top of page
  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 2-8-23

130 Years Ago

February 4, 1893

The members of the Presbyterian Church contemplate the erection of a parsonage in the near future. They expect to build a residence costing in the neighborhood of $2,000.

Charity Home Rebekah Lodge will be instituted Wednesday, February 8, at I.O.O.F. hall. All persons eligible to receive the degree should make application before that time if they wish to be charter members.

Wednesday's storm was the most severe for eight years. Snow was twelve inches on the level and seemed to be general throughout Illinois.

Forrest — The German Lutherans are making a move to build a church in the near future. Evans & Skinner have purchased of the late John Wallace estate, the two-story brick building on the corner of Krack and Center streets, now occupied by N. Hura. Consideration, $3,000.

120 Years Ago

February 6, 1903

The contract for the new Methodist Church was let last Wednesday evening to English Bros., of Champaign for $16,542, and the material of the old church. This amount covers the general contract, but does not included the heating, plumbing, seating, lighting or glass contracts.

The rain and sleet storm which set in Tuesday morning in this vicinity was the worst in years. Aside from making outdoor navigation of all kinds impossible, it was very damaging to electric light, telephone and telegraph wires, trees and shrubbery. All over town, wires were down and the walks and streets covered with limbs.

Cropsey — Roy Barnes had some of the bones in his right foot broken last Saturday while attempting to saddle a horse.

Weston — The public sale of C. C. King held Tuesday was well attended, and he realized good price notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, the total sale amounting to almost $4,000. Mr. King and family will soon become residents of Fairbury, having purchased property here.

110 Years Ago

February 7, 1913

Dr. Otis had some runaway Sunday morning. He was riding west on Locust street in a Klondyke buggy and when near the oil tanks, one of the axle's broke, throwing the buggy on one side. The horses started to run and before they ended up the Klondyke was a complete wreck, but the doctor escaped injury.

The ice men who did not get their ice houses filled the last cold spell, have been finishing up the job this week.

The A. W. Morris family, former residents of this vicinity, but who have been living at Sergeant, Neb., are moving back to Fairbury and will reside in this vicinity.

That Americans are money getters and that they commence young was clearly demonstrated Monday evening at the New York Nationals-Limits basketball game. A bunch of youngsters who knew that the game would be well patronized and that standing room would be at a premium, gathered early, paid their money and "copped" a good sized share of the choice seats. When the people got so thick they were standing on each other's toes, these youngsters gallantly offered the older people their seats – at prices ranging from 25 to 50 cents – and got it too.

100 Years Ago

February 2, 1923

Out east of town, where the road was graded last fall to help get it in readiness for the new hard road to be built, there is a mud hole that is testing the ability of the best cars to get through it – and some of them don't get through it without help. Every day in every way it is getting worser and worser. One of the big reasons they don't get through is that they can't find the bottom of the road. We hope by this time next year that a hard road will be where the mud hole now is, and that's some satisfaction.

After being out all night, the jury in the case of the People vs. Louis Austman, charged with violation of the prohibition act, reported to Judge Ray Sesler in the county court last Friday morning that it was unable to reach a verdict. When court convened on Friday morning and the jury filed before Judge Sesler the foreman of the jury stated that they could not agree upon a verdict. Judge Sesler then discharged the jury. He later entered an order to the effect that the bond for Austman's appearance should remain in full force and effect.

The radio fans of this city have, within the past week, heard musical numbers by two gentlemen who are well known here. They are J. Lester Haberkorn, of Chatsworth, and Joe Chapman, formerly of this city, but now of Rock Island. On Monday evening the station at Davenport, Ia. was broadcasting songs by the Temple Quartet, of Rock Island, of which Joseph Chapman is a member. On Thursday Mr. Haberkorn, baritone soloist with Neil O'Brien's Minstrels, had his songs broadcast from Atlanta, Ga.

90 Years Ago

February 10, 1933

The ground hog saw his shadow last Thursday, and since that time things in the way of winter weather have been happening, and incidentally those who champion the ground hog as a weather prognosticator are right out in front with "I told you so." Since then the thermometer has registered 22 below zero, and the country is blanketed with snow a foot deep on the level.

A fire in the garage of J. N. Bach Wednesday evening soon after 7:30 o'clock did damage estimated at around $25. The fire started from an overheated furnace that had been placed in the barn. It was being fired pretty heavily Wednesday evening with the result that a fire started in the gable of the garage. It was fortunate that the fire was discovered when it was, as four automobiles were stored in the garage.

The 12:45 northbound freight on the Wabash had a bad wreck about a half mile north of Wing yesterday afternoon in which twelve cars of merchandise and coal were involved. An arch-bar in the fifth or sixth car back from the engine caught in the switch and caused the trouble. Up to last evening the main track had not been opened up for traffic, the cold weather retarding the work some. It was hoped to get the passing track cleared in time to get last night's passenger trains around the wreck.

80 Years Ago

February 5, 1943

Miss Jean Hurt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Hurt, of this city, left Wednesday to resume studies as a sophomore at the University of Illinois, after spending the mid-year vacation at home. While here she received news of her eligibility for Alpha Lambda Delta, freshman woman's honorary society, which is based on scholastic standing for the freshman year. Miss Hurt is a pledge to Kappa Delta Sorority.

Earl Williams is at the Fairbury hospital recovering from some painful injuries he received on Tuesday when a brick wall on which he was working caved in. Less seriously injured was Alderman Ira French, who was working with Mr. Williams. The two men were not only injured by the falling brick, but they were dropped to the bottom of the reservoir, a distance of 18 feet. The accident occurred at Cayuga, and the state was having the reservoir or cistern built. It was 18 feet deep and 12 feet in diameter.

The sixty-five members of Woman's Club present at the Tuesday evening meeting of the club were given a musical treat by pianist, Mrs. Jean Goold, and baritone soloist, Charles A. Rickets, both of whom were in fine form. During the opening session Mrs. Joseph Slagel, the new Junior Woman's Club president, was presented. Mrs. Slagel takes the place of Mrs. James Mowery (Rosella Von Begen), resigned, and now becomes a member of the executive board of the general club.

70 Years Ago

February 5, 1953

The sheriff's office this week is pondering the disappearance of 600 bushels of soybeans from an Owego township farm. Samuel Popp, tenant on the farm discovered the theft Thursday. Popp said when he last checked the crib's overhead bin, 750 bushels of beans were in it. That was on Dec. 18. This week when he again took a look in the bin, only 150 bushels remained. Figured at the current price for beans, the value of the 6700 missing bushels comes to $1,600.

Monday the Brotherhood of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Forrest met in the parsonage basement. After the devotional service roll call was answered by 14 members. Home and family life was discussed. After the business meeting all members participated in recreation. Refreshments were served.

Fairbury's weather the past week continued to be of the crazy-quilt variety which has been evident through December and January. The past week saw colder weather than at anytime in the last three weeks, but the last three days the mercury has jumped right back up to highs of 40 and above. A half-inch of snow fell Wednesday, but was melted off the following day.

60 Years Ago

February 7, 1963

Miss Pamela Sue Wallace, a senior at Fairbury-Cropsey High School, has been awarded the title of Homemaker of Tomorrow for her local school. This is an award given by General Mills to the senior girl rating highest on a knowledge and aptitude test which was given on December 4 at the Fairbury-Cropsey High School. Pamela's test paper will now be used in the state contest along with all other school winners in the state of Illinois. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. LeRoy Asper.

Gurid Bjornstad, a 17-year-old Norwegian girl, has completed six months of life in the United States and now faces a conflicting circumstance. "In a way I want to go home and tell everyone how wonderful it has been in Fairbury, but then again I really don't want to leave," she beamed. Gurid arrived in Fairbury August 13 and will leave about June 25. She still has two years of high school to complete after returning home since this year at Fairbury-Cropsey is not recognized academically in Norway.

Elmer Roth, vice-president and director of marketing for the Honegger company, Fairbury, was presented the Flying Farmer of the Year award for Illinois at the 17th annual Flying Farmer clinic of Prairie Farmer held in South Bend, Ind. Friday and Saturday. Roth has been active in the organization for several years. Joe and John Kuenzi earned the honor in 1962. Robert Ficklin, also a Fairbury Flying Farmer, was re-elected chairman of the board of directors for the Prairie Farmer group. He begins his third year in the office.

50 Years Ago

February 8, 1973

An embargo on all visitors except for "the very immediate members of the family" was imposed Tuesday at Fairbury Community Hospital. The action, which is effective until further notice, was taken because of the current wave of respiratory ailments, including some severe cases of the flu, that exists in the area. Reportedly, a number of patients, who had no cause to, suddenly began to show signs of increased temperatures.

Fairbury retailers did more than $3.5 million worth of business during the third quarter of 1972, July through September, and for which sales tax reports were filed August Through October and recently released by the state department of revenue. For that third quarter, a total of 196 Fairbury businesses filed reports, with checks attached for $146,629 on the state sales tax of 4 percent.

Mike Wells, number one quarterback for the University of Illinois, draft pick of the Minnesota Viking professional football team, and a certain All-American choice, will visit Fairbury schools Friday afternoon to talk with students. Wells is the brother of Mrs. John (Peggy) Haynes, who teaches third grade at Westview school. According to Westview principal Tony Menke, Mike will have lunch with Westview students, and then talk with third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders about sportsmanship. He will then cross town and talk with Jr. high students about the same subject.

40 Years Ago

February 3, 1983

Fairbury Police this week are looking for a "medium size brown dog with black hair running through its back" after the animal bit dog catcher Paul Fehr near Westview Elementary School. Authorities said Fehr saw children playing with the animal. When he noticed the dog had no collar or tags, he tried to pick up the dog and was bitten. The dog was last seen in the area of First and Chestnut Streets.

It is not chiseled in stone. Neither is it cast in bronze. Yet it was 10 years ago this week that with little more than a state charter and a series of gentlemen's agreements, what may well be the state's most successful emergency medical service (ambulance) came into being. The organization goes by the acronym of SELCAS, identifying it as the South East Livingston County Ambulance Service, embracing the nine townships in the boot heel of the state's fourth largest county.

Westview's walking dictionaries, Diane Slagel and Brett Kinzler, were the first and second place winners in the combined fifth and sixth grade spelling bee competition, held on Jan. 26 at Westview. Out of the 58 students who competed, sixth grader, Diane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ron Slagel of Fairbury, received first place, and fifth grader, Brett, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Kinzler, also of Fairbury, received second place. 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 4, 1993

A security alarm went off at Sav-Mor Pharmacy in downtown Fairbury early last Thursday evening, alerting the 25-member volunteer fire department to a possible catastrophe. Though the Sav-Mor alarm was false and no fire or smoke problem was found, members of the fire department decided they had better bone up on downtown fire fighting should the real thing occur. Fire Chief Keith Klitzing would like downtown business owners to contact the fire department if any changes in floor plans or location of electrical boxes have altered in the last three years.

Clifford Ziegenhorn says the liquidation sale of the John Deere Dealership, which has been a family-owned business in Fairbury for over 50 years, was "wonderful." "It's really beyond expectation," he says, remarking on the number of buyers who began bidding for items at 9 a.m. and finished at 6 p.m. Ziegenhorn says, "I'm happy that it's over."

Among the nearly 1,000 buyers present at last Thursday's liquidation sale at Ziegenhorn's John Deere Dealership west of Fairbury on U.S. Route 24 was a representative for Mike White who purchased the Ziegenhorn property. White, who owns White's Building Center, Inc. in Forrest and rental property in Fairbury, says he isn't sure what he will do with the property. "I don't know yet," he says, adding that he has ideas, but none yet for publication.

20 Years Ago

February 5, 2003

Kaley Keeley, daughter of Joe and Cindy Keeley of Fairbury, and a senior International Business and Spanish double major at Bradley University in Peoria, has been selected from a field of 25 applicants to travel to China to conduct research on behalf of their IB406 client. The 1999 Prairie Central High School graduate is one of two students selected for the one-week, all-expense paid trip to China in March, where they will research sales opportunities for their client, industry analysis and meet with potential buyers.

An octet comprised of area young men represented Livingston County at the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs State Talent Competition held Jan. 18 in Springfield. The group sang "Prayer of the Children" a cappella, and placed eighth in the senior division. Members of the Octet are Chris Metz, Dan Boomgarden, Kent Maurer, Nick Homerding, Matt Metz, Brett Maurer, Alex Metz and Kyle Aberle.

Laura Lindenbaum of Forrest will celebrate her 95th birthday on Thursday, Feb. 13. Laura is the mother of Kay Crane and Jeanette Douglass, both of Forrest. She has nine grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. Her husband, Roger E. Lindenbaum, who is deceased, farmed in the Forrest area for many years.

10 Years Ago

February 6, 2013

At the recent Pint Sized Heroes blood drive held at Westview school, 112 donors presented themselves and a total of 112 units were collected. Student volunteers were Gabbie Houberg, McKenna Haab, Madalyn Steidinger, Chloe Mueller, Ellaina Stadel, Trenton Nicholas, Kayden Brock, Aexis Catton, Devin Marten, Nathan Benway, Wyatt Steidinger, Braiden Travis, Vivian Zhao, Ashley Fehr, Daniel Orgtega, Rylie Vaughan, Kira Edelman, Payton Dunahee, Austin Sweich and Garrett Simpson.

An open house for Anna Margaret Mowery of Fairbury will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16 in the Fellowship Hall at the Fairbury United Methodist Church, in honor of her 90th birthday. Mrs. Mowery was born on Feb. 20, 1923 to Elsie and Harry Newnam. She married Ross Mowery on May 9, 1943. Together they had three children, Jim (Vicki), Sharon (Ken) and Kevin. She also has six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. Mr. Mowery passed away in 2005.

"Looking Back" is presented each week on Fairbury News by Duffy-Pils Memorial Home with locations in Fairbury, Chenoa and Colfax.

196 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


DAVES LOGO larger.jpg
bottom of page