Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

June 14, 2013

Old Western star to appear in Effingham

A television star from days of yore will appear in Effingham next month.

Effingham County Sheriff John Monnet told a County Board committee Thursday that James Drury, who starred in “The Virginian,” will appear at a July 13 shooting event at the Sportsman’s Club sponsored by the Single-Action Shooters. The event is being held to benefit the Boy Scouts of America.

Monnet said he first met Drury through area horse enthusiast Tom Hennigh at a film festival near Memphis, Tenn. After several conversations, the sheriff said, the old TV star agreed to visit Effingham.

The County Board’s Tax & Finance Committee of the Whole agreed to give Drury $1,000 to defray the expenses of his trip. That money will come out of the Hotel-Motel Tax fund.

Monnet said Drury, who lives in Texas but attends numerous rodeos throughout the United States, will sign autographs and sell copies of his long-running television show. Drury may also make a public appearance elsewhere in the area sometime that weekend.

“Anytime we can bring somebody to Effingham, we are doing well,” the sheriff said. “This event will draw a lot of older people who remember the show.”

Monnet said Drury is an impressive fellow.

“He’s an outstanding man,” the sheriff said.

“The Virginian” aired for 249 episodes from 1962 to 1971. Drury, playing the taciturn foreman of the fictitious Shiloh Ranch, and the late Doug McClure, as cowboy Trampas, were the only actors to appear on all 249 episodes. At various times, the show also starred such prominent actors as Lee J. Cobb, Clu Gulager, Charles Bickford and John McIntire.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.

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