- Fairbury News staff
Munz family, course discussed
The history of the Indian Creek Golf Course was presented by local historian Dale Maley during a presentation at the Indian Creek Country Club in Fairbury Sunday afternoon.
Maley first spoke of the Conrad Munz Sr. family. Munz and his wife, Catherine, were born in Switzerland and came to Fairbury in 1873. Munz had nine children, which included Conrad Jr. After researching the Ancestry.com website and looking through various Livingston County history books and newspaper archives, Maley discovered a complete biography of Munz in an 1888 book.
An enterprising cattle grower, Munz also raised horses and had a large vineyard.
“He definitely fit the entrepreneur definition,” said Maley.
Munz discovered a sand pit on his property and harvested ice from the pit and Indian Creek. In 1888, he moved the family to a 200-acre farm just south of Fairbury. He died at the age of 90 in 1931. Family descendants have continued to contribute to the success of Fairbury.
Some may recall the big chimney near the Indian Creek Country Club and Golf Course which was just removed a few years ago. This was used for a sorghum works building.
The first mention of any type of Fairbury golf course came in 1921. The course was laid out in a pasture where the current location is. Around 20 acres of land was leased for the course from Munz’s estate. Charter members of the golf course totaled 67 with seven of them women.
“A large force of volunteers helped to construct the new golf course,” Maley explained.
Volunteers built a clubhouse in 1948 which consisted of a 20x40 foot wood frame. Local photographer Watt Nakamaru actually shot a 14-minute video of the golf course circa 1960 which his family donated to the Fairbury Echoes Museum. This is available for viewing on You Tube. The current clubhouse, which was built during 1968-1969 was the next big event.
Maley was asked to create a historical mural at the new Munz Park in Fairbury, which is located on south First Street. The nature park has a walkway and sits in just under five acres.
“You need four to eight high-resolution images and a text box accompanies the mural,” Maley said.
A company was used to restore old photos used for the mural. The finished product is on display at the edge of the park walkway.
Sunday’s presentation was part of the Fairbury Echoes Museum anniversary meetings. A drawing was held for a Stuffed Clubs and Antimacassars book and refreshments were served. Those in attendance also had the opportunity to support the museum.