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  • Kari Kamrath

Looking Back: 9-20-23

130 Years Ago

September 16, 1893

C. C. McDonald has been granted a franchise to erect and operate an electric light plant at Chatsworth, and will immediately commence work on the same.

By order of the mayor and common council, Fred Burch has moved his popcorn emporium from the street near Parsons' drug store to the vacant space south of the city hall.

Considerable complaint is made of the quality of drinking water provided at the north side school. This is a matter the board should look into. At this time of the year the wells are unusually low and in many instances the water obtained from them is very impure.

Washington D. C. — There is a new baby girl in the white house. The ninth of September will henceforth be a historic day in American history. Although the United States has been in existence for more than a hundred years, no child of a president had ever been born in the white house until Saturday.

110 Years Ago

September 19, 1913

The new current for lighting purposes was turned on Sunday evening by the Central Illinois Utilities company.

As Mr. and Mrs. Hobart Weeks, and son, and Mr. Weeks' parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Weeks, of Pontiac, were coming into town Tuesday, the kingbolt on the buggy broke. The horses jumped and pulled Mr. Weeks, Jr. over the dashboard. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Weeks were both thrown from the buggy. They were badly shaken up, but not seriously hurt.

That there will be a short corn crop in this locality this season is certain. It was badly stunted by dry weather in July, and extremely hot weather the first part of August.

O. C. Green has purchased the street sprinkler from Dave Philhour and is now busy keeping the dust down on Main Street.

100 Years Ago

September 14, 1923

Wesley Hanson will take his racer to Hawthorne track, Chicago, Sunday, where it will take part in two 20-mile races and a 40-mile race. Several from here expect to attend the races.

The Christian Church people, who conducted a stand on the fair ground, where they served meals, hot lunches, etc., were well repaid for their labor. While the exact figures are not obtainable, they cleared over $500.

Prof. W. B. Mattingly, who for the past three years has been instructor in science in the Fairbury Township High School, has resigned his position. He will go to Cairo, his home town, where he will have a partnership in a furniture store. Mr. Mattingly's resignation came to the school board within a short time before school opened and leaves the school without a science teacher.

Many of our citizens were out with their pieces of smoked glass Monday afternoon watching the eclipse. The conditions were ideal for seeing the eclipse, as there was not a cloud in the sky.

90 Years Ago

September 15, 1933

The old Aurora Borealis put on a brilliant display last Friday night and early Saturday morning. It was about 11 o'clock when the northern lights put in their appearance and could be seen off and on for the next three or four hours, sometimes fading away almost entirely and at other times sending their shafts of light far up into the sky. The best explanation of the northern lights is that they are a reflection of sunshine on polar ice fields made visible here by rare conditions of the atmosphere.

On the morning of August 17, Theodore Rairdon, a traveling salesman for the Jobst-Bethard Company in Peoria, was held up in front of a hotel in Forrest. Sheriff Heckman has been on the trail of the holdup suspect since the time of the robbery, and as a result of his investigations, caused the arrest of Glade Oren at Shreveport, La. Sheriff Heckman went to Shreveport Sunday, returning to Pontiac with Oren early Wednesday morning. When arrested at Shreveport, Rairdon's car, salesman's grip and samples, and also his order book were in Oren's possession.

Edward Yeagle, who has been a mechanic with the Franger Motor Company for the past three years, has resigned that position to accept a like one with the Fairbury Motor Company, the change taking place on Tuesday.

80 Years Ago

September 17, 1943

Rain Sunday marred the fifth annual Townsend Homecoming. It began raining on Sunday morning and there was a drizzling rain throughout most of the day. The program scheduled for Central Park in the afternoon was transferred to the high school gym, where some four or five hundred people gathered. During the afternoon a collection was taken for the Townsend organization totaling $1,057. A part of this amount was received from those present for the privilege of shaking the hand of Dr. Francis Townsend at so much per shake.

In giving account of the scuffle at the John Kohler home on Friday evening, September 3, in which Officer George Walker had his leg broken, Mr. Kohler says there ware a few misstatements made in The Blade. To start with, Mr. Kohler says he admits that he was drunk. However, he says he did not break the officer's leg by kicking him, but that the leg was broken in the fall when they were struggling.

Dayton "Dot" Raridon did considerable towards easing up the meat situation, Wednesday afternoon. He was fishing in the Munz sandpit when he got a bite. As he started to bring the fish in, "Dot" found he had a job on his hands, but he finally succeeded in landing the fish. It was a carp of unusual size, weighing 16 pounds. It should supply Mr. Raridon with some nice fish steaks for some time.

70 Years Ago

September 17, 1953

Jay W. Carter was taken to the hospital here Sunday suffering from a broken leg and fractured and dislocated ankle when his horse slipped and fell on blacktop paving on Fourth St. Jay and some 25 other members of the Pontiac Trail Blazer riding club had just started from the fairgrounds on a trial ride when the accident occurred. After swapping his riding boot for a plaster-of-Paris cast Jay was discharged the following day.

The final drive for funds to complete the last section of the Fairbury Hospital will start Monday and continue until the final goal is reached. The fund raising committee hopes that a final house-to-house campaign will raise sufficient funds to assure the payment of expenditures contracted in the construction of the new wing, before it is officially opened to the public.

Mr. and Mrs. Rudy Kilgus announce the engagement and approaching marriage of their daughter, Marguerite, to Mr. Ben Lorch, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Lorch of Chenoa. The bride-to-be is employed at the law firm of Fellheimer & Vicars in Pontiac and Mr. Lorch is employed by Honeggers & Co., Inc., Fairbury. A fall wedding is being planned.

60 Years Ago

September 19, 1963

Several general contractors, as well as electrical, heating and plumbing contractors, met at Lincoln School Tuesday night to discuss plans of the new elementary school scheduled for construction about October 15. Approximately 30 persons were present including the Fairbury-Cropsey Board of Education.

Joe U. Slagel and Clarence E. Goodart, two well-known citizens of Fairbury, have formed a new real estate business. Slagel, who has been in the insurance business here for the past 24 years, feels he can render an additional service in the real estate business, along with his insurance business. Goodart, grade school principal here for many years before his retirement, is a broker and has been selling farms in south-central Illinois for the past few years.

Airman Carl W. Tull, son of Mrs. Alice E. Tull of Fairbury, is being reassigned to Forbes AFB, Kan., for training and duty as a cook. Airman Tull recently completed United States Air Force basic military training at Lackland AFB, Texas. The airman is a 1963 graduate of Fairbury-Cropsey High School.

50 Years Ago

September 20, 1973

Plans to add 2,000 square feet of retail space to his clothing business in Fairbury were announced this week by Reuben Huber, who said that he would construct a 25x80 addition to the rear of his building. When the structure is completed, he will add a line of ladies ready-to-wear garments to his clothing lineup. The present men and boys' furnishings now in the two buildings he occupies at the corner of Fourth and Locust will all be placed in his expanded west building, with the women's wear going into the east building.

Fairbury-Cropsey High School's Marching Tartars won first place among Class B bands in Morton's Pumpkin Festival parade Saturday. They scored 89 out of 95 possible points, including a perfect 45 for their marching.

Miss Barbara Moscicki left Sunday for Northwestern University at Evanston where she is enrolled as a pre-med student. Her older brother, Richard, also a graduate of Fairbury-Cropsey High School, is currently in his second year of the honors medical program at Northwestern. The youths are children of Dr. and Mrs. Lucjan Moscicki of Fairbury.

Eldon Steidinger of Fairbury, owner of the 4-Metz Drive-In at Forrest, has leased the restaurant to Michael Hostetter of Fairbury. The change in management is effective Saturday. Hostetter has been manager of Mr. Quick's in Bolingbrook and assisted in the operation of the same franchise in Pontiac.

40 Years Ago

September 15, 1983

Hollywood came to Fairbury bright and early Wednesday morning as the production crew for "Grandview USA," a feature length movie being filmed primarily in Pontiac, found the Bob Zimmerman house on E. Hickory street. As an ever-growing crowd gathered on the lawn across the street, movie lights were set up, fresh mud applied the the "family Cadillac" and actors briefed on the upcoming scene. According to Fairbury patrolman Sam Hedrick, who was in charge of crowd control this morning, the day's activities got underway at 7 a.m. and are expected to continue until 7 p.m.

When Sterling and Gwen Craig received the official sign designating their farm as a Centennial Farm they decided to design a special display for the green and white aluminum plaque. Gwen's father William Householder was born at the farm in rural Fairbury in 1883, just a year after his parents Joseph and Caroline Householder had purchased the homestead and farm land. During the late 1940's Owen Householder, Gwen Craig's brother, and his wife, Belle, lived there. Then, during the 1950's Gwen and Sterling moved there. After the Craig's moved to town, their daughter Carol and her husband Ross Joiner occupied the 100-year-old landmark, with daughter Nicole.

Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Runyon of Fairbury announce the engagement of their daughter Valerie Sue to John Louis Tarter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Tarter of Litchfield. The couple is planning a March 10, 1984 wedding.

30 Years Ago

September 16, 1993

The twin daughters of Tom and Mary Salrin of Fairbury, Melissa and Jennifer, have been chosen as semifinalists in the 1994 National Merit Scholarship program. The sisters, age 16, scored among the top 419 students in the State of Illinois. As part of the requirement for eligibility to become a finalist in the Merit Scholarship competition, the sisters will take an SAT test, which includes writing a 500 word essay.

A commercially supported radio station at Channel 299A on the FM dial could be in operation within a year if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approves a license request. David C. Keister, as one of the owners of McLean County Broadcasters, Inc., filed an application for a construction permit with the FCC to build a new FM broadcast station in Fairbury to operate at an effective radiated power of six kilowatts. Keister said the station will primarily play music. He did not know how many people would be employed by the station, but that it would not be a large number.

The property at 225 E. Locust, which once housed Fosdick Poultry, is being considered as one of two possible sites in Livingston County for a future business establishment from a firm outside of Illinois. Barry Collins, director for the Livingston County Council on Economic Development, says the business prospect has made multiple visits to the site. But he refuses to disclose the name of the business.

20 Years Ago

September 17, 2003

Mrs. Candles, a candle-making retail business, opened Sept. 2 in Fairbury at 301 East Walnut St. Monica Sullens and her mother, Diana Steimle are the owners of the business. Mrs. Candles is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sullens makes many varieties of candles, which are hand-poured. She sells to 100 retail stores throughout the country.

Robert and Carol Sue Haab of Forrest will celebrate their 50th anniversary with an open house on Saturday, Sept. 20. The couple has five children, Nancy (Joe) Lane, Rob (Kathy) Haab, Kay (Ryan) Shiflett, Gail (Gary) Marten and Mark (Kim) Haab. they also have nine grandchildren.

The Friends of Dominy Memorial Library and the landscaping class of Prairie Central High School are cooperating to improve the landscaping at the library. Each student in Darren Ropp's landscaping class, designed a plan, from which the Friends chose the design of Craig Ifft. The Friends are providing the funds for the work, being done by the landscaping class.

10 Years Ago

September 28, 2013

Livingston County Sheriff's Police Chief Deputy Tony Childress has officially thrown his hat into the ring, seeking the office of sheriff. Childress said in a press conference Friday afternoon (Sept. 6) he is seeking the Republican nomination for sheriff in the upcoming March 18 primary. He ran for the seat in 2010 as a write-in candidate, falling short to current sheriff Martin Meredith. Meredith, who Thursday, announced his resignation, effective Oct. 1, is supporting Childress' candidacy. Childress said he brings 23 years of dedicated service to the county, having served as a patrol deputy for 14 years, detective for eight, one as a command sergeant and shift commander and currently holds the position of chief deputy.

The Chatsworth Township Library and Prairie Lands Foundation announce with community pride and appreciation, the completion of the $25,000 matching contribution challenge for the Chatsworth Township Public Library Building Fund. These donations, combined with those collected since November of 2009, mean that groundbreaking for the library can begin in a few short weeks. While the library fundraising goal has not yet been reached, contributions continue to be received daily. Fundraising efforts will continue until the full amount of the goal has been accumulated.

Leona Leman of Fairbury will celebrate her 90th birthday with a family dinner. She was born on Sept. 24, 1923 in rural Forrest. She married Harvey Leman on Oct. 6, 1946. He died Nov. 14, 1985. Mrs. Leman has two daughters, Diana (Bill) Ducett, Bloomington, and Rita (Marv) Wenger, Fairbury; and one son, Darl (Laura) Leman, Elmhurst. She also has seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. One daughter, Karen Huette, is deceased.

(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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