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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 4-20-23




130 Years Ago

April 15, 1893

Miss Maggie Moore, of Piper City has accepted a position in Walton Bros. dry goods department.

John Kuenzi has lade out an addition of six blocks on the north side of town to be known as Kuenzi's addition. He has already sold seven lots upon which people will build.

Charles Neitz this week traded the property he now resides in opposite the Methodist Church for Mrs. Wilson's property adjoining his lots north of the school building, upon which he will erect a nice residence.

Indicative of the recent boom in the building line we noticed preparations being made by A. B. Claudon for a two-story bank building at Locust and Fourth Streets. The old building will be moved back to the alley and a building modern in every respect erected.


120 Years Ago

April 17, 1903

George Peter and family arrived on Wednesday from the old world and will make their home here.

David Paternoster arrived in Fairbury last Friday from Austria and will make his home with his uncle, Joseph Paternoster.

Miss McCune has a live specimen of tree frog in her recitation room and at times it registers its croak.

J. W. Walton, Jr., is in Peoria this week receiving the Consistory degrees of Masonry. He will also take the Shrine.

Jamie O'Brien is quite ill with an attack of pneumonia.


110 Years Ago

April 18, 1913

Imon Patton has purchased the W. L. Baily property, west of the fair grounds, and will occupy the same.

W. E. Hummel, who has been manager of the Chase Studio in this city for the past three years, has leased the same and hereafter will have full control of it.

"Zeke" Ferrias, of Chatsworth, and well known in this city, has signed to pitch for the Grand Rapids, Mich., team this season.

Dr. G. C. Lewis has presented the high school with a new athletic field. Our heartiest thanks to Dr. Lewis and congratulations to the school.

Miss Morie Claudon left last Friday for Cincinnati, Ohio, where she will attend the Bartholemuel Clifton Girls School.


100 Years Ago

April 13, 1923

Waltons to rebuild! Mr. Walton is financing the erection of a building on the old site to cost several times as much as the one now in ruins. It is the intention of the company to start at once to clear away the ruins of the fire and get ready for the new building. In the meantime temporary quarters will be secured if possible and the business carried on as heretofore and on as large a scale as their quarters will permit. The new building as planned will be a two-story brick structure covering the same ground as the old one, and will house everything sold by Walton Bros. Co., which also includes the furniture department, which has heretofore been located in another building.

Sixty-one years ago yesterday Postmaster G. H. Franzen and his brother, Casper, came to this city from Minonk. They located in the village, which was then small indeed, and have resided continuously here since that time. Indian Grove Township then had a population of less than 280 and much of the country was nothing but swamp land. The business district of Fairbury, what there was of it, was scattered, some of it being located along where the Christian Apostolic Church now stands, a few buildings scattered along where the present business houses are now.

Wesley Hanson, of the Fairbury Auto Company, has for the past year or two been interested in the racing game and has just recently completed a new racing car that should make them all step. The car, which is a Chevrolet special, is a one-man car weighing less than 1,300 pounds and will develop a speed of 90 miles an hour. The car will have its first real test at Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, May 5, on a dirt track.


90 Years Ago

April 21, 1933

The schools at Chenoa and Forrest have made a ten percent reduction in the salaries of their teachers for the coming year. Howard Roth, who has taught the Cottonwood School, near Weston, has been offered his position again for next year at $80 per month. He had been receiving $75.

Ellis Westervelt, residing south of Fairbury, has been in a critical condition for several days past as the result of blood poisoning. The first of last week while working in a well his right leg was scratched by an iron pipe. Not much attention was paid to the injury, and a couple of days later while helping load some hogs the wound was again opened. Blood poisoning developed and for a time he was in a precarious condition.

P. C. James Jr., who is managing the charity race meet which will be staged at the fair grounds on next Thursday afternoon, informed The Blade that Bill Obergfel had signified his intention of trying to ride the wild bull, which will be one of the special attractions between races. George Fendrick is booked to ride the outlaw horse, which is another special attraction. Still another attraction, which will be of special interest to the children, is a dog show that will be given in front of the grandstand.


80 Years Ago

April 16, 1943

Ernest Fosdick this week purchased the business property adjoining the Fosdick Produce on the west, which was formerly occupied by the Armbruster plumbing shop. Mr. Fosdick will use the corner building for his poultry business and will carry a large stock of feeds utilizing the space formerly taken up with poultry. Mr. Fosdick is falling in line with the government's need for increased food production.

Winter, which started with a good sized snow on September 25, is still hanging around. There were snow flurries throughout the day both Tuesday and Wednesday, accompanied by a brisk wind, these flurries at times having the appearance of a real blizzard. Both nights the temperature got down to around 22 to 24 above zero and it is said that some of the early planted gardens suffered.

The Rev. W. A. Wood has resigned the pastorate of the Fairbury Baptist Church to take effect within a month and has accepted a call to the West Side Community Church, Enid, Oklahoma. The Rev. and Mrs. Wood came to the Fairbury church on October 24, 1937. They have formed many real friendships during their stay and Fairbury is sorry to lose them.


70 Years Ago

April 16, 1953

Fairbury is observing something of a centennial this week, although few residents may know of it. It was just 100 years ago yesterday, on April 15, 1853, that the first patent to ground on which the city now stands was issued by the government. The patent was to John Kring, the grandfather of Logan Kring, and was signed by President Franklin Pierce. It gave title to the northeast one-quarter of section three, township 26 – the spot which is now the north part of the present city. The issuance of that first patent came almost five years before the city of Fairbury came into being. That historic date was Jan. 1, 1858, and the city will thus celebrate its centennial on New Years Day, 1958.

The Fairbury High School band Saturday won the right to compete in the class B state high school band finals to be held at Clinton May 2 by virtue of a 1st place rating won in district competition at Flanagan. For band director William Wagner, it was the second first place award in recent weeks. On March 21, the Fairbury-Cropsey Grade School band captured a first, along with 13 other individual firsts, and also won the right to appear in the state grade school contest to be held in Bloomington May 8 and 9.

Vernon Von Qualen, of Dwight, coroner of Livingston County, has appointed E. J. Zeh, of this city, a deputy coroner.


60 Years Ago

April 18, 1963

Bill Fugate of Fairbury has been named one of the eight 1963 Illinois IFYE delegates to serve as a "Grass Roots" ambassador in a real people-to-people program. Bill will go to Denmark for a period of six months, leaving here on May 31. In Denmark he will live and work with farm families, taking part in farm work and community activities. Three other Fairburians have participated in the IFYE program in recent years: Bud Aupperle went to Chili in 1954; Peggy Hoffman spent six months in New Zealand, also in 1954; and Donald Smallwood journeyed to Ireland in 1960.

More than 100 antique dishes highlighted the Wm. C. Morris household goods sale Saturday in Fairbury with J. C. Ebach as auctioneer. Antique dealers and fanciers from a wide area were part of the large crowd which turned out for the sale, and contributed to a lively market. Topping the sale in the antique department was a pewter stein, going for $11.

A dazzling and dreamy 14 days were spent in Fairbury by George Landsberger, 21-year-old from Frankfort, Germany. He visited the Tony Friedman home while here. Friedman and Landsberger's grandmother were brother and sister. Fortunately, both Mr. and Mrs. Friedman speak good German, because their visitor spoke little English. Landsberger is a maintenance control man for Lufthansa, a German airline. He makes 600 DM a month, which is about $150. Since he works for an airline company, he was able to fly to Chicago for only 10 percent of the regular fare of $700.


50 Years Ago

April 19, 1973

Plans have been made for a benefit to aid the family of Rennon Elliott, Fairbury street superintendent who remains in critical condition in the trauma center at St. Francis Hospital, Peoria, as the result of an accident three weeks ago. John Drew is heading up action by a group of CB radio fan clubs to launch the benefit campaign. Receipt books are being put in the hands of most CB set owners, and will also be placed in most local stores, Drew said.

Fairbury businesses continued to be the shopping capital of a wide area as they did a gross volume of $13.728 million that was taxable under the state's 4% sales levy, according to the report released this week by the Illinois Department of Revenue. While retailers actually collect 5% tax on each dollar, one cent of that nickel is a municipal sales tax and is rebated by the state to the city of Fairbury.

A pilot project, "Meals on Wheels," is now scheduled to go in effect Monday, Apr. 30 in Fairbury. Fairbury Hospital will prepare the meals at a cost of $1.50 per day. The food will be delivered five days a week, Monday through Friday, between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. A volunteer driver and hostess will be in charge of food delivery. Persons qualified to receive the "Meals on Wheels" are the home-bound and invalids, including residents who are convalescing from surgery or on a special diet.


40 Years Ago

April 14, 1983

The area's most unusual election development Tuesday came from the tiny village of Strawn, where incumbent mayor Richard Ringler and challenger Joseph Freehill each received 31 votes. According to Illinois statute, Strawn's next mayor will be determined by "lot." County Clerk Arnold Natzke sees no chance for discrepancies in the Strawn tally. "There are 80 registered voters and 62 of them went to the polls Tuesday," he explained. "All 62 people who went to the polls voted for mayor. Each candidate received 31 votes."

Jeff Stiver, son of Sara Stiver of Fairbury, is attending Infantry Officers Advance Course at Ft. Benning, Ga. He has been assigned a tour of duty in Europe upon completion of this six-month course. Jeff is a 1975 graduate of FCHS, a 1979 graduate of the University of Arizona and received his commission in the U. S. Army at that time. For the past three years, he has been stationed at Ft. Lewis, Wash. with the 2/2 Infantry Division.

A check for $1,000 was given to South East Livingston County Ambulance Service this week by Walton's Department Store of Fairbury. SELCAS treasurer Dave Steffen reported receipt of the donation on Thursday. The check is one of several which the firm, the county's oldest business, has made to the volunteer emergency service.


30 Years Ago

April 15, 1993

Rex and Tracy Ackerman, Fairbury, are parents of twin girls born April 1, 1993, at St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington. Tiffany Michelle was born at 5:47 a.m. and weighed three pounds, 11 ounces. Taylor Grace, born at 5:51 a.m. weighed three pounds, 14 ounces. Both girls were 17½ inches long. Grandparents are Florence Thompson, Chenoa; Joe Thompson, Pontiac; Marilyn Ackerman, Fairbury; and the late Marvin Ackerman. Great-grandparents are Marion McCoy, Meadows; and John and Annetta Ackerman, Thomasboro.

Men's and women's name-brand apparel will soon be available for sale at a new clothing store that will be going into the far east side of the former Huber's Clothing store at 132 E. Locust St., Fairbury. Tim Setchell, owner of clothing businesses in Mendota, Geneseo and Princeton, said the Fairbury store will be called Anderson Mosshart, the same as his other stores, and will carry full lines of clothing in such brands as Hagar, Levi, Jansen, Koret, Russ and Tangay.

Raymond and Bernice Ellis will observe their 50th wedding anniversary April 24. A May 2 dinner is being planned by their daughters. The couple was married April 24, 1943 in St. Louis, Mo. They are the parents of three daughters, Beverly Stotler, Hudson; and Karen Denick and Dawn Huber, both of Fairbury. They have four grandsons and five granddaughters. Ellis is retired from Ellis Canvas and Mrs. Ellis is retired from Fairbury Hospital.


20 Years Ago

April 16, 2003

Preparations are underway for the dedication ceremony for the Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker, scheduled for Saturday, May 10 at 10 a.m. The marker will be installed at Graceland Cemetery, Rt. 24 in Fairbury. State and local officials are scheduled to speak. Many local volunteers will be on hand; it was their hands that created the living memorial that surrounds the marker. "The Blue Star Memorial Highway" was approved as a project of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. in 1943. The project proposed a ribbon of living memorial plantings traversing every state, to honor the men and women that served in WWII. In 1951, the memorial was extended to include all men and women who had served, were serving or would serve in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Valerie Fehr and Jeremy Stoller are announcing their engagement. Parents of the couple are Ralph and Martha Fehr of Fairbury and Randy and Ronda Stoller of Strawn. The bride-to-be is a graduate of Prairie Central High School and is employed as Service Advisor at Petersen Chevrolet in Fairbury. Her fiance graduated from Prairie Central High School and is employed as a full time Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) by Southeastern Livingston County Ambulance Service (SELCAS). The couple plan to be married on May 31, 2003, at Kilgus Lake, Fairbury.


10 Years Ago

April 17, 2013

Voters in two Livingston County communities voted for new leadership, ousting incumbents seeking re-election in Fairbury and Cullom. In Fairbury, longtime mayor Robert P. Walter Jr. lost his position to challenger and former mayor Roger Lynn Dameron. Walter, who had served as mayor of Fairbury since 1997, received 416 votes for 37.8 percent of ballots cast, while Dameron, who served as mayor for two terms from 1989 through 1997, received 682 votes for 62.1 percent of the ballots cast. In Cullom, it was a close race, with newcomer Barbara Hahn edging incumbent president Margeurite Kross. Hahn received 95 votes, while Kross received 73 ballots.

In August of 2012, a committee consisting of parents, teachers and the principal of Chatsworth Elementary School launched a campaign to generate funds to build a new playground for early childhood and primary grades students. They needed to raise $28,812 to provide an adequate playground which includes equipment that students with special needs can utilize. From August, 2012 to April, 2013, Chatsworth School has collected $25,246 through donations, grants and PTO fund raising. Almost $5,000 of that amount has come from donations. The committee is continuing their efforts to generate the remaining $3,515 by May 31. Their goal is to put the playground in this summer and have it ready for the first day of school in August.


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



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