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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 1-10-24

130 Years Ago

January 6, 1894

Hugh Pence has been helping Walton Bros. take their inventory. He returns to Chicago today to finish a two years' course in the study of law, which he will complete next May.

On the Streator branch of the Wabash railroad the number of men has been reduced to one on a section and wages down to ninety cents a day.

Last Friday was the tenth anniversary of the wedding day of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Netiz and in the evening they were pleasantly reminded of the fact by the unexpected advent of about seventy of their friends.

Some of the young ladies have a social organization which they call the "Hurly Burly" Club. The members of the club gave a party at Mapel's Hall Friday evening to a number of their gentlemen friends and a very pleasant affair it was.


120 Years Ago

January 8, 1904

The man or woman who goes away from Fairbury to purchase goods is making a mistake. There may be a few "catch" bargains offered by city department stores which are sold cheaper than they are in Fairbury, but as a rule when they are examined they are of much cheaper material than the same article sold by our home merchant and in the long run do not give satisfaction. The merchants of Fairbury are an accommodating lot of gentleman. Their stocks are up-to-date in every particular; their goods are reliable and they stand behind everything they sell.

The members of Post 75 G.A.R., and their ladies perpetrated a surprise upon Commander Frank Mires New Year's Night. Dan Calmer was chief of the foraging committee and his past experience made him a valuable man. Under his direction loads of good things were brought in to eat and a most enjoyable supper was served. The surprise upon Mr. Mires was complete but he enjoyed it as thoroughly as anyone and everybody present had a jolly good time.

Wing — Fred Kamrath is on the sick list. E. T. Holloway is putting up ice in their ice house this week. Mr. and Mrs. Swarm returned home Friday after several days visit with friends and relatives in Fairbury. Miss Hattie Reeder died Dec. 31 after several days suffering caused by a run-away Dec. 21.


110 Years Ago

January 9, 1914

The prime movers in the township high school question have practically agreed upon the territory to be embraced when the vote is taken. Three hundred voters have signed a petition to be sent to the county superintendent of schools requesting him to call an election to be held in this city to submit the question to the voters as to whether we should have a township high school.

Howard Alexander this week purchased of H. K. Meyer a half interest in the City Bakery, the new firm to go into effect January 15.

The new plant of the Central Illinois Utilities Company, which is located near Watseka, and which has taken the company upwards of five months to erect and complete, is now finished and will soon be helping to supply the "juice" for lights in Fairbury.

Lon Hill and Luther Ward, of this city, and a party of men from Pontiac, went to Cornell last Friday to look for some foxes which are said to be numerous in that vicinity.


100 Years Ago

January 4, 1924

Alva Carter, who recently bought the Frank Legitt property on West Elm Street, has sold the same to Sebo Mehrings, residing northeast of this city. Mr. Mehrings will retire from the farm in the spring and with his family will move to town.

Mrs. E. W. Powers gave a delightful young people's party New Year's Eve in celebration of the birthday anniversary of her daughter, Irene. The evening was spent at games and dancing and lunch was served at midnight.

Six robed and hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan visited the Baptist Church Sunday evening at the beginning of the services and while two of them stood guard at the door the other four walked to the pulpit and presented the pastor, Rev. J. E. Howard, for the church, the sum of $42. Word had gone out that the Klansmen would visit the church and it was filled almost to capacity.

Without a hitch in the smooth-running machinery, 1924 arrived to take the place of 1923 at the New Year's Eve watch party at the J. R. Fugate home, where a number of their friends had gathered to witness this interesting annual phenomenon. Bridge, 500 and various other games and amusements pleasantly filled in the time during the evening. Refreshments were served.


90 Years Ago

January 5, 1934

Burglars have again been busy in this city, their last visit being on New Year's Eve. One of the places visited was the M. A. Anderson home. They had previously visited this home on two other occasions within the last couple of months. On their visit Sunday night the burglar or burglars gained entrance through an unfastened window. All that was missing was a pocketbook. It had no money in it and was found the next morning out in the yard.

A truckload of hogs being taken to Chicago Tuesday night by Mont "Boob" Fendrick, tipped over in the vicinity of Chebanse and the hogs dumped out. None of them was killed but several were injured. The truck was badly damaged. The hogs were herded into a nearby farmyard, another truck secured and they were taken on into Chicago. There were 15 hogs in the truck. Twelve of them belonged to Albert and Herbert Hornsby and three to Clarence Hornsby. The hogs were not insured, and the possibilities are that the profit will all be eaten up in the hiring of another truck and the extra work occasioned thereby.

Mrs. Edward Sutter, of near Fairbury, is a patient at St. James Hospital, Pontiac. About a month ago the thumb on her right hand became infected. It failed to respond to treatment, and on Monday she underwent an operation, the bone being taken out as far as the first join.


80 Years Ago

January 7, 1944

On Monday the Browning Club met at the home of Mrs. Harry Klopfenstein. Very current topics, which are quite closely connected, made up the afternoon's program, "Women in Service," given by Mrs. A. O. Convis, assisted by Mrs. J. A. Pittman, and "Women in War Work," by Mrs. Ray Haymond. The club adjourned to meet in two weeks at the home of Mrs. Pittman. The hostess passed candy.

Donald, 14-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. George Broquard, has been a patient at Fairbury Hospital since Wednesday. When Donald was milking, bossy felt irritated about something and took out her spite on Donald with a wicked kick, breaking his left arm above the elbow.

The 63 employees of Honegger's of Fairbury and Forrest, each received for Christmas a $1,000 insurance policy, a sick and accident policy and one for hospitalization, in addition to war savings stamps.

Mrs. Ethel Knott received a letter from her son Leon, hospitalized in Italy, recovering from a wound received in action. Leon is with the Fifth Army and has been awarded the purple heart, the medal for army men honorably wounded in action.


70 Years Ago

January 7, 1954

Duane Lee Ifft is the official New Year Baby of 1954 in Fairbury. The youngster, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Ifft, of Fairbury, arrived at the Fairbury hospital at 5:18 p.m. Jan. 1. He weighed seven pounds, two and one-half ounces. By being the first to arrive in 1954 at the local hospital, Duane Lee is the recipient of many fine and useful prizes being awarded by eleven Fairbury merchants who participated in the first annual Blade "First Baby of the Year" contest.

Tax figures released by the state department of revenue disclosed that local merchants reporting tax receipts liability for September did $49,100 worth of business during that month. A total of 106 merchants reported. The volume was one of the higher of the past year and well above the 1952 monthly average of $38,083.

Manny Steffen, former Fairburian who has been living in Peoria, has purchased the Honegger-Huette Lumber Yard from Lyle Huette and Frank McFrath. Mr. Steffen took over operation of the concern effective the first of the year. For the last six years, Mr. Steffen has been a contractor in Peoria. The son of Andy Steffen, he was raised at their home northeast of Fairbury. He began working in the construction business as a carpenter for Jacob Kaisner, of Forrest. Mr. and Mrs. Steffen and their three sons plan to move soon from Peoria to a house south of Fairbury owned by Emil Bahler.


60 Years Ago

January 9, 1964

The first baby of 1964 received a galaxy of prizes from local merchants in the annual contest of The Blade. Michael Patrick McCarthy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles McCarthy of Fairbury, arrived at 12:11 a.m. on January 1. Michael has two sisters, Erin, 6, and Tracy, 3½. The McCarthys have been Fairburians since 1956 when he joined the District Six Police force. Dr. Glen Hudgens delivered the 7 pound, 7½ ounce boy.

Fire completely destroyed a 40x60 foot aluminum building at the Harvey Bahler residence about 2:30 a.m. last Tuesday morning. Most of the loss was covered by insurance. The incident occurred about one-quarter mile west of Fairbury on route 24. Fairbury Fire Department trucks reported to the scene but the building was already gone. It was feared for a while that the house might also burn. Cause of the blaze was not determined, but some thought the furnace might be responsible. A straight truck, a semi-tractor, a jeep, tools and several miscellaneous items were lost in the fire.

Fairbury-Cropsey Tartars traveled to Dwight last Friday and Saturday nights to play in the Dwight Holiday Tournament, an annual affair where Fairbury was champion in 1957. This year they were rated as underdogs and were not expected to do any better than a third-place finish. However, the Tartars got by Herscher 47-45 in the opening game and returned the next evening to hand their hosts, Dwight, a 52-39 drubbing in the championship tilt.


50 Years Ago

January 10, 1974

A Fairbury couple are parents of the first baby of the new year born at Fairbury Hospital. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Fairbury Merchants First Baby Contest. Benjamin Narayan Alexander was born to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Alexander of Fairbury at 9:02 p. m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 1974, and weighed in at 6 lbs. 10 ozs.

Pvt. Terry Casson's luggage did more traveling than the young soldier, who flew home from Stuttgart, Germany, to spend the Christmas holidays with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Casson, and with his six sisters. Casson finally received his luggage this week, just two days before he returned to Germany. The lost luggage went via Pam Am jet from Stuttgart to London, then on to New York and from there to O'Hare, Chicago. Next stop for the suitcase was Bloomington, Ind. instead of Bloomington, Ill. Finally, the luggage made its way to Bloomington, Ill.

Roger Huette, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Huette of Forrest, has earned his Bachelor's degree from ISU, Normal, and has accepted a position as accountant for Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. in Peoria. Mr. and Mrs. Huette moved last week from Gibson City to Peoria.


40 Years Ago

January 5, 1984

Tom and Judy Crawford of Fairbury are the parents of the first baby born at Fairbury Hospital in 1984. Ashley Marie was born at 8:16 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1. She weighed 6 lbs. and 2 oz. and is 17¾ inches long. Ashley will be welcomed home by two brothers, Tommy, 3, and Jeff, 17 months. As the first baby born in 1984, Ashley and her parents will receive 14 gifts from Fairbury merchants.

Thanks to a flurry of late contributions, the Fairbury United Community Fund has once again preserved its perfect record of surpassing its goal every year. Campaign Chairman Dale Stoller announced this week the final tabulations show a total of $25,125 collected to surpass the goal of $24,650. Just two weeks ago, Stoller said all his packets had been returned and the United Community Fund had apparently come up about $350 short. "We're very pleased with the results," Stoller commented.

Airman Jeffrey C. Hammer has completed his technical training for fuel specialist. His training was completed at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul on Dec. 2. Airman Hammer recently spent a 15-day leave with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hammer. After his visit, Jeffrey departed Dec. 18 from the St. Louis, Mo. airport for Spagdahlem, West Germany, located 40 miles northeast of Luxembourg.


30 Years Ago

January 5, 1994

Livingston County Sheriff Don Wall died New Year's Day from an apparent heart problem, according to the Livingston County Coroner's office. Wall, 60, was taken by ambulance from his home in Odell to Saint James Hospital in Pontiac, where he died. He was a 34-year veteran of law enforcement in Illinois, including 27 years as an Illinois State trooper in District 5 in Joliet and District 6 in Pontiac. In 1986, he was elected sheriff, and was re-elected in 1990. He had recently filed a petition to run for a third term as sheriff of Livingston County. Livingston County Coroner Mike Burke will assume the responsibilities of sheriff until the chairman of the Livingston County Board appoints a successor to that position.

South East Livingston County Ambulance Service (SELCAS) broke a 20-year record for number of calls made in one year by recording 608 calls in 1993. Previously, the highest number of calls for any given year since records began being kept in 1973, tallied 519 in 1992. December 1993 also broke a record for the month. The previous high for number of ambulance calls for December was 53 in 1983. This past December, the new record for the month was tallied at 61 calls for the ambulance service, which operates out of Fairbury Hospital.

Lucas Michael Diller was born Dec. 20, 1993, a son of Dale and Merry Diller, Chatsworth. He weighed eight pounds, five ounces and was 21 inches long. Welcoming him home is a brother, Kyle, age five. His grandparents are Allen and Joan Diller, Fairbury.


20 Years Ago

January 7, 2004

The weather has cooperated thus far for construction of the new First Baptist Church on North Seventh Street in Fairbury. Quality Builders of Roanoke is the contractor. According to Rev. Steve Anderson, pastor of the church, this week's hard freeze was just what they wanted in order to continue with construction, namely putting the trusses in place.

Leslie Rolf, daughter of Scott and Beth Rolf of Fairbury, received a Master's Degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Illinois on Sunday, Dec. 21. She previously earned a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from the U of I in 2002. She will begin her career as a structural engineer at Teng, a national engineering, architectural and construction company at their headquarters on Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Matthew and Teri Stork of Piper City are parents of a baby boy, born at 1:23 a.m. on Dec. 23, 2003 at Gibson Area Hospital. Micah Elmer weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 21 inches long at birth. He has an older brother, Garrett, 1. Grandparents are Charles and Joanne Steidinger of Fairbury and Elmer and Darlene Stork of Chatsworth. Great-grandmother is Edna Mueller of Fairbury.


10 Years Ago

January 8, 2014

Doc's Drugs of Fairbury recently acquired Sav-Mor Pharmacy Fairbury in an agreement between the two owners. Thus, as of Jan. 6, 2014, all prescription records from Sav-Mor Pharmacy are available to be filled at Doc's Drugs of Fairbury. Doc's Drugs of Fairbury began with the purchase of Bellot pharmacy from John and Ella Bellot in August of 2006. In late September of 2013, Tony Sartoris was approached by Dave Falk, owner of Sav-Mor Pharmacy, in regard to purchasing Sav-Mor Pharmacy. To date, most Sav-Mor employees have been interviewed and several have accepted positions at Doc's Drugs. Sartoris Drugs, and later Doc's Drugs, was founded by Dave and Ann Sartoris on Nov. 1, 1978 in Pontiac. Dave Sartoris is a pharmacist and grew Sartoris Drugs from one store to 17 by the time he retired in 2003.

Members of the Boys and Girls Club of Prairie Central in Chatsworth recently took the staff up on a food drive challenge. The staff challenged the kids to bring items for the local food bank. If kids brought 50 items, they received an ice cream and nacho party, 200 items and they got to deliver a pie in the face of staff member Caleb Smith, and 300 items was a pie in the face of volunteer/ex-staff member Cheyenne Ledford. The kids went above and beyond and collected 377 total items!

Annual meetings are an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and to recognize outstanding efforts of specific groups and individuals, and to learn about challenges and to discuss goals for the upcoming year. The Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District annual meeting will be held on Jan. 21. A breakfast buffet will be available at 8 a.m., followed by a short business meeting, the election of three directors, presentation of awards and a program by guest speaker, Kent Casson. This year, Conservation Partner Awards will be presented to Norman and Karen Harms, Tom Doran, Dennis Haab and Cary Dehm. The Conservation Farm Family of the Year award will be presented to Tim and Rebecca McGreal.

(Looking Back from Kari Kamrath is sponsored each week by Duffy-Pils Memorial Homes with locations in Fairbury, Chenoa and Colfax)


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