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  • Fairbury News staff

Looking Back: 3-14-24

130 Years Ago

March 10, 1894

Dr. J. H. Dye, dentist, who practiced here some ten years ago, has again located here, with offices over the First National Bank.

Miss Millie Sype has gone to Peoria to make her future home with her cousin, Mrs. Shepherd. A farewell party was given her last Thursday.

The Rev. Edward Averill, who has officiated as deacon here for the last three years, will be ordained priest at St. Matthias Church next Tuesday.

The special services at the Baptist Church have closed with an addition of 44 to its membership. Rev. Riley's pastorate of one year and ten months has been crowned with success. About 70 members have been added to the church during that time.

Married on Sunday, March 4, at the German Apostolic Church, Miss Bertha Fehr, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Fehr, to Gottlieb Steidinger.


120 Years Ago

March 11, 1904

The directors of the Fairbury Union Agriculture Board held a meeting last Friday afternoon and President J. W. McDowell appointed the various committees and superintendents of departments, all of which are practically the same as last year. The board decided to go ahead and build a new grand stand and Mr. McDowell appointed a building committee with full authority to build the grand stand and have it in readiness for the fair the coming season. More seating capacity is something that has long been needed and it is proposed by the officers of the fair to furnish seats for everyone who attends the fair.

The Forrest village board have decided to move their pumping station to the old coal shaft hole on the M. C. Eignus place. There is a good supply of water at this point and this is undoubtedly a very good move.

Miss Lillie Roth entertained a number of friends at progressive euchre last Friday evening. Suitable prizes were given the best players and while all could not get a prize they did spend a pleasant evening. Probably no one enjoyed the elegant lap spread more than the General O. O. Read.


110 Years Ago

March 13, 1914

Frank Hamilton has moved his household goods to Fairbury from Pigean, Mich., and will make this city his home.

The Phi Chi Psi Fraternity, of this city, have a mascot. It is an alligator and was captured by George Royal McCabe, in the wilds of Florida after a several days' hair-raising hunt. It is said that George R. chased the animal until it was out of breath and then sneaked up behind it and put salt on its tail.

J. G. Swing is going back to the farm and next week will probably move to Hanna, Ind., where he owns a 400-acre tract of land.

The home of Mrs. M. Hotaling on the north side of town was quite badly damaged by fire last Friday afternoon.


100 Years Ago

March 7, 1924

John B. Smith, Jr., a son of John B. Smith, residing in Avoca Township, several miles north of Fairbury, is at the home of his uncle, "Major" Smith, in this city, with a part of the big toe on his left foot torn away. Young Smith had been out hunting near his home and was carrying the gun under his arm, all cocked and ready for business, and with the muzzle pointing down. Just as he was crossing a bridge the gun was accidentally discharged, the load in the gun striking his big toe. Following the accident the boy walked home and a doctor was summoned. Unless complications develop, the toe can be saved.

The American Legion is conducting a "100% membership" campaign and in the interest of this drive a most attractive and artistic display has been arranged in the south window of Walton Bros. Co. Store. The display consists of a large American flag, John Joda Post banner, shells, stacked rifles, helmets, etc.

This community was shocked and saddened Wednesday afternoon when it was learned that Fred Churchill had passed away. He was wounded and badly gassed while serving his country in France, and his health had gradually declined since that time. He was aged 27 years, 9 months and 23 days.


90 Years Ago

March 9, 1934

Articles of incorporation of Walton Department Store, Incorporated, with its main offices and business establishment in Fairbury, have been filed for record in the office of Circuit Clerk Henry D. Wolff, at Pontiac. The incorporators are Will C. Schmidt, Hugh W. Pence, Carl J. Herzog and J. A. Patterson. The purpose of the incorporation is to operate a general retail mercantile business. The capital stock is given as $20,000.

Carl Schertz mowed down four of the posts of the guard fence just east of the Indian Creek bridge east of town Saturday night when the Chevrolet sedan belonging to his sister, Miss Grace Schertz, which he was driving, skidded on the wet pavement and became unmanageable. The car was damaged somewhat, but not as much as one would expect after looking at the fence. Mr. Schertz was on his way to his home southeast of town at the time of the accident and was driving east.

Jacob Sutter is recuperating from numerous bruises and sprains which he suffered when he fell down the basement stairway Saturday evening at his home. Wednesday, March 7th, was Mr. Sutter's 95th birthday, and many of his children and grandchildren called at his home Wednesday evening to felicitate him upon his arrival at the 95th year. He is the father of twelve children and has 58 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren.


80 Years Ago

March 10, 1944

J. G. Peter, who has conducted a trucking business here for the past 22 years, has disposed of his business to Raymond Howes, of near Forrest, who will take over the business next Monday. Mr. Howes is holding a sale next Thursday, at which time he will dispose of his farming equipment. Mr. Howes is not new to the trucking business, he having assisted Mr. Peter with his work more or less for the past ten years and for the past two years has been a steady employee of Mr. Peter as driver. Mr. Peter has purchased a feed and baby chick business at Crescent City, which includes the treating of diseased chicks.

The Forrest Red Cross chapter has just recently had added to its treasurer's account the sum of $82. The money was recently turned over to them by E. E. Virkler of that village and was the net amount received from the sale of 18 fox pelts. There had been some expense connected with the fox hunts. The pelt were from foxes killed in drives by the Forrest group. Mr. Virkler, after the foxes were killed, looked after the skinning of the animals and getting them ready for the market and then selling them.

Mr. and Mrs. Everett Johnson, residing three miles east and three-quarters of a  mile north of Fairbury, received word on Tuesday from the Navy Department that their son, Glenn Lee Johnson, fireman second class, was missing. The message said that "no more details were available." Johnson was on a destroyer, but the message did not state where he was located when reported missing. Fireman Johnson joined the Navy on September 7, 1943, being 18 years of age just 20 days after he entered the service.


70 Years Ago

March 11, 1954

Alfred Wessels was kept busy last Wednesday morning helping to collect 112 hogs running about his farm. A large, two-decked semi-trailer truck being driven from Peoria to Allentown, Pa., lost its footing on the slippery road and went into the ditch near the Wessels farm three miles west of here on route 24. The driver, George Supple, managed to get the rig almost stopped before it went into the ditch and turned gently over on a four-foot high snow drift. It was then the 112 hogs made their escape. After an hour and a half of shouting and running, the hogs were corralled in one of the Wessels pens. Tow trucks from Klitzing Welding and the Fairbury Auto Co. brought the truck out of the ditch, with not as much as a cracked board to show for its experience. The hogs were reloaded and went on their way.

Virgil Dellinger, injured last week when an electric torch he was using at the Honegger mill set off an explosion of powdered sugar, was reported by the hospital yesterday as "improving." Dellinger sustained second and third degree burns on his face and hands in the mishap. Dellinger told The Blade that he had been welding in a tank, and had just finished his work when fine powdered sugar, used in the feed milking process, was blown into the tank. He was unable to see, and in groping for the ladder, the electrodes of the torch struck the sides of the tank, causing a spark which set off the explosion.

Last Tuesday's snow, which was drifted over roads by stiff winds Wednesday and Thursday, making many of them impassable at numerous points, disappeared over the weekend as temperatures rose into the 40's. The mild weather continued Monday, Tuesday and yesterday.


60 Years Ago

March 12, 1964

A flipped over Piper Tri-Pacer aircraft was the result of high winds Friday afternoon at Kuenzi landing field. The accident occurred about 1:30 p.m. and the plane could not be righted until Saturday morning because of wind gusts. The four-place plane belongs to Chris Huette Jr. and Dean E. Koehl. The tie-down rope apparently broke when strong winds came along. Damaged were wings, wing struts, windshield and stabilizer.

A traveler who Sunday drove off from a Fairbury drive-in restaurant without paying and again drove off from a police roadblock at Chenoa, was finally halted when two state police cars sandwiched him between them at El Paso – but not before three bullets had been fired into the car's rear engine in a futile attempt to disable it. The driver told Cpl. Jim Jeffers of District 6 in Pontiac, that "under normal circumstances he would have stopped, but that he was en route to Peoria to be ordained." State police later concluded that the driver, who had been studying for the ministry at an Indiana seminary, was in need of institutional care.

Fairbury-Cropsey grade schoolers, Grace Huber and Nancy Ifft spelled their way to the Livingston County spelling bee last week and Nancy brought home second place. It was the first time local schools tried out in the competition. The 7th grader missed the word "opossum," a real stickler to say the least. Eighth grader Grace Huber missed the word "wrought." There were 24 contestants in the event. Funniest thing of the day was when Nancy discovered a misspelled word on the judge's sheet. The word was "colossal." She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Ifft and Grace is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Huber.


50 Years Ago

March 14, 1974

New records were set in all categories of Fairbury's 23rd Annual Community Sale Saturday, according to Perry Burroughs, executive secretary of the Association of Commerce. And the sale, held on Saturday for the first time, made such an advancement that the date for next year has already been set for the second Saturday in March of 1975. Grossing "about $17,000" according to Hartzell Munz, chief cashier, it more than doubled the volume for any previous year, and also had the greatest number of buyers registered, 1,213; and the most items consigned, 1,690. It seemed likely that a record throng of people was present, for parking places didn't exist within three blocks of the business district, and retail stores were thronged.

John Tredennick and Merle Haag, owners of K&S Sales in Fairbury posed recently with Chauncey, the Mercury Cougar. The pair met Chauncey during a Lincoln-Mercury dealers' meeting in Palm Springs Jan. 16-18. The firm also had two employees, Steve Tronc and Duane Schieler awarded "Best of the Best" plaques at a dinner March 2 in Bettendorf, Iowa. The award is for outstanding workmanship and is granted on customer recommendation.

Cub Scout Pack 72 held their pack meeting March 11 at the firehouse community room. The main event of the evening was judging the kites that the scouts and their fathers made. Judges were the Fairbury Jaycee's. Scott Runyon won first prize with a red and blue Conyne Wing kite. Jon Zimmerman won second prize with a blue and yellow fish kite and Kevin Cornelius won third prize with a green box kite. Kite chairman, Ed Zimmerman, announced that the kite flying contest will be held at 2 p.m. on March 23, at Westview School.


40 Years Ago

March 8, 1984

The recent craze over the Coleco Company's now famous (and still in short supply) "Cabbage Patch Kids" has spawned a wave of look-alike dolls ranging from simple, homemade versions to mass produced, mass distributed "black-market" dolls that have popped up from coast to coast. However, we feel few have one quite like that of Kelly Schieler of rural Fairbury. Kelly, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Duane Schieler, recently "adopted," from a neighbor, "Minnie," a miniature goat who's mother had died. Minnie, who came complete with adoption papers, is about eight inches tall and when fully grown will be no more than 18 inches in height.

Fairbury-Cropsey point guard Troy Hale is one of four unanimous selections to the Sangamon Valley Conference basketball team for 1983-84. Conference coaches met Monday night to select the all-SVC team. Other unanimous selections included: Tom Smith, Heyworth; Scott Gulliford, Forrest-Strawn-Wing; and Ivan Haynes of Tri-Valley. Smith is a junior; the others are seniors. Octavia's Dennis Viehweg rounded out the first team, missing unanimous selection by one vote.

Deans' lists for nine colleges and three other academic units in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the 1983 fall semester have been announced by their respective deans and directors. Among the 5,210 students honored: Brian Hornickel, Larae Zehr and Quinn Zehr, all of Fairbury; Randall Fields and Chris Rieger, both of Chatsworth; Tim Gray, Cullom; Thomas Farley, Kempton; Paul Brown, Geoffrey Schrof, Kent Schrof, Brian Waibel and Stephanie Waibel, all of Forrest; and Karen Kemnetz, of Strawn. To be eligible for the Dean's List, a student must rank in the top 20 percent of his or her college class.


30 Years Ago

March 9, 1994

Ray Hankes of Fairbury is one of four Illinois farmers selected as a 1994 Master Farmer by "Prairie Farmer" magazine. He was honored for his leadership, community service and farming abilities during a ceremony in Springfield. The Master Farmer award, which began in 1925, is the oldest award program in the nation for farmers. In 1973, a few months before earning his Ph.D. in meats at the University of Illinois, Hankes planned to become a professor of animal science. However, a discussion with his brother-in-law, Bill Fugate, led to Hankes joining Thrushwood Farms with his father-in-law, Howard Fugate, and Bill Fugate. In the 20 years since, the farm has expanded its hog operation sevenfold, growing from 80 to 600 sows. Ray and wife Ellen are now sole owners/operators of the farm.

Eldon Steidinger of Fairbury, an agent in the Country Companies Livingston County Agency, has qualified for the insurance group's 1993 All American team. The All American qualification is achieved through outstanding sales and service achievements during the year in life and health insurance. Steidinger was among 280 agents and agency managers to qualify for this honor, the highest a Country Companies agent can receive.

Turning eyesores into beauty marks on the landscape is a first-step priority for a growing group of citizens. Joan Steidinger and Rev. Stanley Rapp addressed Fairbury's city council Wednesday evening and sought permission to beautify some city-owned property. The area where they would like to begin is the northwest corner of Locust and First Streets to the water tower.


20 Years Ago

March 10, 2004

For three Prairie Central Junior High wrestlers, an appearance at the IESA State Wrestling Tournament is their reward for a season of training and successful competition after participating in the Braidwood Sectional on March 6. Ryan Friedman, a seventh grader wrestling at 75 lb., Tyler Studebaker, an eighth grader wrestling at 119 lb. and Bradley Wilson, an eighth grader wrestling at 185 lb., will represent Prairie Central at Friday and Saturday's State Championship finale.

Jeff and Sara Moser of Forrest are parents of a baby boy born at 1:45 p.m. Feb. 23, 2004, at Gibson Area Hospital. Owen Lee weighed 8 pounds and was 20 inches long at birth. The new arrival was welcomed home by Myrna 7, Martha 5, Esther 4 and Corbin 2. He shares his middle name with his maternal grandfather and paternal uncle. Grandparents are Greg and Jill Stoller of Forrest and Lloyd and Martha Moser of Morton.

Brad Smith, a fourth grade student at Westview Elementary, earned a perfect score on the first Continental Math Contest. He has been named a National Student Leader for this contest. The Continental Mathematics League is a national contest in which students all over the United States compete in the art of problem solving.


10 Years Ago

March 12, 2014

If you have ever visited Kelly-Sauder-Rupiper Equipment in Pontiac or the former Ziegenhorn John Deere dealership in Fairbury, you likely saw Richard Wells. Wells officially retired from KSR on Friday, Feb. 28, after working a total of 47 years at both businesses, the last 21 spent in Pontiac. Wells started working at Ziegenhorn's in school through an ag program. While working at the dealership, Wells had been waiting on a lot of third-generation farmers and a few from the fourth generation of a family. During retirement, Wells plans to move to Florida.

Monsato Fund donated $2,500 to Chatsworth Elementary through America's Farmers Grow Communities on behalf of Adam and Rachel Zimmerman. The donation was used to purchase a new laminator for the school.

The Prairie Central Junior High School eighth grade boys' basketball team not only battled the weather as of late, but also had some hard fought wins on the court. The team started regional play against Coal City on Feb. 3 and thanks to an outstanding defensive effort in the first round, prevailed with a score of 35-24. Then the weather came and, after a couple of postponements of the semifinals, the fourth seeded Hawks took down the number one seeded Minooka Indians in a one point victory 45-44 on Feb. 6. The Hawks finished the regional tournament with another heart stopping victory, scoring on the last possession of the game to defeat the second seeded Channahon Indians in the championship game with a final score of 39-38.

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

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