Staff photo by Albert Rukwaro


Viola McConnell, 100, participated in the annual Johnson County Fair parade Aug. 4. McConnell has lived in the area most of her life. Although she grew up in Illinois, shortly out of high school she visited relatives in Gardner and met Vincent Bigelow, who later became her husband. Previously, McConnell has said she remembers a feed store in downtown Gardner on Elm Street, where people would buy live chickens for dinner and calls the building on the corner of Main and Center “the big old bank.”