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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 7-3-24

130 Years Ago

June 30, 1894

Tip Cox, of Belle Prairie, has a fine new threshing machine.

Three good English-born Americans, Charles Crowe, Thomas Chapman, and Frank Ford, started Wednesday from Fairbury for a two or three months' visit in the land of their birth. Mr. Crowe's native soil is the Isle of Man; Mr. Chapman originally hailed from Yorkshire, and Mr. Ford from Somersetshire.

The railroad strike is becoming serious. Several leading lines are tied up and the trouble is spreading.

William Hallock, son of Stephen Hallock, fell about 13 feet from the roof of a barn which he was helping shingle, belonging to Joe Ray, in the southwest part of town. The fall broke both his arms, one finger, cut his chin and otherwise injured him.

Forrest — Twenty-three persons voted Saturday to borrow $2,500 to build an addition to the school house; 22 voted against it.


120 Years Ago

July 1, 1904

Taylor's grove, the most beautiful spot in this vicinity, has been subdivided and lots are now ready for sale. These lots are 52x165 ft. with good natural drainage and city water close at hand with beautiful large oak trees for shade. Any one contemplating building should come and see them.

Parties desiring the use of the track at the Fairbury Fair grounds for the purpose of training, breaking or exercising their horses, will be charged one dollar a month for each horse. The track will be kept in first class shape by the association. Those desiring the use of the track will arrange with T. S. O. McDowell, of the committee on grounds. —F. F. Brydia, Sec.

Fred Conn has purchased the interest of his partner, Mr. Goff, in the restaurant business, and will hereafter conduct the business himself. Mr. Conn is a caterer of a number of years' experience and knows how to feed the people in a first-class manner. Since the establishment of the dining hall south of the post office Mr. Conn has been the manager, and has built up a splendid business. The place is always neat, clean and attractive, and good, wholesome food and plenty of it is furnished customers. The lunch room is open day and night, and you always get prompt attention and courteous treatment, together with the best meal you ever got for the price.


110 Years Ago

July 3, 1914

George H. Franzen received a telegram the first of the week from Congressman Louis Fitzhenry announcing confirmation of his appointment as postmaster.

Henry Troehler, who has been one of three barbers in the Armstrong shop, is now working in Forrest at the Johnston shop.

Prof. and Mrs. George Sype and children, of Oak Park, are here for a visit with relatives.

E. Bastion was taking a spin around the fair ground track on Tuesday evening on his motorcycle when he hit a pile of boards near the outside fence. He was shaken up, but not seriously hurt.


100 Years Ago

June 27, 1924

During the windstorm of Sunday afternoon a large tree was blown down in the M. N. Jones yard, north of town, caving in the rear porch and a part of the kitchen.

Believing that girls may profit both mentally and physically by camp life the same as their brothers do, the first real camp for girls in this country is being held in Chautauqua Park in Pontiac from June 26 to July 3. Girls who have been doing club work under the direction of the Home Bureau are eligible to come. The regular camp life will be generously supplemented with organized work and play under the leadership of local and university people. The public in general are helping most generously is assuring success for the camp, and adjoining counties and institutions are watching it with much interest.

Modern cottage and lot in splendid location on East Ash Street will be sold at public auction Saturday, July 5, at 2 p.m., at the city hall in Fairbury. House has electric lights, furnace, completely equipped bathroom, good basement, cistern and a large hot-water tank attached to cook-stove.


90 Years Ago

June 29, 1934

Perry J. Keck is enjoying a few days' visit with an old army buddy, Edward Sharkey, who with Mrs. Sharkey and children, Edward, Jr., and Martha, arrived here yesterday from their home in Cincinnati, O. Mr. Sharkey and Mr. Keck served overseas together, and since Mr. Sharkey has been here every bit of conversation starts out with "do you remember." While the visitor and Mr. Keck have not seen each other since the war they have kept in touch with each other more or less by writing.

A three day World's Fair vacation is the grand final prize for home talent in A. B. McCollum's "Search for Talent" contest. Clinton, Dwight, Fairbury, Hoopeston, Paxton and Watseka theatres owned and operated by A. B. McCollum unite in sponsoring a "Competitive Home Talent Stage Revue." Mr. Nelson, local manager of the Central Theatre, has planned four local revues to be held on Saturdays of each week. The first local contest will be July 14, the second July 21 and the third July 28. To the finalists on each of these nights cash prizes will be awarded and on August 4, the finalist of each of the first three contests will compete with each other for the final honors. The finalists of this night will compete with the other five towns.

The Fairbury Garment Factory has been closed until some trouble resulting form the NRA code can be adjusted. A representative from the government was here last Friday going over the books of the company to ascertain if the code has been violated. A hearing was held in Chicago Wednesday.


80 Years Ago

June 30, 1944

C. C. Thompson and H. B. Bedell are going to Chicago this afternoon in the Cook ambulance and bringing home Mrs. Bedell this evening, who was injured last Thursday when hit by a cab. She has been in the Henrotin Hospital. The cab that hit Mrs. Bedell backed into her as she got off a street car, the driver of the cab having started to back up to pick up a passenger.

Herbert Bellot has leased the building in the west block, formerly occupied by E. E. Neal with a tavern, and will open a tavern there within the next few days, a license having been issued by Mayor Klopfenstein, who is also liquor commissioner. Mr. Bellot is having the interior of the building redecorated and improved otherwise. The building has been vacant since April 1, when Mr. Neal disposed of his stock and equipment.

L. Henry Eakins, of Chicago, assistant state organizer of the Townsend Plan, was in Fairbury Wednesday, making plans for the national meeting of the Townsend Club to be held in this city in connection with the annual Townsend Homecoming. Two days have been set for these gatherings, Saturday and Sunday, August 26 and 27. The national business sessions will be held on Saturday with a banquet in the evening. The homecoming celebration will be held Sunday. It being a national affair, it is expected that a large crowd will be here those two days.


70 Years Ago

July 1, 1954

Fairbury's big three-day July Fourth Celebration begins here Saturday afternoon and will continue on through Monday afternoon with an abundance of entertainment for all tastes and ages. The celebration is being sponsored by the John Joda Post No. 54 of the American Legion, and includes a baseball tournament, stock car racing, flag presentation ceremonies, and a free fire-works display. Fairbury business houses will remain closed all day Monday.

There was much ado about a steer at the Forrest Sale Barn the past Wednesday evening. A big rangy steer sallied forth into the area usually reserved for the buyers and spectators and then stopped to stare at the office personnel. One of the girls in the office, not especially known for her agility, went through a window in nothing flat. She is rather short and the window was approximately five feet above floor level, that didn't even cause a pause. First she was there and then she wasn't. The women and children took to the high bleachers. The crew at the barns soon had the situation under control and everyone was again placid including the steer.

Mr. and Mrs. John W. Gerber, Jean, Janet, Buddy and Paul, returned Sunday night from a three week and 5,500 mile vacation trip. They visited Mrs. Gerber's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Eilert Olson, at Seattle, Wash. Points of interest en route were the Black Hills, Yellowstone Park, the Bighorns, Cascade Range, Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound and numerous others.


60 Years Ago

July 2, 1964

The Fairbury-Cropsey FFA Chapter was well represented at the state FFA judging contests at the University of Illinois on June 23. Norman Harms and Danny Moore each received a blue ribbon in dairy judging. Doug Mundell receive a red ribbon. The dairy team was awarded a blue team ribbon. Tom Moore was named outstanding showman at the dairy contest. The livestock team also won a blue ribbon with Ronnie Monroe getting a blue ribbon and Bill Barnes and Charles Knapp getting red ribbons. Also receiving a blue ribbon was the grain judging team with Dale Atkins and Carlos Bahler getting blue ribbons and Ronald Watkins getting a white ribbon.

Five Fairburians were in St. Louis Friday touring the Budweiser Brewery, Grant's Farm and watching the Phillies overpower the Cardinals. Jerry Connor, Donald Rabe, Jerry Vaughan, Carl Tull and Roger White made the all-day trip. The group left here at 6 a.m.

Kankakee sky divers will be one of the highlights at the Chatsworth Celebration July 1, 2, 3, and 4. The group will perform Saturday, July 4, at 2:30 p.m., dropping out of the sky at 10,000 feet and then free-falling just 1,000 feet above the ground before opening their chutes. The event will take place at Chatsworth Airport. Wilson's Famous Shows are on the midway throughout the entire celebration.


50 Years Ago

July 4, 1974

A federal highway safety grant of up to $12,075 for 70% reimbursement on the cost of a new ambulance has been received by the South East Livingston County Ambulance Service Inc., it was announced by John Wade, secretary of the area emergency service. The grant, which was applied for in January, specifies that all ambulance attendants must be trained to the level of the 81-hour Emergency Medical Technician/Ambulance within one year of the project approval date, and that the vehicle eligible for reimbursement must have a minimum of 60" of headroom in the patient compartment.

More than 40 truck loads of broken tree limbs have ben removed from Fairbury streets since the storm of Thursday night, June 20, it was reported today by Edwin Runyon, street department superintendent "And we're just getting started on hauling out the ones which were piled in the alleys," he added.

"I've been very busy and I'm going to stay busy for awhile." That's how Melvin Metz, a rural Fairbury farmer, summed up his decision to plant soybeans by airplane. A pilot aimed his small plane over the appropriate field last week, dropping soybean seeds into the standing wheat crop. Like most farmers in the area, Metz has his work cut out for him following the heavy rains this year. So, to save time, he contacted a Kankakee company and arranged for an airplane. After each pass over the field by the pilot, Metz moved his truck forward several yards to provide a new target for the plane, assuring a more even distribution of seeds. Metz said he'll know whether or not he is going to get a bean crop from the bizarre planting method around July 10-14, when he harvests his wheat crop.


40 Years Ago

June 28, 1984

Regional Superintendent of Schools Wayne Blunier has approved a petition calling for consolidation of Fairbury-Cropsey, Forrest-Strawn-Wing and Chatsworth school districts. Blunier told The Blade he is forwarding the petition to the Illinois Office of Education in Springfield along with a strong recommendation that the state also support the proposed consolidation. The regional superintendent's action comes after a public hearing in Forrest last Friday morning, when 20 of 21 persons who offered testimony voiced support for the merger.

Since July 1 is approaching, Harold Ward, owner of Ward's Texaco at the corner of Second and Oak Streets, decided this would be a good time to go ahead with his plans for retirement. After all, the date, July 1, has special meaning for the station. C. J. Hadaway first opened the business on July 1, 1930. Twenty-four years later, on July 1, 1954, Hadaway sold the gasoline station to Ward., And now, 30 years later, Ward is selling to his longtime employee, Tom Doran.

A farewell coffee hour was held at the First United Methodist Church on Sunday morning following the church service, for Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Hammitt and family, who are moving to Monticello, and also for Mr. and Mrs. Steve Moser and family, who will be leaving next month to make their home in Ohio.


30 Years Ago

June 29, 1994

On July 1, Dominy Memorial, Forrest Public and Chatsworth Township libraries will become members of the newly formed Alliance Library System. This new system combines the Corn Belt, Great River, Illinois Valley and Western Illinois library systems. Through shared computer databases and faster delivery services, the Alliance will provide our libraries with increased access to over 280 libraries containing over seven million books, video tapes, periodicals and other materials.

The Fairbury Lions Club named Bill Schauble as "Lion of the Year" at their steak fry on Monday evening, June 20 at Munz's Pit. Former District 1-K Governor Bud Wahl of Streator, was present to install officers for the 1994-95 year. Serving as President is Joe Costa; First Vice President, Dennis Wenger; Second Vice President, Phil Orr; Secretary Darryl Tinges; Treasurer Eli Meister and Lion Tamer Gerry Vance.

Russian patent attorney Ljubov M. Korchemnaya visited the law office of Traub, Weeks & Brucker, Ltd., and toured the Fairbury area on June 18. Korchemnaya, of St. Petersburg, Russia, is in the United States for a one month period and is familiarizing herself with the patent laws in the United States. While here she is working with Alvin D. Schulman, of the law firm of Marshall, O'Toole, Gerstein, Murray & Borun. Schulman is originally from Fairbury and is a 1948 graduate of Fairbury-Cropsey High School. Korchemnaya said that due to the privatization changes currently taking place in Russia, there is a definite need for restructuring their patent laws, which were previously controlled by the government.


20 Years Ago

June 30, 2004

Gene Sharp, son of Carl and Gladys Sharp of Chatsworth, has been selected as the "Outstanding Science Teacher of the Year" in Lake County for 2004. Sharp was nominated by several of his students. Included with the award, Sharp received a plaque and $200, and Carmel High School received a $1,000 grant to purchase teaching aids and equipment at the discretion of the winning teacher. Sharp has been teaching chemistry for 42 years in Illinois, including three years at Piper City High School, 29 years at Pontiac Township High School, and the last 10 years at Carmel High School in Mundelein.

On Saturday, June 26, the Fairbury Echoes Museum held an open house to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The event was at the museum's new location at 126 W. Locust in downtown Fairbury. A ribbon cutting was at 9 a.m. The Fairbury Echoes Museum began as a bicentennial project in 1975 under the guidance of the Dominy Memorial Library Board. Great energy and effort of the founding group, coupled with the generous donations from Floyd and Marion Stafford enabled the museum to become a reality when it opened to the public on June 23, 1979.

Lloyd Bachtold of Fairbury was all smiles at the June 23 bloodmobile, and anyone who has given 20 gallons of blood for those in need should be smiling. Bachtold, who started giving back in 1956, was working on 20-gallons-plus at the bloodmobile last week. He said he donated his first unit of blood for Henry Steffen after he was badly burned.


10 Years Ago

July 2, 2014

Jessica Goldman, who is from the state of New Hampshire, is running from San Francisco, Calif. to New York City, a distance of over 3,000 miles, to raise money for the Brain Injury Association of America. Goldman left San Francisco on April 16 and has encountered many different types of weather conditions along the way. When she completes her journey, she will be just the second woman to ever run solo from coast to coast. Goldman traveled through this area on Wednesday, June 11 and spent the night at the Hampsher Hotel in Forrest. She is pushing a three-wheeled cart with her possessions.

Following an executive session during its regular meeting on June 19, the Prairie Central Board of Education accepted the resignations of Brandon Burke (4th grade teacher at Westview), Kim Walk (kindergarten teacher at Westview), Danielle DeFries (1st grade teacher at Westview), Cindy Ramsey (paraprofessional at Chenoa), and Josh Krone (freshman basketball coach at PCHS).

Myron and Waneta “Neta” Erdman celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on June 11. The Erdman's were married June 11, 1949 at Our Savior Lutheran Church at Milford. Dale Erdman and Elaine Callahan were their attendants. They have three children, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchild. He is a retired dairy farmer and she is a retired teacher. They still live on the farm near Chenoa.

(Looking Back from Kari Kamrath is sponsored by Duffy-Pils Memorial Home in Fairbury, Chenoa and Colfax)

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