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Knox County Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District

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SWCD Max and Frances Sanford Memorial Scholarship

Our 2019 Scholarship winner is....

Case Hennenfent!!

2019 Scholarship application deadline has passed. Look for our 2020 Application in December.



The applicant must:


1.     be a Knox County resident

2.     be currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an Agricultural or Environmental related program at a college (junior college or 4-year)

3.     have a cumulative GPA of B or higher (transcripts are required)

4.     submit a typed statement (not more than 1 page) telling the selection committee what conservation means to you and how you plan to incorporate conservation into your future plans.


Sanford Scholarship History

The Max Sanford Memorial Scholarship was created in 1984 after Max Sanford passed away and his family donated memorials to the Knox County Soil and Water Conservation District. The District contributed matching funds so that the scholarship would continue in perpetuity.

Max was tragically struck by lightning while driving a tractor on his farm. He farmed in the Maquon and Gilson areas most of his life. He was a Navy veteran of World War II. He was a member of the Maquon American Legion Post and Pilgrim Congregation Church, Knoxville. Mr. Sanford also served on the Board of Directors for the Knox County Soil and Water Conservation District for 20 years having served as Chairman for 4 of those years. Max also represented the District by participating on the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District’s Outlook Committee.

After Max passed away, his wife Frances Platt Sanford assumed his responsibilities as Chairwoman of the Knox County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors. Frances remained the Chairwoman for over 6 years, until she stepped down from the board in 1991.

Frances passed away peacefully at home in May 2011. She was a teacher in Fulton and Knox Counties for 21 years, retiring in 1976. During World War II, she lived in Chicago, where she worked for CC & H and was responsible for editing the book "Rationing." She later worked for the United States Savings and Loan in Chicago, where she was editor of their publications and monthly magazines. She graduated from Maquon High School in 1936 and MacMurray College in 1940. She was a member of the Central Congregational Church in Galesburg and its Sarah and Martha Circles. Frances also was a member of the MI, Good Cheer Club, Knox County Historical Sites, Maquon Library Board and Knox County Home Extension Board. Frances also co-authored "Knoxville Through Five Generations" and "Knoxville the Next Generation."

After Frances passed away, the Sanford family again donated memorials to the Knox County Soil and Water Conservation District. The District Board approved to formally change the name of the scholarship to read the "Max and Frances Sanford Memorial Scholarship" in June 2011.

Knox County SWCD
233 S. Soangetaha Rd.
Galesburg, IL  61401
Phone: (309) 342-5138 ext 3
Fax: (855) 288-1480

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8- 4:30 p.m.

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