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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 8-2-23

130 Years Ago

July 29, 1893

Baldy's Babes — G. W. Eckhart is the foster father of nine infants whose aspirations to wield the willow and toy with the sphere have gotten them into sore trouble. For weeks past under the direction of Manager Eckhart, they have been dieted, trained and coached until they became imbued with the idea that somewhere there must be a ball nine who would not be afraid to meet them. Finally a game was arranged with Forrest, and the Babes went over Tuesday and came back the same day. The reason they came back the same day was because it didn't take those Forrest boys very long to run around the diamond 17 times while the Babes were going around eight. A like visit was paid to Saunemin, Thursday, where it also became noticeable that the Babes were not only weak in the box, weak at the bat and also weak in the back. Even their judgment was weak. The score was 26 to 16 in favor of the poor, old rheumatic men at Saunemin.

Leman Bros. new colossal shows will exhibit in Fairbury next Thursday afternoon and evening. A big feature of the show is the elephant, Rajah, two inches taller and three thousand pounds heavier than Jumbo.

Frank Joda has opened up a merchant tailoring establishment in a portion of the building occupied by Haffey's Shoe Store. Mr. Joda has been here for a number of years and needs no recommendation as to his workmanship.

120 Years Ago

July 31, 1903

The Pontiac Commonwealth has the following good words to say about the Fairbury Fair: The next event of county importance is the Fairbury Fair which will be held the first week in September. This fair has always been a great success from an exhibitor's and family reunion standpoint, but a financial burden to the stockholders and business men of that enterprising city. Thru thick and thin, good and evil, our sister city has always kept it going to the advantage of the whole county.

There is a fellow going around over the country performing a slick fake. He will go into a town on Sunday and attend one of the prominent churches. When the services are about over he will fall, as in an epileptic fit. Of course he will be taken care of at once and pinned to his coat is a piece of paper giving his name and stating that he was injured in a saw mill explosion. He claims to have relatives in a remote part of the country and a collection is taken up in church and given to him. He disappears and nothing is heard of him until the fake is repeated elsewhere.

There is trouble in Pontiac over a doctor bill. Drs. Daly & Fitzpatrick sued George Vandekar for $175 for medical services for attending his wife during her last illness. Vandekar then sued the physicians for $10,000 for malpractice. Thursday Drs. Daly & Fitzpatrick sued Vandekar for $20,000 for slander, claiming that it is only an attempt of Vandekar to get out of paying a doctor bill and they propose to fight the case to a finish.

110 Years Ago

Aug. 1, 1913

Fifty-two from this vicinity went to Keokuk, Ia., Sunday to see the monster dam at that place. Bert Monroe was among them and he got more out of it than the others. Coming home the conductor forgot to wake him up and took him on to Forrest without extra cost. Bert didn't mind a little thing like that and came back on the 4:15 – just in time to go to work.

A union picnic of the Sunday schools of the Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and Christian Churches was held Tuesday in the Dominy Timber, north of town. The picnickers, about a thousand in number, were accompanied by the Belle Prairie Band.

During the thunder storm Sunday morning the barn on the farm owned by Albert Kuntz, near Strawn, was burned to the ground. The land is farmed by Mr. Kuntz's brother, John. John was in the barn when the bolt struck and was knocked down. He regained consciousness in time to get his horses out of the barn.

100 Years Ago

July 27, 1923

A little boy whose name we were unable to learn was knocked down last Saturday evening by an auto driven by Miss Irene Mapel. Miss Mapel was driving slowly at the time and stopped within a car's length. The little fellow ran out from behind a car parked in the center of the street. Only the fender of the car struck him and he got up and continued his way across the street following the accident.

Wednesday was T. W. Burns' birthday anniversary, and for that one day he allowed himself to forget the many duties that fall to the lot of the city engineer and in company with his son, Attorney C. A. Burns, of Pontiac, went for a pleasant little motor trip, which led them to Morris, then along the river road to La Salle, with a stop at Ottawa, Mr. Burns' old home town, to visit with friends, then drove home again at night.

The people who are attending the dances at the fair grounds just for the pleasure of hearing the concert previous to the dance and to listen to the dance music, got more than their money's worth last Friday evening when Dart's Troubadours were present. They gave a program that was great and much appreciated by the large audience present. The Troubadours will play again tonight and every Friday night during August.

90 Years Ago

August 4, 1933

Fifty years ago Monday, Judge C. F. H. Carrithers, just out of law school, came to Fairbury and opened up a law office in a building on the site now occupied by Walton Bros. Co. The Blade office was in an adjoining room and although Judge Carrithers and his first neighbors, The Blade, have moved a number of times, they have never been far apart or far from the original location. Judge Carrithers is now the Dean of Lawyers in Livingston County, no other judge or lawyer now living who was practicing at the time he started.

The Fairbury Township High School dairy judging team will be one of the two teams representing Livingston County at the state judging contest to be held at Urbana next Monday. The other judging team from this county is from the Dwight High School. The Fairbury team is composed of Howard Fugate, Andrew Zimmerman, Welby Harvey and Hartzel Rigsby. At the fifth annual Livingston County judging contest held at the Grant McCormack farm, south of Pontiac, last Friday, Fairbury placed second with 700 points out of a possible 900. Dwight was first with 724 points, and Pontiac third with 675.

On her birthday last Thursday, Mrs. W. H. Eddy had two very happy surprises. First her children and their families from Peoria, in league with the members of the family living here, came in time to eat supper with her, bringing along the supper. Later a company of Fairbury friends joined the party and brought the ice cream and cake for the evening refreshments.

80 Years Ago

July 30, 1943

Most unfortunately, lawnmowers cut something besides grass the first of the week, two children being injured by them, one losing the end of a finger and the other a big toe. The child losing the toe was Phyllis Smallwood, of Forrest. The accident occurred when Phyllis got her big toe caught in the mower. The accident to Mary Frances, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Kuntz, of Strawn, took place Monday. Mary Frances had the end of the index finger on her left hand in the mower when it was started and it was so badly injured it had to be amputated.

A wind and hail storm visited a section of country northeast of Fairbury Sunday afternoon, badly damaging corn and soybean fields and also a garden truck. A badly needed rain accompanied the storm, but it also did some damage, the force of the wind driving it in some instances, into the cracks of houses, where it ran down onto the floor. At the Will Hirstein home two panes of glass were broken out of the windows by the hail and Mrs. Hirstein was kept busy mopping up the floor.

Miss Rose Williams, formerly of this community, will bring the message in the morning service at the First Baptist Church. During the past year she has been assigned as special worker among service men under our American Baptist Board. Her experiences in this Christian work have been interesting and her many friends will appreciate this opportunity to hear her again.

70 Years Ago

July 30, 1953

Capt. Ray Fitzgerald has been awarded the Bronze Star for "Meritorious Achievement in ground operations against the enemy in Korea" the U.S. Army has announced. The action cited in the award took place between August 26 and December 14, 1942, when Capt. Fitzgerald was serving with the 40h Inf. Div. He has since been transferred to the Ordnance Field Maintenance Squadron in Japan. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Marshal Fitzgerald, of Fairbury, and a graduate of F.T.H.S. with the class of 1945.

Raymond Jacobs had an unexpected visitor in one of his corn fields one night recently, in the form of an airplane. A Streator pilot, returning from Canada, suddenly found that his radio had gone out. After circling this vicinity he found that his gas was exhausted. The pilot, deciding that he would stand less chance of running into an implement if he landed in a corn field, turned on his lights and landed. After escaping damage to his plane in landing, he made his way to the Elvyn Dameron home, where he was given some gas and continued on his way.

This community expects to be host to some 20,000 farm visitors next week during the "Silver Anniversary Celebration" of Honeggers & Co. The week-long program will feature tours, demonstrations and other activities at Honeggers' Mill here and at the firm's 400 Acre Practical Test Farm, three miles south of Forrest. Under the sponsorship of the local Chamber of Commerce, Fairbury's business district will be colorfully decorated with window displays, balloons and feed sacks strung across the streets. Numerous agricultural exhibits will be set up in a downtown park and several hundred dollars' worth of prizes will be awarded to Honegger guests.

60 Years Ago

August 1, 1963

Because it took eight days for an express shipment to travel 16 miles from Pontiac to Fairbury (by way of Chicago) a dated supplement intended for last week's issue of the Blade did not appear. The section contains proceedings of the Livingston County Board of Supervisors, and is printed in Pontiac for use by all papers of the county.

Effective today, Van Ambrose will serve as field sales manager, and will be responsible for the supervision of 50 field sales personnel in the Honeggers' & Co., Inc., trade area covering 12 states from eastern Pennsylvania to Wyoming, according to Robert Salyton, vice president of sales, at Honeggers' & Co., Inc., headquartered in Fairbury.

Roger Vercler, Chenoa, won the Livingston County 4-H Special Beef Feeding project for 1963. Roger's entry of five Herefords scored 93.25 points out of 100. The Herefords averaged 1,200 pounds in weight gained 2-17 pounds-day each, at a cost of $.17 per pound, with an over-all net profit of $108.79. These steers were evaluated in January as yearlings – 750 pounds at 26.75-Cwt.

50 Years Ago

August 2, 1973

Even with the addition of over 50 parking spaces in the business district, cars were spread out over the residential areas in town and it appeared early in the day that the 1973 Fairbury Dollar Day Sale Wednesday would be one of the most successful ever. Groups of people were gathered around the doors of various stores before opening time, and the pace did not slacken throughout the morning. Final sales reports were not available at press time.

Army Lieutenant Colonel Bernard B. Quedens, son-in-law of Mrs. E. F. Dickey, Fairbury, was graduated from the U. S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa. The 10-month curriculum of the army's senior school prepares officers of all the services, as well as civilian officials of the Federal Government, for top level command and staff positions with the armed forces throughout the world.

Mrs. Hartford Price, of Fairbury, attended the Cornell Centennial Parade Sunday, when Mrs. Price and her twin, Pete Marko of Lexington, and their twin sisters, Mrs. Fleda Marko Stephey of Lexington and Mrs. Flossie Marko Carsten of Flanagan, marched in the parade. Their total ages are 274 years and their parade theme was "274 Years of Marko Twins." The Marko family resided near Cornell about 1915 and the twin sisters graduated from Cornell High school.

40 Years Ago

July 28, 1983

Fairbury's new swim pool at the $600,000 Stafford Community Center is now slated to open Saturday noon, two days ahead of the Aug. 1 target date. During the weekend, the pool was filled with 160,000 gallons of water, with another 5,000 gallons in the kiddie pool and the filter system passed its tests. Mrs. Jerry (Jan) Freadhoff, a former physical education instructor in the Fairbury-Cropsey schools, has been hired to manage the pool for the remainder of the swim season. Life guards, all with Red Cross water safety certificates are Jennifer Dietz, Dawn Bennett, Lori Tredennick, Angela Hanley, Wendy Zehr, Laura Roberts and Lu Ann Doran.

Investigation of an abandoned motorcycle on Fairbury's South Fourth Street in the early morning hours Monday soon led to the discovery of three more crimes. When officer Tal Parmenter checked the cycle's registration, it came back "stolen" from a town in Indiana. Investigation revealed that the Byron Nussbaum residence had been burglarized and that a pickup truck had been stolen from there. The Nussbaums were not home at the time. Checking the area, he discovered that an auto at the Rick Harms residence had also been burglarized.

Twelve transcontinental bike racers of international caliber are slated to pass through Fairbury sometime in the 24-hour period of 9 a.m. (Pacific time) Wednesday, Aug. 10 to the same hour on Thursday morning. Oddly enough, the 12 competing in the 1983 Race Across America, will not be traveling on U.S. 24, traditional route of many long-distance east-west bikers, but rather on the First street blacktop running south from Odell. The race route is from the Santa Monica Pier in California, where they are to leave at 9 a.m. (Pacific time), Aug. 3, and expected to finish at the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J. sometime on Aug. 13, the 11th day.

30 Years Ago

July 29, 1993

A Meals on Wheels program for Forrest residents will soon become a reality, according to Shirley Meenen, of Forrest, who is helping to organize the project. Meenen said organizers are planning to make the program available for Forrest residents by mid-September. The Forrest Meals on Wheels program will begin by delivering three noon meals a week, with the possibility of increasing the number of days later. Anyone living within the city limits of Forrest is eligible for this program regardless of age or income, and there are no health requirements. Participants must obtain a diet order from their doctor, which specifies whether they will require a regular, no salt, low fat or diabetic diet.

David Stokke has been named as the 1993 Chenoan of the Year by the Chenoa Rotary Club. Stokke, nominated by Tom Krones, was cited for "leading and helping on many committees, serving on fundraisers, and when asked to help, invariably responding by saying "'yes.'" Stokke, a native of Thief River Falls, Minn., came to Chenoa in 1970 and has been the office manager at Union Roofing Company since 1973. He and is wife, Carol, have three children, Mike of Washington, D.C., Marie McMurray of Peoria and Marcia Cooley of Woodridge.

Michael D. Lorch, Fairbury, district manager for The Franklin, recently graduated from the company's T.A.P. (Trainee Association Program) Congress VII. "An invitation to T.A.P. Congress is an honor reserved for the company's leading new associates who've distinguished themselves in sales and recruiting." Tom Byerly, senior vice president of marketing, said. Lorch, a 1977 graduate of Fairbury-Cropsey High School, attended Parkland College, Champaign, for two years. He has been with The Franklin for nine years and is a member of the NALU.

20 Years Ago

July 30, 2003

Fairbury has been without a complete furniture store since Walton's Department Store closed several years ago, but that will soon change, when Don's Furniture opens at 200 Crystal Lane, Fairbury, in the former CTS building. Don's Furniture has locations in Ottawa, Streator and Pontiac (Don's Sleep Shop) and will carry a complete line of furniture in the 20,000 square foot building.

Mr. and Mrs. Doug Aaron of Pontiac observed their 25th wedding anniversary on July 22, 2003. In honor of the occasion, their family hosted an open house on June 22 at the Fairbury American Legion Home. Aaron and the former Charlene Brown were married July 22, 1978 at St. John's Catholic Church, Fairbury. Antoinette Kokotek and Jeff Grace were their attendants. They are the parents of Matthew Aaron and Whitney Aaron, both of Pontiac. They have one grandchild.

Dyneah Marie Augsburger of Fairbury graduated May 18 Magna Cum Laude from the University of Illinois, Urbana, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). She earned a Bachelor of Animal Science degree with a chemistry minor. Dyneah is a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society of Agriculture, U of I Chapter. She will attend the U of I College of Veterinary Medicine this fall to begin working on her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree. She has also been employed by Dr. Dannielle Jackson and Dr. Phil Bane of Eastside Veterinary Clinic, Fairbury, since 1997. She is a 1999 graduate of Prairie Central High School and the daughter of Angela Endres Augsburger of Fairbury and Perry Augsburger of Forrest.

10 Years Ago

July 31, 2013

For five years, Trenton Edelman has sold sweet corn at the intersection of Routes 24 and 47 in Forrest and doesn't plan to quit anytime soon. Trenton and his sister have been selling over 1,000 ears a day from the back of a trailer hooked up to a classic Farmall model H tractor. Edelman's grandfather helped the family restore the old tractor. The money raised by the Edelmans from the sweet corn goes toward a vacation fund.

Marine Private First Class Dustin W. Parrish, son of Ron and Cindy Parrish of Fairbury, has been meritoriously promoted to his present rank upon graduation from recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Calif. PFC Parrish received the early promotion due to his superior performance, dedication and tenacity to achieve excellence. Because of his superior performance, PFC Parrish also graduated as Platoon 325 Honorman. He is a 2011 graduate of Prairie Central High School and joined the Marine Corps in 2012.

("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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