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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 11-8-23

130 Years Ago

November 4, 1893

Rev. Sharpless, who has occupied the pulpit of the Presbyterian Church for the past year, was installed as pastor on Tuesday evening before a large audience.

Frank Donohoe has purchased the livery business of Joe Broadhead, of Forrest.

The boys of the local high school held a field meet at the fair grounds last Saturday. They hope by spring to be able to send some representatives to the Champaign Inter-High School Field Day contest.

Chicago — The World's Columbian Xxposition came to an end Monday night. During the six months it was in progress there was a total paid attendance of 21,477,212.

120 Years Ago

November 6, 1903

As will be seen by his announcement, Phil Wade has concluded to remain in Fairbury, a fact his numerous friends will be pleased to learn. He had practically sold his drug store to Mr. Cole, but Mr. Cole failed to come to the scratch with the necessary amount of money and the deal fell thru. Mr. Wade will continue the business as of yore. He has been in business in Fairbury 27 years and is prepared to stay that much longer if Providence and the people don't interfere. We will vouch for the people, if he will look out for Providence and we will also vouch for it that he will be happier in Fairbury than any place else on the continent.

Forrest — The morning passenger train due here at 4 o'clock was wrecked at Sibley Wednesday morning turning the engine over and delaying traffic for six hours.

Chenoa — The sociable given by the Christian Endeavor Society of the Presbyterian Church in the basement of the church on Friday evening was very much of a success and drew a large crowd. It was a novel affair and nearly $30 was made for the society.

110 Years Ago

November 7, 1913

Lowe Town, residing north of town on the G. Y. McDowell farm, will hold a sale in December, and with his family, will move to the state of Washington.

A deal was closed Thursday whereby the Empress Theatre, conducted by Lough & Ellis, and the Electric theatre, recently purchased by Amos Lower, were consolidated and in the future will be under the management of Mr. Lower.

Harry Foster is suffering with a broken collarbone. Harry was playing with a football the first of the week, along with some other fellows, and in a scramble for the ball, he came out second best.

The Illinois Hotel is statring out with a very prosperous business under the new management of J. W. Mahler.

100 Years Ago

November 2, 1923

Mr. and Mrs. Leo Hahn have taken over the management of the Railroad Restaurant, which has been conducted by Oak Armstrong. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hahn have been connected with the restaurant, know the wants of their customers, and no doubt will add to the popularity of this restaurant. Mr. Armstrong will take a little vacation before engaging in any other work.

Many people from this vicinity will attend the homecoming game at Champaign tomorrow at which time the new stadium will be opened. Here are a few facts regarding this wonderful piece of architecture: Contract to date upwards of $1,700,000 – it is a gift by 19,000 alumni and students; it covers eight acres; each stand is 546 feet long and the top is 112 feet above the level of the playing field; seats – seventeen miles of seats covered with twenty-one acres of paint; it will commemorate the memory of 200 Illinois men who died in the world war.

About forty members of the Phi Chi Psi fraternity enjoyed a smoker and euchre tournament at their rooms Monday evening. Will C. Schmidt proved to be the champion. A short business meeting preceded the social part of the evening, at which time plans were made for the annual Thanksgiving party to be held on Thanksgiving evening. A picture show starting at seven o'clock will be followed by dancing.

90 Years Ago

November 3, 1933

The purses belonging to Mrs. M. A. Anderson which were taken by thieves from the Anderson home one evening last week, were found Sunday morning in the shrubbery on the east side of the C. W. Keck home. The purses contained nothing when found, but at that, Mrs. Anderson got back much more than she expected, for, while she only missed two purses, when they were found there were four of them, and, upon examination, she identified all of them as being her own. The burglars, it seems, ransacked the remote corners of the Anderson closets and dug up purses that were almost forgotten. The Keck water spaniel "Queenie" gets the credit for finding the purses and put on a big demonstration until she attracted members of the family to the spot.

Neighbors and friends of Jacob Ebach, who resides about six and a half miles northeast of this city, husked his corn crop for him Tuesday morning. There were forty men and eighteen wagons on the job and his crop, consisting of about forty acres, was finished at 10:45. A total of 1,152 bushels was husked. Several of the farmers' wives also went to the Ebach home and helped prepare dinner for the huskers. It will be remembered that Mr. Ebach suffered the loss of a leg last spring following an accident in which his foot was crushed in a feed grinder.

Eighty goblins, elves, gnomes and witches held a woods carnival Tuesday evening after school. They feasted on apples, popcorn and candy. In real life they are the pupils of the first and second grades and their teachers, Miss Grace Schertz and Miss Gladys Crouch.

80 Years Ago

November 5, 1943

Louis Shulman, county salvage chairman, has called attention to the fact that many tin cans that should have been saved have gone on the dump pile. This week when old tin and other rubbish was collected and hauled away by the city truck included in it were many tin cans that should have been salvaged, for they are badly needed in our war effort.

Armistice Day — At 11 a.m. Thursday, November 11, at Graceland Cemetery, there will be a short service in remembrance of and honoring those men and women who have gone west in the service of their country – your country. Service men and women are invited and urged to come to the Legion rooms at 6:30 p.m., November 11, Armistice night, when the past commanders of John Joda Post will put on their annual oyster supper.

The penny supper at the Isaac Walton School Wednesday evening, sponsored by the P.T.A. was a success in every particular. An excellent supper was served to over 300 people and the P.T.A. cleared $115.50. The committee making the arrangements was Mrs. Harvey Steidinger, Mrs. D. D. Fultz, Mrs. Hartzell Cox, Mrs. Herman Huber, Mrs. Eli Schlipf and Mrs. Clyde Sutter.

70 Years Ago

November 5, 1953

When G. H. Sutton was pulling tomato plants in his garden Tuesday, he was surprised to find a tomato growing 5 inches under the ground. It was 2½ inches in diameter, looked like a normal tomato and had a coloring of white wax. The plant had grown normal tomatoes.

Herman Penner has purchased the building west of the Penner store at Forrest, from Earl Metz. The building presently houses the Jehovah Witnesses hall. Mr. Penner plans to expand his store and make use of the two buildings.

The Halloween carnival sponsored by the Band Boosters was acclaimed most successful by those who participated in the gala evening at the high school Saturday night. Opening the event was a colorful parade of gaily costumed masqueraders led by the Fairbury-Cropsey marching band under the direction of William Wagner, "Bo-bo" and his two youthful helpers in full clown regalia made way for the parade and delighted the crowd with their antics as it made its way down Main Street. The festivities which followed at the high school offered a variety of amusement for young and old. The peak of the evening program was the proclaiming of Sheryl Vansickle as Queen of the Carnival by the votes of her loyal subjects. The Band Boosters realized approximately $850 from the affair. This will make the new uniforms a reality in the very near future.

60 Years Ago

November 7, 1963

Frank Waters, 59-year-old Forrest plumber who was unconscious for nearly eight weeks at Fairbury hospital, is reported showing continued improvement there, and on Wednesday, was permitted to be up in a wheelchair. He was injured August 27 when he fell 15 feet from a scaffold at Fairbury Industries, Inc., and landed on his head.

Installation of a new $20,000 Picker X-Ray machine at Fairbury Hospital was scheduled to be completed last night. The machine has a rated capacity of 300 Milli-amps, and is equipped with two tubes, one for radiography and one for fluoroscopy. The hospital auxiliary has pledged to pay $10,000 toward the cost of the new unit, which replaces an earlier model which has been "just worn out through usage" according to hospital administrator Gene Baxter.

Canadian geese migrating southward have kept local hunters in a state of excitement this week, and while several have been successful in bagging the big birds, one of the first was the duo of Royce Carter and Warren Beckley, who got three on the Vermilion River north of Fairbury last Thursday morning. They dressed out at 6 lbs. each, Beckley said.

50 Years Ago

November 8, 1973

Timothy Schenk, 22, Bloomington, was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon when the food delivery truck he was driving slid into a southbound train at the Norfolk and Western tracks one mile south of Forrest. View of the tracks is blocked to the north by an FS Fertilizer Plant, and the crossing, though marked, does not have warning lights. The driver, according to witnesses, apparently locked the brakes of the vehicle upon seeing the train. The truck then slid into the train, scattering food supplies, mostly potato and corn chips, over the crossing and ditches. The blacktop thoroughfare, on which the accident occurred, bore a fresh coat of road oil, which made stopping difficult.

Someone with great strength pulled a U. S. Mail box loose from its mooring last week, a feat requiring power since the mail box legs were encased in cement and buried about a foot underground. The vandal or vandals responsible for that Halloween prank probably are not aware that tampering with government property is a federal offense.

That old German disease, "No Hans!" creamed the Fairbury-Cropsey gridders Friday night as Fisher's Bunnies, with a 12-0 triumph, backed the Tartars into a tie with Farmer City for the Sangamon Valley conference title. Already assured of a tie, since Farmer City's conference schedule had ended, the Tartars could have claimed sole Sangamon Valley laurels by skinning the Bunnies, but that's where the "No Hans" situation overtook them. They simply didn't have the hands to hold on to passes that might have made the difference.

40 Years Ago

November 3, 1983

Fairbury-Cropsey's football Tartars can have it all with a victory Thursday night: an undefeated 9-0 season, a Sangamon Valley Conference title and the school's first trip to the state playoffs. The final hurdle will be a major one, however. LeRoy's Panthers are shooting for a share of the conference championship with FCHS. A Panther win would guarantee LeRoy a berth in the Illinois High School Association playoffs and reduce the Tartars' chances to one of the available "at large" openings.

It's safe to go back to Chatsworth now that Halloween has passed for another year. Each fall, at the first sight of the Harvest Moon, Fr. Charles Karl turns his yard into a gathering place for people (???) you wouldn't want to take home to momma. Fr. Karl's bizarre guests attract hundreds of onlookers each Halloween season. It has been said – although not around the faint of heart – that these creatures sometimes move – or speak, scaring the wits out of the visitors.

Sara Joan was born at home to Jeffrey and Cheryl Haas Grace, Fairbury, Oct. 25, 1983 at 5:30 a.m. She weighed 9 lbs. 8 oz. and was 20¼ inches long. She has two sisters Katherine Abigail, 4, and Elizabeth Ann, 2. Paternal grandparents are LeRoy and Beverly Grace, Fairbury; maternal grandparents are Fred and Judy Haas, Avon Park, Fla. Her paternal great-grandfather is Ernest Grace, Fairbury, and paternal great-grandmother is Minnie Klein, Pontiac. Maternal great-grandmother is Margaret Foster, Fairbury.

30 Years Ago

November 3, 1993

There wasn't enough precipitation in last Saturday's snow to be measurable, but it was enough for a lot of folks to become concerned about what's to come this winter. Most of Illinois saw the white stuff on and off all day, at times in huge flakes.

Walton's marks 125th anniversary — Opened by Isaac Walton in 1868 as a grocery store at the corner of First and Locust Streets in Fairbury, the store soon grew as Wesley Walton joined his brother and expanded the business to include a general store. In 1884, fire destroyed their building and they moved to the corner of Third and Locust Streets. Though they were burned out again in 1896, the business was rebuilt on the same location and the store name changed to Walton Bros. Co., The Palace of Trade. The building also housed the Walton Banking Company, offices for doctors, insurance men, attorneys, a barber shop and photo studio. On March 28, 1923, a fire destroyed the store, claiming a loss of $300,000. When the embers died, J. W. Walton Sr. and J. W. Walter Jr. rebuilt the department store on the same location. Later, a board of directors was appointed to take over the day-to-day operations of the store, which re-opened in February 1924 and has remained open to the present.

The revived Haunted House in Fairbury saw 2,666 visitors over their seven-night opening, says co-chairperson Brenda Doran. The Charity Home Rebekah Lodge and Odd Fellows collected donations from 78 Fairbury businesses to construct the house in the basement of the IOOF Lodge. Also assisting with the 25 people it took to operate the house were several village officials: Mayor Lynn Dameron, Police Chief Sam Hedrick and officers Phil Troehler, Jack Wiser and Martin Travis.

20 Years Ago

November 5, 2003

Contributions to the American Red Cross of the Heartland continue to fall behind the cost of Red Cross services in the community. The chapter has eliminated three full-time positions over the past two years. With full-time staff reduced to seven and the number of local disasters and requests for Red Cross services growing, the Board of Directors is considering cuts in some services and the elimination of others to keep the local chapter financially sound.

The Prairie Central Marching Hawks have had an outstanding season. The band performs at all home football games and four competitions each year. They opened their competition season at the Geneseo Marching Band contest on Sept. 20, where the band received Best Winds, Best Color Guard, Best Drum Major and Best Percussion as well as receiving 1st place in Class AA. At the Mahomet-Seymour Marching Bulldog Classic, the band placed 1st in Class AA along with receiving Best Auxiliary, Best Drum Majors, Best Winds, Best Percussion and placing 2nd overall out of 12 bands. The band competed in the Metamora Parade and Field Invitational on Oct. 18 and placed 4th in Class 3A in field show and 5th in parade. The last competition was at the State of Illinois stadium on the campus of Illinois State University. PC performed in Class 2A placing sixth.

An open house tea was held in honor of Margie Hedrick's retirement as librarian at Dominy Memorial Library on Oct. 29. Joan Smeltzer is the newly appointed librarian.

10 Years Ago

November 6, 2013

More than 100 Chatsworth Elementary students were on hand to witness a check for a hefty amount presented to the Chatsworth Township Library by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White Friday. White, who also serves as state librarian, presented a check for $1,171,650 to the township library as part of the Public Library Construction Act Grant. The grant will be used to build a new 6,675-square-foot library facility on a site formerly owned by the Chatsworth school district. The new library will help meet the demands of the library and its community as well as provide much needed accessibility to persons with disabilities.

Blake and Kristin Zehr of Fairbury are the parents of a baby boy born at 4:44 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 at Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center, Normal. Garrett Delane weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces and was 20 inches long at birth. Paternal grandparents are Quinn and Joan Zehr of Fairbury. Maternal grandparents are Bill and Anna Schmidgall of Fairbury. Paternal great-grandparents are Warren and Dolores Zehr of Fairbury. Maternal great-grandparents are John and Carol Waldbeser of Cissna Park. The new arrival shares his middle name with his paternal grandfather.

("Looking Back" from Kari Kamrath is sponsored each week by Duffy-Pils Memorial Homes with locations at Fairbury, Chenoa and Colfax)

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