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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 6-19-24

130 Years Ago

June 16, 1894

The Fairbury baseball club went to Forrest on Thursday, where they crossed bats with the nine at that place, Fairbury winning 6 to 5. The Fairbury nine consisted of James Baird c, John Thompson p, Nate Town 1b, Elex Skein 2b, Frank Karnes 3b, Robert Baird ss, Ralph Harris lf, Bert Slaughter cf, Dave Compton rf. The officers of the club are D. A. Fraley, manager, and Tom Karnes, treasurer.

The banking firm of Beach and Dominy, which has carried on the Fairbury Bank for the past 20 years, was dissolved Thursday by mutual agreement. T. A. Beach retired on that date, and L. B. Dominy, the junior partner, assumed entire control. The firm of Beach and Dominy was organized in 1870 to carry the hardware business. Four years afterward they entered the banking business which they have since conducted.

Forrest — The Forrest High School commencement exercises took place last Friday evening. Members of the class were Eva Scott, Nellie Overton, George Stanford, Fannie Graves, Mattie Eignus and Mary Carter.


120 Years Ago

June 17, 1904

Miss Jeanette Moore and Mr. Thomas A. Philip, both of Fairbury, were quietly married by Squire Gaff, in Pontiac, Wednesday, June 15. The bride and groom are both well known and highly respected young people of this city and have hosts of friends and well wishers. The bride has made her home here for several years and is a most excellent lady. The groom is a carpenter by occupation and an excellent citizen. They will make their home in this city on east Oak Street.

One of the most terrible disasters of modern times occurred near New York City Wednesday. The excursion steamer General Slocum with over 2,000 passengers, mostly women and children, burned while going up the river, and it is estimated that 1,000 of the passengers perished. 521 dead bodies have been recovered and 500 are missing. The excursionists were members of a German Lutheran Church and Sunday School and were going to Long Island for a day's outing.

About fifty of the friends of Mr. and Mrs. T. E. Stockham gathered at their home at Lodemia, on Thursday evening to surprise them, and express their regret at their departure from the community. The evening was spent in social enjoyment and partaking of ice cream and cake, and by the amount it took to appease the appetites of those present, showed the proficiency of the ladies in the culinary art. The guests departed at a late hour wishing for them future prosperity.


110 Years Ago

June 19, 1914

Chosen among the grand jurors for the October term of court were the following: Indian Grove, Charles Steinberg; Belle Prairie, C. G. Sloater; Forrest, Henry Wendel; Pleasant Ridge, G. M. Gibb; and Saunemin, T. J. Sancken.

Mrs. W. R. Bane and daughter Hazel spent the latter part of the past week and the first of this week in Chicago.

John McGreal has tossed his hat in the ring, and is out with a petition to have his name placed on the Democratic primary ballot for county clerk this fall.


100 Years Ago

June 13, 1924

Fairbury is to have a uniform system of flag decoration, which will be used on the Fourth of July, Decoration Day and other special occasions. C. S. Gilmore, of the Shenandoah Flag & Decorating company, has been here this week and in cooperation with the members of John Joda Post, has sold to the business men of this city (with the exception of one or two) this system of flag decoration. This system of decoration is worked out by drilling holes in the cement walks in front of the business places purchasing flags and the flag standards, with flags attached, are then set in these holes or cups. When the flags are not in use these holes are covered with a perfect fitting top. Around 75 flags have been sold here and the work of installing them will start at once, so that the decoration can be used July Fourth.

Sixteen girls, intimate friends of Miss Alma Lewis, were entertained in her honor last Friday evening by Miss Verle Kring at her home. In presenting Miss Lewis with a miscellaneous shower, she was first blindfolded and as each gift was handed her, she was required to guess what it was, using her sense of touch only. Luncheon favors were corsage bouquets of sweet peas. Tuesday evening Miss Lewis was again the honored guest at a six o'clock dinner and kitchen shower given by Mrs. Howard Stuckey. The table decorations were pink roses.

H. W. Meisenhelder has been having rather a serious time of it with blood poisoning in his left hand and arm, but is better at present. The infection started from a little pimple on one of his fingers.


90 Years Ago

June 15, 1934

An accident occurred two miles west of town yesterday morning on Route 24 in which one car turned turtle but no one was seriously hurt. The accident occurred when a car driven by H. W. Rosenberger came onto the pavement from a farm home and rammed the other car in the side. In the car that turned turtle were P. W. Clark and Alex Mercia, Rensselaer, Ind., the car belonging to Mr. Clark. Mr. Mercia received a number of bruises and cuts and came into town where a doctor fixed him up. Mr. Clark was not injured.

Several of the drivers who are to take part in the businessmen's mule driving contest on July 4th, have selected their mules, and it is said that some of them are training their animals on the quiet every day – that is, if you can train a mule on the quiet. Those who have entered in the contest are P. M. Hotaling, Louis "Army" Armstrong, Joe "Shorty" Paternoster, J. K. Huette and Dr. W. A. Marshall. No doubt more will follow.

Fairbury's community wedding will take place on the stage of the Central Theatre tonight, when the mysterious bride and groom will be wedded by a clergyman in what is promised to be a beautiful and dignified wedding service. Twenty-seven local merchants have generously cooperated to give the newly wedded couple every assistance in their start in married life. A few days after the wedding the wedding gifts will be on display at the home of the bride (who is she, anyway?) and visiting friends will be served with wedding cake supplied by Kurth's Sanitary Bakery.


80 Years Ago

June 16, 1944

Next Thursday the members of Knoll Lodge will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of that organization, the celebration to take place at the lodge north of town. According to the program as outlined by President J. C. Kessler and his committee, there will be a lunch at one o'clock, followed by a social afternoon. Dinner will be served at 6:30 o'clock, followed by another social session in the evening.

Among those graduating on Wednesday from the Evanston Hospital School of Nursing was Miss Lois Bernice Streid, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Streid, of Chenoa. Miss Streid is a graduate of Chenoa Community High School and attended Illinois Wesleyan University before entering the Evanston Hospital for training.

A couple of weeks ago during a thunder storm, lightning struck a big tree in front of the T. R. Voorhees home and ripped a strip of bark off from top to bottom. During the storm of Monday afternoon lightning hit another tree back of their home in the Munz pasture and also ripped off a strip of bark from top to bottom. Lightning may not hit in the same place twice, but it didn't miss it very far in this instance.


70 Years Ago

June 17, 1954

Mayor Roy Taylor said yesterday that the city will soon begin picking up dogs which have not ben inoculated for rabies. In line with the cities of the county cooperating with county officials in the enforcement of the rabies law, which became effective June 1, the city has constructed a dog pound near the Fire Station. Dogs not tagged will be put in the pound for 7 days, and then destroyed if they have not been claimed by their owners. The owner will be charged $1 a day, as well as $1 fine and $3 inoculation fee before the dog can be released. Mayor Taylor has appointed City Policeman George Walker to pick up the strays.

Doris Mae Nussbaum, valedictorian of the graduating class of Fairbury High School, has been given the Annual Award of the Reader's Digest Association for students who, by their successful school work, give promise of attaining leadership in the community. Miss Nussbaum will receive an honorary subscription to The Reader's Digest for one year and an engraved certificate from the editors, "in recognition of past accomplishment and in anticipation of unusual achievement to come." She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Nussbaum.

The request for a liquor license for a group of Fairbury businessmen was rejected Monday by the Livingston County Board of Supervisors. James A. Patterson, Indian Grove Supervisor, explained that the group was considering building a restaurant and cocktail lounge, and six or eight bowling alleys, probably on the highway near Fairbury. The board, after discussion, voted not to increase the number of liquor licenses in the county to more than 10, the present number.


60 Years Ago

June 18, 1964

Edison School, for 82 years a fixture in the Fairbury educational scene, died hard Monday night. Slated to be abandoned this fall, the aging structure found its name among five from which Unit District Board members were to choose a title for the new building, now nearing completion in southwest Fairbury. A board committee had suggested five names: Westview, Washington, Franklin, Edison and Indian Creek. It was decided to cut this, by ballot, to two names, and then make the final selection. On that first ballot, Franklin failed to get a single vote, while Edison led Westview and Washington by one. Thus there were three to choose from on the second ballot and Westview and Edison tied. Then it was discovered the tally reflected one more vote than there had been ballots cast. A recount weeded out a ballot from the previous election, and Westview became a one-vote winner over Edison.

Miss Mary Lynn Langstaff, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. James Langstaff of Fairbury, graduated Saturday afternoon from Ferry Hall, girls school at Lake Forest. Dr. and Mrs. Langstaff attended the two-day ceremony in which Lynn, as president of the senior class, had a prominent roll.

Inspired by the largest opening night crowd in 20 seasons of American Legion Speedway history, stock and super modified (rally) drivers set new single lap track records and staged one of the most thrilling racing programs of all time here Saturday night before a surprising crowd in view of threatening weather throughout central Illinois. Bob Jones of Danville, who last year won his first race here, lowered the single lap rails record from the :15.14 time set by iron worker Bobby Carrigan of Covington, Ind., last year to an even faster :15.07.


50 Years Ago

June 20, 1974

Three gold coins offered at the Ezra Jenkins sale Saturday in Fairbury brought in excess of $400. The $10 gold piece brought a bid of $200; the $5 piece, $140, and the $2.50 gold piece brought $65. Earlier in the week, Jenkins sold a mounted set of four pieces, in denominations of $20, $10, $5 and $2.50, privately for $750. The buyer was an area farmer. The sale was cried by Jim Trunk of Chatsworth, Freddie Immke of Forrest and Art Fellers of Cissna Park.

This week's weather brought torrential rains, hail that ranged from marble size up to some rated as big as domestic ice cubes, a tornado warning, bright sunlight, and temperatures that ranged down to 50 degrees as tomorrow's vernal equinox, the longest day of the year, approached. In other words, if you don't like Illinois weather, stick around because it will change. Area farmers, plagued with planting problems because of the continued rainfall since early May, did find four days of sunshine on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and did a world of work in that time.

An explosion at the Texaco Oil Company bulk plant in Gibson City Tuesday morning injured three men, two seriously. The explosion occurred while a tank truck was unloading gasoline at the bulk storage site around 10:48 a.m. The fire which followed the explosion destroyed the tank truck, two smaller Texaco tankers and a concrete building at the bulk plant. A two-block area around the bulk plant was evacuated and the city closed to traffic when it was feared four other storage tanks might explode.


40 Years Ago

June 14, 1984

Barth's V&S Variety store in Fairbury began a going-out-of-business sale Wednesday, a move that has opened up the doors for John Bellot to expand his drug store. Ed Barth, who has owned the Fairbury store for approximately six years in addition to stores in Cissna Park and Homer, told The Blade, his sale will last about two months. He also is closing the Homer operation. As soon as Barth vacates his store, Bellot plans to knock out the wall which now separates the two businesses. he will run his prescription department the entire width of the back of the enlarged store. Both Barth and Bellot lease space from the Masonic Building Association, a group of Fairbury Masons who own the structure in the heart of the business district.

Wayne Field is one "beesy" guy. He's a beekeeper, an occupation that keeps him humming. For the past 20 years Wayne has raised bees at his rural home west of Fairbury where he lives with wife Betty and daughter Jennifer. Wayne builds most of his equipment, including his hives and solar wax extractor. Over the years Wayne has increased his bee production and now owns 25 colonies of Hybrid Italians, mild-natured bees, but aggressive collectors. On an average day he collects 20 pounds of nectar, of which seven or eight pounds is honey.

Army Pvt. Edward A. Beck, son of Richard K. Beck Sr. of Ada, Okla., and Helen M. Beck of Fairbury, has arrived for duty at Camp Stanley, South Korea. Beck, an anti-armor weapons crew member with the 2nd Infantry Division, was previously assigned at Fort Benning, Ga. He is a 1983 graduate of Forrest High school.


30 Years Ago

June 15, 1994

Stewart and Colleen Dyke left their hometown of Feilding, New Zealand on April 20, 1993 to fulfill a dream of Stewart's to drive an old car around the world. The couple caused quite a stir as they drove through Fairbury, the top down on the 1919 Austin 20 car, luggage tied to the sides and rear, looking like something out of an old-time silent movie. The Austin gets them about 15 to 16 miles per United States gallon of gas, runs on a four cylinder, four liter engine and only has about 70,000 miles on the restored engine. The couple will drive on to California, where they will take a ship back to New Zealand.

Tanya Lassiter and Jeremy Huston, both Juniors at Prairie Central High School, were selected as the United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth Delegates for 1994. These students are sponsored by the Odd Fellows and Rebekah's Lodges of Fairbury, where Steve Metz is local chairperson. This year is the 45th year for the Odd Fellow's Annual United Nations Pilgrimage program which actually began as a "pilot" group of 46 young people and a contingent of adult counselors in June of 1950.

A Colorado man, driving a team of Belgium horses pulling a covered wagon, passed through the area on US 24 Thursday and Friday on his way to Colorado Springs, CO. He travels 20 to 25 miles a day, which brought him to a rural Fairbury farm, where he was guest of Duane and Janny Schneider Friday evening. The driver is fulfilling a life-long dream of traveling the same way his grandparents did years ago. On his trip, that started May 14 from Mt. Hope, Ohio, Don Symes, 58, has been the guest of several farm-folk, who he says have put out the welcome wagon. His wagon is built like a sheep herder's wagon, complete with a stove, propane, ice box, cupboard, dresser, bunk bed and zippers up the front and back.


20 Years Ago

June 16, 2004

A life-long dream came true for 83-year-old Harvey Ahring the past December, when he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Illinois State University. Ahring, who with his wife, resides in Winterhaven, Fla., is the father of Judy Dameron of Fairbury. Ahring was three weeks short of receiving his degree in June of 1943, when he had to report for active duty in the Army Air Corp., now know as the U. S. Air Force. Judy Dameron contacted ISU officials to see what was needed to get her father's college diploma. Lots of records, including enlistment and discharge papers to name a couple, were requested by the university. Finally, in December 2003, the certificate arrived. It was official, Harvey Ahring was a graduate of Illinois State University.

The floral department at Dave's Supermarket in Fairbury has been expanded and in addition to cash and carry bouquets, single stem roses, and green and blooming plants, now offers fresh and silk flowers, green plants and blooming plants for weddings and funerals. Floral department employees Mary Ellen Nylander and Janet Rodriguez have 50-plus years of experience between the two of them, and are available daily to make special flower arrangements.

Marvin and Dorothy Roth of LaSalle, formerly of Fairbury, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on June 26 with an open house. Roth and the former Dorothy Mae Cooper married on July 3, 1954 at the First United Methodist Church in Fairbury. They have five children and 12 grandchildren.


10 Years Ago

June 18, 2014

Fairbury Echoes Museum will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a public reception at Dominy Memorial Library on Sunday, June 29. Cookies and punch will be served and a presentation on the history of Fairbury will be given by local historian Dale Maley. Inspired by the nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976, a group of volunteers began working on the possibility of a museum for Fairbury. Marion and Floyd Stafford donated the house next door to the library for its location. Marion is descended from the Dominy family for whom the library is named. After hundreds of volunteer hours, the museum opened on June 23, 1979. In 2003, the museum was in need of serious structural repairs and relocated to its present location at 126 W. Locust.

Twelve Prairie Central teachers recently completed their Master of Arts in Teaching and Leadership degrees through St. Xavier University, Chicago. They are Alan Dunahee, Luke Krippel, Marla Moore, Kelly Frambes, Danielle Donovan, Christy Decker, Nicole Joiner, Rebecca Casson, Paula Bachtold, Lisa Strohl, Ashleigh Feit and Shelbi Shumaker.

Louis John and Leslie Slagel of Fairbury are the parents of a baby boy born at 6:05 a.m. Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Gibson Area Hospital. Colton Dennis weighed 8 pounds 14 ounces and was 20½ inches long at birth. Paternal grandparents are Dennis and Lorene Slagel of Fairbury. Maternal grandparents are Leonard and Cheryl Schurter of Silverton, Ore. The new arrival was welcomed home by his older brother, Branson, 2½.

(Looking Back from 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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