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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 5-24-23




130 Years Ago

May 20, 1893

Forrest — J. Delatour has started a grocery store one door west of Skinner Bros. Ed Eignus drives a span of black horses.

Cropsey — Caler & Caler have a new porch in front of their store. The post office has been moved to the town hall, where it will probably remain.

The six harness makers in the employ of Mapel Bros. have been resting up this week, not because there is nothing to do, but because they are out of leather.

About 25 people went to Peoria, Sunday. The low rate made by the T. P. & W. catches quite a number from this place every Sunday.


120 Years Ago

May 22, 1903

All persons who use the city water are hereby notified that they must have a meter put in before they can use the city water for sprinkling lawns or streets. No sprinkling permits have been issued this year, nor will they be until meters have been put in. —By order of the City Council. G. W. Bennett, City Clerk.

Patrick Kief, of Kentland, Ind., came to Fairbury last Saturday and registered at the Klondyke Hotel. He was assigned a room in which another gentleman was also an occupant. Both men retired but evidently Kief could not sleep on account of cold feet as when the other man got up Kief had skipped out and took with him his room mate's shoes. Deputy Sheriff J. W. Morris was given the case and after a short sharp chase captured his man at Forrest and brought him back to Fairbury with his booty on his feet.

Chenoa — The business men of Chenoa have been struck with an epidemic of cleanliness this spring, as with but one or two exceptions, every business house in the city has undergone a thorough cleaning both inside and out.


110 Years Ago

May 23, 1913

Miss Minnie Bittner and Joseph Paternoster, Jr., were united in marriage last Sunday afternoon at the Amish church, five miles south of Fairbury, Rev. Martin Steidinger performing the ceremony.

The Bee Hive school just east of town closed last Friday for the summer. Miss Coentha O'Brien has taught the school for the past year, and last Friday the teachers, pupils and some of the patrons of the school enjoyed a picnic at the school house.

Ben Demler was out fishing the other day and caught an eel 27 inches long.

Jim Healey has commenced his job as section foreman at Gridley Monday. Bruce Rockwood has taken Mr. Healey's place as bill clerk in the T. P. & W. offices here, and Phil Conners is working in Mr. Rockwood's place.


100 Years Ago

May 18, 1923

In the ninth annual Illinois Interscholastic contests in shorthand and typing, held at the Illinois State Normal University at Normal last Saturday, Miss Mae Crumbaker of the Fairbury High School took two firsts in the typing contests. These events were the advanced typing and the open typing (fifteen minute period). There were 180 contestants.

For just once the pupils of the township high school, the faculties of the high and city schools and the boards of education, really got the best of Supt. E. W. Powers. Mr. Powers had been invited to a supper given by the Household Science Department. While they were waiting for supper to be served one of the teachers asked him to go up to the assembly room with him to inspect some work. When the lights were turned on he found nothing to inspect but instead a room crowded with guests who had come at the invitation of Mrs. Powers to join in celebration of his birthday anniversary. The various emotions registered on Mr. Powers' face left no doubt as to the completeness of the surprise.

The six-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Newman, residing west of town, drank a quantity of Lysol by mistake Monday. A doctor was hurriedly summoned, the child's stomach pumped out and he is getting along all right.


90 Years Ago

May 26, 1933

What was known as the Jack Lowe property on East Maple Street, and one of the old landmarks of the city, was burned last evening about 7:30 o'clock. There had been no one living in the house for years and the fire was undoubtedly of incendiary origin. The fire department was not called, those discovering the fire evidently being of the opinion that the cost of the fire department would be more than what the house was worth. This old house had the distinction of being the cite for Fairbury's first moving picture show some 12 or 13 years ago, among those being in the cast were Dean S. Voorhees, Will Mundt, Miss Irma Fitzgerald, Willis Compton, Miss Irene Conners, Howard Stuckey and a number of others.

The banking business formerly conducted by the Farmers State bank at Wing, was assumed Monday by the Fairbury State Bank, and Wing depositors received notice on that date that their deposits formerly with the Wing bank were available 100% without restriction from the new bank at Fairbury. W. W. Holloway, former cashier at Wing, will be employed at the Fairbury State Bank.

On account of the many heavy rains this spring the farm work is late. The farmers themselves are putting in long days, and many are working nights. It is no uncommon sight in driving through the country at nights to hear the chug of the tractor and see its headlight gleaming as it guides the farmer across the field.


80 Years Ago

May 21, 1943

William McFarland, of this city, and his father, H. L. McFarland, of Chenoa, attended the second annual roundup of the Illinois Producers' Creamery at Springfield last Saturday night. William McFarland captured first prize in the state-wide sales demonstration contest, his prize being a 21-jewel Bulova wrist watch and a $50 war bond from the Farmers Creamery of Bloomington, by which he is employed.

Although Kring Brothers, florists, have retired from business, their large greenhouses will not remain entirely idle. Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Voris, who now occupy the W. L. Kring residence, will put 200 chickens in the large greenhouse—if they can get the chickens. Some alterations are also being made in the house.

During the storm Saturday morning the John Gouge home was struck by lightning and damaged. The chimney, roof and several window panes were broken and the electric wiring put out of order. The lightning followed the radio aerial, destroying the interior of the radio and struck a tree west of the house. Mrs. Gouge, who was on the porch near the fuse-box, received the force of the electricity when it blew the fuse-box and was knocked down. Rose Mary was at the kitchen sink and was stunned.


70 Years Ago

May 21, 1953

Andrew Hansel, of Sheldon, sold his plumbing business on May 4, and retired after 50 years in the business. Mr. Hasel is a native of Fairbury, being a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Simon Hasel of this city. Mr. Hasel learned the plumbing trade in Fairbury, being employed by the late John E. Eddy here for 16 years. Thirty-four years ago, May 3, 1919, Mr. Hasel purchased the plumbing business of Ora Smalley in Sheldon, and has since owned and operated the same.

Karen Dennison, 5, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Dennison, rural route, Fairbury, was discharged on Sunday from Fairbury Hospital after treatment of facial and body lacerations inflicted by a neighbor's dog. Karen was attacked by the dog while at the Huddleston farm home Tuesday and was taken to the hospital. She suffered cuts on the upper lip and face, left arm, back and knees. The biting occurred just after the noon meal when the dog suddenly bit Karen on the arm while she was standing on the back porch. The dog threw the child to the ground and bit her about the face, back and legs before he could be driven off.

Jack Milne, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Milne, of this city, and a student at Bradley University, Peoria, has been appointed editor of Anaga, the university yearbook. Jack's new position carries a lot of honor with it as well as plenty of responsibility. He has taken an active part in the university's activities since enrolling there a couple of years ago.


60 Years Ago

May 23, 1963

Workman today were installing a new brick and glass front on the location of Zimmerman's Speedwash on West Locust Street, diagonal from the general offices of Honeggers and Company.

Fire in a nearby trash can was given tentative blame today by Fairbury Fire Chief Oscar Hannie for the cause of a fire which Monday night destroyed a two-car garage at the home of Mrs. Edith Steidinger. Mrs. Steidinger's 1957 model car was also a total loss, but another car, owned by Mrs. Gladys Baltz, who resides in an apartment of the same address, was spared since she had driven it to a meeting. The loss was insured. The fire burned through utility cables, and both Central Illinois Public Service and General Telephone crews worked through the night to restore service.

Scheduled opening for Fairbury swimming pool will be delayed from Thursday, May 30 until Sunday, June 2, according to an announcement today by George Fyke, manager. Two counts are blamed by Fyke for the delay. Cool weather is one, and non-delivery of an underwater light is the other. The light has been ordered, and had been expected prior to now. It must be installed before the pool can be filled, a process which takes several days.


50 Years Ago

May 24, 1973

Robert Ficklin will perform a piano recital on Sunday, May 27, at 2:30 p.m. in the high school band room. He is being presented by his teacher, Mrs. E. F. Dickey, with whom he has studied for the past seven years. He began his piano study in the second grade with Mrs. Logan Wilson as his teacher. Robert is being graduated next Thursday from Fairbury-Cropsey High School in the class of '73. In addition to piano, Robert plays percussion in the high school band. He has recently received the American Legion and also the School Choral award for his participation in the high school chorus. He plans to continue his study of music at Illinois Wesleyan, although it will not be his major field.

Residents of both Fairview and Helen Lewis Smith Pavilion participated in the wheelchair races held Saturday afternoon, on the driveway, in front of Fairview. The sports contest was all part of National Hospital Week activities. Three types of races were featured, with hands only, feet only and use of both hands and feet at the same time. Grand prize winners were "Brownie" Weihermiller, first; Debold Householder, second, and Ray Ward, third. Mrs. Curt VanNote was track steward for the wheel chair races.

The Fairbury City Council voted not to spend any more funds on summer band concerts. The action, taken at the regular council meeting Wednesday night at city hall, will save the city around $3,000. Mayor Roy Taylor told the council that he had been informed by the people involved with the concerts that the size of the audiences did not warrant the expenditure, and that the band members themselves were "not interested" in playing for "a handful of people."


40 Years Ago

May 19, 1983

A name change is in store for the 130-year-old Toledo, Peoria and Western Railroad which serves this area of the corn belt, running from Ft. Madison, Iowa to Logansport, Ind. By year's end it is likely to be merged into its parent company as a division of The Atcheson, Topeka and Sante Fe Railroad and the orange and white color scheme on the locomotives will be replaced by the blue and gold of the Santa Fe.

The first concrete was poured Tuesday for a new 300,000 bushel silo at Fairbury Farmers Grain Co., on East Locust Street. Manager Keith Coleman said the structure would be 60' in diameter and 130' tall. That will be the same height as the six silos in the adjoining cluster but which have smaller diameters and hold 350,000 bushels. That cluster, erected in 1978 at a cost of $1.2 million, is topped off with a head house which stands another 50' in the air, and which will now be bridged to serve the addition. Estimated total cost of the new construction is about $350,000, Coleman said.

Monday morning, a carp, about 15 or 16" long, turned up in the pool of the fountain in Central Park, but was reluctant to pose for his portrait, preferring instead to hide near one of the light fixtures. He was still there Wednesday afternoon.


30 Years Ago

May 20, 1993

A Primary Care Center will be constructed in Fairbury as soon as a suitable site for the new building is located. David Ochs, administrator of Saint James Hospital in Pontiac, confirmed the report last week. Soil boring in the 300 block of West Walnut Street is to begin this week to determine if the 46,100 square foot lot is free of contaminants or sunken tanks. The Primary Care Center would be staffed by at least four primary care physicians and provide ancillary services.

Jim Biery, 56, of Chatsworth, was reported in good condition Tuesday afternoon at BroMenn Healthcare Center in Bloomington. Biery was taken to BroMenn by SELCAS following an accident at the Hybrid International farm east of Strawn on Saturday. SELCAS was called at 5:39 p.m. where they found Biery, who had reportedly been pinned by a bucket on a tractor and had been trying to flag down a passerby for some time. He suffered severe lacerations on his right leg and a possible broken hip.

For the first time in Prairie Central history, the girls' track team will take four events to State competition. This year is also the first time a PC girls' team took a first in the Sectional track meet. First place finishes were accomplished by: Addie Ahlemeyer in the long jump with 16 1¼"; in the 800 medley, Jill Steidinger, Melissa Salrin, Kari Dehm and Ahlemeyer with a time of 1:56.35; Ahlemeyer in the 400 dash with a time of 1:02.57; and the 1600 meter relay team of Dehm, Jennifer Salrin, Melissa Salrin and Ahlemeyer, with a time of 4:18.37. Relay alternates also going to state are Jaime Maquet, Shari Freadhoff, Suzanne Salrin and Laura Slagel. "Our third place (overall team) finish at Sectionals was also the best in Prairie Central history," said head coach Joe Oprondek Jr. "We were only two points out of second.


20 Years Ago

May 21, 2003

At Monday night's Prairie Central Board of Education meeting, Superintendent John Capasso revealed the contents of a letter he received from the Governor of Illinois. He said it was good news because of an additional $263,000 from the Elementary Secondary Education Funding Committee. It will restore and give $137,446 for text books, block grants, gifted programs and school safety. Reading improvement programs and support for regional offices may not be restored.

After a closed session on Monday night, the Prairie Central Board of Education passed a motion to respond positively to correspondence from the Chenoa School Board about a possible reorganization of the school districts. The PC board authorized Superintendent John Capasso to respond and set a meeting date. Last year a merger between PC and Chenoa went down in defeat, but finances may be changing minds.

Members of the Prairie Central science faculty will host a reception to honor David Kilgus on Tuesday, May 27 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the science wing of the high school. The event is open to the public. Kilgus is retiring at the end of the current school year after a 37-year career as a science teacher at the Fairbury-Cropsey and Prairie Central High Schools. In addition, "Doc" Kilgus was the athletic trainer for 30 years.


10 Years Ago

May 22, 2013

Mary Ellen Wink Goold, of Fairbury, will celebrate her 90th birthday with a family dinner at her home. Mrs. Goold was born May 27, 1923, to C. E. “Bud” and Florence Lorine Shepherd Wink in Fairbury. She graduated from Fairbury Township High School in 1941 and then attended the Gallagher School of Business in Kankakee. Following graduation, she worked as a secretary at the Rockford School of Business in Rockford. She married John R. Goold of Fairbury on Jan. 9, 1945 while he was home on leave from the U. S. Navy. He died April 12, 2007. She has three children, Jay Goold and Joan Smeltzer, both of Fairbury, and Ann (Dan) Arendell of Bloomington. She also has three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and one sister, Cathryn Frisby of Pontiac.

The Prairie Central Junior High track teams competed in the Sectional track meet hosted by Bloomington Jr. High on Saturday, May 11. The following athletes qualified to advance to the State track meet at the Eastside Center in East Peoria on May 17 and 18. Eighth Grade: Claire Casner – Shot Put, 30' 9”; Ethan Kinkade – Long Jump, 18' 7.75” (a new school record); Moly Lane – High Jump, 4' 11” (tied the school record); and Noah Miller – Shot Put, 42' 1.5”. Seventh grade: Sam Bell, Austin Burton, Jacob Maquet and Lee Zimmerman, 4x100 Relay, 52.40; Olivia Weber – High Jump, 4' 6”.


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



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