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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 1-31-24

130 Years Ago

January 27, 1894

A "boys' brigade" was formed at the Presbyterian Church on Thursday evening. The object of the organization is the promotion of Christian manliness among boys and the culture of their minds and characters.

It was 17 below zero on Thursday morning.

Hetzler & Brenezer, who started a shooting gallery in the Straight building, have moved to Washington or Minonk.

Harry Dexter has bought of W. C. Wade, the property on the west side of South Fourth street, which was vacated by Catton's slaughter house. He will put up a residence thereon.

Strawn — Charles Wenger, Sr., pays $4.75 cash rent for the old Hoey farm.


120 Years Ago

January 29, 1904

Three bob sled loads of people went out to Walter Burt's last evening upon invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Burt. The sleigh riders had a good time coming and going and a splendid time was had while at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Burt. They played various games and later in the evening refreshments were served.

The Perlee Produce Co. received a car load of oranges Monday direct from California. They are of the naval variety and as fine a specimen of the fruit as ever came to this city. In spite of the frigid weather they came thru in fine condition and are being distributed to their patrons. This enterprising firm are gradually extending their business and there is no better known or more reliable commission house in the state. Best quality is their maxim and the goods they furnish their customers is invariably up to the highest standard.

What certainly must be termed a complete surprise occurred Friday, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Farley, corner of Elm and 4th St. Their children and grandchildren remembered that Mrs. Farley had reached her 70th milestone and well filled baskets were brought and the table presented an appetizing appearance, to which all did ample justice to. As a token of remembrance, Mrs. Farley was presented with an elegant sideboard. After spending the day they departed to their homes wishing her many more such pleasant remembrances.


110 Years Ago

January 30, 1914

Saturday afternoon the 160-acre farm belonging to the estate of Frederick S. Hall, was sold at auction in front of the L. B. Dominy & Co. Bank in this city. The price paid for the land was $252.75 per acre. Robert Abbey, of Belle Prairie, was the purchaser.

George Todd, of Pontiac, was in Fairbury Saturday and while waiting for his train, lost his pocketbook containing $140. It was found by William Bodley and returned to the owner.

The tabernacle for the Honeywell Union meetings, which is now in the course of construction, on the old Thomas House lots, is now completely enclosed.

Albert Wilson, who has conducted a lunch room and restaurant under the G. Y. McDowell & Co. Bank, has disposed of the same to Charles Weisser. Mr. Weisser is taking possession the first of the week.


100 Years Ago

January 25, 1924

Debold Householder and Walter Tavener returned last Friday from Galesburg, where they had been in attendance at the meetings of the Illinois Agricultural Association. There were over 800 men and some 25 women present. Each session was largely attended and a keen interest was manifested in the excellent program.

Mr. and Mrs. Will Schade, residing north of Cropsey, entertained all the members of the J. Schade clan at a dinner on Sunday. The older members enjoyed the day talking, and the children in listening to the radio.

The Men's Bible Class of the Presbyterian Church is bringing to Fairbury Rev. James M. Cornelison, of Pendleton, Ore., and a Christian Indian from that part of the country, Mt. Motanic. The Indian is a very interesting character made more real through the costumes. A social hour will follow this service.

The Phi Chi Psi corporation held a euchre tournament and smoker at their club rooms Wednesday evening. In the euchre tournament Herbert Green made a perfect score, having a total of 70 points in seven games. J. A. Patterson was second with 68 points and G. A. Sutton third with 65. About fifty of the members of the organization were present.


90 Years Ago

January 26, 1934

The surprise club dropped in on Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Eddy on Monday night to remind them of their 40th wedding anniversary. The evening was spent at cards and an elaborate lunch was served. The table was centered with cake ornamented with a miniature bride and groom. Ring, money and thimble were baked in the cake. Miss Mary McGreal found the money; Miss Josephine Hanley, the ring; Mrs. Joe Keegan, the thimble. Dorothy O'Donnell received first prize in cards, and Miss Josephine Hanley the consolation. Miss Sadie McGreal, speaking for the visitors, presented Mr. and Mrs. Eddy with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

C. W. Veatch informed us, that up to last evening, 45 persons in Indian Grove township had signed the corn-hog reduction contracts. All those who have not signed are urged to do so by tomorrow night.

A theatre party of twelve girls laughed and cried together over "Little Women" at Central Theatre Tuesday evening. They were Miss Helen Huette and eleven of her friends she was entertaining on her birthday. After the show, refreshments were served down at Helen's home.


80 Years Ago

January 28, 1944

Honegger Bros., who a short time ago purchased the west elevator of S. C. Van Horne, are erecting a large cupola on the building, which will facilitate the handling of the grain used in their feed mill. The grain will be elevated into the cupola and then fed by gravitation into a large spout to their feed mills across the T. P. & W. tracks to the south. The cupola will also make more efficient the handling of grain in the elevator itself.

The blacktop road between Weston and Pontiac, which has been the scene of numerous accidents the past few months, chalked up another one Wednesday night when a car occupied by Byard Williams and Albert Honegger Jr., went out of control near the Livingston County sanatorium. The car didn't turn over but it did spin around like a top. While doing this spin the rear end came in contact with a guy wire to an electric light pole. The back end of the car did a slack wire performance and slid right up this wire, and right there it was, with its rear end up in the air and its nose in the ground when it came to a stop. It took a wrecker about three hours to get it down.

From Colorado Springs, Col., comes news of the marriage of a Fairbury girl, Miss Lillian Woodward, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Woodward, to Cpl. Robert Carpenter, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Carpenter of St. Louis, Mo. The wedding took place at four o'clock Friday afternoon, January 14, at the Methodist Church at Colorado Springs. It was a military ceremony with head chaplain, Colonel Merrill of the Second Air Forces, reading the double-ring service.


70 Years Ago

January 28, 1954

A number of improvements are being made at the Jaycee Theatre this week, according to Chairman "Chuck" Veatch, who reports that every effort is being made to "make the best of what we have" in the 16 mm. operation. The Jaycees are currently considering installing upholstered theatre seats as the final refinement in the improvement project now underway. The most noticeable product of the modernization program is the Jaycee's new sound system, which provides a clearer, high-quality sound through the use of nine speakers. The walls of the building are being decorated with a coarse fabric material in an effort to completely eliminate echoes and sound distortion.

Joe U. Slagel, president of the Fairbury Fair, and board members Art Walter, Bill Weber, John Goold, Moyne Humphry, Carl Rapp, Dean Williams, John Wade and James A. Peters, went to Springfield on Sunday, where they attended a three-day convention of the Illinois Agricultural Fairs Association. While there they signed contracts for the free acts of the 1954 Fairbury Fair.

Announcement was made on Sunday, January 17 at the Forrest Apostolic Christian Church, of the engagement and approaching marriage of Miss Donna Honegger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Honegger of Forrest, and Robert Leman of Forrest, son of Mrs. Joseph Anlicker of Elgin. A spring wedding is planned.


60 Years Ago

January 30, 1964

Stanley Boyd will receive the Eagle Scout Award Sunday, Feb. 9, in ceremonies at Illinois Wesleyan University. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Myron Boyd of Cropsey. Bernard Brucker of Cropsey is the Scout leader for Boyd. The 16-year-old began the Scouting program as a Cub.

Major Ray Fitzgerald has just returned from Vietnam after flying 209 combat missions in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The 1945 Fairbury High School graduate was working with the Army Concepts team, a research and development group studying new tactics, techniques and concepts for counter-insurgency warfare. The team was comprised of 35 officers from all over the United States, hand-picked for their individual specialties. Fitzgerald's special project was logistics (supply).

Fairbury Hospital Births: To Mr. and Mrs. Edward D. Zimmerman, Fairbury, on Jan. 21, at 8:58 a.m., a 6 lb. 1½ oz. boy.; to Mr. and Mrs. James Alverson, Chatsworth, Jan. 24, at 1:15 a.m., a 7 lb. 9½ oz. girl; To Mr. and Mrs. James Gulliford, Jr., Forrest, Jan. 24, at 3:33 a.m., a 7 lb. 9¾ oz. boy; to Mr. and Mrs. James Liming of Chenoa, Jan. 24, at 9:25 a.m. a 7 lb. 14¾ oz. boy; to Mr. and Mrs. Glen Fehr, Fairbury, Jan. 26, at 12:40 p.m., a 6 lb. 1 oz. girl.


50 Years Ago

January 31, 1974

Plans to locate a plant in Fairbury and employ as many as 100 persons were announced today by CTS Corporation at their headquarters in Elkhart, Ind. CTS has 13 plants located in seven states and four overseas. They employ about 7,200 persons. The firm on Tuesday completed negotiations to lease some 2,400 square feet of space in the Record Advertising building from Dick Anderson and will begin to occupy it tomorrow. Plans call for "starting with about 25 people, and then in a few months, hopefully as many as 100 persons" according to Howard Alm, group manager from their Sandwich plant who will be moving to Fairbury to start the operation here. CTS Corp. is involved in the manufacture of electronic components for home entertainment, technical instruments, data processing communications and automotive controls.

Jim Goold purchased a 40-acre plot of farmland from the Harry Wagenseller estate at a cost of $1,700 an acre. Goold plans to farm the land, which lies adjacent to his present farm. The land was sold at an auction staged at the Fairbury City Hall. The National Bank of Fairbury served as trustee of the Wagenseller estate. J. C. Ebach was auctioneer. Neale Hanley, veteran Fairbury attorney whose firm, Hanley, Philips, Traub and Ahlemeyer, handled arrangements for the sale, said that he was sure "this is an all-time high price for farmland in this county."

For nearly 80 years it stood, a pillar of education in the community. It was like a second home to generations of children that grew up to be the lifeblood of Fairbury. One could say that the school itself, plus its multitude of occupants, were responsible for sustaining one of the great American heritages: the rural agriculture-based community. And then suddenly, Isaac Walton school was and is no more. The old brick structure that originated as a high school in 1895 and ran the gamut of classes until finally being retired as an elementary school in the spring of 1972, was demolished in a matter of hours Friday, a victim of the ongoing process that keeps any community alive and fresh, the tearing down and rebuilding of antiquated structures.


40 Years Ago

January 26, 1984

SELCAS crews are "getting religion!" For the second Sunday in a row, a SELCAS ambulance crew made an emergency run to a Fairbury church during morning worship. The call this week was the Methodist Church to aid Wayne Newnam, who became ill just as the service started. Last week's call was to the Presbyterian Church where Ross Hildreth, an usher of more than 60 years, was ill.

Winners of the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby race held Monday evening at the First United Methodist Fellowship Hall were Jeff Paternoster, first place; Chris Dameron, second place; Mike Fogarty, third place and Danny Reeves, fourth place. Jarrett Cox won the Judge's Choice trophy for the best-looking car. Trophies for the event were provided by the Fairbury Jaycees with members Gary Jasper, Scott Runyon and Jim Tribley judging the competition.

Captain Jeffry K. Stiver of Fairbury departed Jan. 15 from St. Louis, Mo. for Germany after spending a 45-day leave with his mother Sara Stiver and family. He is joining the 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry which is part of the 56th Field Artillery Brigade (Pershing). The brigade is located in and around Stuttgart, Germany. The Infantry Battalion provides the security to the brigade's Pershing missiles.


30 Years Ago

January 26, 1994

Temperatures remained below freezing for nine straight days, and reached a record minus 22 with wind chills of 70 below on Tuesday, Jan. 18, closing schools and causing two breaks in water lines at Fairbury. Area schools, including Prairie Central, were closed for two days because of the extreme cold, but not everyone got the message. Two elementary age children were seen walking in the direction of Westview school in Fairbury Tuesday morning, but were stopped by school district maintenance superintendent Erwin "Rip" VanWinkle and told there was no school that day.

On January 14-17, Angie Harms, 17, a senior at Prairie Central High School, competed in the 35th annual Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant in Springfield. She received this opportunity because she was chosen the 1993 Livingston County 4-H Fair Queen at the 4-H Fair last July. At the pageant, 70 girls from across the state of Illinois participated in interview, evening gown, swimsuit and speech competitions.

After placing second for two straight years, Prairie Central's Scholastic Bowl team walked away with first place in the January 15 Corn Belt Conference meet at PCHS. Coach Angie Buescher said she expected a victory. "This team should do well the rest of the season," Buescher said.


20 Years Ago

January 28, 2004

The Jack Trainor family was named Conservation Family of the Year at the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District's annual meeting on Tuesday. With a dozen members of the family present at the meeting, held at the Pontiac Elks Lodge, the Trainors were cited for the various conservation practices they have implemented on their land, including erosion control and providing wildlife habitat. Trainor and his wife, Dorothy, reside in Wing, where the general offices of Trainor Grain and Supply Co. are located.

Tara Ann Nylander and Michael Elwin Norris, both of Fairbury, are announcing their engagement. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Butch and Carol Nylander of Fairbury. She is a graduate of Prairie Central High School and is employed by Dr. Taylor in Fairbury. Her fiance is the son of Gary and Gail Norris of Fairbury. He is a graduate of Prairie Central High School and is employed at Dyer's Top Rods in Forrest. The couple plans to be married on May 1, 2004, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fairbury.

Prairie Central High School students Danielle Parmenter, Gavin Sorey and Ben Schweizer were selected to the IMEA All-State Festival in Peoria which will be held Jan. 28-31. The event showcases the top high school musicians in the state. Over 1,000 students are selected through an audition process held in October, which places the top students in band, choir, orchestra, jazz band or jazz choir. Schweizer has been selected to the all-state honors choir. He is the son of Jeff and Beth Schweizer. Parmenter, trumpet, has been selected to the all-state band. She is the daughter of Tom and Joyce Pamenter. Sorey, tenor sax, has been selected to the all-state band. He is the son of Gene and Robin Sorey.


10 Years Ago

January 29, 2014

A longtime area 4-H advocate was honored at the recent 104th annual Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs convention in Springfield. Mary Vaughan was presented a “Friend of Illinois County Fairs” award for exhibiting for 40-plus years at the Livingston County Agricultural and 4-H Fair in Pontiac. She currently serves as a fair board member and during the event each July, you can find Vaughan in the 4-H building making sure the projects are correctly displayed and answering questions from the judges. Vaughan was inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame last summer during the Illinois State Fair and helped start a 4-H club more than 20 years ago, which is known as the Forrest Fireflies today. The club continues to grow and has become one of the largest clubs in Livingston County.

The champions for the Pontiac Elks Club Free Throw contest are Carmen Ruiz (10-11 year old division), Jazmen Karnes (8-9 year old division) and Teegan Quinn (8-9 year old division. Also placing in the contest were Ty Drach, 2nd place (12-13 year old division) and Thomas Hammond, 2nd place (8-9 year old division). In the district shoot out, also held in Pontiac, Teegan Quinn finished 3rd, Jazmen Karnes finished 2nd, and Carmen Ruiz finished 1st and will advance to the state championship in Decatur.

Rose Hartter of Sabetha, Kan. and Joel Steidinger of Forrest are announcing their engagement and approaching marriage. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Tim and Charlene Hartter of Sabetha. She is employed as a teacher at a private school. The future bridegroom is the son of Roger and Sheila Steidinger of Forrest. He is a graduate of Prairie Central High School and is engaged in farming. The couple is planning a March 16, 2014  wedding at the Apostolic Christian Faith Church in Sabetha.

(Looking Back from Kari Kamrath is sponsored each week by Duffy-Pils Memorial Home)

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