -AFL-CIO local Decatur Branch #317
  • Son is an engineer for Ameren Illinois Company Gas Operations
  • 2 Granddaughters
    – One granddaughter is engaged to a young Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton

Political Career

Long Creek Township Tax Assessor–elected, 1993-2010

  • The only tax assessor in Macon County to REFUSE to automatically raise property taxes during the 2009 Macon County Quadrennial Assessments due to the property value and market crises
  • First tax assessor to send out Homestead Exemptions Forms to all eligible property owners in Long Creek Township
  • First tax assessor to send out PTAX-340 Senior Exemption Forms to all eligible property owners in Long Creek Township
  • When possible, attended the Assessments Board of Review sessions with the Long Creek property owners during their property tax appeal reviews

Macon County District 7 Board Member, 2000-2010

Notable Resolutions that Ed supported as District 7 Board Member

Voted FOR the creation of the NEW Macon County Animal Control and Care Center that is located on 2820 E. Parkway Drive, Decatur, Illinois
Voted FOR the creation of a “Safety Tax” to support Macon County Law Enforcement
Voted FOR continued support of the Macon County Extension Service

Macon County Treasurer, 2010-present

Read more about Edward D. Yoder’s contributions as Macon County Treasurer since 2010