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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 1-18-23

130 Years Ago

January 14, 1893

A fire in The Blade office early Sunday morning did considerable damage. The fire was discovered by Chas. Lough, night clerk at Eckhart's restaurant, at about one o'clock Sunday morning in Logan Lough's depot, on the first floor of the First National Bank building, in which The Blade office is located. The damage to The Blade was $500; bank building, $175; Logan Lough, $75.

Will Cumpston dislocated his leg at the knee joint Wednesday evening at the roller skating rink. Dr. Parsons fixed up the injured member.

"The Fairdealer," Fairbury's new paper, has made application to be entered as second-class matter in the mail. The paper will be under the editorial management of C. A. Windel, of Cornell.

Last Thursday evening when Mr. and Mrs. Adam Hoker returned from church they found their home taken possession of by friends and neighbors, the event being their fifth wedding anniversary. When most of the company had gathered, John Cook came in carrying a large arm chair, which was presented to Mr. and Mrs. Hoker by Rev. Riley.

120 Years Ago

January 16, 1903

William Bargman Jr. who lives three miles north-east of Wing was hauling corn to that place last Monday and was walking by the side of the wagon, when he slipped and fell. His body whirled around in falling and the side of his head struck either the hub or tire of the wagon, completely severing his right ear.

What amounts almost to a community disaster owing to the present coal scarcity occurred at the Co-operative Coal Co.'s mines south-east of this city Wednesday forenoon. The engineer, Mr. Laughlin, was engaged in hoisting coal, a full cage coming to the top and an empty going down, when with a crash, the machinery gave away. The loaded cage was almost to the top and it shot towards the bottom like a cannon ball, tearing out the guides and breaking the clutches which are supposed to hold in case of accident, in its downward course, and striking the bottom, was utterly demolished.

Weston — Our grain dealers, being unable to get cars and having their warehouses taxed to their utmost capacity, were obliged to quit taking corn. We think we are safe in making the assertion that there never was a time in the history of Weston when there was so much shelled corn piled up in the warehouses as at the present time. A train of fifty cars, each of thousand capacity would be required to move the corn that is now here.

110 Years Ago

January 17, 1913

W. V. Harms, of the west-end livery stable, was minus a team of horses and a buggy for a few days the latter part of last week. Some confidence men hired the team, stating they wanted to drive to Forrest, but instead drove to Chenoa where they left the team. They stopped long enough in Weston to cash a worthless check for $7.50 at Steven's grocery store.

George Heckman's tailor shop was discovered to be on fire Wednesday night a little after 12 o'clock, and before the fire could be extinguished his whole stock of fixtures was ruined, the goods being either destroyed by fire or ruined by water.

Charles W. Griggs, who has accepted a position with W. B. Decker & Sons as pharmacist, will move here with his family this week and will live in the Price house on South Fourth street.

Dru Scouler, who has been home on a month's furlough, left for Chicago Saturday, where he will visit for a few days and from there return to his regiment which is now located at Fort Snelling, Okla.

100 Years Ago

January 12, 1923

W. H. Bartlett received a letter yesterday from Attorney General Brundage stating that the state was favorable towards accepting the revised census of Fairbury, which was taken last fall. This means that the state will build the hard road through this city, providing of course that the citizens pay for the building of the extra six feet on each side, making a thirty-foot road through the city. The council should now get busy and get things lined up for the passing of the ordinance for that twelve feet of pavement.

O. P. Westervelt, retiring vice-resident of the Peoria Bar Association, was chosen president of that body for the coming year at the annual meeting of that organization held Monday in Peoria. Attorney Westervelt is a former Fairbury boy, and his many friends here are glad to hear of his popularity and success in his chosen field.

Wing — Miss Hazel Green and brother Delbert, have both been having the pink-eye. It seems it has been going through the school here and everyone has to take his turn.

Strawn — Mr. and Mrs. Jake Kemnetz received minor injuries on Friday evening as they were returning from Chatsworth. The lights on their car were unusually bright, but because of the snow, they were unable to see anything and ran into a bridge.

90 Years Ago

January 20, 1933

The administrators' sale of the farm equipment of the late George Nimmo, held Wednesday and yesterday, was possibly the largest attended farm sale ever held in this section of the country. It is estimated that between eight and ten thousand people were present on Wednesday in spite of the fact that it rained almost all day, and some four or five thousand were present yesterday. The total amount of the sale for both days in round numbers is $7,000 or better.

Yesterday Browning club members had one big composite birthday party celebrating all of their birthdays. The party was at the home of Mrs. Jessie Love. Each member wore something to indicate the month of her birth and brought a white elephant gift so that each one would receive a gift. A table reserved at the Baptist Church for supper was candle-lighted and centered with a cake. Places at table were found by the birthday date underlined on the calendars that marked the places.

Within the past week four well known women of this city have passed away, namely Mrs. Joseph Householder, Mrs. Ellen Howarth, Mrs. I. N. Higbee and Mrs. Ella Virgin. The decedents had all, for many years, been residents of this city and community. Their lives had been of that worth and quality that they will not only be missed in their respective homes, but their loss to the community is one that will be keenly felt. In span of years each was well past the three score and ten years allotted to mankind, and in two instances four score years had been reached.

80 Years Ago

January 15, 1943

A youthful hitch-hiker who stole Bert Monroe's car last Thursday evening was arrested at Springfield within a few hours, and Mr. Monroe went to Springfield the next morning and got it. The car appeared to be in as good of shape as when it left Fairbury, with the exception of a bent right front fender. The boy said he stopped once and put some water in the car when it started to get hot. What Mr. Monroe really missed was that eight gallons of gas he had put into the car.

Gifts to the Red Cross kit bag fund have reached the sum of $345.40. Organizations and individuals have responded well to this worthy cause but more money is needed if the Fairbury chapter of the Red Cross meets its quota in filling four hundred kit bags for our soldiers.

William "Jake" Ward, supervisor of state aid to county fairs, told the members of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs at their concluding session last Thursday night that county fairs will continue in Illinois next summer unless the office of defense transportation orders that they be cancelled.

70 Years Ago

January 15, 1953

Richard Clark, of Colfax, student at the University of Indiana, will march with the University's Marching "100" Band, in the Inaugural parade for President Eisenhower in Washington, D. C., on January 20. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Clark, of Colfax. Mr. Clark is Superintendent of Octavia schools, Colfax, Anchor and Cooksville. Richard graduated from Octavia High School with the class of '52 and is a freshman in the School of Commerce at the University of Indiana. He plays a tenor saxophone.

R. D. Griswold, local manager of the Fairbury Exchange, announced today that the next telephone bills received by customers of General Telephone Company of Illinois will reflect the new rates authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission in its order dated December 30, 1952.

The members of the Fairbury Woman's Club were treated to some very melodious harmony as they listened to the Honegger Harmonaires Tuesday evening at the library. The quartet, composed of Jerry Denbo, Hap DeFries, R. W. Cummins and Lee Loomis, delighted their audience with several selections. The evening's program was sponsored by the Department of Music and Drama.

60 Years Ago

January 17, 1963

T. P. & W. Railroad agents have moved into their new depot in Fairbury, and some community old timers might say this marks the end of an era. The old depot and freight house, directly south of Central Park, has been standing since the 1880's. It will be torn down in the near future. Fairbury agents have been occupying the old freight house as a depot station since 1931 when the brick passenger depot was torn down. The new 20 x 28-foot steel structure is about twice as roomy as the old one.

No doubt the past week was the coldest yet recorded in Fairbury this winter, with four mornings registering zero degree temperatures or below. The mercury varied a total of 61 degrees during the week, since last Wednesday was a balmy 54. One-tenth inch of precipitation fell as snow Friday, and flurries also fell Tuesday.

Fairview Haven, Fairbury's new home for the aged citizen, now has 22 residents with five other applications pending, administrator Eli Leman told The Blade. The 16,000 square foot structure was opened Nov. 1. Capacity of the home is 43 beds under the present setup, but this could be increased to 50 if necessary. A new maintenance building is being constructed just east of the rear entrance and will house supplies, lawn furniture and lawn mowers. Fifteen employees now maintain the home.

50 Years Ago

January 18, 1973

Mrs. Roger Bachtold of Fairbury has beautiful brown hair that has grown 50 inches the past nine years. Not only is her hair thick and luxurious, there is not a strand of gray to be found. Some time back, she had washed the long, flowing locks and let the hair hang loose to dry while she worked around her home. While operating the vacuum cleaner, she leaned over slightly to move an object out of the way and her hair was pulled into the cleaner. She was able to shut the vacuum cleaner off immediately and was not injured in the happening.

For the past several months, Senior Girl Scouts from the Fairbury and Forrest area have been busy making plans and raising funds to attend the Nixon inauguration and tour various place of interest in Washington, D. C. Friday morning they will realize their dreams when they leave Peoria via jet for Washington, D. C. Misses Barbara Frisby, Pam Frisby, Marsha Hornsby, Kathy Metz and Diane Page of Fairbury, and Julie Coleman, Betty Palen and Debbie Shell of Forrest will be accompanying 101 Girl Scouts and adults from Centrillio Council of Girl Scouts to the inauguration of President Richard Nixon. Mrs. Leo Palen of Forrest will accompany the group.

Stanley C. Watts, son of Thomas B. Watts of Fairbury, has been promoted to technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. Sgt. Watts, a fuel systems technician at Altus AFB, Okla., is assigned to a unit of the Military Airlift Command which provides global airlift for U. S. military forces. The sergeant has completed 24 months combat duty in Vietnam.

40 Years Ago

January 13, 1983

Keith Klitzing, who Mayor Jim Steidinger noted "grew up in the department as his father was a long-time fireman too" and who also built the department's newest truck, on Wednesday night was named the new chief of the Fairbury Fire Department. The mayor, on the recommendation of the department, placed Klitzing's name in nomination for the vacancy caused by the impending resignation of Chief Wayne Moser, a 32-year veteran, and the council by a 6-0 vote, approved.

On Feb. 20, 1983, John Bachtold will leave Fairbury for a year abroad as an American Field Service exchange student. He will live and study in Turrialba, Costa Rica, a town of about 12,000, just 20 miles from the country's capital of San Jose. John will join the thousands of students all over the world who participate in AFS every year. He will represent his town, family and nation as Fairbury's 12th student abroad. Presently, Alicia Trezise spends her exchange year in Israel.

Dr. Lucjan Moscicki has been elected chief of staff at Fairbury hospital for the current year. He succeeds Dr. George Chen. Dr. Vesselin Oreshkov was elected vice-president and Dr. Steve Eisner was named secretary for the same term. The hospital has 12 physicians and surgeons on the active staff plus three with specialty privileges.

30 Years Ago

January 14, 1993

After studying a rough statement of expenditures and income for Forrest Lake, the village board, Thursday evening, agreed to provide some financial backing in support of keeping the lake open. Trustees Warren Gillett and Denny Vaughan presented their ideas on how lake expenses could be cut and operations managed. They then proposed that the board could fund $2,000 to $2,500 if other money-raising projects were also used to offset expenses.

Changes in providing acute care and in-patient care, as well as reviewing offers for affiliation with one or more nearby major hospitals are among recommendations by the Task Force studying operation of Fairbury Hospital. Procedural changes involve elimination of in-patient surgery, and also emergency room and acute care "as we now know it." Bill Fugate, president of the hospital board, and chairman of the Task Force, points out that the plan calls for coverage for life threatening situations, "but statistics show that 85% of emergency-room cases are non-life threatening. And it is coverage for these cases which are costing us so much." Both St. James Hospital in Pontiac and Bro-Menn in Bloomington have made preliminary overtures to Fairbury via The Task Force, and two other major institutions in the area have made informal expressions of such affiliation.

Michael D. Lorch, District Manager in Fairbury for The Franklin, has earned one of the company's top agency building honors, according to Senior Vice President Tom Byerly. Byerly said that Lorch has qualified for Franklin's Circle of Champions Club, a national honor organization of the company's most successful managers. Lorch's qualification was based upon outstanding recruiting activity during the month of October.

20 Years Ago

January 15, 2003

The Prairie Central FFA State winning dairy judging team has been invited to represent Illinois and the United States at the Royal Highland Judging contest in Edinburgh, Scotland this summer. The team, which placed third in the National FFA Dairy Evaluation contest held in Louisville, Ky., was one of three FFA teams invited. Three team members placed in the top 25. Rebecca Harms placed sixth, Tara Davis 11th and Karissa Slagel 23rd. Brian Munz completed the team and was rewarded a bronze placing for his efforts.

Sandy Shrof, former Prairie Central Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, was recognized at the Region III meeting recently, during the Association for Career and Technical Education national meeting in Las Vegas. The Award of Merit is given in recognition of individuals for the highest meritorious contributions to the improvement, promotion, development and progress of career and technical education.

Mrs. Frank H. (Fern) Reed, formerly of Pontiac and now of Fairbury, observed her 95th birthday recently with a family dinner on Friday, Jan. 3, and a surprise family party on Saturday, Jan. 4. The celebrations were at Fairview Haven in Fairbury, where Fern resides.

10 Years Ago

January 16, 2013

On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the new Chenoa Family Restaurant opened its doors to anyone wanting to see the inside, and offered a free dinner of steak, chicken breast, spaghetti and mostaccioli. The restaurant opened for business on Thursday, Jan. 19. It's been a long six months of construction for owner John Ajdini and partner Bash Gizha. In October of 1991, John and former partner Tony bought the old Hen House building from Ben Snyder, who leased the building and owned the property. “The last 22 years went very fast,” said John.

An open house to celebrate the 80th birthday of Louise Winterland will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Lexington Community Center in Lexington. Mrs. Winterland was married to the late Dale Winterland. They raised their family on the farm in rural Colfax. She is the mother of Jack (Dee), Denny (Amy) and Jeff (Lisa) Winerland, all of Colfax; and Sue (Dana) Coldren of Secor. She also has 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

("Looking Back" from Kari Kamrath is brought to you each week by Duffy Pils Memorial Homes in Fairbury, Chenoa and Colfax)

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