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Looking Back

Daily Leader
Daily Leader
 2022-08-10
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August 6, 1892

A talk with George Decker, now with the National League club of Chicago, elicited the information that he will soon be transferred from his present position in right field to first base, taking Capt. Anson's place. Capt. Anson will retire from active participation in the game and simply manage the team.

Messrs. Pence and Amsbary returned from their bicycle trip to Chicago, the former Saturday evening and the latter Monday. They report a pleasant trip covering 170 miles.

Prof. Cumpston made a very successful balloon ascension from the east end of the "public square" last Saturday evening. When at a height of 1,500 feet he cut loose and came down in his parachute, lighting at the south side of the fair grounds.

120 Years Ago

August 8, 1902

The east end and west end ball teams met in bloodless conflict at the fair grounds Thursday afternoon. The stores of the city closed for two and one half hours in honor of the occasion and a large crowd of spectators assembled to witness the strife. The boys made more scores than any National or American league team in the business. The west enders met defeat; met it with the dull, sickening thud of a man falling from a tenth-story window, but never the less met it with the smile and grace of Chesterfield.

The Chicago papers say it is rumored that the Rock Island railroad will build a line from Morris to St. Louis and will parallel the C. & A. and Wabash. Morris is directly north of Fairbury and it is possible that the new line, if it should be built, will run thru Fairbury.

The alderman in the city of Indianapolis are wide awake. They recently passed the following measure: "It shall be unlawful for any male person to address, speak to or in any manner accost by word, sign, gesture or action, any female, unless previously acquainted with such female, or such male believes he is acquainted with such female, or his words are free from insult or offense. It shall also be unlawful for any male to habitually frequent places where females are known to pass frequently." For violating these rules a fine of not more than $100 and imprisonment for not more than thirty days is provided.

110 Years Ago

August 9, 1912

There are good shows every night at the Electric Theatre. Three reels, all clear films. Spend an hour seeing the pictures at the Electric Theatre and hear a good song.

Charles Bivens opened up his saloon last Friday evening after paying a fine of $50 which Mayor Rayburn assessed him for selling liquor to a man on the "black list."

The Central Utilities Co., of this city will install a new boiler at their plant in this city next week. The upright boiler installed some months ago has proved an entire failure. It was put in at an expense of about $3,000 and this expense has been added to every week that it has been used. The new boiler will be of the old style and will take the place of one of the three horizontal boilers now at the plant.

The Blade will run a daily during the fair as usual and we request your patronage. it will be as good a daily as it can be made and a splendid advertising medium.

100 Years Ago

August 4, 1922

The elevator of John Wright & Co., at Wing was destroyed by fire last Friday night and about 21,000 bushels of grain was either burned or badly damaged by the fire. The loss is estimated at around $20,000, which is covered in insurance. The fire started about 11:30 o'clock and was discovered by Mrs. B. A. Barnes, formerly of this city, as she was leaving her store after closing out the grocery stock. She roused others in the village and word was also sent to Pontiac and Forrest, the fire departments of those two places responding. They could do nothing, however, as the water supply at Wing is very limited.

The Sweney Gasoline Company will open their new service station for business Monday. While the station is not yet completed the drives and pumps have been put in and everything is far enough along so that they can start serving their patrons at that time.

The Mardi Gras dance at the fair ground pavilion was attended by a record breaking crowd last Friday evening. The novel decorations and novelty dance numbers were especially pleasing to both the dancers and onlookers. So popular was the concert given from 8:30 to 9 o'clock by Mr. Carr's orchestra that the committee have decided to arrange for a similar concert this evening. Of course there will be dancing following the concert. Mr. Carr is considered to be the best saxophone artist in this section of the state and the committee are to be congratulated on bringing this high class music to the music lovers of this vicinity.

90 Years Ago

August 5, 1932

At a meeting of the city school board last Saturday evening it was decided that the grade schools would start the year's work Monday, August 29.

On Sunday afternoon, September 18, the people of this community will have the pleasure of hearing a band of 125 pieces. This band will be composed of the best players in eight Livingston county high school bands and two McLean county bands.

On complaint of H. C. Shapley of Fairbury, made before Police Magistrate Peter Kamp Monday, a warrant was issued for the arrest of K. Cohen of Milford, charging him with the possession of stolen property. The property referred to is a cream can, which it appears, came into the possession of Cohen through George Odle of Milford. Cohen claims he borrowed the can from Odle and Odle claims he borrowed it from Shapley. Shapley doesn't care what either of them say; he alleges the can is his and he wants it.

Emerson Mitchell has leased of G. Y. McDowell what is known as the McDowell bank building and will shortly open a lunch room therein. He will serve sandwiches and other short orders, soft drinks, and will carry a full line of cigars and tobaccos.

80 Years Ago

August 7, 1942

Fairbury and vicinity will have their first test blackout next Wednesday evening starting at 10 o'clock and lasting 30 minutes. Several blasts from the siren on top of the telephone building three minutes before ten o'clock will be the signal for our residents to prepare for the blackout. A complete report will have to be sent in to army headquarters, included in which will be a list of those violating the blackout rules.

During the electrical storm in the vicinity of Emington last Saturday morning Frank Ellinger witnessed lightening striking an oats shock in the William Conroy field. Had the field been dry a large amount of damage would have resulted, but that vicinity having been visited by rains each day last week, the wet shock smoldered and soon went out.

The Economy Dress factory was closed yesterday afternoon. Just what the exact nature of the trouble was we were unable to learn. However, one of the lady employees who was among a group in front of the factory yesterday stated that Ernest Alore, the manger, had told them to quit. When asked what the trouble was the informant said it was several things that had been brewing for a number of weeks. There are 46 people employed at the factory.

70 Years Ago

August 7, 1952

The Walton Department store installed a new electronic department for servicing radio, television and electronic devices, complete with the most up-to-date pieces of testing equipment and service parts. Norman Breen, who has had experience in electronic work, both in the Navy and as a civilian, will be in charge of the department. Walton officials have expressed pleasure over the completeness of their department and the securing of an expert electronic technician.

A non-profit corporation was formed Saturday to launch a recreation project for the Fairbury community. Although no officers have yet been named, some of the citizens interested in the community project have been investigating the purchasing of a pit for a swimming beach area with picnic and other playground facilities. It is estimated that approximately $10,000 will be needed for the project. Individuals have already pledged $2,000 to such a project.

Another special feature of the 1952 Fairbury Fair recently announced as being added to the five day program is the appearance of an air exhibit from Chanute Field Air Base at Rantoul. The exhibit should prove extremely interesting to those who have even only a slight general interest in aeronautical lines, as the display includes a captured German "buzz" bomb of the type used against England in the closing days of World War II, and of which intensive study has since been made by our own scientists and army personnel.

60 Years Ago

August 9, 1962

The Chatsworth Wreck, third largest rail disaster in American history, happened three miles east of Chatsworth just 75 years ago tomorrow at 11:55 p.m. It is more than just a bit of history or a dash of statistics to several Fairburians, including N. J. Claudon, whose mother and aunt were aboard the train on the ill-fated excursion to Niagara Falls on which 85 persons died, either from the horrible crash or the searing flames that followed.

Fairbury retail stores will remain open Friday nights instead of Saturday nights, according to plans developed by the retail committee of the Fairbury Association of Commerce. Effective this Friday night, and thereafter, cooperating Fairbury stores will remain open until 9 p.m., closing Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. Fairbury's free parking is another effort to cooperate with shoppers, J. C. Ebach, retail committee chairman said. "The retail merchant keeps the town alive," he pointed out.

An overheated refrigerator which set papers on it aflame, caused $500 damage to the Midwest Cattle Company a mile east of Chenoa last Wednesday evening. The Chenoa Fire department quickly extinguished the blaze, despite smoke, which obstructed the view of firemen.

50 Years Ago

August 10, 1972

The summer's unseasonably cool weather which has cut normal receipts, coupled with extraordinary expenses this year, have caused the board of the Fairbury Community Swimming pool to table plans for expansion according to President Henry Bull. The board reviewed the pool's present financial status, expenses and operating income to date, and projected expenses and income for the balance of the year, and concluded that from a beginning cash position of $3,316, they would likely end up with an estimated cash on hand of only $200 to $250 at year's end.

Patrons of the 96th Fairbury Fair, which will open on Wednesday, August 24 and run through Sunday, Aug. 28 will find that the board of directors have taken another step to modernize and update the grounds and buildings. Extensive repairs to the grandstand have included a new roof and other carpentry work, after which the entire building was painted a bronze color. The program has been moved back one day and runs through Sunday for the first time; and there is free admission to the grandstand for all afternoon shows.

Darlene Wessels, a Junior Girl Scout from Troop 94, and Diane Wessels, a Cadette Girl Scout from Troop 51, went to Patrol Leader camp at Camp Echo Bluff, near Depue and Spring Valley, July 24 through 27. Fifteen girls participated, all of them from Illinois. Besides meetings, the scouts cooked their meals, kept the camp clean, the water cans filled and the woodpile high. At night they sang around the campfire and acted out skits. For crafts, candles were made the way pioneers did them. When the week was over, tents were inspected.

40 Years Ago

August 5, 1982

Citing poor economic conditions and the current drive for a tax referendum to support present Fairbury-Cropsey school activities, FCHS band director Bruce Hammitt recently declined a possible band trip to The Rose Bowl parade. The FCHS Marching Tartars, the four-time reigning state marching band champions in their class, had been recommended to the Tournament of Roses by Gary Smith, assistant director of the University of Illinois Marching Illini.

Kathy Volk of Fairbury graduated Sunday with an LPN certificate from the St. James Hospital branch in Pontiac of the Kankakee Junior College School of Nursing. Miss Volk, a 1975 graduate of Fairbury-Cropsey High school, holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from Blackburn College in Carlinville. She is presently employed as a cardio-vascular technician at St. James hospital.

Helen Rapp could cook for 300 at the drop of a hat. For the past 20 years, that's exactly what she's been doing, every single school day. This summer Helen retires from 20 years of cooking school lunches for the students at Fairbury-Cropsey Jr.-Sr. High school. She retires from her position of the past five years as "commander in chief" in charge of ordering ingredients, doing the bookwork and planning the daily lunch menus. She retires from long hours of organizing and preparing several banquets and receptions for community functions. Helen Rapp has done her share, and she says that all of her memories are happy ones.

30 Years Ago

August 6, 1992

The state's new healthcare provider tax this week entered its second month, and at Fairview Haven Nursing home in Fairbury, Administrator Wayne Drayer is preparing to remit the July payment totaling $12,896 to help bail out the ailing Medicaid reimbursement fund. The tax is two-fold, at $6.30 per day, per resident, plus $1 per day per bed.

Despite the rainy climate, the Chatsworth Sportsmen's Club topped the century mark in attendance with 101 shooters for the second month in a row at the club's July shoot held at Turtle Pond located five miles south of Chatsworth. In the women's class, Jeannie Trimble shot a 525 to become the first woman to make the "500 club" at the Chatsworth shoots.

The "impossible task" recently proved possible, as Aileen and Lyle Kemnetz of rural Chatsworth gathered all their children and grandchildren together at the family farm for the first time in two years. "Gettin' them all back without an emergency is the thing," said Aileen. The couple has eight children and 19 grandchildren.

Marilyn Kauffman of Chenoa has been named Cropsey Postmaster. She was sworn in by Patrick Walker, Field Director of Peoria and M.S.C. (Management Section Center) on Friday, July 24. Mrs. Kauffman replaces Brenda Nicholas who was the Officer in Charge at Cropsey since February. Nicholas was assigned to the position following the retirement of Lois Molck. Nicholas has been assigned to Postal Service in the Pontiac Post Office.

20 Years Ago

August 7, 2002

Many parents, boys and girls braved the extreme heat on Sunday, to participate in the annual National Kids Day, sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Prairie Central. A dunk tank, inflatable house, a visit from Ronald McDonald, snow cones and other treats were available during the afternoon.

Roy and Cova Smith of Fairbury observed their 60th wedding anniversary on July 18. A surprise family gathering was hosted by their children. Smith and the former Cova Patterson were married July 18, 1942, in Kentucky. They are parents of Jim Smith and Betty Retter, both of Fairbury, and Mary Zimmerman of Forrest. They have seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Smith was a former union carpenter and Mrs. Smith was formerly employed by Pontiac Chair Co.

The 110th annual Cullom Homecoming is slated for Wednesday. Aug. 8 through Saturday, Aug. 10, and will be highlighted by the annual hot air balloon ascension. It is believed that Cullom has the longest continuous running air show in the country. Thursday night of the Homecoming, Cullom has had a hot air balloon ascension to open the festivities for many years, according to the booklet by Mike Horan, "Parachuting Folk Lore." Peter Kreig, the event's balloonist the past 30 years, met an untimely death on June 26, 2002, while canoeing down the Ohio River, a dream he had always had. Harry Hinrich of Clifton will now perform the balloon ascension to keep the tradition running.

10 Years Ago

August 8, 2012

Beth Maier of Fairbury joined Carole Peterson of Pontiac as honored survivors last weekend at the Relay for Life event. The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Livingston County took place Friday and Saturday at Pontiac Township High School, Maier, along with several other honorees, was recognized during a 6 p.m. ceremony Friday. Maier was first diagnosed with breast cancer in her left breast in November of 2005 and endured several operations during January 2006. She said she considers herself lucky that after her surgeries she didn't have to go through further treatment.

A back-to-school party for all K-12 students in the Prairie Central School District will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 at North Park in Fairbury. A concession stand will be available as will a dunk tank and many free games and prizes, including kick ball, relays, a challenge course, face painting, tug-o-war and sack races.

On Sept. 27, 1912, a mass meeting was held and a committee appointed to look into the possibility of forming an organization of farmers. From that meeting, Livingston County Soil Improvement Association (Farm Bureau) has grown into a membership of nearly 5,000 members. To recognize this milestone Farm Bureau members are invited to attend the 100th Livingston County Farm Bureau Centennial Celebration. This event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 at the Livingston County 4-H Park in Pontiac. Dinner will be served from 4-7 p.m. Evergreen FS will sponsor a Kiddy Pedal Tractor Pull at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. former Livingston County Farm Bureau presidents will share a brief highlight during their years of service. The first Livingston County Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award winner will be announced and door prizes will also be drawn.

Kari Kamrath

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