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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 4-12-23




130 Years Ago

April 8, 1893

Thursday evening about thirty of the friends of Rev. W. L. Riley made him a social call at the home of Dr. Ostrander, where he rooms. At a seasonable hour refreshments were served.

If the country is to escape the hoop-skirt craze let the President add another day of thanksgiving.

A new Sunday train will be put on the T. P. & W. soon.

Charlie Archer is now doing duty as passenger brakeman on the T. P. & W. railroad.

Sal Allan purchased this week of Rev. C. D. Merit his residence property on Third and Oak streets.


120 Years Ago

April 10, 1903

The pastors of the various churches exchanged pulpits Sunday evening. Dr. J. A. Johnson spoke in the Presbyterian Church, Rev. C. S. Davies in the Baptist Church and Rev. E. Lewis Kelley occupied the M. E. pulpit in the opera house.

The Model Grocery opened its doors to the public Monday, and during the week, has been visited by large numbers of buyers. The firm is Keller & Reany, with Mr. Reany having supervision of the store.

Strawn — At the meeting of the village board Monday night it was decided to put in three blocks of concrete walks in the village.

Weston — Rev. LaRash, our new German pastor, arrived Tuesday and is now domiciled in the parsonage.


110 Years Ago

April 11, 1913

The Central Theatre picture show was opened to the public last Saturday night and between six and seven hundred people were in attendance.

Messrs. Leis and Balke, of Streator, last week came into possession of the Fairbury Garage, formerly owned by N. J. Foster. E. R. Eggleston will be in charge of the repair part of the shop.

Mr. and Mrs. V. L. Daily, who have been visiting in Ohio, returned home last week. On account of the high waters in Indiana they were compelled to come home by the way of Chicago.

Miss Lois James, who teaches the Lodemia school, enjoyed a vacation on Tuesday, the furnace being out of commission.


100 Years Ago

April 6, 1923

Walton Bros. Co. have as yet arrived at no decision as to what they are going to do in regard to rebuilding and again starting up in business. The insurance adjusters were here a part of this week and on Wednesday adjusted the loss on the building and stock, the owners receiving the full amount for which the structure and stock was insured. Yesterday, what was once the basement under the hardware department, was full of people gathering up galvanized bushel baskets, pails, monkey wrenches, etc., which were still serviceable, and paying for them a small portion of what they were worth.

I. D. Lain, the hard roads contractor, received this week a new concrete mixer costing around $8,000, and a new caterpillar tractor. Both of these new pieces of machinery will be used here in building hard roads.

Sunday afternoon Ted Williams, 16-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Williams, residing south of Fairbury, was severely injured by a fall from his pony. As he was trying out the cowboy stunt of picking up his hat from the ground while riding the pony on the run the saddle girth broke and he was thrown to the ground, rendering him unconscious. No bones were broken, but he is likely to be laid up for some time recovering from his bruises.


90 Years Ago

April 14, 1933

Little Miss Priscilla Kring, just turned two and a half years, decided Wednesday afternoon to take the family bus, parked in front of the house, out for a spin. Getting in she turned on the ignition switch and the car, in low gear, started off. Standing on the seat she guided the conveyance as far as the corner east of the Henning home when her mother, Mrs. Leroy Kring, observed the situation. Mrs. Kring sprinted for the departing vehicle in a manner that would have done credit to a high school athlete. "Get in, mommy," said Priscilla, as her mother drew near.

Wednesday evening Miss Hazel Green, who teaches the Howarth school, south of town, got into her Plymouth coupe and started the motor as she prepared to come to town. The motor ran for a few seconds and then started to wheeze and cough and finally stopped. She started it again with the same result. Finally a mechanic was called from Fairbury, who after arriving, checked over the wiring, the carburetor, the timing and checked up on the mechanical workings in general, all to no avail. Finally the mechanic happened to look into the end of the exhaust pipe and there, just as big and twice as natural as life, was a corn cob, which some youngster had poked into it. The corn cob was removed and everything was lovely again.


80 Years Ago

April 9, 1943

Gordon's Trading Post almost came into possession of a piano yesterday afternoon. The piano was the property of Si Moser and he had made arrangements to dispose of it to Mr. Gordon. The piano was loaded onto the Moser light truck, with Bob Wharton at the wheel. Bob came up Fifth Street and was making the turn onto Walnut Street when the piano suddenly lost its balance. There were a couple of merry jingles as the piano sailed through the air and then a dull thud as it hit the pavement. That piano has played its last tune.

Last evening the President of the United States issued a decree that "freezes" about everything. It puts a price ceiling on grain and wages at where they now are; it freezes manpower where it is now employed, with the exception that it may be transferred in furthering the efforts of the war, and it places ceiling prices on commodities used in everyday life. In making this decree the President said he was doing it in order to stop inflation.

J. A. Gibb suffered a serious injury to his left hand Tuesday afternoon about 1:30 o'clock in a corn elevator at his home just south of town, the last two fingers being almost entirely severed from the hand, only a small bit of skin holding them on. The tendons in his arm were also pulled loose. He was taken to the Fairbury Hospital, where the injury was dressed and it is believed the fingers will be saved.


70 Years Ago

April 9, 1953

The attack carrier USS Midway was engaged in "Operation Rendezvous" in the Mediterranean Sea from March 17 to 25. Aboard the Midway is Kenneth E. Headley, aviation electronics-man third class, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Headley, and husband of Mrs. Delores Headley of Quonset Point, R. I. "Operation Rendezvous" was a NATO maneuver designed to maintain a standard of readiness and battle efficiency of General Ridgeway's European defense forces.

A helium-filled balloon, sent aloft here by the Fairbury Auto Co., during the showing here of the new Chevrolet line on January 10, was found last week by a Melvin farmer. Melvin Beacher discovered the balloon as he was discing oats on his farm near Melvin, about 25 cross country miles from Fairbury. The balloon was about eight feet in diameter, and was filled with about $28 worth of helium. Mr. Beacher received a blanket with carrying case from the Fairbury Auto Co.

Dr. and Mrs. John Langstaff were the victims of a burglary while they were in Havana, Cuba recently, attending a urological conference. They had retired in their room at a modern hotel, which was only 4 months old. Upon awaking, Dr. Langstaff reached for his watch on the table between the twin beds, to discover that the watch was gone. Further search disclosed that Dr. Langstaff's wallet, containing $300, and Mrs. Langstaff's wallet, containing $75, were also missing. The intruder had apparently gained access to the third floor room through an open window and had crept between the sleeping couple to reach the watch.


60 Years Ago

April 11, 1963

Red Cross fund drive chairman Si Moser reported to the Blade today that he is officially closing the annual drive for this year. He notes that the organization was $31.52 short in reaching the goal of $1,544. He said that a few checks were still out which should put the fund near or over the goal.

The search for the beautiful and talented girl who will reign as Miss Livingston County of 1963 has recently been inaugurated by the Fairbury Junior Chamber of Commerce. The JC's annually sponsor a pageant that is a preliminary for the Miss Illinois and the subsequent Miss America competition. Each of the ten finalists will participate in formal, swimming suit and talent competition. The winner will receive a cash college scholarship of $200, a $50 savings bond, a $25 cash wardrobe award, Miss America trophy, and an expense-paid trip to the Miss Illinois Pageant which will be held in Aurora.

With just a desire to walk, James Harry Mowery decided to walk home from Illinois State Normal University Saturday. He is a freshman there majoring in elementary education. The 35-mile journey took him 10 hours which included a stop for breakfast in Chenoa and a stop to help a motorist repair a flat tire. He reports that he had seven offers for a ride but refused them all. James Harry is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ross Mowery.


50 Years Ago

April 12, 1973

Rennon Elliot of Fairbury, who was injured in a two-car crash March 31, remains unconscious and in critical condition at the trauma center of St. Francis Hospital, Peoria. A family representative told The Blade Wednesday that there appeared to be no change in Elliot's condition.

The world's champion of dining out, Fred E. Magel, had his 36,033rd restaurant meal this week, as he stopped at McDonald's Restaurant in Fairbury. Manager Ronnie McDonald said that Magel holds the record on the authority of the Guiness Book of World Records, and that the figure is being updated constantly as he pursues his job. Magel's penchant for eating other people's cooking comes from his post as fieldman for the Chicago and Illinois Restaurant Association.

Ron Dohman, 22, a native of Fairbury, assumed duties as greenskeeper at Baker Park Golf Course at Kewanee Monday. Dohman studied horticulture with a turf major at Danville Junior College, and worked at the Danville Elks Golf Club since its opening three years ago. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Dohman of rural Fairbury.


40 Years Ago

April 7, 1983

Land agents are again seeking leases for mineral rights on Fairbury area land. The renewed activity comes after a lapse of nearly 10 years, and is the third such go-round in the past 13 years. This time, the emphasis is on oil and gas; 10 years ago it was coal rights the land agents were seeking. Reportedly, the renewal of interest is triggered by data from a satellite geological survey which indicates the possibility of oil or gas, perhaps more of the latter, in connection with the coal deposits known to exist at a rather shallow depth here.

Northern Illinois Gas Company has cancelled the $1,300 bill they tried to collect for service to the City of Fairbury's street department garage, Mayor Jim Steidinger said Wednesday. The original bill in January claimed $1,200 due. The the city withheld payment, NI Gas added another $100 as penalty last month. Alderman Lynn Dameron protested payment and pointed out that the city had notified NI Gas earlier that the outside meter had been damaged but that the company had not acted to correct the fault. Now the city has apparently made its point.

It was 33 years ago this spring that Dave and Emma Lou Steffen (she a Fairbury native) returned here and opened a grocery store at the corner of Third and Walnut Streets. Besides the couple, they employed one checker, one meat cutter and one carry-out boy. Since that time, they have enlarged the store time and time again, and the employees number more than 60. They also accumulated four children, all of whom are now in the business, which this week begins a month-long 33rd anniversary celebration.


30 Years Ago

April 8, 1993

Prairie Central's FFA free hog roast supper and auction brought out approximately 300 people, with 143 of those registered for the auction, according to ag adviser Darren Ropp. Hog roast packages and wildlife paintings brought in the largest amounts during the auction, with close to $7,000 raised. Monies from the annual project are used to finance PC's FFA trips to national and state-wide competitions and judging contests.

Mark Schneider, a fourth grade student at Meadowbrook Elementary in Forrest has been chosen as one of 46 Writers of Merit from nearly 1,700 grade school writers who submitted stories to the Parkland College's annual Story Shop. Schneider received a personal note from Parkland English faculty. The winning writers attended a revision workshop Feb. 27 to prepare their manuscripts for inclusion in a Story Shop book.

Ron Jankun of Forrest, Master of Photography, American Society of Photographers, was awarded "Best Illinois Photographer of 1993" at the Associated Professional Photographers of Illinois annual competition at the Springfield Convention Center on March 15. The award was given for the highest accumulative score on all four of Jankun's entries, the maximum number of photographs allowed for submission per year.


20 Years Ago

April 9, 2003

Mayor Richard Sanders announced the possibility of a full time officer for the village of Forrest, at the board meeting on Thursday night. He told the board of an incident that had happened today. Two young people were fighting and before it was over, the fire department, a sheriff's officer and an ambulance was called. He said the fight happened on a village street and that it was inevitable.

A mother and two young children were able to escape from their burning home in Fairbury Tuesday afternoon due to the quick action of a neighbor. The home at 305 W. Pine St., was occupied by Craig and Michelle Simmons and their two children. Michelle Simmons and the two children were home at the time of the fire, which according to officials, started in the laundry area near a clothes dryer. A neighbor, Ray Dominguez, noticed smoke coming from the home and immediately called the fire department, and then ran to the house and rescued the mother and the two children.

Pauline Bazzell of Fairbury recently marked 30 years of medical service. She is a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and is employed at The Paxton Clinic, working for Dr. Richard Foellner, for the past 30 years. Bazzell, who was born and raised in Cropsey, started working at Fairbury Hospital in the kitchen when she was a junior at Fairbury-Cropsey High School. She went on to earn a degree from the Bloomington School of Nursing.


10 Years Ago

April 10, 2013

Lavonne Teubel of Forrest has been selected as a winner in America's Farmers Grow community program, sponsored by the Monsato Fund. This program gives farmers the opportunity to win a $2,500 donation to their favorite local nonprofit organizations. To further support counties that have been declared disaster areas due to drought, winning farmers in those counties were able to double the donation to further support those communities. Livingston County was declared a disaster area giving Teubel the opportunity to place two $2,500 donations. She selected SELCAS and the Good Samaritan Fund at Fairview Haven Retirement Community.

Three Fairburians, Talon Gerber, Abby Popejoy and Ray Popejoy have qualified for, and will be running in, this year's Boston Marathon. The trio all covered the 26.2 mile distance at last spring's Illinois Marathon in Champaign, fast enough to earn entry. All three will be making the trek on April 15 for the 117th running of the prestigious event. They will be taking to the streets of Boston, along with 27,000 other qualifiers from around the globe. Talon is the daughter of John and Rose Gerber. Abby is the daughter of Greg and Kathy Popejoy and Ray operates the local plumbing company in Fairbury. In recent years, John Strong of Pizzas by Marchelloni and Wayne Gerber, both hometown runners, have had the honor of running The Boston.

Mary Ellen Sanders of Fairbury has officially retired after 51 years of assisting customers, first at Bricker Drug Store, Bellot's and finally Doc's Drugs. She also worked as a waitress for 30 years at Decker's Cafe, E & E Cafe & Ice Cream Parlor and McDonald's Restaurant. “I always enjoyed working with the public,” said Sanders. As for her spare time, Sanders said she plans to take it easy and do some catching up on her household chores.


(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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