The Madison County Covered Bridge Festival Committee is excited to announce that Glenna Finney of rural Earlham will reign as Covered Bridge Festival Queen and Bill Paull of Winterset will reign as King for the 47th Annual Covered Bridge Festival celebration!
Glenna is a proud native of Madison County. Her ancestors settled in rural Madison County and homesteaded the land around Roseman Covered Bridge. Glenna graduated from Earlham High School, and married Madison County native, Harlow Finney. They raised two daughters, Julie and Joleen, on the family farmstead just a half-mile south of Pitzer.
As the mother of two active daughters, Glenna found time to generously volunteer for many Madison County clubs, churches and organizations. She was a planning committee member for the very first Covered Bridge Festival in 1970. Glenna was also a 4H leader for the Jackson Jills, member of the Winterset Music and Winterset Booster Clubs, Children’s Choir Director for the United Methodist Church in Winterset and Choir Director for the Pitzer Church. She was a member of the Madison County Pork Producers and Madison County Cattlemen as well as a member of the Angus Auxiliary. She also worked for many years at the Madison County Fair, volunteering in many food stands and organization booths. She was a coordinator of the Madison County Young Homemakers Program sponsored by the ISU Extension & Outreach, and was founding Charter President and member of the 7 Bridges Chapter of the Sweet Adelines.
After the passing of her husband, Harlow, Glenna continued in her appreciation for and promotion of Madison County and Madison County agriculture. She operated a calving operation on her own and did not lose a single calf while working full time, raising two daughters, and doing much of the farm work by herself. She assisted in the establishment of the charter for the Iowa Barn Foundation, served as advocate for the Farm Safety 4 Just Kids program, and participated in antique tractor parades with the family’s restored John Deere “B”.
In 2012 Glenna was honored at the Iowa State Fair for having two Century Farms that are still productively operating today. These farms have been in her family for over 100 years.
Even after reaching retirement age, Glenna remained very active within the Madison County community. She began working at the John Wayne Birthplace, and then in the Chamber of Commerce office as a tour guide where she eventually became Tourism Coordinator. She greeted every carload, busload, and vanload of tourists to Madison County with a warm smile and genuine welcome, then recruited more groups to come by attending statewide tourism conferences to promote Madison County.
As a symbol of Glenna’s love for Madison County and her family’s rich farming heritage around Roseman Bridge, she dedicated a bronze marker at Roseman Covered Bridge recalling the bridge’s history to all who come and visit. This marker was made in memory of Glenna’s ancestors, the families of Thomas E. Smith and Clara Jane Weeks who walked across Roseman Covered Bridge as children.
Glenna personifies the heart and spirit of Madison County and is a shining example of strength, character, poise, and dignity.
George William (Bill) Paull, sometimes called G.W. moved to Winterset with his parents, Harvey and Anna Paull in 1935. After graduating from Winterset High in 1940, Bill attended Coe College, where he joined ROTC and was called to active duty in 1943. Bill saw action in the Southwest Pacific at Bugainville, Guadalcanal, and Luzon Philippines.
Before leaving for military action he married, Charlotte Sandy, who give birth to their first child, Charlotte Anne while Bill was overseas. After being discharged on December 25th 1945, Bill returned to Winterset to his family, which would later include George Jr. and Barbara.
For a brief time Bill worked for Richard’s Funeral Home where he ran the ambulance. Bill has since said that compared to today’s services he was “flying by the seat of his pants.” Joining Union State Bank in 1947, he served as a loan officer until 1955.
The next 25 years he worked in his own company, The G.W. Paull Construction Company.
As busy at work as Bill was he always found time to serve his community. He has been a Charter Member of the Winterset Kiwanis Club for 43 years and served as President twice. He has been a member of the Masonic Lodge since 1946. Bill is a lifetime member of the United Presbyterian Church, where he serves as a Deacon. He has been a Republican since voting age and served as Madison County Co-Chair.
Besides helping with political activities, Bill is a member of the American Legion and The VFW. He serves on the committee to repair and maintain Civil War Cannons located in Monument Park. He served as Vice Commander in the American Legion. One of the most familiar places Bill can be seen is in the honor guard at funerals, parades, and public opening ceremonies. When asked about all his public service, Bill’s modest response was, “I haven’t been a big wheel, just a spoke.”