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Very first Mendota Sweet Corn Festival Queen dies

Posted by wlpo on January 7, 2016

A piece of Illinois Valley history has passed away.

Eighty-one-year-old Elizabeth “Betty” Gaude died New Year’s Day in California. Back in 1948 when she was Betty Mathesius, she was crowned the first ever Mendota Sweet Corn Festival Queen. For her efforts, the then 14-year-old Mendota High School freshman got a cardboard crown.

Both organizers of the festival along with the Mendota Area Chamber of Commerce posted Facebook messages mourning the death of the first ever queen.

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