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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 6-28-23




130 Years Ago

June 24, 1893

The prize of a gold ring offered by A. H. Mundt for the young lady most appropriately dressed, taking part in the Merchants' Karnival was awarded to Miss Dora Eads, representing E. M. Phillips, the photographer.

Rev. J. W. Porter, of Emden, has accepted a call to fill the pulpit of the Christian Church in this city.

A petition was numerously signed this week praying the council to not prohibit the use of pavements for bicycle riders entirely but asking for an ordinance making it a penalty for a rider to pass a pedestrian without dismounting.

Charles Bradley's residence is rapidly nearing completion and when finished will be one of the most commodious and ornamental in the city.


120 Years Ago

June 26, 1903

The directors of the Fairbury Fair, at their meeting held Wednesday afternoon, decided not to build a grand stand this fall. When the committee began investigating and were getting the plans in readiness to commence the work, they found that they could not get the lumber here short of one month and it would take a month longer to erect the grand stand if everything was favorable and the carpenters could be secured. If any delay should be caused by any reason whatever it would be impossible to finish it in time for the fair. Therefore, the directors came to the wise conclusion that it was better not to take any chance of being without seats for the people and will defer the building until next year.

A cooperative company has been organized in this city, composed of miners, and they will sink a coal shaft on the farm of Dr. H. E. Johnson, two miles west of this city. There should be some pretty good coal in that locality but it will probably be found at a greater depth than closer to town. Supt. Armstrong, of the T. P. & W., was here Thursday to make arrangements about putting in a switch.

Cropsey — Married last Wednesday at the home of the bride in Chicago, Miss Louise Baxter to Dr. Stanley Springer. The bride is a niece of Frank Hayman, who attended the wedding. They received many handsome and costly presents.


110 Years Ago

June 27, 1913

W. H. Patterson will leave Saturday for Gettysburg, Pa., to attend the fiftieth anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg.

James O'Brien returned home Tuesday from Notre Dame, Ind. He graduated last week there from the civil and electrical engineering department.

The friends of James O'Malley will have to look him over pretty closely if they recognize him. Jim has had his whiskers shaved off and looks at least ten years younger.

Walter Bingham is driving a team of horses for which he traded his Ford car to Fred Stutzman.

Carl Goudy went up to Harvard the first of the week and won the first race of the meet, a ten-mile event in record time. He was tuning up his motorcycle for the second race when he broke a cylinder.


100 Years Ago

June 22, 1923

Mrs. Pearl Davis of this city, who has been an inmate of the county jail for some time, has been released. Mrs. Davis was indicted by the recent grand jury for violating the prohibition act. Se was fined $200 and costs and went to jail for failure to pay the fine. She served out a portion of the fine and upon paying the remainder was released.

While working at the Hirstein farm seven and a half miles northeast of this city, Billy Brown fell from a scaffold and was rather badly hurt. He was working on a scaffold and pulling up some lumber by the aid of a rope when he lost his balance. Seeing that he was going to fall he jumped, the distance to the ground being about 18 feet. Although he lit on his feet he struck the side of his head against his knee or some hard object and bit a piece off the side of his tongue and his teeth also cut a hole in his cheek that required several stitches to close. One of his legs was also bruised and he was otherwise shaken up.

E. B. Ramsey, Bert Monroe, Will Morris and Royce Boyle returned last Thursday night from their eastern trip. They were gone sixteen days and covered pretty close to 3,000 miles. They attended the Shrine convention for three days in Washington, D. C., and visited Mt. Vernon and other places of historical interest. From Washington they went to New York City, stopping off at Philadelphia, Baltimore and visiting Gettysburg battle grounds. They returned home by way of Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Cleveland, taking a boat trip from Buffalo to Cleveland.


90 Years Ago

June 30, 1933

Ralph, ten-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Harvey, was slightly injured on Wednesday morning when struck by a car on Route 8 at the Fourth Street crossing. The car was not traveling very fast and when Ralph was knocked to the pavement the only injuries he received were a bruised left arm and left hip. It was fortunate for the boy that it was not some of the cars that go speeding through Fairbury at 50 or more miles an hour that hit him. The driver of the car picked the boy up and took him home, remaining to see if there was anything he could do for him.

Following the action of the city council at last Wednesday's meeting regarding the formation of a new municipal band, the committee met and made plans for the organization of this new band and dates set for concerts during the summer months. The band will consist of not over 40 pieces and will consist solely of musicians in this locality. Many of these musicians will be men who for years have been experienced players. The balance of the band will be former high school bandsmen.

N. W. Hanson, C. J. Claudon, Bud Thompson and Frank Phelps were in El Paso Sunday taking part in the golf meet there. The day was indeed an enjoyable one with a fine dinner served at noon at the club house. A feature of the day was the hole-in-one by Bud Thompson. It was on the 215-yard ninth. Fearing to over-drive, Bud used his brassie and took an easy swing. Perfectly timed, the ball soared aloft with neither hook nor slice, as straight for the hole as if on a trolley.


80 Years Ago

June 25, 1943

Mrs. Carl Goembel, of south of town, yesterday afternoon entertained eighteen little boys and girls in honor of the second birthday of her son, Carlos Duane. Refreshments were cake and ice cream, with favors of whistles and suckers. Carlos Duane received many nice presents.

Mrs. Julia Bishopp, who occupies the A. B. Foster residence on South Second street, has enlisted her collie dog, Laddie, in the service of the United States. Laddie expects to be called in about a month and will begin his training in a Colorado camp. Mrs. Bishopp moved here recently from Leroy and is employed at the Honegger plant at Forrest.

The people of Forrest turned out in force Monday evening to greet one of their soldier boys in the flying forces of the United States, who has seen much service in the Guadalcanal area. He is First Lieutenant Russell Shambrook. About a thousand people had gathered at the Wabash Depot to meet the 6:30 southbound Bluebird and there was a noisy and hearty greeting from this large crowd. Lt. Shambrook flew from the southwest Pacific, starting at new Caledonia, making three stops to San Francisco, from where he took the train home. The parade forming at the depot consisted of the Forrest schools band, the American Legion, a flag escort with three sailors home on furlough from Great Lakes – Neal Purkey, Bill Gulliford and Herschel Rice – children carrying flags, the Forrest fire truck and many private cars, the family car being decorated.


70 Years Ago

June 25, 1953

Clive Follmer, outstanding Forrest High School and University of Illinois athlete, Monday signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox American League Baseball Club. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Follmer, of Forrest. Clive graduated Sunday from the U. of I. He is to report today to the Waterloo, Iowa Three-Eye League team. Waterloo is currently leading that Class "B" League with a record of 32-16. The past season at the U. of I., Follmer was the team's star pitcher, winning 6 and losing only one. His only defeat was a 15-inning, 1-0 heartbreaker to Minnesota.

Fairbury suffered along with the rest of the midwest in the middle of a hot spell this week. Temperatures Friday and Saturday soared to 106 and 104 degrees in the downtown area, the highest ever recorded since The Blade began its temperature record eleven months ago, and probably the highest in some years.

A proposal to be made to the citizens of Fairbury is being formulated by the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce regarding prospects of securing a movie theatre here. George Kerasotes, of Kerasotes Theatres, was in Fairbury Monday in conference with the Chamber of Commerce officials. The Kerasotes organization is one of the largest theatre operations in downstate Illinois. They have some 50 theatres, including six drive-ins.


60 Years Ago

June 27, 1963

A transient husband and wife, and their year-old son, hitch-hiking from Texas to Detroit, sought lodging at the Fairbury city jail Tuesday night from Night Officer Bud Johnson. A transcontinental trucker who brought the couple to Fairbury, purchased their supper at McDonald's Cafe and called Johnson to secure quarters for them for the night.

The mercury dipped to 31 degrees at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 22, northwest of Fairbury, Mildred Skronbonak reported to the Blade this week. She said frost also was visible on roofs of buildings in the area until the rising sun struck them.

A wildcat well drilling rig is standing by today on the Lytle Hieronymus farm near Colfax. A trace of oil has been found 1,430 feet below ground after 10 days of drilling through some 700 feet of shale and about 700 feet of limestone. Geologist Bill McGaughey of Salem is on his way to the site. He will decide whether to core the well or drill on deeper. To core a well, drillers lower a diamond-pointed drill bit and take out a 25-foot section of the formation that is three inches in diameter. This core is then analyzed by the geologist.


50 Years Ago

June 28, 1973

"I'm happy to get the position," was what former F-C principal Charles Lane had to say about his assignment as high school principal at Bradford. Lane, who has held the position of high school principal here for the past six years, was not offered an administrative contract for the coming year by the board. Later, on advice of counsel, the board informed Lane that he had been "reassigned" to a teaching position. No reasons have ever officially been given for the board's action. Lane has filed suit against the Fairbury board asking to be re-instated, charging that his rights had been violated when the board refused him a public hearing in order for him to hear the complaints against him. Lane said he will continue his suit against the board, asserting that, "it has gone beyond the point of finding out the board's reasoning," but has "gotten to the point of obtaining fair treatment as a public employee."

Gasoline is not in a critically short supply in Fairbury, but police are noticing that transient motorists on U.S. 24 are encountering trouble at night, with at least a 40 mile stretch between Gilman's I-57 plazas, and U. S. 66 at Chenoa, where there is no station open after dark. Office Tom Bray of the Fairbury Police Force said Monday that "We had two of them last night who ran out here." Local officers, after encountering the problem some weeks ago, came up with a solution and now keep a 5-gallon can of gas on hand for emergency use to aid travelers in distress.


40 Years Ago

June 23, 1983

Fairbury-Cropsey School Board members vented a little frustration Monday night over Forrest-Strawn-Wing's decision last week to abort consolidation talks between the two districts. Although officially, the board members agreed to send a letter indicating a willingness "to keep the door open" to their FSW counterparts, some frustration bubbled to the surface. School board president, Keith Coleman said he was "surprised" when he learned that FSW had decided not to take the consolidation issue to the voters this fall.

Fairbury's Thomas A. Beach house, more familiarly known in recent decades as "the James house" during the long residency there of his granddaughter, Mrs. Alma Lewis James, is on the road to being nominated to the National Register of Historic Sites. The home is owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Tollensdorf of Fairbury who, after acquiring the property about three years ago from Mrs. James' heirs, made extensive renovation. A year ago, on June 27, they hosted an open house to show that renovation. More than 2,000 people turned out for that event and some had to be turned away.

The "Bloomer Line," that abandoned section of Illinois Central-Gulf trackage, with the strange name-tag, may rise from the dead, perhaps before the ink on this story is dry. A provision for a $3 million subsidy for the "Bloomer" is in the transportation appropriation scheduled for a vote in the U. S. House of Representatives late Wednesday. When the ICG abandoned the trackage a few years ago, it isolated three facilities of Anchor Grain Co., two of them complexes at Cropsey and Colfax. Also cut off from rail service was the Livingston elevator and Diller Tile in Chatsworth, the Charlotte Farmers Grain Co., and the Cullom Co-op Grain.


30 Years Ago

June 24, 1993

Last week, sutureless cataract removal was performed on the right eye of an 84-year-old female at Fairbury Hospital by Dr. Catharine Crockett. Cataract surgery is not new to the hospital, but Phacoemulsification, also known as Phaco, is new and requires a special piece of equipment. Dr. Crockett explained that with the Phaco surgery, the pupil is dilated, then a tiny incision is made behind the pupil. The cataract, which is a fogged lense within the eye, is then broken up with ultra sound and suctioned out.

Aside from the tired, the poor and the huddled masses, New York City will welcome a group of about 500 high school students, including two from Prairie Central, during the two-week span between June 15 and June 28. These students are part of the 44th annual United Nations Pilgrimage Program sponsored by Odd Fellows and Rebekahs of the World. Prairie Central's delegates for this year's U. N. pilgrimage are Allison Hostetter and Brett Abbey. Their parents are Paul and Sara Hostetter, Fairbury, and Jeff and Rhonda Abbey, Cropsey.

David Hammer of Edwards, has recently joined the National Bank of Fairbury as a trust officer. His primary responsibilities will include trust, estate and retirement plan administration, and assisting in the management and development of the bank's computer processing systems. Hammer joins the bank with six and one half years trust experience. He received a bachelor's degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1986 and is a native of Fairbury. He and his wife, Denise, are parents of one son. They are planning to relocate to Fairbury within the next few months.


20 Years Ago

June 25, 2003

Wednesday was a big day for the Forrest Historical Society, the arrival of a train caboose from Chatsworth, given to the Forrest organization by the Chatsworth Historical Society. The caboose, that sits in a area east of the post office, will be restored by the Historical Society. In the near future, a track will be installed encircling the caboose, for a kiddie train that is being restored.

The Prairie Central FFA Dairy Judging Team left June 18 for Scotland, to compete in the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, Scotland. The group will also tour England, Belgium and Germany. Members of the team are Rebecca Harms, Brian Munz, Tara Davis and Karissa Slagel. Chaperones for the trip are Norman and Karen Harms, Elaine Davis and Becky Meyer.

Myrna Sechrest of Chenoa and Quentin Huette of Fairbury are announcing their engagement and approaching marriage. The bride is the daughter of Cora Sechrest of Chenoa and the late Donavan Sechrest. The bridegroom is the son of Barb and Bob Hurt of Fairbury and Herbert Huette of Monticello. Both are employed at Dave's Supermarket, Fairbury. The couple is planning an Aug. 9, 2003 wedding.


10 Years Ago

June 26, 2013

Residents of Fairbury and the surrounding area enjoyed the sunny weather on Wednesday, June 19 to congratulate Bob Rinkenberger on his retirement from the Fairbury-Cropsey Community Bank, a division of Morton Community Bank. Rinkenberger arrived at the bank 13 years ago when it was just a small bank before being sold to Morton Community Bank two years ago. “Regulation is making it very difficult on the small banks and if that doesn't get reversed, we are going to lose them,” Rinkenberger said. During retirement, Rinkenberger plans to continue farming 800 acres of ground near Paxton and he hasn't ruled out consulting work. Those attending Wednesday's outdoor celebration enjoyed a complimentary lunch of brats, hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream.

Edwin and Thelma Harms of Forrest will be honored for their 60th wedding anniversary with a family dinner hosted by their children and grandchildren. Harms and the former Thelma Metz were marred June 28, 1953 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Forrest. They are the parents of Neal (Norma) and Paul, both of Forrest, and Dale (Debbie) of Muscatine, Iowa. They also have five grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Harms is a retired farmer.


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



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