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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking back: 1-11-23

130 Years Ago

January 7, 1893

Quite a number of young folks from this city attended a spelling match at Frog Pond School on Wednesday evening.

The boxing match billed to take place at Forrest on Monday night between John Young, of this place, and Peter Peterson, of Chatsworth, failed to come off for the reason that Mr. Haines refused the use of his hall. Both contestants were on hand and anxious to appear before an audience at a dollar a head.

An alarm of fire Tuesday afternoon started the firemen and a goodly body of citizens to the engine house, Station Agent Reckard having received word from Forrest that the depot at that place was on fire and adjacent buildings in danger. The message stated that an engine and flat car were on their way over. The engine arrived at 1:18 and at 1:20 started on its return trip with a hose cart, and thirty or forty "volunteer firemen." After arriving at Forrest a line of hose was laid, but the power was not great enough to force a stream more than 20 or 30 feet. An effort was made to pull down the north end of the building with an engine, but the cable broke. By this time the flames had gained such headway that attention was directed to saving Carmon Bros. Hotel on the north and the freight house on the south, which was done.

120 Years Ago

January 9, 1903

To people who live along the free mail routes the Blade offers a new combination—the Blade and Uncle Sam's Favorite mail box for $3.00. This is the opportunity for you to get the best mail box made and the best newspaper published for a low price. The mail boxes can be seen and your subscription received at Walton Bros. Co. hardware department or the Blade office.

Cropsey — John Brown, who lives east of town, was kicked quite seriously last Saturday by a horse. The horse was newly shod. He was currying the animal who seemed to object to the exercise when he attempted to subdue him. The horse kicked him squarely in the stomach. At this time he is reported to be gaining slowly.

Avoca — Our jovial mailman is happier than ever, and he sings a little louder as he makes his rounds in his new fur coat. The coat is Mr. Codlin's New Year's gift from the patrons of route No. 2. The Avoca people appreciate his faithfulness and are glad to see him comfortably equipped these cold mornings.

110 Years Ago

January 10, 1913

S. E. Ellis is back again in the harness and wielding the razor and the shears with his old proficiency. Sam sold out to Bert Monroe last summer and devoted his attention for several months to the show business. Now after several months' rest Sam has bought back his old business of Mr. Monroe.

L. P. Troehler, of the Fairbury Cleaning and Dyeing Works, was injured quite badly when some gasoline in which he was rinsing a skirt caught fire from the friction. There was about 100 gallons of gasoline in the room and the damage on garments and fixtures was about $300. Mr. Troehler was badly burned about the face and hands.

M. M. Jacobs started to fill his two big ice houses this week. He is getting the ice from Belle Station and it is eight inches thick.

Until last Friday Illinois was favored with the finest winter weather we have ever enjoyed. It was in fact phenomenal. Dusty roads until January 1 and no zero weather.

100 Years Ago

January 5, 1923

The mayor and the aldermen are still unable to get together on the police question. At the regular meeting Wednesday evening Mayor Foster said he had one more name to present for chief of police, that of Walter Kessler. On the vote to confirm the appointment, Foster and Fuller did not vote, and Goembel, Heckman, James and Shroyer voted no. Following the polling of the council the mayor said he would appoint James Lawrence special policeman until the next regular meeting. The council then adjourned.

Attention, of those guilty, is called to the misuse of the Ladies' Rest Room. School children are warned to keep out. Their accommodations are at the school buildings. They are charged with committing nuisances in the Rest Room. If you, interested parent, would admonish your child, it might save an arrest. In this connection the party that took the mouthpiece from the telephone in the Rest Room had best return it without delay, as you are believed to be known. —H. A. Foster, Mayor.

Tarbolton Lodge, No. 351, A. F. and A. M., held an afternoon and evening session Wednesday at which time four candidates were made Master Masons. Those receiving the degrees were Irwin Steidinger, A. N. Shroyer, Wade McIntosh and Ben Hill. Dinner was served at 6:15, about fifty-five being present. Several were present from Forrest.

90 Years Ago

January 13, 1933

Burglars entered the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Stanford, three miles northeast of Forrest, Monday night, while Mr. and Mrs. Stanford were in Forrest attending church. They were evidently looking for money, for after breaking open the back door the burglars went through all of the dresser drawers, sideboard and cupboards of the house. Silver and other articles had been taken from the place where they were kept and scattered about, but none taken. The only things found to be missing were a work shirt, a pair of dress oxfords, several pairs of socks and a razor sharpener.

Irwin Parrill and C. M. Stitzel, of this city, were among the thousand or more people who gathered at Gridley Tuesday night for the purpose of promoting the plan of agricultural relief as proposed by Paul Beshers, of El Paso. The plan as sponsored by Mr. Beshers calls for at least 10 percent ethyl alcohol made from domestic agricultural products in all motor fuel used in the country. Arguments for the plan were that this would consume sufficient quantities of agricultural products now held as exportable surpluses, and thereby make the tariff effective in elevating farm prices. It promises 60 cent corn.

George Cuddeback, residing west of Fairbury, who was so badly injured on November 10 by being caught in a tractor, and who since that time has been in the hospital at Pontiac, was taken home last Friday afternoon. He is making a steady improvement, but will be confined to the house for some time yet.

80 Years Ago

January 8, 1943

Farmers of Livingston County, joining nearly a million other Illinois farm people in observing "M" day next Tuesday, will turn out in body for local meetings in their own townships on the evening of that day. "M" day for agriculture is being observed in accordance with a proclamation issued by President Roosevelt. Farm people throughout the nation will meet in community gatherings or in county-wide rallies to hear explanation of 1943 production goals and of the program for complete mobilization of all resources of farmers and of the government to attain the goals.

A watch party, with games providing entertainment and a lunch afterwards, was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Hibsch New Year's Eve. Miss Rose Tometich was an out-of-town guest.

The Illinois Office of Price Administration has taken steps to insure 100 percent compliance with gasoline rationing regulations concerning the display of windshield stickers and coupon identification. The state OPA office asked filling station operators not to put gas in an automobile which does not have the sticker of highest value properly displayed on the windshield.

70 Years Ago

January 8, 1953

The first baby of 1953 to be born at Fairbury Hospital arrived at precisely 12:04 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 3, a trifle late to be welcomed as an official New Year's Day baby, but in time to fall heir to an assortment of wonderful gifts presented by a dozen Fairbury merchants cooperating in the Second Annual Blade Baby Derby. The lucky first arrival was Bonnie Lee Grant. The mother, Mrs. Gleneta Grant, 28, and the father, Francis Grant, 31, are engaged in farming on the Pulsipher farm, about a mile and a half northwest of Weston. Bonnie Lee, who tipped the scales at 9 pounds 5 ounces, is the fourth child in the family, all of whom are girls.

Snow, cold and disagreeable weather in general made its appearance in Fairbury this week. A quarter-inch snowfall here Friday, the third of the season, caused slippery conditions to prevail on the city streets and roads and on U. S. highway 24. Tuesday, 2 more inches fell, putting city streets and sidewalks back again into icy shape. The vicinity had its worst cold of the season Monday night, when the downtown temperature dipped to 2 above.

Strawn — Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Schneider and family entertained on New Year's Day at dinner, thirty relatives and friends from Princeville, Peoria, Eureka, Fairbury and Forrest.

60 Years Ago

January 10, 1963

A bouncing 7 pound 10¼ oz. girl was the first child born in Fairbury Hospital this year. Little Miss Gail Kay Schove is the second daughter and third child of a Fairbury couple, Mr. and Mrs. James Schove. She arrived at 10:17 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3. Her sister and brother are Linda, 9, and Ernie, 5. Mr. Schove is a barber in Forrest in the Moulton Barber Shop. The little miss is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. W. Moulton Sr., of Forrest, and Mrs. Mattie Schove, of Fairbury.

Both Fairbury policemen were investigating the story of a nine-year-old girl Monday night. The grade school youth told police that she was walking towards home down Fifth Street about 5:30 p.m. when a man "with a big overcoat" began following her. She said she ran home and locked the door. Local police checked one suspect, but he had an alibi for that time.

Weston — Mrs. Earl Hanes assumed the job as Acting Postmaster on January 1, following the retirement of her husband, Earl, who retired December 31, following 16 years as Postmaster of the Weston Post Office. Mrs. Carroll BesGrove and children left Tuesday morning to spend a few days with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Logan of Decatur.

50 Years Ago

January 11, 1973

A Chatsworth couple, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gerth, are parents of the first baby of 1973 born at Fairbury Hospital. Their first son, Eric Allen, was born at 8:14 p.m. January 4, 1973, the same day that last year's first baby of the year, Michael Alan Schlipf of Fairbury, arrived. Eric Allen weighed in at 6 lbs. 5 ounces, with lots of straight black hair that the nurse parted on the side and combed carefully over the top of his little head. The Gerths also have a daughter, Kelli Rene, 2, who was born November 30, 1970.

The addition adding new classroom space to both Fairbury-Cropsey High School and also the system's Lincoln Junior High is complete, "except for the clocks, bells and intercom, and workmen are bringing that to a close," reported Supt. Lester Miller to the Board of Community Unit 3 schools Monday night at their offices in Lincoln School. One problem has arisen in the new physical education gym, Miller said. Water damage, tracing to a ruptured pipe during the mid-December sleet storm, has affected part of the gym floor, and estimates are now being prepared by the firms which laid and finished the floor.

Fairbury Hospital recorded a "first" in its history Monday when it complied with the request of the late Wm. Spence, who had donated his eyes to the Illinois Lions eye bank program. Following Mr. Spence's death at noon, Mrs. Sunny Nakamaru, nursing supervisor, contacted the eye bank in Chicago for instructions. Dr. Floyd Weaver of Pontiac, performed the enucleation process while a number of Fairbury doctors and nurses observed. Steve Brandt then drove the eyes to Chicago where they were to be used in a corneal transplant within 24 hours.

40 Years Ago

January 6, 1983

Roberta Doran, R.N., Fairbury administrator of Humiston Haven in Pontiac, was recently chosen to represent the long-term care members of the Illinois Association of Homes for the Aged in discussions with the Illinois Department of Public Aid and the Department of Public Health to establish new rules to determine level of care and payment for persons receiving Medicaid funds. Mrs. Doran said that of approximately 950 nursing homes in Illinois, 750 will be directly affected since they have Medicaid residents and receive payment according to the needs of those individuals.

They finally got their girl and we finally got the 1983 New Year's baby. Darci Williams was born on Jan. 4, 1983 at 1:30 a.m. at Fairbury Hospital to Roger and Cynthia Williams of Fairbury She weighed six pounds, five and three-quarter ounces and measured 19 inches long. Three brothers welcome Darci, Dustin, 10; Seth, 7; and Cody, 3. Darci and her parents will receive gifts from 14 Fairbury merchants to help the little one get off to a good start.

Fairbury's Association of Commerce will sponsor a Home Improvement and Energy Exposition Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20, in the Fairbury-Cropsey High School gymnasium. Association President Bob Nussbaum II is chairing the promotion. Nussbaum said this week "anyone who has a product or service which is used in or around a home, or in connection with running a household should make a commitment today to be on hand to visit your customers at the show." Nussbaum said approximately half of the available booths have already been reserved by area businesses.

30 Years Ago

January 7, 1993

After issuing only two residential building permits in 1990, and only three in 1991, the City of Fairbury in 1992 saw almost a 400% increase in applications for new construction. It's not Bloomington-Normal and their building binge, but it's keeping a lot of area construction and realty types happy here in the boot-heel of Livingston County. According to records in the office of City Clerk Brenda DeFries, zoning and building administrator Harold Ward issued 11 permits during the past year, including two for six-unit apartment complexes.

The New Year was only four days old when precipitation totaled almost five times as much as for all of January, 1992. At 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4, 1993, the official gauge at Fairbury waterworks measured 2.4 inches, for the previous 24 hours, as compared to .57 for all of January a year ago. The rainfall continued at a steady pace throughout the day before turning to snow about 6 p.m., and as a result every creek in the greater Fairbury area and surrounding territory in Livingston, McLean and Ford counties was out of its banks and water was standing in fields at a level not seen in some years.

Frank and Pearl Schmidt, Fairbury, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a family dinner. Schmidt and Pearl Winterland were married Jan. 9, 1943 in Tacoma, Wash. They are the parents of Gerald Schmidt, Betty Schmidt and Patti Roach. They have four grandchildren. Schmidt is retired from Hicks Oil Co. after 54 years. Mrs. Schmidt is a former cook for the Fairbury-Cropsey Unit 3 school district.

20 Years Ago

January 8, 2003

Kathryn Decker, formerly of Strawn, celebrated her 90th birthday on Wednesday, Dec. 27. She was born in Strawn and spent most of her life there. She is now a resident of the Illinois Knights Templar Home in Paxton.

"I've had a lifelong dream to someday own my own little shop, but wanted to wait until closer to retirement," said Kathy Johansen, who recently purchased Ruby Mae's Attic in downtown Fairbury from Gingie McWhorter and Laurie Baker. The new owner, who is the wife of Benchwarmer's owner, Dave Johansen, has spent the past 23 years in the medical field, and will continue to work as an ultrasound technician one day a week at OSF Saint James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac.

Fairbury's city council meeting on Thursday night consisted of viewing a promotional video of Fairbury. The video, titled "It's Just a Few Away," featured interviews with citizens on how they felt about the town they reside in. Mayor Robert Walter appeared on the film walking through the newest park in Fairbury, North Park, and explaining how it came to be with the help of the community. The film was made to point out that Fairbury is just a few hours from all kinds of activities, such as the opera in Chicago or events happening in Peoria, Champaign, Pontiac or Bloomington. It also points out the advantages of living in a small community.

10 Years Ago

January 9, 2013

During a brief meeting on Wednesday night, members of the Fairbury City Council approved hiring Christine Klus as a utility clerk. The position is full-time with benefits. Five people were interviewed for the job.

Mark and Natalie Schneider of Forrest are the parents of a baby girl born at 1:51 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 at Gibson Area Hospital. Emma Joy weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 21 inches long at birth. Maternal grandparents are Kevin and Denise Kilgus of Strawn. Paternal grandparents are Jim and Sandra Schneider of Fairbury. The new arrival was welcomed home by her older brother and sisters, Allie, 6; Kate, 4; and Ian, 2.

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