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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 3-1-23




130 Years Ago

February 25, 1893

John Virgin has been appointed by the World's Fair commission as custodian of the Illinois building. A. H. Remington will act in the capacity of assistant and left for Chicago Monday to assume his duties.

A company of forty of the young friends of John Best tendered him a surprise at the Dirks home, a mile north of town, last Saturday evening. Mr. Best was presented with an elegant photograph album.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Cox of Fairbury, February 18, a girl. Born to Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Wallace of Forrest, Saturday, February 18, a pair of boys.

Markets — Hogs, $7.75 to $8; wheat, 50c; corn, 35c; oats, 30c; butter, 18c to 20c; eggs, 20c; lard, 10c.


120 Years Ago

February 27, 1903

The C. C. King family are now residents of Fairbury, having moved in from Yates township and are occupying a residence on South Fourth street, recently purchased.

Fred Kelso has purchased a trotting stallion which has a mark of 2:26¼.

Miss Emma Rose has accepted a position in the real estate and insurance office of J. J. Broadhead at Forrest.

T. F. Payne was in Chicago this week buying new spring goods for Payne Bros. clothing store.

Ben Sutter has moved onto the Conrad Fehr farm, three miles east and one mile north of Fairbury.


110 Years Ago

February 28, 1913

Arthur Somers loaded his farming implements Tuesday and that evening left with the car for Grand Meadows, Minn., where he will till his father's farm.

Dr. Otis had his car repainted and it now wears a shine that would gladden the heart of his sickest patient.

A letter received by friends in this city from Louie Dirks, who is spending the winter in California, states that it snowed there to beat the band the 19th of this month.

Cropsey — The measles epidemic continues to increase. Pauline Meeker, little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Meeker, is quite ill with the disease.

Dr. A. W. Pendergast, our local optician, has installed a new lens-grinding machine.


100 Years Ago

February 23, 1923

Conrad Munz, Jr., finished his ice harvest the latter part of last week, and with the exception of a very small percent, which was gathered when it looked as though the warm weather was going to cut the crop short, the ice is the finest that he has put up in years. It is ten to twelve inches thick and as clear as a crystal. Mr. Munz has each of his several houses filled to bursting.

The Keck Insurance Agency of this city has a goat and the main aim of this firm is to keep some other insurance company from getting it. The goat is mounted on a nice piece of polished wood and engraved on a silver plate on this wood are the words "Keck's Goat 1922." This goat was acquired by the Keck Agency by writing for the Continental Insurance Company the most business for the department of cities and towns in Illinois, outside of Cook County, meaning that this agency led the state in 1922 in this department. Should they succeed in heading the list in 1923 the goat becomes the permanent property of the Keck Agency. A number of insurance companies in the larger down-state cities have signified their intention of "getting Keck's Goat," and the Keck agency is just as determined not to let anything like that happen.

George Nimmo's Oakland car went up in smoke yesterday. Mr. Nimmo was driving along the road this side of Chatsworth and the first thing he knew flames were shooting up from the floor of the car just back of him. All he could do was to drive the car down on the side of the road and let it burn. The back of Mr. Nimmo's overcoat was scorched by the flames.


90 Years Ago

March 3, 1933

C. T. Campbell, ice cream salesman for the Peoria Creamery Company, was brought to the Fairbury hospital shortly before noon Monday, having suffered severe injuries about the head when his car turned over several times on Route 8 at a short distance east of Weston. Mr. Campbell was going west and met a car coming east astraddle the line which made it necessary for him to get off the cement to avoid a collision, and this caused him to lose control of his car.

For some time Manager E. N. Nelson of the Central Theatre has observed certain customers leaving the theatre following the performances, but could never recall having seen them come in. His friend, Chief of Police Bodley, Tuesday evening ankled over to the theatre and parked himself in the dark basement. He hadn't been there long when boys began to slide in via the coal chute. Arriving on the inside one of the boys whispered, "Strike a match." "You won't need to," said the waiting officer as he turned on his high powered flashlight.

Cropsey — Thursday a new salesman came into Meeker Bros. store and while talking to Harvey Meeker discovered that they were in the same regiment in France during the World War.


80 Years Ago

February 26, 1943

The Father-Son banquet held at the Presbyterian Church Monday evening was a success from every point of view. There was a large attendance, 115 being present; the program was exceptionally good and the dinner served by the Twentieth Century class was fine. The Boy Scouts, their Scoutmaster, Frank M. Cox, and his assistants, Edgar Zook and Roy Russell, were special guests.

Several years ago when Bert Davis of near Cropsey, was out at Yellowstone Park he bought a hunting knife. It was of very fine quality steel, the blade being about five inches long. There has been a call made by our armed forces for this kind of hunting knife and just recently Mr. Davis sent this knife to Gen. Giles at San Francisco, Calif. Mr. Davis said he understood the knives were used by those who fought in the jungle regions.

Employees of the Economy Dress Shop have completed an eight hour work donation for the war relief fund. The International ladies Garment Workers' Union urged all members to cooperate in this drive during the month of February. Workers here decided on working four hours February 13 and four hours February 20, donating wages earned during this time. One hundred percent of all union members cooperated. One-half of the proceeds go to the International Fund, the other half is retained by the local and will be distributed to various relief drives in this community.


70 Years Ago

February 26, 1953

Mayor Roy E. Taylor today issued a proclamation setting forth the month of March as Red Cross month. Citing the facts that the country is at present engaged in a war, that there is a mounting need for whole blood and blood derivatives, that there is much that the American National Red Cross is mobilizing for the protection of the family, community and nation and is aiding the victims of natural disasters, the mayor called for all citizens of the community to contribute without reservation to the fund drive.

Forrest — Seventeen members of the Wm. Haab family enjoyed a 6:30 dinner on Saturday evening at the Igloo Cafe in honor of Pfc. Richard A. Haab, home on leave. He will report back to camp on Feb. 26, at Camp LeJeunne, North Carolina. This is the first time he had seen his son, Roger Allen, born Sept. 17.

Fairbury's second annual community sale is scheduled to get under way on main street at 11 o'clock on Wednesday morning, March 4. A city-wide Dollar Day will also be held in conjunction with the sale, with merchants offering attractive bargains to all comers. The sale is open to anyone and everyone having everything from a cracked cookie jar to a large implement for sale.


60 Years Ago

February 28, 1963

Approximately 2,000 people attended Ziegenhorn & Sons' first public auction sale Tuesday. The local John Deere implement company has been in business here since 1940. John Ziegenhorn told the Blade, "Things sold all the way from $1.00 to $4,000." He also noted that buyers were present from Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky, as well as many communities in Illinois. Over 300 machines sold at the sale. The company has moved to its new location, about one half mile west of Fairbury on route 24.

Ernest Skrobonak was painfully bitten on both hands and his wrists by a raccoon Saturday morning, when he grasped the intruder as it was crawling between bales of hay and the side of the hayloft. The Skrobonaks had been missing more than 30 young frying chickens from their barn in recent weeks. Every night, chickens and some corn disappeared. On Saturday, the mystery was solved when the coon was found in the hayloft. After the coon bit its captor, Ernest's sister, Mildred, killed it with a pitchfork.

William Freed and James Goold paid $636 an acre for 199.5 acres of Smith Estate land last Wednesday afternoon in bidding at the National Bank of Fairbury. Ed Meister was contending bidder. Henry Phillips, administrator of the estate, conducted the sale. The land is in two parcels 1.5 miles north of Fairbury, in Avoca Township. Proceeds of the sale go to the Fairbury Hospital. Bill Freed took 160 acres of the land, and James Goold 39.5 acres.


50 Years Ago

March 1, 1973

At 8 a.m. today, the South East Livingston County Ambulance Service, Inc. assumed full operation of the four emergency vehicles in the communities of Fairbury, Forrest and Chatsworth. And one telephone number, is to be used to call any one of them. Since January 1 of this year, the not-for-profit corporation has owned the four vehicles, two in Fairbury and one each in the other towns, but they have been staffed primarily by personnel from four funeral homes. The transition was made in response to an announcement last fall that the funeral directors were going to discontinue ambulance services.

William L. Goslin has been named Mill and Elevator foreman at the production facilities of Honeggers' & Co., Inc., Fairbury. The announcement was made by William W. Walker, president of Honeggers'. A graduate of Fairbury schools, Goslin joined Honeggers' in a production capacity in 1966 after serving with Central Soya in Gibson City for 12 years. He and his wife, Jean, are the parents of four children and reside in Gibson City.

Mrs. C. R. Voris, Mrs. Margaret DeFries, Marguarite Nussbaum and her sister Helen Mundell ,of Joliet, spent February 9 through 17 on the Island of Majorca off the coast of Spain, staying at Paloma on the northwestern coast. Their tour took them to places of interest on both coasts including Torrent on the north peak of the island, tour of a leather factory and the factory where the famous majorca pearls are made. They were also treated to a nite club tour and a Spanish bar-be-que dinner. The ladies, who were in Europe at the time of the U.S. dollar devaluation, experienced several difficulties on monetary matters. In more than one instance their travelers checks were rejected and some places would not accept U.S. currency.


40 Years Ago

February 24, 1983

Construction on Fairbury's new community swimming pool is expected to start yet this week, and if the weather maintains its current pattern through the next few weeks, it may be in use by mid-to-late July. Estimated cost of the project is about $595,000 which is being provided by ex-Fairburian Marion Stafford, who now resides in San Marcos, Calif. The project includes an "L shaped pool plus a wading pool nearby, as well as a grass volleyball court and a snack area, all enclosed by a fence.

King and Queen candidates for the annual FHA-FFA Sweetheart Dance, to be held on Feb. 26 at Lincoln Cafeteria are Seniors Mike Maffett, Dale Wessels, Leon Beitz, Anthony Fehr, Sue Pitcock, Gail Kiper, Annette Kyburz and Sara Sands. The coronation will be at 10 p.m. Music will be provided by Shiloh. Advisors to FFA and FHA are John Marshall and Margaret Fagot.

The engagement of Jill LaDee Bachtold and Richard Wenger, both of Fairbury, was announced Feb. 20. Parents of the couple are Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Bachtold, Mrs. Nathalia Wenger and the late Albert Wenger, all of Fairbury.


30 Years Ago

February 25, 1993

Over 30 people crowded the community room at Fairbury's fire house Wednesday night, the majority of whom expected to bring their union problems with McDonald's Corporation to the Fairbury City Council meeting. But mayor Lynn Dameron soon set the ground rules. "We're not going to turn this into a forum for the union because the City of Fairbury is not going to get into the union battle. Therefore we are not going to open the floor to it," Dameron said.

Megan Diller, age five, daughter of Tim and LaDonna Diller, Chatsworth, won several awards at a preliminary America's Sweetheart beauty pageant held Feb. 13 at the Ramada Inn, Bloomington. Richard and Judy Koerner, Chenoa, are Megan's grandparents. Megan won a crown/sash in the portfolio/composition and sportswear categories; trophy/sash in the photogenic category; and medallions in the categories for prettiest hair, brightest eyes and most attractive attire. She was awarded a crown, trophy and sash as Queen in the 4-6 year-old division, a sash and four-foot trophy for Overall High Point and a sash, crown and four-foot trophy for Overall most Beautiful.

Spec. James Grider has been decorated with the Army Achievement medal, which is awarded to soldiers for meritorious service, acts of courage or other outstanding accomplishments. The soldier, a fighting infantryman, is the son of Danny R. Grider of Chenoa and Patsy A. Grider of Kennesaw, Ga. Grider received the award while stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. He is a 1988 graduate of Chenoa High school.


20 Years Ago

February 26, 2003

When the final buzzer sounds, bringing a close to the 2002-03 high school boys basketball season, that buzzer will also bring to a close, 29 successful years of coaching for Tom Posey. He plans to retire from teaching and coaching at the end of this school year. Posey, 55, who has spent the past 12 years as head mentor for the boys' basketball program at Prairie Central High School, has decided to take advantage of an early retirement package offered by the school district. In addition to his coaching duties, Posey has taught physical education and driver education at PC. He spent 17 years at Crescent-Iroquois before coming to Prairie Central.

Prairie Central senior wrestler Jordan Broquard captured his second state medal last weekend with a third place finish at the IHSA State Wrestling Tournament. Broquard had a 3-1 record over the weekend and moved his season to 37-2.

The Chatsworth Junior Farmers 4-H Club met Feb. 2 at the United Methodist Church in Chatsworth. Awards were presented to club members. Kay Diller got "pied" in the face as an award for reaching the 100-pound mark in the club's food drive. Adam Cavanaugh gave a talk on hunter safety, Kristin Diller gave a talk on making play dough and Caleb Smith gave a talk on woodworking.


10 Years Ago

February 27, 2013

Ruby Vant, a resident of Fairview Haven Retirement Community in Fairbury, had her 105th birthday on Valentine's Day.

More than 20 people crowded into City Hall as two dedicated employees were recognized by members of the Fairbury City Council Wednesday night. Judy Smith and Dave Buchanan are both retiring after several years of working for the city. Smith has worked as a utility billing clerk since 1986. Buchanan started with the street department in 1978 and reminisced about his 35 years with the city. A reception for both employees was held following the meeting.


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



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