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  • Fairbury News staff

Looking back 2-15-23




130 Years Ago

February 11, 1893

Dolph Marshall, living near the Fugate School, northeast of Fairbury, sustained a serious loss by the burning of his residence last Saturday morning about 6:30 o'clock.

Charity Home Rebekah Lodge, No. 112, was instituted Wednesday evening by special deputy, Mrs. Matilda Griebel, of Peoria, who is the official instructress of this state. The order starts out with thirty-six charter members.

Strawn — The phonograph man that hit town Friday and left Monday did a rushing business. He took off with him the voices of some of our jokers which he will turn loose in a dime museum.


120 Years Ago

February 13, 1903

The Sabbath school room of the Presbyterian Church was dedicated with appropriate exercises last Sunday. Large congregations were present although the deep snow and rough roads detained a large number of country people. The new addition to the church gives it a seating capacity of 800 when all the rooms are thrown together.

On Tuesday afternoon, the friends of Mrs. James Kirby gave her a surprise at the home of her daughter, Mrs. A. D. Westervelt, the occasion being her 60th birthday.

George W. and R. Johnson of Armstrong, Ia., were in the city this week and leased the Walton Bros. creamery building on the corner of Locust and First Streets, where they will start a factory for the manufacture of corn dumps and elevators.

Weber & Son have purchased the Emil Keller stock of groceries, known as "Our Store," and will take possession Monday morning. The store will be under the management of Don C. Merrill.


110 Years Ago

February 14, 1913

The frame building occupied by John Sorg in the east business block and one of the oldest in the city, was damaged to such an extent Thursday morning by fire it cannot be repaired. The stock of goods carried by Mr. Sorg consisting of cigars, tobacco, confectionery, etc. was badly damaged. The building was erected in the early 70's by Pender Bros. The fire started on the roof supposedly from sparks from the chimney of David Henry's lunch room.

Aldine and Alvine Hanna entertained a party of fifteen girl friends Tuesday evening, the occasion being in celebration of their birthday.

The Lakeside School, Miss Lorine Shepherd teacher, will hold a basket social on next Thursday evening. A school play will also be given.

W. E. Stephey, who for some time past has had charge of the furniture department of Walton Bros. Co., has leased the building formerly occupied by J. G. Swing and will occupy the same with a complete line of furniture and hardware.


100 Years Ago

February 9, 1923

At the master's sale of real estate held in front of the city hall last Saturday afternoon, Robert Abbey purchased the 26½ acres in Bell Prairie Township for $167.50 per acre, and C. R. Voris purchased the Abbey property at the corner of Fourth and Hickory Streets, paying $1,400 for the same.

The members of John Joda Post of this city have purchased a new pool table for their rooms. They have also just recently moved their piano into their new quarters.

The T. P. & W. officials are again thinking of taking off two of their trains, the one going east in the morning at 9:04 and the one going west in the morning at 7:12. Agent Compton received a letter Monday morning from the officers in Peoria stating the passengers now being carried over the road are not sufficient to warrant the number of trains they were now running, and for him to inquire of the business men and others concerned what they thought about taking off the trains above mentioned.

Miss Ida Hirstein gave a lovely little dinner party last Friday evening to a group of girl friends. She took her guests to Central Theatre to see "Penrod."


90 Years Ago

February 17, 1933

Miss Fern Carter, who has spent the past five years in Baroda, India, where she is connected with the Webb Memorial school as teacher and superintendent of the girls hostel, is coming home on a furlough. According to a letter received by her mother, Mrs. I. S. Carter, she sailed on the Victoria from Bombay, on Thursday of last week and is due in Port Said today and in Naples, Italy, Sunday. She plans a brief stay in Paris and hopes to obtain passage from London on the Olympia scheduled to arrive in New York March 6.

The fire department was called to the John Bolliger machine shed on South Seventh Street near the cemetery yesterday afternoon. One of the Bolliger boys was repairing an automobile radiator when the gas in the blow torch was exhausted. In refilling it the heat from the torch ignited the gasoline in the can and the burning liquid was spilled over the floor. Fortunately the floor was of cement and the fire was extinguished before the fire department arrived.

John P. Cook last Saturday mentioned that it was forty-five years ago to the day since he had started in business here. The firm name was Cook Brothers and they conducted a hardware, furniture and undertaking business. Since starting in business here forty-five years ago Mr. Cook has had charge of 3,076 funerals.


80 Years Ago

February 12, 1943

Fairbury's second annual Hobby Show sponsored by the Westminster Fellowship of the Presbyterian Church held last Friday and Saturday presented approximately thirty different exhibits ranging from Civil War coins, buttons, pictures, war souvenirs, Indian relics, model trains, Mexican display, dolls to handiwork. In the senior division Roger Weeks' marine exhibit, Mrs. Heimbeck's dolls and Mrs. Russell Watson's buttons finished in that order. The best photos were contributed by William Roth and A. Keith Anderson, while Delores Moser and Phyllis Cox had the most popular junior exhibits of perfume bottle and dolls respectively.

Open house at the new obstetrical unit of the Fairbury Hospital will be held tomorrow afternoon from one to five o'clock. Fairbury's new hospital unit as it stands represents an investment of $25,000 and a year and a half of manual labor. The work of excavating for the building started October 1, 1941, but previous to that there had been months of planning and organizing. Actual construction on the building started on April 22, 1942.

Honegger Bros. new feed mill at First and Walnut Streets is about the busiest place in this part of the country. Carpenters, masons and other mechanics by the dozen are employed there installing various kinds of equipment and getting the place in readiness to turn out all kinds of stock and poultry feed.


70 Years Ago

February 12, 1953

A "Chick Circus" for poultry raisers will be held Friday, Feb. 20, in Floral Hall at Fairbury Fairgrounds. It will be sponsored jointly by Corn Belt Elevator and Lodemia Elevator. All farmers and poultry raisers are invited to attend. There will be free refreshments and a lucky poultry raiser will win 100 baby chicks. In addition, the person who writes the best last line to our Circus limerick contest will receive enough Pay-U-Chick Starter to feed 100 chicks for four weeks.

Mr. and Mrs. Carl Waldbeser returned last Tuesday from a two-and-one-half month trip to Germany and a reunion there with the parents of both. The couple left the port of New York Nov. 15 on the new American liner, The United States. Landing at LaHarvre, the Waldbeser's went to Paris, France, and then on to Stuttgart to visit Mr. Waldbeser's parents. They then continued to Ballingin for a reunion with Mrs. Waldbeser's parents. It was the first time either had seen their parents in 30 years, having left Germany in 1923. They have resided in Fairbury since 1930.

Both trucks of the Fairbury Fire Department answered a call to the Conrad Munz house about 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, but there was no fire. The nearest thing to a fire was contained in a trash barrel some distance away from the house. Firemen said the alarm had been turned in by a neighbor who noticed some burning paper descending on the roof of the house. The house is at present unoccupied, being in a state of remodeling.


60 Years Ago

February 14, 1963

Fairbury-Cropsey voters Saturday approved a new elementary school building for Fairbury when they voted 528 to 430 for the $400,000 bond issue to finance the new school. Two previous building proposals had been rejected by the voters. The board met Monday night to plan a course of action, and is currently investigating a number of possible sites for the new school. Voters casting their ballots at Fairbury were 471 to 375 in favor of the issue, while Cropsey voters approved 57 to 55.

Approximately $6,000 in damages was caused by fire about 1:40 p.m. Friday on the Maurice Sutter farm two miles west, one and one half miles south of Fairbury. Forty-seven small pigs, four sows and three shoats were burned to death in a barn and small shed next to the barn. Also destroyed were 1,500 bales of straw and hay. The entire loss was covered by insurance, said Sutter. The barn, which measured 36 x 46 feet, was constructed about 1917. The farm is owned by Mrs. Alice Parr of Ottawa. Sutter saw the blaze from the window of his farm home, but upon opening the barn door, he discovered the fire was too far along to stop. Fairbury firemen prevented the flames from destroying a nearby cattle shed and the house. Firemen believe that heat lamps used in the shed where the pigs were quartered ignited the fire.

Cadet Daniel L. Ringler, of Strawn, has been named to the Commandant's Merit List for outstanding military achievement at the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has also been selected for the position of squadron operations officer in his unit with the rank of cadet major. He will wear the silver wreath of distinction on his sleeve in recognition of the honor accorded him by the Academy Commandant of Cadets. A graduate of FSW High School, he attended Colorado University.


50 Years Ago

February 15, 1973

A classic case for those who argue that advanced age is not necessarily a requirement for relinquishing responsibility is Fairbury's City Clerk. L. B. "Bud" Decker, who will be 88 on his next birthday anniversary and announced Friday night at the independent Party Caucus that he would not be a candidate for renomination. "Bud" has only held this post for slightly over 40 years! When he was 80, and past, he regularly donned his coveralls and marched around the city, reading water meters. Now he goes home to tend one of the city's most profuse flower gardens. And with him goes a steel-trap memory of every incident in city business during the past four decades.

A lone ski-masked bandit obtained approximately $4,000 in an armed robbery at Weber's IGA store in Fairbury about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday. Mrs. Wm. (Anna Lou) Van Antwerp, assistant manager, was leaving the store after working late. She had locked the front door when a man stepped around the corner of the building and asked if she had 'change for a dollar." He then produced a blue, long-barreled revolver and announced, "This is a stick-up; we're going back inside!" The armed man than escorted her back inside, where he ordered her to unlock the safe. After cleaning out the safe, he ordered his hostage to the back room, taped her up, put her in the compressor room and stacked some cases of canned goods against the door. She managed to get the tape loose and get to the phone at about 10:15, calling both Fairbury Police and store owner George Weber.

Miss Lynette Taylor was crowned queen of the annual FHA Sweetheart Ball Saturday evening at Fairbury-Cropsey High school. Members of the Sweetheart Court and their escorts were Linda Iler and Bob Tomlison, Elaine Schaffer and Dan Ifft, Phyllis Vaughan and Jeff Kilgus and Mary Lou Meyer and Art Knapp. Ben Meister escorted the queen.


40 Years Ago

February 10, 1983

Chris Haab is a venerable resident of Fairbury who at 94 is older than his favorite breakfast food, Kellogg's Corn Flakes, which he has been eating ever since the product was introduced by W. K. Kellogg in 1906. Chris was recognized by the manufacturer this week after Jim Haab, his grandson, wrote the Kellogg company in Battle Creek, Mich. Learning of Chris' lifelong addiction to what is the largest selling ready-to-eat breakfast cereal in the world, the company sent him some bigger-than-life packages of the product, along with a letter of good wishes and a certificate of appreciation signed by the firm's chairman and president.

Locked brakes on a semi-truck turning north off U.S. 24 blocked Third Street in Fairbury for more than three hours Thursday morning. The vehicle partially obstructed the westbound lane of the highway where the rear of the trailer had not cleared. Fairbury City Police handled traffic control until the truck could be moved.

How do you spell success? Fairbury-Cropsey Jr. High School students, Jeff Story and Jill Koehl could tell you. They are the winners of the combined annual seventh and eighth grade spelling bee at the junior high. Eighth grader Jeff Story, who won first place, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Story of Fairbury. Second place winner was seventh grader Jill Koehl, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Koehl of Fairbury. The pair will compete at the Livingston County spelling bee competition on Feb. 15 in Pontiac at the Health and Education building on Torrance Avenue.


30 Years Ago

February 11, 1993

Robert and Mary Beth Decker, Fairbury, marked their 25th wedding anniversary Wednesday, Feb. 10. Decker and Mary Beth Rieger were married Feb. 10, 1968, at the home of the bride's parents in Forrest. Attendants were Russ and Jane Tjarks, brother-in-law and sister of the bridegroom. They are the parents of Eric, Urbana; Colin, Strawn; and Cari, at home. Decker is manager of Edward's Soil Service, Strawn, and his wife is employed at Champion Federal, Forrest.

Airman Daniel E. Carroll has graduated from Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. He is the son of Johnny Carroll, Bellwood, Neb., and Carol Carroll, Piper City. He graduated from David City High School in 1991. During the six weeks of training, Carroll studied Air Force mission, organization and customs and received special training in human relations.

The promotions of Denise Kinzer and Dawn Koehl to newly created bank positions were announced at the National Bank of Fairbury's annual meeting by Bud Gerber, bank president. Kinzer has accepted the position of Marketing Director. She will be responsible for the coordination of all advertising and public relations. Koehl has been promoted to the position of Assistant Cashier. With this advancement, she will assume new management responsibilities in the bank's Teller Department, which is being consolidated with the Customer Services Department.


20 Years Ago

February 12, 2003

Two Prairie Central High School students recently attended the Illinois Music Educator's Association State Convention held at the Peoria Civic Center Jan. 29 through Feb. 1. Molly Kinate, daughter of Jon and Julie Kinate, was selected Soprano 1 in the All-State Choir. Linsey Adams, daughter of Randy and Debbie Adams, was selected as an Alto II in the Honors Choir. Both girls auditioned at the district level in October, and took part in the District Festival in November, prior to the all-state event. Adams was notified last week that she has been chosen to sing the National Anthem during the Girls Class A State Basketball Tournament on March 1.

Lusetta Liming of Strawn recently celebrated her 98th birthday. She was born Jan. 14, 1905. She now resides in Strawn with her daughter Pat Sinnett. She enjoys watching tv, embroidery and visits from her family. She has eight children, 31 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Prairie Central wrestlers won the U-High Regional Saturday, capturing seven individual championships, a second place and three third-place finishes, advancing to the U-High team sectional Feb. 24. Eleven individuals will compete at the Clinton Sectional Friday and Saturday. They are Jordan Broquard, Jake Davis, Luke Taylor, Ben Rudin, Tyler Webster, Aaron Rathbun, Patrick Smith, Michael Kilgus, Caleb Rathbun, Tony Reis and Tim Moats.


10 Years Ago

February 13, 2013

After a lengthy discussion and a failed vote on Wednesday night, members of the Fairbury City Council finally approved a bid from K&S Ford for a water department service truck. Some council members raised questions about the initial truck proposal, which included a four-wheel-drive model. Greg Hish made a motion to approve the bid with the four-wheel-drive feature, but the council was deadlocked in a tie vote. Fairbury Mayor Robert P. Walter Jr. broke the tie by voting no. Hish then made a new motion to authorize a two-wheel-drive heavy duty F-250 truck and the motion passed unanimously. The cost of the truck is $29,197.

State Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) met with a handful of constituents during his first mobile office hours at Fairbury City Hall on Feb. 4. Rep. Brady's new 105th Legislative District includes Fairbury, Forrest and Strawn in Livingston County along with other rural areas and small towns in eastern McLean County. “I believe it is important to listen to the residents in my district in order to represent them in Springfield,” said Rep. Brady. “So I plan to be visiting the towns in my new district as much as possible because my goal is to be an accessible representative.”


(Looking Back from Kari Kamrath is presented each week on Fairbury News by Duffy-Pils Memorial Homes, with locations in Fairbury, Chenoa and Colfax)



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