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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 11-22-23

130 Years Ago

November 18, 1893

Peter Garber and family, late of near Weston, have moved into their new home in Fairbury and will proceed to settle down and enjoy themselves.

About forty of the friends of Miss Olive McKee gave her a surprise party Tuesday evening. They took oysters and other refreshments and after full justice was done to these things the evening was passed in social games.

School notes — On the north side in the first and second grades, new fenders have been placed around the stoves so that the old cry of "roasting one side and freezing 'tother" may not be heard this winter. This much needed improvement is hailed with pleasure by teachers and pupils.

A report comes from Weston this morning that a young man by the name of Seth Myer, living north of that place, was shot and badly wounded last night by an unknown assailant. He had been to services at Center Church, and had just put his horse away and stepped out of the barn when the shots were fired. The one who fired the shots escaped in the darkness.

120 Years Ago

November 20, 1903

Wednesday night Thos. Flynn, of Cullom, was shot in the abdomen during a quarrel with some Chatsworth men in a saloon at Cullom. Richard Henning is the man who is thought to have fired the shot, but Morgan Ryan has also been arrested. Both live in Chatsworth. There seems to have been an old grudge between Flynn and the Chatsworth parties. Flynn is badly injured.

On last Saturday evening, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Weeks gently opened the doors of their beautiful country home to a number of their acquaintances and friends. The occasion was that of a husking bee in which Mrs. Weeks, assisted by Mrs. Walter Stuckey, had most artistically decorated the Weeks' home with corn husks and fodder, to a scene of beauty and grandeur. Promptly at half past seven Mrs. Weeks opened the evening's amusements by presenting a large ear of corn in which the party were to rack their brains in guessing how many grains of corn had printed their footprints thereon. Likewise a number of other contests were given until the entire evening had been spent in a jolly, merry good time, when at a late hour dainty refreshments were served and the company disbanded feeling they would only be too glad to again visit.

Blade and Weekly Pantagraph one year, $2 in advance; Blade and Women's Home Companion one year, $1.90 in advance; Blade and twice-a-week St. Louis Globe-Democrat one year, $3 in advance.

110 Years Ago

November 21, 1913

Albert Rusterholtz put one over on his friends in Fairbury last week by slipping away and getting married all unbeknown to any of them. He went to Cissna Park Sunday and on Monday was united in marriage to Miss Pearl Symmonds by Squire E. O. Newman.

M. M. Jacobs is among those showing chickens at the Forrest poultry show this week.

Miss Gertrude Foster and Clyde M. Shearer will present "On His Devoted Head," a one-act comedy, at the opera house picture show tomorrow evening.

Reuben Fuller is driving the Adams Express wagon, the beginning of the holiday rush causing Agent Edwards to stick close to his office.

100 Years Ago

November 16, 1923

The 1924 automobile license plates will have a black background with bright yellow figures. While applications for the 1924 license plates have already been mailed out the plates will not be distributed until the last week in December. This is done to prevent many new motorists trying to "slide" through the end of the year on the new license, instead, in cases where an automobile is purchased the last of the year, of applying for a 1923 license.

The Fairbury Chapter of the Eastern Star this week purchased a fine new cook stove, which they will install in the Masonic Temple, together with a hot water tank, and present them to the Masonic bodies.

Seventy members of the Young People's Federation explored the cold clammy depths of King Tut's tomb Tuesday evening. The descent to the tomb through a dark narrow passageway was not only perilous but was enlivened with all sorts of spidery things. They saw the ghost of King Tut and among the relics from the tomb, his chariot and steed and many wonderful tapestries.

Miss Elizabeth Best was hostess last evening at the regular council fire meeting of the Camp Fire Girls.

90 Years Ago

November 17, 1933

The housewives of Fairbury were a rather busy lot Monday morning endeavoring to remove traces of the wind and dust storm that hit this city Sunday evening. The storm is said to have originated in the Dakotas, which if it did, caused Fairbury women to shovel dirt out of their houses that belonged in the Dakotas or some intervening state. The wind started to blow Sunday evening about 6:30 o'clock, and it was not long before the air was full of dust that found its way under the cracks of the doors or windows. It not only made the houses dirty but breathing was made more or less difficult. A haze that resembled a fog enveloped our city, and street lights were dimmed by the dust.

Wing — W. W. Holloway, F. H. Skinner, Ed Coleman and Homer Gibb drove to Saidora, early Thursday morning to shoot ducks, having previously reserved a date at one of the various hunting clubs in that locality, which is known as "duck hunters' paradise" and came home with a car full of ducks, having enjoyed a great day of sport and each shot his limit of Mallards and Pintails. They report seeing more ducks in one look in that country than a hunter would see up here along the Vermilion in two or three seasons.

Weston — The boys and girls club of Weston School is sponsoring a Thanksgiving party and program at the school house on Friday night, November 17. The program consists of musical numbers and readings by members of the district and others. A social hour will follow. Pumpkin pie and coffee will be served, each family requested to bring pie and table service. Come!

80 Years Ago

November 19, 1943

"Unusual Occupations," a movie "short subject" being shown at the Eagle Theatre, features Dr. A. W. Pendergast, Terre Haute, Ind., former Fairbury resident. A hobbyist of long standing, Dr. Pendergast is featured at work with his collection of wooden cigar store Indians, some of which he has displayed at hobby shows in Pontiac.

The local high school students who were one of the organizations engaged in a national paper salvage contest which ended Monday night, collected a little over 39 tons. The contest, as sponsored, was for the largest amount per capita. There are 180 pupils in the Fairbury Township High School and their average was 435 pounds per pupil. In the local contest which was between the boys and the girls, the girls won. They organized by dividing the town into blocks and gave the city a pretty thorough combing.

Cropsey — A bullet from a hunter's gun went through a window of the Karl Kampfner home on Saturday morning at 10:15 o'clock. Mrs. Kampfner was ironing when she heard a noise in the room opposite from where she was. Going in she found a broken south window. When she realized what it was she ran outside. A car was parked 25 or 30 rods south of the house on Route 165 which made a quick getaway, going north past the house. The bullet went through the window, making a hole about the size of a baseball, hitting the woodwork and bouncing half way back across the room, landing on a table.

70 Years Ago

November 19, 1953

The new Fairbury Hospital, the product of many years of unfaltering effort, cooperation and generosity by residents of Fairbury and surrounding community and others, was built in three sections covering a period of 14 years. Less persistence by those who felt the urgent need and who backed their feeling with work, and less response by the public at large at any time during those 14 years would have made the hospital as it stands today an impossibility. But stand it does, free and clear of any loans or subsidies, paid for by a generous public who realized that, as their forefathers built towns and roads and a way of life which benefits are being reaped today, they should now build a hospital which would serve and endure through following generations.

W. B. Decker, Fairbury's oldest citizen, will celebrate his 99th birthday a week from tomorrow, November 27. Mr. Decker is enjoying good health. He takes a keen interest in daily events and each day he takes a walk just to keep himself in good physical shape. He is a member of Tarbolton Lodge, No. 351, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He has the distinction of being the oldest Mason in Illinois and the second oldest in the United States.

Miss Mary Lou Logan has chosen Mrs. Robert J. Logan as her matron of honor when she marries Carroll E. Besgrove Thanksgiving Day. The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. in the Grace Methodist Church in Decatur. Miss Rosemary Allen will be bridesmaid and flower girl will be Marilee Ann Logan. The bride-to-be's brother, Robert J. Logan, will be best man and ushering will be Marshall Pearson, James Coleman and Lloyd Andrews. Miss Logan is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Logan, of Decatur, and her fiancé's parents are Mr. and Mrs. Roy Besgrove.

60 Years Ago

November 21, 1963

Fire destroyed a tractor owned by Richard Blair, who operates the J. Chester Morrison farm near McDowell last Friday, but Blair, whose clothing also became ignited, escaped with minor burns. The blaze started when escaping fuel was ignited and filled the heat houser with flames. Blair leaped from the tractor and rolled in the freshly plowed ground to put out the flames on his forearm, and was injured only slightly on the wrist where the glove was burning.

Mrs. Alberta Martin was hostess of a going-away party for her son, Jack Runyon, 16½-year Navy veteran, who is boarding the aircraft carrier USS Lexington December 12. She noted that 10 of her 12 children were present at the party, including 22 grandchildren. "It's the first time we have ever had this many all together at the same time," she said. Runyon is a first class damage control man and will complete his 3½-year tour of duty in the Navy aboard the Lexington. For the past two years, he has been stationed at Burlington, Ia., serving as a recruiter.

Room Renters!!! The Forrest Hotel is now ready for permanent residents . . . completely redecorated and sporting all new floor coverings. You'll love the new cheery colors – the warm "like home" feeling – and the cleanliness you'll find at the Forrest Hotel. Rates are Reasonable! $10 per week provides you with a room with running water; all utilities paid, of course; free laundry of your bedding and bath towels; and a weekly cleaning of your room. Phone Fairbury 655.

50 Years Ago

November 22, 1973

Cancel fan buses to games. Cancel games. Cancel school itself. Those were just three ways of lowering fuel and fuel oil consumption discussed at Monday night's Fairbury-Cropsey Unit 3 School Board meeting at Lincoln School. District Supt. Lester Miller brought the subject before the board in an effort to educate them in the school's situation during the current world crude oil shortage. Miller told the board that it had been suggested to his office by the OSPI that thermostats be turned back, and that consideration be given to canceling fan buses to games. He also said that a two week shutdown of the school system this winter would be given some thought.

Eugene Schladenhauffen, 49, Wing, escaped injury Friday, Nov. 16, when his farm service truck was struck by a Norfolk and Western freight train at the crossing in Wing. Schladenhauffen told state police he did not see the train until the last minute and he was backing off the tracks when the 78-car train, going approximately 35 miles per hour, hit his truck. Damage to the truck was estimated at $2,000. The train was not damaged.

Mr. and Mrs. Louis Zimmerman observed their 60th wedding anniversary on Sunday Nov. 11, 1973 at their home when 66 family members attended a family dinner. The tiered wedding cake was made by their daughter, Mrs. Betty Hodel, of Roanoke. A photo of Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman taken in Nov. 1913 was used to decorate the top tier of the cake. The former Louise Mueller, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Mueller, of Fairbury, and Mr. Zimmerman, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Zimmerman, Fairbury, were married in Pontiac on November 19, 1913.

40 Years Ago

November 17, 1983

Fairbury attorney Neale Hanley has been named Grand Marshal for the Fairbury Association of Commerce Christmas Parade, set for Saturday, Dec. 3. This will be the second time this year the Association has saluted Hanley. Last April at the Association's annual banquet, Neale was one of three business and civic leaders honored for more than 50 years service to the community. Hanley has practiced law in our community since joining the bar. For three and one-half decades, he served the town as city attorney. When he stepped down, Hanley had written, or re-written, every ordinance on the books.

Defeated...and yet still proud, the Fairbury-Cropsey High School football Tartars gathered around coach Randy Clifton immediately after Dwight had ousted FCHS from the state playoffs by a 34-6 count last Wednesday. Nine previous times this fall, Clifton had spoken to his troops in similar – yet happier – moments following victories. The Tartars roared through nine regular season games to post the school's first unbeaten record in 13 years. But, on this night at Dwight, the hometown team was simply a better one, big and fast, and ready to play. The disappointment of the moment will be swallowed up by the pride of accomplishment as these football players and coaches look back over the season.

A search for Illinois' All-America high school senior has been launched by Illinois' dairy farmers and WCIA-TV, Channel 3, Champaign. Part of the dairy farmers' Milk Likes Youth program, the winner will receive $1,000 to be used toward college tuition and expenses. All high school seniors living and attending high school within the WCIA viewing area are eligible to enter.

30 Years Ago

November 17, 1993

Dr. Larry Copes of Dwight will take over administrative duties at Prairie Central as District Superintendent July 1, 1994. PC's Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to install Copes into the position pursuant to the retirement of current superintendent Dr. Calvin Jackson. Copes, 47, has 22 years school administration experience. For three years, he was high school principal and athletic director at Dwight High School. He spent seven years as principal at the elementary school at Dwight, and for the past 12 years has been superintendent of both the elementary and high school districts at Dwight.

Two Forrest natives were recently awarded scholarships by the College of Agriculture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Matthew J. Brauman received an Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers scholarship. He is a senior majoring in agricultural economics. Nathan Miller, a junior agronomy major, received a Chicago Farmers scholarship. The ISPFMRA Memorial Scholarship fund provides scholarships to students interested in farm management and appraisal. The Chicago Farmers Scholarship is awarded to a College of Agriculture junior with a strong academic record and demonstrated leadership ability.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph McGuire, formerly of Chatsworth, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a buffet luncheon for family and friends Sunday, Nov. 7, at the Chancellor Inn in Champaign. McGuire and the former Mary Rita Kane were married Nov. 8, 1943 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Chatsworth. While Joe attended the University of Notre Dame, Rita was teaching. Joe then entered the Army in the spring of 1943 and was later sent to serve in the Marianas Islands. Rita taught school in Illinois. After the war ended, they both attended ISNU and received degrees. They both taught in Clinton schools and Joe was a local radio personality on WHOW Radio.

20 Years Ago

November 19, 2003

Faithful followers braved the chilly, windy weather conditions Friday night to travel to Coal City and cheer on the Hawks. The support worked, as the Hawks, after being down 21-7, tied the game at 21 by halftime and moved on to semifinal action by defeating the Coalers 55-35.

Adam and Erin Cerda of Fairbury are the parents of a baby girl born at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2003 at OSF St. James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center, Pontiac. Melanie Erin weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and was 21 inches long at birth. Grandparents are Russell and Cindy Miller and Rosendo and Denise Cerda, all of Fairbury. Great-grandparents are Bill and Sally Schauble and Don and Nile Johansen, all of Fairbury; and Diane Bobbitt and Rosendo and Lydia Cerda, all of Chenoa.

Dave Buchanan, Prairie Central seventh grade girls basketball coach, reached a milestone Nov. 10 when he recorded his 100th win against only eight losses, in just five years as mentor of the seventh grade team. Coach Buchanan was presented a cake following the win over PBL.

10 Years Ago

November 20, 2013

The ninth annual “Saluting Our Heroes” breakfast, hosted by American Red Cross of the Heartland, was held on Nov. 12 at the Double Tree Hotel in Bloomington. Award categories included Armed Forces, Good Samaritan, Ambassador, Public Service, Volunteer and Youth. Among those honored were family members of the late Jim Schahrer of Fairbury, who was posthumously presented the Paula R. Walsh Volunteer Award. Schahrer's wife, Shelley, accepted the award for her late husband. The volunteer award is presented to a person who has made a difference or has displayed outstanding leadership and commitment to the community through volunteer efforts.

Ramie Crews of Fairbury and Jacob Flegel of LeRoy are announcing their engagement and approaching marriage. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Steve and Mary Beth Crews of Fairbury. She graduated from Prairie Central High School and Paul Mitchell Beauty School. She is employed at Fox and Hounds in Bloomington. The future bridegroom is the son of Mark and Dee Ann Wade of LeRoy and Bob and Kris Flegel of Bloomington. He graduated from LeRoy High School and Parkland College. He is employed by ESCA in Champaign. The couple is planning a Nov. 30, 2013 wedding at First Baptist Church in Fairbury.

Prairie Central High School volleyball awards night was held on Monday, Nov. 11. Laura Crane was presented the Most Valuable Player award; Taylor Volk, the HAWK award; and Brittany Hari, the Most Improved Player award. The Hawks finished a successful season with a trip to the finals of the regional.

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

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