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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 2-14-24

130 Years Ago

February 10, 1894

T. D. Karnes got the job of postmaster. He has been practically sure of it for some time. It is no funeral of ours, but we have always found Mr. Karnes a gentleman and with his practical experience in the office we expect him to turn out to be an excellent postmaster from the start.

Last week the contract for building the bridge over the Vermilion at the DeMoss Ford, was let to the Wheaton Bridge Company, of Chicago. The bridge will consist of two 75-foot spans and will cost $2,725.

Charity Home Rebekah Lodge was one year old Thursday evening and in honor of the event the members assembled at the I. O. O. F. Hall for the purpose of celebrating the occasion.

Wing — Dane Raridon moved his house from Avoca to the lots recently purchased here. J. Tuttle and family will move to Fairbury the last of the week.

Cropsey — About fifty names have been added to the church here in the last four weeks. The meetings have closed. Cropsey has a harness maker and a shoemaker. They came from Anchor and have rented the Watkins property. The spelling school last Friday night at the school house was a success. Belle Hyde and Dr. C. E. Hayward won the laurels.


120 Years Ago

February 12, 1904

War News — Up to date the Japanese have gained a decided advantage over the Russian forces on water. They have sunk and disabled eight Russian battleships and cruisers, have captured four transports with 2,000 soldiers aboard. Dispatches today say that the Japanese fleet are engaged in bombarding Port Arthur, the Russian stronghold. China, it is reported, will soon join with the Japanese.

Jacob Martin, living 11 miles south and a mile west of Fairbury, will have a big public sale Monday, Feb. 15. He will sell 20 head of full-blood Norman horses, 6 of which are mares and all have pedigrees. Some of the horses have won prizes at the Fairbury Fair. He will also sell 12 other horses, some Belgian, some coach and some shire. They are a fine lot of horses as were ever put up for sale in this section. He will also sell 4 head of cattle and 14 brood sows. The terms will be 9 months with six percent discount for cash.

Don't forget the Sock Social at the Presbyterian Church, Feb. 16. A good program will be given consisting of recitations, drill by the Peak family, Will Carleton's play entitled, "Bessie and her three Lovers," quartettes, duets and solos. One special feature of the program will be two vocal solos rendered by Miss Frederick of Pontiac. All are cordially invited even if you have not received a sock, your admission fee will be gladly received at the door. After the program a calendar display will be given in the basement and refreshments will be served.


110 Years Ago

February 13, 1914

The firm of Sullivan & Hollenback, who have been conducting a plumbing establishment in this city for the past year, have by mutual consent dissolved partnership, Mr. Sullivan purchasing Mr. Hollenback's interest.

In the game with the Atlanta Grays, played here last Friday night, the Limits won 69 to 12. Walter Somers took the place at guard, made vacant when Carl Goudy accepted a position in Chicago. He put up a fine game.

John Purdum is demonstrating a new side car which can be attached to a motorcycle and is made to carry one person. The side car has been in use in cities for some time, but this is its first appearance in Fairbury.

Everything is now in readiness for the tabernacle meetings, which will open next Sunday morning in the tabernacle on the old Thomas House corner lots. Rev. I. E. Honeywell is the evangelist in charge.

Forrest — Drs. Hamilton and Shaddle are now occupying their new office building. Miss Emma Geiger has been announced as a candidate for tax collector of Forrest Township.


100 Years Ago

February 8, 1924

The formal opening of Walton Bros. Co. new department store will occur Tuesday, February 19, from 6:30 to 10 o'clock in the evening. At that time the store will be open for its inspection only, and no goods whatever will be sold. All the members of the firm, together with their salesmen, will be present and show the many friends and customers of Walton Bros. Co., through this big structure, which is one of the finest in the state. There will be music and favors and the entire evening given over to the entertainment of the many people who will be present.

Last Saturday little Lissetta C. Jerome entertained nineteen of her little friends and her teacher, Miss Carrithers, with a Valentine party in honor of her seventh birthday which was February 2. The children enjoyed a number of games, prizes being won by Frances Healy and Richard Phelps, after which a dainty lunch was served. The table decorations were in keeping with St. Valentine's Day. Lissetta received many pretty gifts.

The Phi Chi Psi billiard tournament got under way on Wednesday evening with about 75 of the members of that organization present to "pull" for their favorites and also take a hand at euchre. The first game was between Dr. H. B. Bull and Harley Bedell and was a close and exciting contest, with Mr. Bedell winning out in the last few innings. The second contest was between Harry Foster and J. A. Patterson. Mr. Foster tried to make a good contest, too, but he didn't have much opposition and won easily. Following the games, "hot dog" and cheese sandwiches and coffee were served followed by smokes.


90 Years Ago

February 9, 1934

Last Tuesday evening about fifty enthusiastic outdoor sportsmen gathered at the Boy Scout room in the city hall and organized a Fairbury Chapter of the Livingston County Sportsmen's Club. Mr. John McConaha, of Pontiac, investigator for the State Department of Conservation, was present and outlined at length the policies and purposes of such organizations which are being organized in Livingston and other counties throughout the state. E. P. Compton, the congenial rural mail carrier, was unanimously elected president of the club, and John J. McGreal was elected secretary.

A number of social affairs have been given complimentary to Miss Frances Henderson, whose marriage to Herbert W. Weeks will be an event of tomorrow evening. There were several parties given for her in Chicago and this week here, Mrs. La Verne Hadley entertained for her Monday morning, at a 10 o'clock buffet breakfast, a coterie of friends. Tuesday evening Miss Marion McDowell was her hostess at an auction-luncheon when each guest brought a gift for Miss Henderson. There were places at table for twenty. Last evening Miss Emma DuBois and the Misses Augusta and Anna Weber entertained at a small dinner party for her.

Mr. and Mrs. Chris Rinkenberger, of Cissna Park, are now residents of Fairbury, having moved here Tuesday to the residence on North Fourth Street just vacated by Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Goold, who have removed to Pontiac.


80 Years Ago

February 11, 1944

A $57 cake – that's what one brought last Saturday. It went to Lloyd Howell of Chenoa. Mr. Howell didn't pay quite that much for it, but what he didn't pay, others helped him out. The cake, a fancy decorated angel food, was sold by the Fairbury Township High School pupils to help finance their year book, "The Crier." A bake sale was also held at the Walton Department Store last Saturday and it netted $34, making a total of $91. That should buy a few pounds of paper for The Crier.

David Hartman is the new proprietor of the Standard Service Station on Route 24, the old Streib location. He purchased the business from E. E. Foltz and Jay Downes. Mr. Downes had been called for military service and left the first of the week for training. Mr. Foltz is erecting a service garage on his residential premises.

Bill Tagg, who was accepted in the V-12 program and in December enlisted in the Navy, received notice on Thursday to report for active duty March 1 at Illinois State Normal. He has signed up for aeronautical engineering.

Cropsey — Ray Hall, 9-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Hall, fell off some baled straw while playing in the barn Saturday and broke his left arm just above the wrist.


70 Years Ago

February 11, 1954

The highest award offered by the Air Force to an AFROTC student is being presented to Jack G. Milne, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Milne. Cadet Milne, who is a Senior Journalism student at Bradley University, received the coveted Distinguished Military Student Badge during ceremonies at 4 p.m. today on the Bradley campus, according to Colonel Woodrow B. Wilmot, Professor of Air Science and Tactics.

Paul, young son of Mr. and Mrs. Norton DeFries, is in the Fairbury Hospital with a broken nose and a bump on the forehead, the result of coming in contact with the windshield of the DeFries car. Mrs. DeFries and children were returning from a trip on the East Locust Street road, when Mrs. DeFries turned momentarily to caution the children regarding the door. When she looked again, a car, said to have been parked without lights, loomed up in front of her. In the collision Paul received the broken nose and the bump on the head.

George Koerner, Cullom's oldest resident, celebrated his 97th birthday, Monday. He is the father of Mrs. Ella Morris, of this city. He has 122 living descendants including six children and 41 grandchildren.


60 Years Ago

February 13, 1964

Seaman 2-c Ronald Foltz, 18, leaves Thursday, Feb. 20, for New London, Conn., where he will participate in eight weeks of basic submarine school. Following school he will spend six months to a year earning his "dolphins" by working in a submarine. All sub duty in the U. S. Navy program is strictly volunteer. Foltz enlisted May 31, 1963, and has spent the past nine months training in San Diego, Calif.

A recognition banquet for the 1963 Scout class who had attained the Eagle Scout award was held Sunday, Feb. 9 at Memorial Center in Bloomington. Stanley Boyd, son of the Myron Boyds of Cropsey, was one of the Scouts who received his Eagle badge. Jim Abbey was the substitute sponsor due to the illness of Kenneth Elliott. Others attending the banquet in Stan's honor were his father, Myron Boyd; assistant scoutmaster, Stan Hoffman and Stan's former scoutmaster, Harold Stang, and Stow Symon of Pontiac.

Oh Susannah — Wednesday special: roast loin of pork and dressing, mashed potatoes, vegetable, rolls and coffee, $1.50; Thursday special: roast sirloin of beef, salad, potatoes, vegetables, rolls and coffee, $1.50.


50 Years Ago

February 14, 1974

Retiring this week from the Fairbury retail community is Mrs. Clifford (Gertrude) Stephens, who has sold her interest in Bell, Book & Candle to her partner, Mrs. Jim (Joan) Steidinger. The mother-daughter duo started business in June of 1968 when they purchased the Merle Norman Cosmetics franchise of Mrs. Dave Parmele, and added a gift and card line in the former beauty shop location in the 100 block of West Locust Street. Some 18 months later, in February of 1968, in order to get more space, they moved to their present location at 118 East Locust. Joining Mrs. Steidinger and her sister-in-law, Mrs. Kent Hostetter, on the store's staff is Mrs. Robert Isaacs.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Iler, of Fairbury, are announcing the engagement of their daughter, Linda, to Robert A. Mack of Fairbury. He is the son of Mrs. Willard Mack of Fairbury and the late Willard Mack. Linda is attending Parkland Junior College in Champaign. Robert attended the University of Illinois, Champaign and is employed by the Fairbury Post Office.

Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Tinges of Route 2, Fairbury, in observance of their 25th wedding anniversary, are planning a trip to the Bahamas, a gift from their sons. The former Margaret Ann Jacobs, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Jacobs of Pontiac, and Mr. Tinges, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Tinges of Chenoa, were married on February 19, 1949, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Chenoa. The couple are the parents of three sons, Mark of Peoria, Darryl, Eastern Illinois University, and Jay, at home.


40 Years Ago

February 9, 1984

For the second time in 10 days and the third time since Dec. 2, offices at Fairbury-Cropsey Junior-Senior High School were burglarized sometime Tuesday night or early Wednesday. This time, their haul was the most successful of the three attempts, as they got about $650 from the two offices. In the Dec. 2 burglary, the loss was about $50, and loss on the night of Jan. 27-28 was between $50 to $60. Police Chief Bill Spray said that for the third time there was no sign of forced entry to the building and that they were pursuing a couple of theories.

Westview students Cheryl Slagel and Amy Cress were winners of Westview's spelling bee contest held in January. Students from grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 competed. Sixth grader Cheryl came in second and fifth grader Amy was the first place winner. She correctly spelled the word oblong to earn her title. Both girls will travel to the regional superintendent's office in Pontiac on Feb. 15 to compete against youngsters from other schools.

Two area residents were among a total of 149 graduate students at Illinois State University who have completed requirements for master's degrees with the close of the 1983 fall session. They include Robert Walter, Fairbury, and Teresa Trainor, Forrest.


30 Years Ago

February 9, 1994

A five-year decreasing percentage tax break was approved by Fairbury's City Council for Pinbreaker, Inc., the bowling ball manufacturer who moved into the former Rieger Coil building on the city's west side last May. The ordinance abating the real estate tax gives Pinbreaker a 100 percent abatement for 1993, 80 percent in '94, 60 percent in '95, 40 in '96 and 20 in '97. The company has been manufacturing their top-of-the-line bowling ball in Fairbury for distribution throughout the world.

Trevin, age eight, and Carlee, six, welcomed home their baby brother, Tanner John, born Feb. 2, 1994, at 10:53 p.m. at Saint James Hospital, Pontiac. He weighed seven pounds, seven ounces and was 19 inches long. His parents are Randy and Jill McCulloh, Fairbury. Grandparents are Richard and Janet Steidinger, Fairbury; Stan and Debbie McCulloh, Bloomington; and the late Carolyn McCulloh. Great-grandparents are Christine Steidinger, Fairbury, and Margaret Read, Cullom.

The ABBIT Society at PCJHS (that's As and Bs Because I Try), has a drawing after each nine-week period, and the winners, two boys and two girls from each grade, get a sweatshirt. Proudly displaying their shirts were 7th graders, Morgan Shipley, daughter of Lynn Barnett of Forrest, and Jon Huston, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Huston of Fairbury; and eighth graders, Megan Davis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Davis of Chatsworth, and Joe Speedon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jose Speedon of Fairbury.


20 Years Ago

February 11, 2004

Fairbury Fair officials are revamping the lineup for this year's fair, starting with a new carnival, that will feature a merry-go-round and ferris wheel. Luerhr's Ideal Rides will provide the carnival for the 128th  Annual Fairbury Fair that runs Sunday, Aug. 18 through Aug. 22, 2004. According to officials, the carnival will consist of 19-22 rides.

State Senator Dan Rutherford (R-Pontiac) wants to protect small communities, senior citizen groups and church organizations' potluck dinners from unnecessary regulation. Several incidences of closing down community potlucks throughout the state prompted the lawmaker to take action. Rutherford's legislation amends the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act. It provides that neither the Department of Public Health nor the local health department may regulate the serving of food that is brought to a potluck event sponsored by a group of individuals or a religious, charitable or nonprofit organization as long as they meet certain guidelines.

PFC Craig Jackson of the United States Army, recently returned home from Iraq to visit his family and friends in Fairbury. PFC Jackson, who has been in Iraq for the past nine months, left Jan. 28 to return to Iraq, where he is stationed with the 3/3 Armored Calvary Regiment out of Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Co. He is stationed about 35 miles west of Baghdad in the Suni Triangle. Jackson is the son of Karen and Harold Jackson and the grandson of Jim and Joann Wells, all of Fairbury.


10 Years Ago

February 12, 2014

City of Fairbury street department employees have been kept extra busy this winter, removing, piling and hauling away snow from the city's streets after several substantial snow falls, two of them being in the past couple of weeks. The area was visited by a snow storm on Feb. 1 and again on Feb. 4, followed by extremely cold temperatures. Schools were closed on Wednesday, Feb. 5 and were reopened on Thursday with an hour delayed start. Street department employees removed piles of snow on Monday of last week, only to have to do the same thing again on Wednesday and Thursday. Business owners were also kept busy cleaning the walks in front of their stores.

Gibson Area Hospital is pleased to announce that CEO Rob Schmitt has been named on the inaugural list of “50 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know” by Becker's Hospital Review. According to Becker's Hospital Review, a monthly publication which offers hospital-related business and legal news content, “these 50 presidents and CEOs have shown commitment to providing high-quality, accessible care to their patient populations and have approached the challenge of rural healthcare with great assurance.” Under Schmitt's leadership, Gibson Hospital was the sole recipient of the Quality Award from the National Rural Health Association in 2013, and is the only critical access hospital in the nation with 100 percent of its emergency room nurses certified in emergency medicine. Schmitt joined the hospital in 2002 as CFO and was promoted to CEO in 2007.

Ellen Steidinger and Josh Dehm are announcing their engagement and approaching marriage. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Doug and Dixie Steidinger of Fairbury. The future bridegroom is the son of Steve and Angie Dehm of Pontiac. The couple is planning a June 14, 2014 wedding.

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

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