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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 8-9-23




130 Years Ago

August 5, 1893

Our drought continues and the question of securing the services of a rainmaker was agitated again this week. Several parties took it upon themselves to interview a number of farmers in this vicinity and found that money was scarcer than rain, so the matter was given up.

At the conclusion of Leman Bros. Circus here Thursday evening while canvas hands were loading the train, a good sized fight occurred between the circus people and town parties. In the melee Joe Powell received a bad cut across his head. It is said as the circus train pulled out of town, a volley of rocks was hurled into it, breaking out numerous windows in the cars.

Gradually the system of water mains is spreading out. So great is the demand for water along South Fifth Street that citizens along that street obtained permission of the village board, free of cost to the city, to lay a main from Elm Street south to Wade and Merit's addition.


120 Years Ago

August 7, 1903

At a meeting of the city council Wednesday evening a petition for cement walks on the east and north sides of the Baptist Church property was referred to committee.

Tomorrow is Forrest Day and undoubtedly a large number of Fairbury people will help them celebrate. There will be good entertainment. The Pontiac Zouaves will give a drill, there will be a balloon ascension and a ball game between the Chicago Unions and the Fowler, Indiana team. The Fairbury and Chenoa bands will furnish the music.

The Sunday excursion to Pontiac was well patronized, 267 tickets being sold from this city. Besides this nearly everyone who had a horse and buggy drove over to attend the chautauqua. Fully 2,000 people attended the chautauqua that day.

The new windows have been placed in the M. E. Church this week and they are beautiful. It is expected the church will be completed in about six weeks.


110 Years Ago

August 8, 1913

Virgil Edwards, the Adams Express agent, is now settled in his new office, just north of Claudon's Bank.

A street fair has been holding forth on the square west of the water tower this week and is attracting large crowds.

Wayne Mitten is getting ready to make the Millikin football team this fall by putting in his time pitching bundles in the oats fields.

Rev. C. S. Davies and Karl V. Keck left Tuesday evening for an extended trip through the east. They expect to be gone for three or four weeks.


100 Years Ago

August 3, 1923

Lieut. W. C. Mundt departed Wednesday for Chanute Field, where he will spend two weeks in advanced radio work. He will be squad and radio officer, his work being to install the radio on the airplanes and test them out. It is quite probable that some day during his stay there he may, on a trial trip, fly over Fairbury.

Chatsworth — This forenoon a young man posing as being blind and wearing dark glasses paraded up and down the business street playing an accordion. He was accompanied by a young woman who carried a small tin cup and collected alms from the business houses and others who would contribute, while the man stood on the walk outside and dished out music. It developed that the couple came in and left town in a Nash six-cylinder car and had a chauffeur who kept the motor running while the couple "worked" the village. These persons appeared in Fairbury the afternoon of the same day.

Ever since Fairbury has been in existence, this town has had from one to a half dozen livery stables. However, with the coming of the automobile they commenced to dwindle away until within the last year of two there has been only one. R. J. Codlin has conducted a stable in connection with his auto storage business. Now Mr. Codlin is going out of the livery business and after tonight this city will be without a livery stable for the first time in its history.


90 Years Ago

August 4, 1933

Mayor G. H. Franzen has received a special communication from Lieutenant Governor T. F. Donovan, informing him that Friday, August 11, has been designated as Illinois Day at A Century of Progress in Chicago, and extending to the mayor and his official executive family an invitation to participate in the ceremonies of the day. The invitation is also extended to the citizens of Fairbury to go to Chicago and celebrate that day.

The long dry spell which this community has been having was broken on Wednesday afternoon by a heavy rainfall that will do the corn, gardens and pastures a world of good. While the rain will do the corn good, the wind which accompanied it also did considerable damage in a number of fields. In some places the corn is blown almost flat and in others it is blown down and twisted. Some of it will straighten up, but it is believed that part of that which is so badly twisted will not come up.

Mrs. John Fugate was quite badly bruised about the head and one arm last Friday night when she fell down the steps at her home. The night was a warm one and Mrs. Fugate was changing her sleeping quarters from one room to another when she made a misstep and fell down the stairway.


80 Years Ago

August 6, 1943

Rain, electrical and wind storms visited this section of central Illinois the first of the week and did damage of thousands of dollars to crops and property. Several barns, two of which were in the vicinity of Fairbury, were burned, farm land and other property was flooded, railroad tracks washed out in two places in this vicinity, corn and soybeans damaged by wind and water, telephone lines put out of commission, electric motors in basements damaged, and other damage done. On Route 21 between here and Forrest, there were several places automobiles were unable to get through until Wednesday noon.

Clifford Stephens, of Weston, is the latest member of the local golf club to join the Hole-in-One Club. He made his ace on No. 1 hole on Indian Creek Golf Course, 124 yards, last Saturday afternoon playing with Frank Luhring and C. J. Claudon.

William Winslow had an anxious half day Wednesday when he found his timber pasture all under water and 50 head of cattle missing. Lawrence Lovelock, who works for Mr. Winslow, went into the river near the old Skinner place and waded and swam his way to a spot east of the Legion shack where he found 47 of them. He could hear bawling farther on and Mr. Winslow rode a horse through to the shack where he located a cow. He heard a commotion inside the shack and investigated to find the laugh of the day, a three-day-old calf resting in a rocking chair.


70 Years Ago

August 6, 1953

More than a quarter-ton of silver dollars is circulating in the Fairbury and Forrest communities as a result of Honeggers & Co. paying employees in the large coins. Fairbury employees received $8,000 for one week's work, the coins arriving in eight sacks weighing 60 pounds each. Forrest employees received $1,800 in the silver dollars. The large silver pieces were ordered by the bank from the Federal Reserve Bank at Chicago. The purpose of the plan is to illustrate the amount of turn-over that the Honegger payroll has in the community.

Several persons heard a mighty roar as workmen released gas from a 10-mile section of the pipeline south of Fairbury Saturday morning. The line was closed at each end of the section and the trapped gas released in order that the line could be repaired. P. R. Clough, who heads this division of the pipeline company, estimated that from 10 to 12 million cubic feet of gas were released. An average family used 3,500 cubic feet of gas in a year.

One of the primary advancements of the Fairbury community during the past 25 years has been the evolution of the hospital to the present state. Since its original conception in 1911, the hospital has advanced through many stages in physical development, the present stage having reached the modern brick, and superbly equipped structure we have today, with work on it only now entering the final phase. The hospital is only one of many items which set Fairbury apart from the majority of other cities of its size.


60 Years Ago

August 8, 1963

Cliff Ziegenhorn, well-known Fairbury implement dealer, received serious injuries last Wednesday evening when his horse reared and fell on him. The accident happened near the George Dohman home on Route Three. When the horse came over on him, Cliff's right wrist doubled under against his forearm. The wrist was torn from the socket and tendons were pulled loose. The tendons were stitched and the hand placed in a cast at Mennonite Hospital in Bloomington. It is reported that it will be at least two months before he regains use of his hand.

The public telephone booth near Ward's Texaco was damaged sometime Tuesday evening when a thief attempted to steal money from the device. Officer Debold Householder was called about 10 p.m. Tuesday, but he reported no money was taken. The thief did not get that far along, he said.

The Country Cousins of Fairbury will be on Clinton radio station WHOW two Saturday afternoons, Aug. 10 and 17, after the noon news. Floyd Fitzgerald, Charles Payton, John Durham, all of Fairbury, and Wayne Light, Earl Park, Ind., make up the Country Cousin quartet.


50 Years Ago

August 9, 1973

A burglary wave of epidemic proportions, Wednesday night and early Thursday, left a trail of battered doors in lower Livingston County along U.S. 24, as estimated loot totaled about $2,500, two firearms and some meat from nine firms in Chatsworth, Forrest and Fairbury. Biggest loser appeared to be Old Susannah Restaurant at Fairbury's west edge, where between $1,500 and $1,700 in cash, plus about $200 in checks was taken from the office. Next biggest loser was Dave's Supermarket in Fairbury where the safe in the office was "peeled" and about $200 taken. Another $100 in change was obtained from cash registers, and from the meat cooler, two loins and two rounds of beef were missing. The other three victims in Fairbury were Mr. Timber, the Steffen Lumber Yard and J. N. Bach & Sons Lumber Yard. In Forrest, Stewart's Supermarket, Rieger Motor Sales and the East Place Tavern were hit. The sole victim in Chatsworth was Livingston Grain Company, where $2 was taken from an unlocked safe, plus two guns.

A trip by four-year-old Tom Lane to see more of the world than the immediate confines of his South Clay Street residence, ended with a broken leg and a hospital sojourn Tuesday morning. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lane, was in "fair to serious" condition Wednesday noon at Fairbury Community Hospital, where he was taken after being struck by an auto mid-morning Tuesday. The youth received a simple fracture of the right leg, and multiple lacerations and bruises when he rode a bike in front of a southbound car on South First Street.

Still another episode in a continuing round of burglaries that have plagued Fairbury businesses was reported Monday morning when an aborted attempt to enter Walton's Department Store was discovered by Manager W. W. "Dude" Wessel. An attempt had been made to punch the lock on one of two doors at the firm's west side in the arcade. "I don't normally unlock this door from the outside," Wessel said, "so this could have happened last Wednesday night when all the others did, or it could have happened since then."


40 Years Ago

August 4, 1983

The thief who stole a motorcycle in Indiana, then abandoned it in Fairbury in the dark of night a week ago Monday when he stole Byron Nussbaum's white compact pickup truck, is getting up in the world. Nussbaum's truck has been recovered in Rochester, Minn., at the spot where a new Coachmen motor home was stolen! At that rate, if they recover the motor home near an airport, they're apt to find a 747 is missing!

Alma Roberts reigns this week as the women's singles tennis champion of Livingston County, thanks to a straight set, 6-3, 7-5 victory Sunday in Pontiac over Chris Sartoris. Alma had placed second in the county tournament last summer. Ironically, Alma and her finals opponent are often on the same side of the net in doubles competition. After a first-round bye, Alma polished off young Sue Sartoris on Saturday to move on to the championship match.

When the travel bug bit Judy Wells of Fairbury in 1973, it got her in a big way. Over the past ten years, Miss Wells has left the United States three times to live and work overseas. Today, Judy left Fairbury for Hawaii where, enroute to her final destination, she'll spend three weeks visiting with her sister. On Aug. 24, she will travel to Tokyo, Japan where she'll assume her position as a teacher at the Nishimachi International School.


30 Years Ago

August 5, 1993

Two Ohio families had a glitch put into vacation plans last Friday when the trailer hitch on their station wagon broke, causing a two-vehicle accident at the U.S. 24 and Livingston County Road 3225 East corner at Chatsworth last Friday. Six persons from the car and a General Telephone company panel truck refused treatment by SELCAS personnel, because, they said, they were not injured, although the vehicles sustained serious damage. Chatsworth firefighters called to the accident scene washed down the gasoline spill at the intersection.

David Trainor, son of Mike and Teresa Trainor of Forrest, received Best Showmanship on hogs for the age group 8 - 11 at the 1993 Livingston County 4-H Fair. Trainor is 11 years old and a four-year member of Pleasant Ridge 4-H club.

Tim and Beckie Shafer, Fairbury, are parents of a girl born Aug. 2, 1993, at St. James Hospital, Pontiac. Elizabeth Jane weighed in at seven pounds, 14 ounces. Her sister, Kelcey, age two and a half, helped welcome her into the family. Kenneth and Barbara McCoy, Fairbury, and Bill and Bettie Shafer, Bloomington are the grandparents. Mrs. Thelma McManus, Fairbury, is her great-grandmother.


20 Years Ago

August 6, 2003

Fairbury businesswoman, Ruth Teubel, has been named the 2003 Citizen of the Year. She was selected by members of the Fairbury Junior Women's Club. Teubel, who owns Heartland Business Services was nominated for the honor by Nancy Ifft. Teubel has been, and is still, involved in many things that she has received no monetary compensation for.

The theme in Floral Hall for the 127th Fairbury Fair will be "A Salute to Volunteers" with special emphasis on local volunteer organizations and groups. A red, white and blue color scheme will be used throughout the hall with items and some memorabilia from many of the organizations displayed. The Floral Department will have many flower arrangements, shadow boxes and table arrangements highlighting various organizations.

Lindsey Adams of Fairbury, daughter of Debbie and Randy Adams, will present her senior piano recital on Aug. 16 at 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Fairbury. Her program will include music from the Baroque, classical, Romantic and Contemporary periods. All selections will be played from memory. Lindsey has studied piano with Kay Dickey of Fairbury since she began her lessons at the age of nine.


10 Years Ago

August 7, 2013

Imagine being told you have cancer. Imagine, five years later being told your spouse also has cancer. That was the reality for Rick and Chris Metz of Fairbury and this year for the Livingston County Relay for Life, they were honored Survivors and were able to tell their story. Rick Metz was diagnosed with bladder cancer about 10 years ago. Just five years later his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Neither of the Metzes, who have been married 27 years, have a family history of cancer and give credit to the fact that they went for regular checkups and didn't ignore the signs their body was giving them.

Ashton Lanz of Strawn and Waylon Knapp of Fairbury are announcing their engagement and approaching marriage. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Troy and Kathleen Lanz of Strawn. She was a 2010 graduate of Prairie Central High School and is employed at Lanz Heating & Cooling, Champaign. The future bridegroom is the son of Harlan and Jean Knapp of Chenoa. He was a 2008 graduate of Prairie Central High School and is employed at BCS, Weston. The couple is planning a Nov. 2 wedding in Fairbury.


A country music singer/songwriter from Nashville plans to perform for employees and customers of an area farm equipment dealership. Austin Moody will sing at the Stoller International locations in Pontiac and Ottawa in September to promote a new song he wrote for Case IH called, “Be Ready.” While in the area, Moody also plans to shoot a music video for the new song. Stoller International was the first dealership Moody reached out to about the song and they decided to do a customer and employee appreciation event surrounding the performance on Sept. 5 and 6. Moody has been in Nashville for three years now. He has written songs for other independent artists and has put some songs online, which have drawn quite a bit of attention in the music industry.


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



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