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  • Fairbury News staff

Looking Back: 8-17-23




130 Years Ago

August 12, 1893

Morris Bro., of Emerson, Ia., located in a large two-story frame house at Chenoa on Tuesday morning and commenced operations to produce rain. They are under contract with the Bloomington Canning company, who have large fields of sweet corn in the vicinity of Chenoa. If they produce a rainfall of a half inch over an area of eight square miles inside of five days they receive $700. If unsuccessful, they get nothing.

There was another picnic at Tucker's Ford Wednesday afternoon. Some of the picnickers went in carriages, but the majority of them chose the more expeditious and safer way, Kent's bus. Apparently the picnic craze has hit Fairbury with a vengeance. There is one every day and sometimes two.

The colored camp meeting being held at the fairgrounds ended Sunday evening. The meeting was not a successful one spiritually or financially.

Leon Kring is erecting a modern house in the northeast part of town.


120 Years Ago

August 14, 1903

The Fairbury Fair will be held August 31 to September 4. As a feature there will be a balloon ascension each day.

Harley Bedell is now the heavyweight of The Blade office, having commenced to learn the printing trade this week.

Ted Lough returned home Sunday. He has been with the Busby Bros. Circus Band.

Dr. J. R. Rayburn will soon commence the erection of a modern house on his lots at the northwest corner of Maple and Fifth Streets.


110 Years Ago

August 15, 1913

Miss Jessie Eppstein, who for several years has taught in the Fairbury schools, has resigned to accept a position in the Chicago schools.

There were over 600 automobiles and buggies on our streets Saturday evening.

At Fort Wayne, Ind., Sunday, Carl Goudy continued his winning streak by taking the special event, a ten-mile motorcycle race. His racing partners, Perry, of Joliet, and Allen of Odell, finished second and third respectively.

R. N. Kelso this week sold his blacksmith shop in the east end to Joe Hagen. Mr. Kelso has a farm up in Michigan and will devote his time to lowering the high cost of living by raising bumper crops.


100 Years Ago

August 10, 1923

Yesterday morning while playing in the yard, Virginia Haag, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Haag, was kicked by a pony. The blow sent her reeling against a scythe that was lying close by and her leg was cut quite badly, it taking several stitches to close the wound.

The members of the Baptist Church this week showed their appreciation of their minister, Rev. J. E. Howard, when they presented him with a Ford touring car. Rev. Howard is now putting in his spare time learning how to make his newly acquired property keep on the straight and narrow path.

Workmen tearing down the rock wall which was a part of the foundation of the Walton Grocery, found embedded between layers of rock a small brass check with the inscription "Good for Five Cent Drink" F. F. While puzzling over the "F. F." Casper Franzen happened along and cleared the mystery. The initials were those of his father who conducted a saloon and pool room here years ago and the check was one given to a customer who paid ten cents for a game of pool, entitling them to a five cent drink. Wednesday Ide Harris, laying the brick in the southeast pier of the new building, again interred the check between the layers of brick.


90 Years Ago

August 11, 1933

The Girl Scout camp at Camp Heffernan, Lake Bloomington, under the direction of Mrs. Karl V. Keck, of this city, was given a first class rating by Mrs. Charles Tapping and Mrs. C. W. Rogers, National Girl Scout camp inspectors, who visited the camp Friday. The rating was given because of expert leadership, cooperation, site, equipment and program.

Next Tuesday night has been designated as "ladies' night" by the Rotary Club and every Rotarian is asked to bring his wife or best girl to the regular Tuesday evening dinner. The dinner, by the way will not be served at the Boys' club, as usual, but will be served by the ladies of the Baptist Church, at the church, and it will be a fried chicken dinner. The program committee announces that a speaker of recognized merit and ability has been secured for this occasion.

We have always been in favor of making comfort the paramount issue when it comes to clothing, especially during the super-heated, super-humidified season of the central Illinois summer. The elimination of superfluous clothing is conducive to comfort, health, efficiency and happiness. Up to a week or two ago we had enjoyed it all. But, a week or two ago we noticed one of our most attractive, most adorable girls, on the main thoroughfare of our city with the southern "exposure" entirely nude, except for about eight and three-fourths inches amidships, and that brief protection appeared so insecure, so fluttery, so phantom-like that it made us positively nervous. Maybe we are just an old fogy, but this experience has caused us to ask if it isn't possible that some of our girls are carrying the fun a bit too far.


80 Years Ago

August 13, 1943

On June 28, Mrs. Mary Ethel Seale of this city, received a telegram from the War Department stating that her son, Sgt. Dwight Seale, was missing in action. Monday another telegram was received from the adjutant general, stating that Sgt. Seale, previously reported missing in action, was a German prisoner. Sgt. Seale was a tail gunner on a Flying Fortress and in all probability was on his first trip in that capacity over the European war theatre, as he had only left for overseas duty last June.

Carol Kay Rigsby was one year old Tuesday and eight of her little friends were invited by her mother, Mrs. Arnold Rigsby, to celebrate the event. Carol Kay couldn't quite take part in the games and treasure hunt but she was highly entertained just looking on. Her one-candle cake was served with ice cream. Carol Kay was pleased with the nice gifts that her friends brought to her.

Alvin Brown, of Chatsworth, who is employed at the Clearing Cabinet Plant there, has been a patient at the Fairbury Hospital since Wednesday afternoon, when about half of his left thumb and index finger were mangled in a power saw. He was brought to the Fairbury Hospital, where the injured digits were amputated near the knuckle joints.


70 Years Ago

August 13, 1953

More than 5,000 adults toured the Honegger plants in Fairbury and Forrest in connection with the Honegger Silver Anniversary celebration last week. Included in the tour were the Hatchery, Test Farms and Egg Grading Station at Forrest, and the Mill, offices and Thuro-bilt Plant at Fairbury. Visitors came from Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina and Washington. The biggest group of out-of-state visitors was from Van Wert, Ohio, 56 of whom came in two busses with a banner, "Another load of buckeyes headed for the Honegger Anniversary Celebration."

The Illinois Historical Society is considering erecting a marker near the site of the Chatsworth wreck, according to C. C. Burford, author of "The Chatsworth Wreck." Mr. Burford, of Urbana, who was a Fairbury visitor Tuesday, said that according to present plans, the bronze plate will be erected at the Livingston-Ford County boundary line.

Frank Popejoy, Cropsey sportsman, demonstrated at the Indian Creek Golf Course that a true fisherman has a hard time getting away from his first love, even during an afternoon at the golf course. Mr. Popejoy, with Bert Davis and Bert Davis Jr., was playing hole 5 when he strolled over to the creek and pulled out a 2-pound carp which was firmly attached to the end of a fishing line. Mr. Davis, who is quite a fisherman in his own right, was astounded that Mr. Popejoy would set out lines and watch them as he played golf back and forth across the creek.


60 Years Ago

August 15, 1963

It has been reported to The Blade that at least 1,000 people have become ill with flu symptoms since attending the Livingston County 4-H Fair at Pontiac a week ago. Most people who attended the fair blamed water conditions as the cause of sickness. Because of extremely hot weather, one person said the water purifier at the park could not keep up with consumption. Water is taken from the Vermilion river and not from wells.

Lightning struck the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Armstrong in Cropsey last Thursday afternoon. The chimney of the house was blown to bits. Inside, flu openings were also blown out, covering the house with soot, and the clean out door and furnace doors were also forced open, leaving the basement with layers of ashes and soot. A new television set was ruined and wire leading to the telephone was burned off. A small fire started in the attic but was soon extinguished.

A crew member of the city street department was overcome by gas or some other unknown fumes while working in a manhole Thursday about 3 p.m. Rennon Elliott, who has been with the city department for the past seven years, was working in a manhole at the Reis Cleaner's corner when the incident occurred. He was taken to Fairbury Hospital in an unconscious state and needed oxygen several hours before he regained consciousness. Elliott was released from the hospital Saturday noon but did not return to work until Wednesday.


50 Years Ago

August 16, 1973

Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, and I'll show you plenty of meat...Tom Sibley, scion of the family which named the village of Sibley decades ago and founded the vast Sibley Farms, has introduced the colorful and romantic western behemoth to the midwestern pastures. Acquiring Charley and Georgia two years ago, Sibley has now been presented with a bull calf by them. He has named him Fritzey Meyer, in honor of his friend, the mayor.

A former Fairburian, Mrs. Carol Voorhees Owrey of Warrensburg, has returned the Della M. Walton family Bible to Fairbury, where it originated many, many years ago. Carol worked for two years as periodicals assistant at the School of Theology Library in Claremont, Calif. She was leafing through the discarded books, which were put on sale at 50 cents apiece, when she spotted the Bible with the bookplate "Della M. Walton, Fairbury, Illinois." The family register indicates that it was once the property of Mrs. Isabel Harbison, who was first married to Saxton Chesebrough. He died in 1867. The Chesebroughs were early settlers of Livingston County and are buried in the Saunemin Cemetery. Saxton and Isabel Chesebrough were the parents of Della M. who married John Walton of Fairbury.

School bells for an estimated 1,262 students in the Fairbury-Cropsey Community Unit 3 system will ring on Tuesday morning, August 28 when a half-day of attendance will be recorded; and again on Wednesday morning when things start in earnest, it was announced today by Superintendent Les Miller.


40 Years Ago

August 11, 1983

Area corn yields might be down as much as 50 percent, according to Keith Coleman, manager of Farmer's Grain of Fairbury. "I'm afraid the damage has already been done," Coleman said this week. "But if we don't get some rain, the stuff that's out there in the fields won't be able to finish up." Late last week, Coleman took a brief walk through a field south of Fairbury. Coleman feels that, even those farmers who have "good crops" this fall, will find the average size of the ear much smaller than what they are used to harvesting.

Have you noticed the super-abundance of speckled butterflies lately? If you drive into the country you will see swarms of them. They are the "Painted Lady" or the "Thistle Butterfly." Usually they are not too abundant. The caterpillars feed on thistles, nettles, mallows, burdock, hollyhocks and sunflowers. Just why they are so numerous this year isn't known.

Miss Lori Lynn Righter and Randall Ray Weber, both of Fairbury, were married July 30, 1983 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Forrest. Parents of the couple are Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Righter of Forrest and William Weber of St. Petersburg, Fla. and Gloria Weber of Fairbury. The reception immediately followed the ceremony at the Indian Creek Country Club in Fairbury. Following a wedding trip to St. Petersburg, Fla., the couple will be at home in Fairbury.


30 Years Ago

August 12, 1993

A $10,800 gift from Mrs. Marion Stafford of Fairbury to the Boys & Girls Club of Livingston County, Prairie Central Unit, plus a settlement with Prairielands Foundation, has eliminated a $13,200 debt owed to the Foundation. "We settled with the foundation for $9,000, so that gives us $1,800 to work with," said Dewayne Long, director of the club. "The settlement releases the Boys & Girls Club from three years of unpaid utilities."

Chenoa brothers Glenn and Darren Bressner took top honors in hogs last week at the McLean County Fair in Bloomington. Glenn showed the Grand Champion Crossbred Commercial Barrow and Darren had the Duroc Purebred Barrow Grand Champion. They will show their entries Friday and Saturday at the Illinois State Fair, Springfield.

The lockout of Central Illinois Public Service (CIPS) workers by management, which began May 20, continues to effect major road work in the area, particularly along U.S. 24 on the east side of Forrest. Workers with Otto Baum & Sons Construction are unable to finish laying a double box culvert along the ditch running alongside U.S. 24 because they are waiting for CIPS to move six power poles.


20 Years Ago

August 13, 2003

Valerie Fehr and Jeremy Stoller, both of Fairbury, were united in marriage on Saturday, May 31, 2003 during a 3:30 p.m. ceremony at Kilgus Lake, Fairbury. The bride is the daughter of Ralph and Martha Fehr of Fairbury, and the bridegroom is the son of Randy and Ronda Stoller of rural Strawn. A reception was held at Indian Creek Country Club following the ceremony. The couple resides in Fairbury following a wedding trip to Mexico.

Anna Medearis of Fairbury has always wanted to be an exchange student, and she is about to get her wish. She will be leaving soon for Saltillo, Mexico, where she will study for one year. She is being sponsored by the Fairbury Rotary Club. Anna, who graduated in May from Prairie Central High School, will go through another senior year at a private school in Saltillo. She will live with three different families while in Mexico. When she returns from Mexico, Anna plans to attend Eastern Illinois University, where she will major in literature and minor in language. She is the daughter of Rick and Kari Medearis.

John and Beryl Gerdes of Chatsworth will observe their 60th wedding anniversary on Aug. 21. Gerdes and Beryl Blackmore were married Aug. 21, 1943, at the Methodist Church at Cullom. Their attendants were Margaret Clark Bork and Leo Gerdes. They are the parents of Bob Gerdes of rural Piper City. They have two grandsons and three great-grandchildren.


10 Years Ago

August 14, 2013

On the heels of one of the most successful years in business, owner and president Jim Kafer is proud to announce that Jason Luster has purchased Koehl Bros., Inc. Luster, an industry pacesetter, carries over 20 years in agricultural manufacturing, employed in a diversity of roles including engineering, product management, plant management and general management. He plans to continue building Koehl's business based on the core foundation already in place: multi-faceted millwright services, design/layout, fabrication, parts and service. The headquarters will remain in Fairbury, along with the newest location in Maroa. Existing Koehl employee, Jeff Fjelstul, will partner with Luster and lead the new office in Maroa. Koehl Brothers, Inc. was founded in 1946 and has grown into the Midwest's leading millwright firm for the commercial grain industry.

The Illinois Development Council (IDC) has named Fairbury native Janet M. Mathis, executive Director of Renew Moline, Inc., as its Distinguished Economic Developer of the Year award winner for 2013. At an recognition dinner held during the IDC Annual conference in Champaign last week, Mathis was presented with the award recognizing her impact on Illinois economic development over the last 13 years at both the state and local level and as private sector development consultant. Mathis resides in Geneseo with her husband, Neil, and son, Josh. Her parents are Paul and Carol Hoffman of Fairbury.


(Looking Back from Kari Kamrath is brought to you each week by Duffy-Pils Memorial Homes with locations in Fairbury, Chenoa and Colfax)

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