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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking back: 1-25-23

130 Years Ago

January 21, 1893

The family cow of C. F. H. Carrithers turned up her hoofs Thursday night.

The wheat market is gradually going towards 75 cents and many predict that corn will reach 40 cents before long.

Charity Home, No. 112, Daughters of Rebekah, will be instituted in this city in a short time, with a large number of charter members.

India Wade, the little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Phil Wade, attained her eleventh birthday Wednesday and in commemoration of the event entertained eleven of her little friends at the opera house that evening to witness "Dangers of a Great City."

The weather the past ten days has been of such a character as to call to mind to the "oldest inhabitant" the cold winter when he was a boy and cut cord wood at twenty-five cents a cord all day. The mercury has pre-empted a claim way down to about 18 to 20 below zero. Thursday night while taking water at Pontiac, engine No. 141 was frozen to the rails and it took several hours' work to loosen the wheels so they could get a grip on the rails.

120 Years Ago

January 23, 1903

Supt. W. S. Perry received notice this week from the University of Illinois that the Fairbury schools had been placed upon the accredited list, which means that a scholar graduating from Fairbury High School can enter the State University without taking a preparatory course. This is the first time the Fairbury schools have been placed on the accredited list and much credit is due Supt. Perry and his able assistants.

The ladies of the Fairbury Improvement Association will present a program at the Odd Fellows hall on Friday evening January 30, 1903, that should command the patronage of everyone who believes at all in improving and beautifying our city. The proceeds of this entertainment are to be made a part of the fund now being raised for the purpose of lifting the indebtedness on our city park and laying cement walks as has been contemplated.

Cropsey — An effort is being made to centralize the different telephone lines that run into town. The telephone has come to stay and it is only a question of time when every house will be equipped with one. This effort to get the system into a central office where better service will be given should be aided in every possible way by phone owners and those who wish to see and are interested in a good phone line.

110 Years Ago

January 24, 1913

Miss Aimee Dell Steen received a letter from Miss Ella Flag Young, superintendent of schools of Chicago, requesting her to take charge of a kindergarten department in the schools of that city. Miss Steen accepted the position and will assume her new duties Monday.

C. J. Claudon has purchased the lots at the northeast corner of Locust and Fifth streets, opposite the Farmers' Grain Co. office.

Monday, Dr. D. Brewer, Fairbury's oldest practicing physician, attained his seventieth birthday, and the event was made the occasion for a celebration when eighteen gentleman friends of the doctor were invited in to help him pass the day.

The little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Hotaling ran a needle deep into her knee Tuesday while playing and had to be taken to the hospital to have it removed.

100 Years Ago

January 19, 1923

Vincenzo Geinemino alias Lorenzo Canale, and Tony Aiello, Jr., arrested by Sheriff L. M. Shugart and his "sponge squad" last month, are to spend the better part of this year in the county jail because of their activities as manufacturers and dispensers of moonshine. The two were indicted by the January grand jury. Last Friday both were arraigned before Judge S. R. Baker for the purpose of pleading to the charge of violation of the prohibition act. Both entered a plea of guilty.

Cree Kammerman, of Forrest, sold one of his prize winning S. C. Rhode Island Red cockerels at the Decatur poultry show to Governor Small and son. The bird goes to the Small stock farm at Kankakee.

The house on the farm of C. A. Purdum, located four miles south and a half mile east of Weston, and occupied by Dick Campbell and family, was burned to the ground about four o'clock on Wednesday morning. The cause of the fire is unknown. The fire was discovered by one of the Campbell children, who investigated after smelling smoke and found the house to be on fire. Only a part of the household goods was saved. The main part of the house was a two-story structure, and the loss will mean several thousand dollars to Mr. Purdum, who carried only $1,200 insurance.

90 Years Ago

January 27, 1933

Cropsey is putting on another of its big sales, an annual event participated in by the people of all the surrounding territory. Cropsey people make a holiday of it besides getting their money out of an article for which they have no further use and having the opportunity to buy something they have wanted without the trouble of going out and looking it up.

The quarterly meeting of the Baptist Church will be held on Wednesday next in the parlors of the church. A basket supper will be served at 6 o'clock. All members and friends of the church are urged to come with their families. Bring sandwiches and one covered dish. This marks the fifth anniversary of the pastor's work with the church. An interesting program will be given and reports of departments.

Mrs. Charles Gibb, who has been quite seriously ill for the past four weeks with an attack of flu and other complications, is up and about the house again.

Robert, 5-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John Gouge, has a badly infected hand which followed an injury at play.

80 Years Ago

January 22, 1943

Frank Cox, chairman of the local salvage committee, states that an urgent call has again been made for cans and people are asked to save them as they contain 98 percent of iron. The cans will be collected by Boy Scouts just as soon as the weather permits. A box for all discarded silk, rayon, etc. will be found at the Walton Department Store.

Mrs. Hazel Gauger is at the Ordnance Hospital, Wilmington, with a broken right ankle. Mrs. Gauger is employed at the Wilmington ordnance and fell on the ice just outside the plant as she was going to the bus last Friday evening.

Postmaster R. A. McAllister has received an order from the post office department which puts a ban on all newspapers going to members of the armed forces serving outside of the United States. The Blade, in trying to do a little something for the boys in the service, has been sending free, to those from this community, this newspaper. Each week this list has grown until now it has reached a total of between two hundred fifty and three hundred copies. Some 65 or 70 of these go to boys overseas.

70 Years Ago

January 22, 1953

Kay Ferguson and Jane Stevens have been selected to play in the first All-State Grade School band at Urbana. Students from 161 schools throughout the state will make up the 127-piece band. This band will present a concert at the University of Illinois February 6 and 7.

Dr. John Langstaff has received orders to report to the Jacksonville, Fla., naval base hospital, in March. Dr. Langstaff holds a lieutenant junior grade commission in the navy, having served during World War II. Mrs. Langstaff, Peggy, and Barbie are expected to remain with Dr. Langstaff.

The Cub Scout pack meeting will be combined with the PTA meeting Monday at the high school at 7:30 p.m. The Cubs are to have a portion of the program before their sponsoring organization. Cubmaster Perry Burroughs will make awards.

Pvt. Melvin F. Beal, husband of the former Miss Dorothy Steidinger, of Strawn, arrived in Korea Dec. 15. He is with the First Cavalry Division. Pvt. Beal was inducted into service on May 15 and was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. William Beal, of Forrest.

60 Years Ago

January 24, 1963

H. F. Pratt, Fairbury, has been awarded a radio in a market price prediction contest. The contest was in conjunction with National Terminal Markets Month in October. Contestants during October predicted top prices at Chicago for the first Monday of 1963 on cattle, hogs and sheep. Actual prices were $30.25 for cattle, $17.00 for hogs and $21.00 for sheep.

Thirty cub scouts and their parents of pack 72 braved blizzard conditions to attend the monthly pack meeting Tuesday night at Honegger's Green Gables. Because of extreme weather conditions, some in attendance said their presence qualified them for a "polar badge" while others said they qualified for a "strait jacket." In any event the meeting proved entertaining.

The construction of the new dial building for the General Telephone Company is rapidly progressing stated T. A. Rogers, commercial manager. The exterior construction, other than finishing work, is now completed and the cement floor was poured January 17. Work will continue on the interior of the new building which will house the dial switching equipment.

50 Years Ago

January 25, 1973

A total of $24,800 was contributed in the Fairbury community as its portion of the South East Livingston County Ambulance Service fund. The area's original quota was $20,000, or two-thirds of a $30,000 goal that was estimated as necessary to launch the ambulance service, and with Forrest- Strawn-Wing and Chatsworth-Charlotte-Germanville each to raise $5,000. Latest reports said that Chatsworth was past $7,500 and FSW also past their goal.

Mr. and Mrs. Orland Kridner, of Fairbury, are pretty excited about the January 17 arrival of their new great-grandson, Jeffrey Von Johnston, who is also the first boy born into their family in 49 years. Jeffrey's parents are Mr. and Mrs. James Johnston of Kansas City, Mo. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 5 ounces, at 8:05 p.m. January 17, 1973. Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Ahring of rural Chenoa.

Mr. and Mrs. Russell Mowery of Fairbury observed their 30th wedding anniversary at a family dinner held on Sunday, Jan. 21, at McDonald's restaurant in Fairbury. The anniversary couple was presented with a set of silverware. Present for the dinner were their children, Mr. and Mrs. Ron Slagel of Morton, Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Mowery of Downers Grove and Dale Mowery of Phoenix; also Mrs. Ella Von Bergen of Peoria and Mrs. James Mowery of Fairbury.

40 Years Ago

January 20, 1983

A major revamping and redesign of the first floor of Walton's Department store in Fairbury got underway in earnest on Thursday. A minor portion of the renovation in the 114-year-old firm, the county's largest retailer, took place a month prior to Christmas when the shoe department was re-designed and redecorated. In the over-all concept, every other department in the store will be relocated. The new design centers on a "Y" shaped aisle starting at both front doors and leading to the rear of the store.

Mr. and Mrs. Milton Harms of Fairbury will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Feb. 10. Harms and Lorene Fieldcamp were married on Feb. 10, 1933 near Cullom. They are the parents of one daughter, Beverly Ducatte. She and her husband Paul live in Englewood, Fla. They have one granddaughter, Deborah Ducatte of Bloomington. Mr. and Mrs. Harms lived near Cullom until moving to Fairbury in 1949. Milton farmed until taking the road commissioner's position for Avoca Township, a position he has held for 23 years. He was also a 4-H leader for the Fairbury Junior Farmer's Club for 17 years.

Fairbury Hospital Auxiliary installed new officers for the 1983-84 year following a salad luncheon held Friday at the First Baptist Church in Fairbury. Officers for the coming year are Elaine Kuntz of Strawn, first vice-president and currently acting as president; Georgeann Borngasser of Fairbury, second vice-president; Maude Coleman of Fairbury, recording secretary; Barbara Kilgus of Fairbury, coordinating secretary; Juanita Schneider of Fairbury, treasurer; Emma Ifft of Fairbury, historian; and Bernice Hirstein, installing officer.

30 Years Ago

January 21, 1993

Sixty 6th grade students at Chatsworth Elementary School participated in a "Culmination Ceremony," on Wednesday, Jan. 13, for successfully completing the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. The students have been working closely over the past 17 weeks with Officer Terry Sullivan of the Livingston County Sheriffs Department. Principal Joseph R. Delaney, Sr. introduced the essay winners who wrote on the topic "Taking a Stand." The top essays from 6A and 6B were read by their authors, Jeff Kerber and Teresa Kurtenbach. Top poster winners were Kerri Adams in 6A and Justin Haas in 6B.

Leah Barnes, resident of Octavia Manor, will turn 100 years on Jan. 27. An open house will be hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary at 2 p.m. today at the nursing home. The Ridgeview School chorus will perform at the open house. Leah has lived most of her life in the Colfax area and a short time in Cropsey. She is the daughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. Kyle, who used to be the Colfax veterinarian. Leah has been married 78 years to Jesse Barnes, who turned 103 on Aug. 6, 1889 and is also a resident of Octavia Manor.

It was Jan. 20, 1940 when A. F. (Aaron) Ziegenhorn and his son Clifford opened their farm equipment business "across from the old theater in the G. Y. McDowell building, just across the alley to the North from Walton's." The building contained a shop and a parts room. On Jan. 28 of this year, the Ziegenhorn & Sons farm implement dealer will hold a liquidation sale where "everything is supposed to go," at the site on U.S. Route 24 they have occupied since 1963.

20 Years Ago

January 22, 2003

Friends, neighbors and relatives gathered at the rural Cropsey residence of Ted and Sara Steidinger Monday morning to help clean up following a fire Sunday evening that totally destroyed the Steidinger's large barn and contents, including a pick-up truck and an all terrain vehicle. Several calves and the family's horse perished in the fire. Cause of the blaze was undetermined at press time. Fire departments from Cropsey, Strawn, Anchor, Forrest, Fairbury, Colfax and Cooksville responded to the blaze, and the Sibley Fire Department was on stand-by for the other departments.

Prairie Central High School's Jordan Broquard set a new wrestling career win record Saturday, after posting three wins at Monmouth Saturday. Broquard, who, along with Luke Taylor, remains undefeated for the season, improved his record to 19-0. He currently has 118 career wins. Taylor's record is 26-0. The three wins by the Hawks moved head coach Joe Cliffe past the century mark in wins at Prairie Central. His coaching record for seven years at Prairie Central is 101-53-4, and he has 366 wins in his 25 years of coaching.

Jan. 21, 2003 marked 25 years of holy matrimony for Art and Patsy Whately of Fairbury. They celebrated the occasion with family members, including their three children, Chad, Lindsey and Trevor. The couple was married Jan. 21, 1978 at St. Mary's of Assumption Catholic Church in Ste. Marie, Ill., by Fr. Nieburgee. Their attendants were Connie Colwell and Mike Whately. Art is the assistant manager at Hoffrichter's Lumber in Pontiac and Patsy is employed at the United States Postal Office in Bloomington.

10 Years Ago

January 23, 2013

The Purdue University Calumet athletic department has announced the hiring of Heather Tarter as its inaugural softball coach. The Peregrines will open up play for the first time in school history during the 2013-14 school year. Tarter has spent the past four seasons as the top assistant at NJCAA Parkland College under coach Chuck Clutts. She has helped guide the Cobras to 168 victories over the past four years, including three straight NJCAA Region 24 titles and a pair of NJCAA National Tournament appearances. The Fairbury native was a two-year starter as catcher at Northern Iowa, graduating with a bachelor's degree in exercise science in 2008. She is the daughter of John and Val Tarter of Fairbury and the granddaughter of Ruth Runyon, also of Fairbury.

The 65th annual McDowell United Methodist Church pancake and sausage stuffer was held on Jan. 10. Food for the event, that served 1,411 people, was provided by 5,200 pounds live weight of hogs for the sausage, 12 cases of pancake mix, 34 dozen eggs, 14 cases of syrup, 90 gallons of milk, 40 pounds of butter and 14 pounds of coffee.

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

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