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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 10-5-23




130 Years Ago

September 30, 1893

The celebrated detective, Fred Butler, of Bloomington, was in town this week, exerting his perceptive faculties in connection with the recent fire in this city. He came here, looked wise and talked foolish to the newspaper men and finally asserted that for a consideration he would "find his man."

Frank Young, who left here some weeks ago with a couple of steam threshing outfits, for Iowa, returned this week, having been able to secure but two and a half days' work.

A farmer with a load of pumpkins did a rushing business on the street Tuesday. Here would have been a great opportunity for Moyne Baily to have gotten a nice large yellow watermelon.

W. H. McKenzie returned to Chicago Sunday after an extended visit at his home here.


120 Years Ago

October 2, 1903

Next Sunday will occur the dedication of the Baptist Church. Nearly $8,000 has been spent on the improvement. Dr. Thomas, of Chicago, will preach in the morning and Dr. Simmons, of Peoria, in the evening.

William Conn this week bought the photograph gallery of John Baily.

Pawnee Bill's wild west show exhibited in Fairbury Thursday.

One of the hoops on the waterworks tank bust this forenoon. It made quite a noise and alarmed the natives in that vicinity.

The water broke through at the new west coal shaft last Friday night and soon filled the hole up about 100 feet. The shaft is about 135 feet deep and the water came to within 30 feet of the top.


110 Years Ago

October 3, 1913

A reception was given by the members and congregation of the Methodist Church Monday evening at the church, the guests of honor being Dr. C. L. Powell and family and Dr. A. Wirt Lowther and family.

Reports come from Stuttgart, Ark., that Marion Fugate is living on the fat of the land, and doesn't know whether he will ever come back here or not.

John Sorg returned Thursday from his ten weeks' trip to the old country.

John Lindelof resigned his position at the B. & V. Store this week and purchased the grocery stock of F. Weber & Son.

Miss Vann Essa McDowell is a student at Wesleyan this year.


100 Years Ago

September 28, 1923

The Amoma class of the Baptist Sunday School surprised their teacher, Mrs. C. E. Bartram, last Friday evening in celebration of her birthday. It was a costume party and there were some rare old gowns and millinery worn. A paper bag lunch was served.

Wednesday evening as Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Stuckey were sitting quietly at home, they suddenly became aware of a stream of automobiles coming down Elm Street. Investigation as to the destination of the procession showed they had come to stop in front of their home and the occupants of the cars not only disembarking but that numerous baskets, boxes and bundles were a part of their equipment. The invaders were about sixty of Mr. and Mrs. Stuckey's Wing neighbors and friends who had come to visit them in their new home, and the mysterious baggage was a bounteous supper. As a reminder of this pleasant gathering the guests presented Mr. and Mrs. Stuckey with a set of silver spoons.

Saunemin young people have laid out a golf course in an old pasture not far from the city of Saunemin itself. The land lies wonderfully for the purpose and a creek winding through the pasture adds much to the adaptability of the land for this purpose. A nine-hole course has been marked out and already Saunemin's pioneers in golf are enjoying the thrill of the first drive from a tee.


90 Years Ago

September 29, 1933

Albert Kilgus and Bent Monroe went to Pontiac Tuesday evening to attend a meeting of Livingston County barbers which was to have been held in the supervisors' room in the court house. On account of the heavy rainstorm which prevailed throughout the early part of the evening the attendance was very light and no business was transacted. The meeting was called for the purpose of affecting a county organization.

The Fairbury Township High School building was entered by someone either Saturday or Sunday night. It might not be correct to say that the intruder was a thief, for, after a careful checkup, no one could say that anything was missing. But the damage done by this prowler was considerable. The glass was broken in one of the north doors and the door of Superintendent Stevens office was forced open. The door of the safe is always left unlocked and no cash is ever kept there, this policy being adopted several years ago following former visits by robbers.

Martin Lytle is suffering with a very badly injured knee, the result of being kicked by a horse out at the Alfred Wessels farm on Monday. The horse, a two-year-old, considered very gentle, in fact a family pet, was being dolled up and beautified for exhibition at the Chenoa Fair. Mr. Lytle was trimming the horse's hoofs at the time the accident occurred. Evidently the animal wasn't pleased with the style of manicure he was receiving and slapped Mr. Lytle on the calf of the right leg.


80 Years Ago

October 1, 1943

George Harris, fishing in the Munz sandpit Tuesday morning, hooked a big fish which he succeeded in landing after about a twenty-minute battle. It was a carp and weighed 12 pounds 7 ounces. It was such a fine specimen that Mr. Harris kept it for a few hours in a tub of water so that his friends might feast their eyes on it and assure themselves of the veracity of the story of the catch.

Pvt. Lewis G. Bose, who had been stationed at Pine Camp, N. Y., received an honorable discharge from the army and arrived home Sunday. Pvt. Bose was through two maneuvers and thinks he has a good idea of army life.

Six years old and all his first grade school friends to celebrate with him was a happy event for Carl Borngasser last Friday. The party was held in the school room and the birthday treat was ice cream and cup cakes. The favors, a small flag with each cake.

Forty-one blood donors made the trip to Kankakee Monday with thirty-seven qualifying. Nine cars carried the donors. Thursday there were fifty-nine donors, fifty-three qualifiers and twelve cars.


70 Years Ago

October 1, 1953

For the fourth time in three years the service station in Forrest, operated by Ervin Schrof, has been burglarized. The last time was on Monday night sometime between the closing hour of 10 o'clock and eight o'clock Tuesday morning when Mr. Schrof went to open his place of business. Ten dollars in cash, four cartons of cigarettes and two boxes of candy were stolen. Entrance was gained by breaking a window on the north side of the building.

Frank W. Fouts, Jr., 26, of near Wing, escaped injury about 7:55 a.m. Thursday when a farm tractor and wagon he was driving was hit by a southbound Wabash freight train at the Wing crossing. The train struck the wagon near the rear wheel and threw it into a deep ditch on the north side of the road. The tractor remained upright but the impact blew out the right rear tire. Fouts was returning from the Wing elevator where he had taken a load of soy beans when the tractor stalled on the railroad right-of-way. Fouts ran to safety before the collision. The train was not damaged and continued on it's way.

Lyle Huette, last Wednesday, contracted for the purchase of the old Fairbury Opera House building from C. E. Leman. The building, located at Locust and Fifth Streets, now houses the Sanitary Cleaners and the Chilon Shoe Repair Shop. Mr. Huette plans to lease the building, but final arrangements are not complete. He expects to begin immediately to completely remodel the building. The interior will include a terrazzo floor, tile ceiling and planing on the side walls.


60 Years Ago

October 3, 1963

Exemption from Illinois State Inheritance tax has been established on a quarter-million-dollar bequest to a pair of Fairbury institutions. The money is from the estate of Mrs. Helen Lewis Smith of Los Angeles, whose death occurred April 17, 1962. Fairbury Hospital is slated to receive about $235,000 and another $20,000 will go to the Fairbury Mausoleum. Mrs. Smith's will suggested that the sum left to the hospital be used for erection of a convalescent home, and the hospital board has already acquired a plot of ground adjacent to its property for such use.

"Fairy Tales" is the theme picked for this year's Fairbury-Cropsey Homecoming activity schedule. A bonfire will be held at the high school Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Floats will parade down main street the following day, Friday, at 2 p.m. At 8 p.m. Friday the Tartars will meet the Dwight Trojans on the gridiron. And on Saturday, the Homecoming dance will be held at the new gym. Crowning of the queen will take place at 10 p.m. and dancing will be from 8:30 to 11:30. The court consists of five senior girls: Doris Broquard, Gail Cox, Sharon Crews, Carol McDonald and Joyce Thomas. Attendants are Janice Hines, junior; Sandra Abbey, sophomore; and Brenda Freed, freshman.

The Fairbury Jaycees have submitted the name of Imogene Popejoy in nomination for state competition for the bronze Physical Fitness Leadership Award Medallion. Miss Popejoy has been in charge of the girls' physical education classes at Fairbury-Cropsey High School for the past four years. During this time she has strived to raise the physical fitness of the girls and has achieved outstanding results. In addition to her school activities, Miss Popejoy has also conducted private dance classes and trampoline classes, has helped with 4-H programs, and has promoted health and fitness through her Slim Trim program.


50 Years Ago

October 4, 1973

The 1973 Homecoming dance was held Saturday evening, Sept. 29, at the Fairbury-Cropsey gymnasium, with coronation ceremonies at 10 p.m. Reigning at the dance was this year's Homecoming queen, Cheryl Haas, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Haas Jr., Fairbury. Member of the royal court were Mike Wenger and Betty Curtis, Mark Hall and Dawn Abbey, Dale Maley and Loretta Huette, Bill Curtiss, June Ricketts and Rick Rothenberger, Cindy Eymann and Jeff Kilgus, Kristi Hoffman and Mike Kelson, Kim Hoffman and Steve Schmidt.

Rev. John W. Krummel, United Methodist missionary to Japan, is on furlough in the United States and will be speaking at the First United Methodist Church in Fairbury on Thursday, Oct. 4. Rev. Krummel will speak at a men's breakfast at 6:30 a.m. at McDonald's restaurant. He will speak at a morning coffee at the home of Mrs. Roy Melvin at 9 a.m., and at the home of Mrs. Robert McKenerick at 10:30 a.m. At 2 p.m., he will speak at a tea at the home of Mrs. Robert Maurer and at 7:30 p.m., he will speak at a missionary rally in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church.

This past August, a random survey was conducted of adult northern and western corn rootworm populations in ten different cornfields in Livingston County. The average for Livingston County was 79 beetles per 100 plants in 1973, compared to 12 per 100 plants in 1972, reports William T. McNamara, Livingston County extension adviser, agriculture. These increased populations over 1972 indicate that we could have some serious problems in 1974, McNamara said.


40 Years Ago

September 29, 1983

The largest herd of circus elephants in the world made their home to Fairbury last Saturday for the fair grounds appearance of the Carson & Barnes circus. They carry more than 25 of the ponderous pachyderms. The circus has other superlatives: it has supplanted Ringling Brothers as the only five-ring circus, as the world's largest tent show and also having the world's largest tent, more than a city block long.

Two goats standing shoulder to shoulder in a feed bunk on a farm lot south of Fairbury, and photographed by Paul Kyburz, chief photographer of the Cornbelt Press newspapers, has been awarded first prize in the National Newspaper Association contest which covers the 1982 calendar year. The picture was judged best of those entered in the feature photo contest for newspapers of 5,000 circulation or less. About it, the judges said, "Animals always make good features, and the picture of the goats seeming to be one animal with two heads is a most unusual slant."

Fairbury native Steve Shaffer has been named manager of the new Edwards Soil Service plant in Saunemin. Schaffer, a graduate of Fairbury-Cropsey High School, and son of Fairbury farmer Peter Schaffer, has been employed by Edwards at their Pontiac plant for four years, and with his wife Debbie, lives five miles west of Saunemin and one mile south.


30 Years Ago

September 30, 1993

Effective December 1, Fairbury Hospital will increase emergency room service to 24-hour a day coverage with an in-house physician, and will add an Urgent Care Center, to be available for minor emergencies, illnesses, general medicine and physicals. Continual physician coverage will be provided by the Prairie Emergency Group, a Bloomington-based network of 36 physicians who provide emergency room care for six area hospitals.

A 6-horse-drawn wagon is traveling west through the area on U.S. Route 24 on their journey from Maine to California. Their 3,000-mile trip began in April, stopping for the marriage of driver David Helmuth and his fiance and assistant, Vikki Thompson in Sugarcreek, Ohio Aug. 14. The Belgian six-horse hitch, tagged Country's Reminisce Hitch, drivers and seven crew members with six trailers spent Tuesday night at Toby's Sunoco Service Station in Forrest. They planned to travel through Fairbury Wednesday to visit residents of Fairview Haven and are scheduled to stay Wednesday evening at Weston Park.

DuPage County State's Attorney Jim Ryan recently announced that Fairbury attorney Gordon Kinate will serve as Southern Livingston County Area Coordinator for Ryan's Attorney General candidacy. "I am pleased to have Gordon serving as the coordinator for this area. He is a dedicated professional and I am confident that he will provide valuable insights on the concerns of the people of Southern Livingston County," Ryan said.


20 Years Ago

October 1, 2003

Kelly Maffett was recently named postmaster at the Cropsey Post Office. She has been employed by the United States Postal Service since 1986, and has spent most of those years at the Cropsey facility, as a Postmaster Relief. She succeeds Debbie Ehrhardt, who was postmaster at Cropsey before being named Towanda postmaster earlier this year. Maffett, and her husband Mike, who is employed by the USPS as a letter carrier in Pontiac, live in rural Cropsey. They have two children, Brandon, a freshman in college and Tracy, a junior at Prairie Central High School.

Approximately 20 students participated in the St. Jude Bike-a-Thon Wheels for Life on Saturday, Sept. 27 at North Park in Fairbury. The children collected monetary donations and rode laps around the park to raise money for the children of St. Jude. Through four drawings, Joe Kindelberger, vice grand, presented cash prizes, sponsored by the local I.O.O.F. Chapter, to Scott Steidinger, Morgan Vaughn, Andy Lassiter and Karla Steidinger. The top prize of $50 and a boom box is yet to be determined after all money is collected. The event was supervised by Karen Steidinger, Susan Fehr and Jenn Steidinger.

Seniors vying for the 2003 Prairie Central High School Homecoming king and queen include Riley Rigsby, Kristin Doran, Susie Bull, Leslie Freehill, Katie Maurer, Dan Wessels, Will Barsema, Danny Meiss, Patrick Hobart and Nathan Wenger. Rounding out this year's homecoming court are freshmen attendants Ashley Richmond and J. T. Zimmerman; sophomores Tyler Wahls and Amber Culkin; and juniors Megan Crane and Dustin Stephens. The king and queen will be announced at the bonfire and pep rally on Thursday night. The coronation will be on Saturday during the homecoming dance at the high school.


10 Years Ago

October 2, 2013

The 2013 Prairie Central High School Homecoming king and queen candidates are seniors, Devin Crews, Carter Frambes, Matt Hartke, Connor Reis, Ed Shafer, Maddie Bounds, Laura Crane, Tori Hernandez, Kieran Krenz and Katie Kuperschmid. Underclass attendants are juniors, Sam Schuler and Hannah Miller; sophomores, Taylor Jones and Julia Schuler; and freshman, Noah Miller and Annaliese Miller.

John Marshall, Sr. Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of Bluestem Bank, Branch of Bank of Pontiac, presented a $2,500 check to Terri Wells, Fairbury Community Fund President. An additional check was donated to the Community Fund from Bluestem employees. Bluestem had 100 percent participation from regular staff employees, several using the payroll deduction plan to make their donation.

Driscoll Motors was recently named General Motors Women's Retail Network 2012 Top Performer in the under 300 sales category as a result of its excellence in retail sales performance, customer satisfaction, profitability and facility/image completion. Across the United States, only five GM dealers receive this honor. Founded by Bob Driscoll more than 30 years ago, Driscoll has been the Cadillac and GMC sales and service resource for the Livingston County area and is known for talented technicians, superlative salesmanship and constant community support. Present owner Pam Schahrer began her career at Driscoll Motors as a high school co-op student working as a bookkeeper and worked her way up, eventually owning the dealership.


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