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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 1-17-24

130 Years Ago

January 13, 1894

Hugh Pence has resumed his old position with the firm of Walton Bros. It was Mr. Pence's intention to take up a course of law study as stated last week, but his plans were changed at the last moment and he decided to remain in Fairbury. Mr. Whitmore still remains with the firm as does Bruce Davis, the latter going to the grocery department.

C. W. Keck attended the state meeting of the Modern Woodmen of America at Springfield this week. He was the representative of Fairbury Camp No. 6, which has the largest membership among the fifteen camps located in this county.

Springfield has got the permanent location of the state fair.

Chicago — Fire which began in the Casino at the World's Fair grounds at 5:30 p.m. Monday swept away that building, the handsome Peristyle, the arched entrance to the lake, the magnificent Music Hall, the huge Manufacturers' building, with its mountainous roof, destroying handsome pavilions therein and valuable exhibits packed and waiting for shipment. The fire burned for eight and a half hours, one fireman was killed, several injured and the damage is placed at $1,000,000.


120 Years Ago

January 15, 1904

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Vogel were given a farewell surprise last Saturday evening at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Carpenter, Forrest. Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter arranged the surprise and it proved a success in every way. There were about 40 present and they spent a happy evening. Mr. and Mrs. Vogel were presented with a set of silver knives and forks as a token of esteem in which they are held by their friends. They will leave for Indiana Feb. 1, where Mr. Vogel has purchased a fine farm. The best wishes of numerous friends go with them.

The residence on the farm occupied by William R. Morrison, in Owego Township was burned to the ground on Thursday evening, January 7th. All the articles in the house were destroyed but luckily he carried insurance and the loss was adjusted Tuesday the 12th to the satisfaction of Mr. Morrison. The insurance was written by C. W. Keck but a few months ago.

Chatsworth — Dr. and Mrs. Seright celebrated the eleventh anniversary of their wedding Sunday. Thomas Cunnington slipped and fell on the polished floor while calling at the residence of W. McCabe and was quite seriously hurt. Revival meetings have been in progress at the Methodist Church during the past week and will continue indefinitely. No material interest was manifest in the community during the recent sessions, there being a small attendance.


110 Years Ago

January 16, 1914

Frank Hilderbrand, who works for W. D. Spence, south of Fairbury, and Carl Green, both received injuries on Thursday when a revolver which they were examining was accidentally discharged.

The members of the Bon Ton Limits basketball team blossomed out last Friday evening in brand new suits and sweaters. The suits are gray and the sweaters black, and both sweaters and suits bear the letter "L" monogram.

T. J. Patterson, residing three miles east of Fairbury, took first prize on yellow corn at the Livingston County Farmers' Institute held at Pontiac last week.

The T. P. & W. and Wabash Railroads have reduced the work of their men from 10 to 9 hours a day. They have also reduced the salaries of the men from $1.65 to $1.35.

Mayor H. B. Taylor put a quietus on the punch-board business in Fairbury the latter part of last week.


100 Years Ago

January 11, 1924

Tommy Williams and Earl Knott, two boys, aged 16 and 15 respectively, left this city Wednesday noon and up to the present time their whereabouts are unknown. Both are eighth grade school boys.

Accompanied by a keen northwest wind, the temperature started to take a drop last Friday evening and did not stop until it reached 22 degrees below zero Saturday morning. The drop in temperature did not bring any great suffering here, but it did bring considerable inconvenience in the way of frozen water pipes, frozen-up cars, etc. The low temperature was also more noticeable on account of the fact that we had been having such mild weather. Saturday's cold weather was the most severe since January 11 and 12, 1918. In looking over a resume of the happenings of that year printed in The Blade, it says: "January 11 and 12 — Worst storm in 50 years. Morning of the 12th it was 26 degrees below zero. No trains through Fairbury from six o'clock the evening of the 11th until Sunday, January 13th, at 12:20 p.m."

Mrs. Edith King teaches piano. She will come to your home and teach your child to play correctly, intelligently and artistically. Technique, ear training, harmony. Phone 535.


90 Years Ago

January 12, 1934

Uncle Sam has met "competition" by forbidding the use of mail receptacles to advertisers and others who use these boxes for the deposit of circulars and distribution of statements and other matter not bearing postage. The regulations set out that private mail boxes are for the exclusive receipt of regular mail matter. Carriers are instructed to collect any other material contained in these boxes. These will be returned to the post office and the distributor required to pay postage on the material.

Phillip Glennon was surprised Saturday evening by a group of friends who came to remind him of his seventeenth birthday. Dancing was the evening's pastime and was greatly enjoyed until a late hour, when lunch was served.

The slick and icy pavement Sunday evening caused Eugene Dawson's Ford coupe to indulge in a bit of misbehavior. Eugene resides with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Swift Dawson, near Weston, and was en route home from this city. When about three and a half miles west of here the right wheels of his car went off the pavement and while making an effort to get back on, the car went into the ditch, and when it finally came to a full and complete stop it was lying in the same ridiculous position as that often preferred by "Jack," the Blade office Collie (?) – flat upon its back with feet in the air.


80 Years Ago

January 14, 1944

An all-day fox drive by sportsmen and farmers will be held Wednesday, January 19. Meet at 9 a.m. sharp at the home of E. E. Virkler, Forrest, a half mile south of Midway Service Station on Route 47. Bring shotgun. Shells are available. A good noonday lunch will be served free. Three successful hunts have been held and twelve foxes killed.

A truck belonging to Ernest Bess and driven by his son, Willard, went through what is known as the Scriven Bridge, over Indian Creek, three and a half miles southwest of Fairbury, last Thursday afternoon. No one was injured and the truck was not damaged to any great extent, being driven away under its own power, after being gotten out. The truck was loaded with twelve tons of phosphate, which was being delivered to the place farmed by Chalmers Messamore. With Willard Bess at the time were Will Orth and Dick Koehl. The bridge was an old one with a steel frame and a wood floor.

The old waterworks building at the corner of First and Livingston Streets, owned by the city of Fairbury and leased by Silas Steidinger for his transfer business, was damaged by fire last Friday evening at about 9:30 o'clock. The fire is believed to have started from an overheated furnace. The damage to the building amounted to $137, covered by insurance. Some groceries and other goods that were on an inside loading platform, were slightly damaged. The fire department soon had the fire under control.


70 Years Ago

January 14, 1954

Street signs for the city of Fairbury are being put in place, Alderman Rathbun reported at last Wednesday evening's session of the city council. Up to that time 41 signs had been put up at that many intersections. The signs will be put up as they are completed by C. C. Runyon, superintendent of streets, who says it will take 114 sets.

Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Stone have moved to Jay Carter's garage home west of town. Mr. Stone, express agent, has been driving 69 miles a day back and forth to take care of the express office here. On June 25, 1951, Mr. Stone came here as express agent after working as express messenger on passenger trains out of Indianapolis, Ind. for 28 and a half years.

Mrs. Elsie Shover received a dislocated shoulder Friday afternoon when she fell. She had been in the first National Bank and had walked out to the edge of the walk, where she turned to speak to someone, and losing her balance, fell to the pavement. She also received several minor cuts. Mrs. Shover was taken to Fairbury Hospital.

Zero temperatures struck this area again this week, and a bit of snow was thrown in to remind everyone that it is winter, after all. The temperature in downtown Fairbury hit an even zero Monday night, the third time this season that it has been that cold. Other zero days here were Dec. 16 and Dec. 22. The even zero temperatures are the coldest that it has been here in the past two years.


60 Years Ago

January 16, 1964

Mr. and Mrs. M. P. Stewart of Champaign, she the daughter of the Aaron Ziegenhorns of Fairbury, had a visitor during the holidays, and he actually came down the chimney and through the fireplace, but it wasn't Santa Claus. Mrs. Stewart found a squirrel on her grand piano and found he had come down the chimney, apparently while hunting nuts. Stewart opened the front door and they herded the sooty visitor outside without further incident. He left no treats, but a lot of tracks.

Paced by wind gusts of more than 50 miles per hour from the northeast, a blizzard of record-breaking proportions belted Fairbury, and the rest of central Illinois, for nearly 36 hours over the weekend, and left in its wake a massive task of snow removal from drift-choked roads. Starting shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday, the wind built to a steady force of more than 25 miles per hour and gusts of more than twice that speed came with clock-like regularity. Snowfall varied, from 11 inches at Springfield to 7 inches at Pontiac, but actually was hard to measure. The wind had left many spots bare as a bone at a dog show, and others were piled under drifts that measured from five to 10 feet deep.

Mrs. Margaret S. Williams, Topeka, Kansas, announces the engagement of her daughter, Jeanie, to James M. Ricketts, son of Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Ricketts, of Forrest. Miss Williams is a sophomore at Washburn University and is employed by the State Motor Vehicle Department. Mr. Ricketts, a graduate of Forrest-Strawn-Wing, high school, is stationed at Forbes Air Force Base, Topeka, Kansas. A spring wedding is planned by the couple.


50 Years Ago

January 17, 1974

A pair of 100-car trains, each containing some 350,000 bushels of corn, were loaded out of two local grain handling facilities this week on the T. P. & W. Railroad. Both trains, with a total load of nearly three-quarters of a million bushels, were destined to move from Forrest over the Norfolk and Western Railroad to the east coast for overseas shipment.

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Atteberry of Fairbury have purchased the Ben Franklin Department Store. The Atteberrys became the store's new owners on Monday, Jan. 14, purchasing the business from Robert McGillen of Rantoul. Atteberry has farmed in the area for several years and is employed at the Fairbury Post Office. His wife, Vivian, is employed at Cender Gas. McGillen is the original owner of the Ben Franklin store here. He operated the business for 15 years. The McGillens moved to Rantoul five years ago. McGillen operates Ben Franklin stores in Rantoul and Charleston.

S/5 and Mrs. Herbert Rathbun of 368-F Kenai Ave. Fort Richardson, Alaska, are the parents of a baby girl, Heather Lynne, born January 9, 1974 at Elmendorf Base Hospital, Anchorage. Paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Nowlan Rathbun. Maternal grandmother is Mrs. Herschel Leffingwell and maternal grandfather, Lawrence Curl, all of Fairbury. Mrs. Leffingwell left Jan. 11, from O'Hare airport for Anchorage, where she will spend ten days with the Rathbuns getting acquainted with Heather Lynne and helping take care of their son, Shane, who will be 2 in April.


40 Years Ago

January 12, 1984

Barbara DeFries returned home on Jan. 4 after a 10-day ISU Theater tour of London and Stratford-on-Avon. They saw nine plays, including the play "Twelfth Night" by the Royal Shakespeare Co. They took many tours of London, seeing the general sights of the city. Thirty-four persons from the Bloomington-Normal area were on the tour.

The last thing Clyde Meador anticipated when he left Fairbury and joined the Air Force was that he would be part of an invasion force sent to the island of Granada. Clyde joined the Air Force during the summer of 1980 after graduating from Fairbury-Cropsey High school. He has been stationed for the most part in Fayetteville, N. C. at Pope Air Force Base. He is an E5 senior airman responsible for loading and unloading C-130 cargo planes. He was on one of those planes when he flew to Granada.

Emily Popejoy, the Cropsey Postmaster, returned home on Sunday after a two-week visit with her son, Rick Popejoy of Bradenton, Fla. She was supposed to leave on Dec. 24, but the State Police had the roads closed because of the heavy snow so she left Dec. 26. She spent the holidays with her son Rick and saw the frozen orange trees and strawberry fields while she was there.


30 Years Ago

January 12, 1994

Dennis Vaughan of Forrest and Gordon Kinate of Fairbury have been named as precinct committeemen by the Livingston County Republican Central Committee. Vaughan fills a vacancy in Forrest precinct #1 due to the resignation of Jim Rebholz, and Kinate fills a vacancy in Indian Grove Precinct #3 due to the resignation of John Tredennick. Vaughan is branch manager at First of America Bank in Forrest. He and wife Kathy have two sons, Casey and Colin. Kinate is an attorney in Fairbury. He is married to Debbie, and has four children, Matt, Sue, Pete and Elizabeth.

Eighty-three sixth graders at Chatsworth Elementary graduated from the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program during a culmination ceremony Friday afternoon at the school's gym. Officer Terry Sullivan worked with the students for 17 weeks to help them complete the program. He explained D.A.R.E. is not just a drug program, but a life skills class. Topics covered included peer pressure, stress, self-esteem, assertiveness, risk taking, decision making, media influence on our lives, support systems, alternatives to drugs and how to avoid gang situations.

Kent Schrof, former seed sales agronomist for Growmark and a former Forrest resident, has signed on to the upper Midwest Successful Farming sales team. Traveling the Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Chicago territory, Schrof will support and enhance the current customer base. Schrof graduated from Forrest-Strawn-Wing High School in 1980 and received a degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois.


20 Years Ago

January 14, 2004

A $125 check was presented to Fairbury's K-9 Unit at the council meeting, last Wednesday night. The check was from donations by Westview students. Officer Robert "Mac" McCormick, who received the check for the unit, said it would help in purchasing equipment for training Gunnar, who was also present. Gunnar, the K-9 dog, was named by students at Westview. He and Officer "Mac" have presented several programs at the elementary school since they arrived in the Fairbury Police Department. The money was raised during Red Ribbon Week last year when the students started a project called "Change-for-Change" and decided to donate whatever they raised to non-profit organizations. During the week, they collected $250. The Westview students also donated $125 to A Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Service (ADVSAS) located in Streator.

The annual Salvation Army Kettle Drive in Fairbury realized a total of $8,500. The money will be used to help the needy in this community. Through the generosity of Dave's Supermarket in Fairbury, the Kettle has operated for many years. The success of the Kettle also is a result of many hours of bell-ringing by volunteers and also generous donations from the public. Chairpersons for this annual event are Owen and Trudy Fagot of Fairbury.

Prairie Central won the 19th annual Hawk Wrestling Classic Saturday at Fairbury. The Hawks finished with three firsts and three second-place finishes, one third, two fourths and two sixths for the day, to score 231 points ahead of second-place Burlington-Central (184.50 points). Dwight was third with 153 points.


10 Years Ago

January 15, 2014

Martha Roth of Cropsey will celebrate her 100th birthday on Jan. 21. She is presently living with her daughter and son-in-law, Corinne and Bill Zbinden. Mrs. Roth came to this community as the bride of John L. Roth of rural Fairbury in 1936, where they raised four children. She and John retired to “town” in 1978. John passed away in 1998. She moved in with her daughter this past November and enjoys cards and visitors.

Fairbury city employees received praise from the public and members of the city council on Wednesday night for their recent winter storm response. City crews worked hard clearing streets during the early January storm event and council members noted that. “Several people have talked to me about the city's performance,” stated Alderman Terry Zimmerman. Alderman Doug Hibsch raised the question of storing excess snow at a certain downtown location. “Do you think an abundance of snow could end up at Sunken Park?” he asked. Mayor Lynn Dameron said snow piles are no longer dumped at the park for safety reasons, since kids often play on the snow.

Gibson Area Hospital Baby Central welcomed Hannah Verna May Henning as the first baby of 2014. Hannah arrived Jan. 1, 2014 at 4:05 a.m., weighing 5 pounds 10 ounces and measuring 18.5 inches long. She was welcomed into this world by her parents, Dexter Henning and Kelly Wendel, from Gibson City, as well as her brother, Trey Wendel. The baby was delivered by Katherine Austman, M.D. The family was presented with a gift basket filled with baby items, donated by the Gibson Area Hospital OB Department.

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