Looking Back through the pages of The Blade

120 Years Ago

May 23, 1902

The Fairbury Fair association has secured Spencer's Band of Peoria to furnish music for the fair this fall.

The nineteenth annual commencement exercises of the Fairbury High school will be held at the Fairbury opera house Tuesday evening, June 3. William Hawley Smith, Peoria, will give the address.

The Fairbury Electric Light, Heat and Power company has commenced to get ready for its new day circuit. They will install a new engine and there will be current during the day as well as night.

Births — to Mr. and Mrs. John Bolliger, May 22, a boy, reported by Dr. Otis; to Mr. and Mrs. George Bell, May 22, a boy reported by Dr. Thatcher; to Mr. and Mrs. John Aellig, twin girls; to Mr. and Mrs. David Amacher, a girl.

Burch's orchestra opened the new hall at Chatsworth last evening with a dance.

110 Years Ago

May 24, 1912

Orie Sourbier got too close to a horse with his motorcycle on Main Street, Sunday and the animal kicked. The hoofs of the animal struck the front end of the machine and damaged it pretty badly. Orie was not hurt.

P. M. Hotaling's delivery horse took a notion to break the speed ordinance Wednesday, and in doing so broke up the delivery wagon.

The foreign born residents of Livingston county appeared before Circuit Judge G. W. Patton on Tuesday morning, where they took the oath of allegiance to the United States and were made citizens of this country. Included in the group were Ferdinand Nicolas Maes, a machinist, of Forrest, and Emil Herberich, a farm hand living at Chatsworth.

Bloomington Pantagraph — A party of about 35 motorcycle tourists from Fairbury visited Bloomington, Sunday and spent several hours gliding about the city's thoroughfares and in visiting the parks and other places of interest. The machines, which were of the latest model, and the majority of them new ones, were lined up along the pavement on West Washington Street, while the tourists were enjoying their noon day lunch and presented a striking appearance. Fairbury, while only a small city, is alive with motorcycles.

100 Years Ago

May 19, 1922

The Fairbury township high school commencement exercises will be held at the Central opera house, Thursday evening. There will be 19 graduating. The class motto is "Finished, Yet Beginning." The class flower is the daisy. The class colors are gold and white.

John Odell has received his appointment as rural mail carrier on route two and will start his new duties June first. He takes the place of Harry Noel, resigned.

Forrest with its well-balanced field and track team, won the Livingston county meet held in Pontiac last Friday afternoon when they scored 54 points. Pontiac was second with 31½; Saunemin third with nine points; and Fairbury finished fourth.

The marriage of Miss Edna Sutter to Andrew Lehmann took place in Pontiac last Friday. Judge Ray Sesler performed the ceremony.

90 Years Ago

May 20, 1932

Next Sunday the Presbyterian church of this city will observe two anniversaries – the fiftieth anniversary of the dedication of the church building and the thirty-sixth anniversary of the pastorate of Rev. C. S. Davies.

Browning club gave a party Monday afternoon in honor of Mrs. R. E. Melvin, who is moving next month to Peoria.

Strawn — The senior class of Strawn High school will present the three act farce, "A Regiment of Two" next Thursday evening at eight o'clock.

Births — to Mr. and Mrs. Roger Weeks, Peoria, May 15, a girl; to Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Schade, Chatsworth, at the Fairbury hospital, May 19, a girl.

80 Years Ago

May 22, 1942

Miss Catherine Yeagle was one of 51 who graduated Tuesday from the St. Francis School of Nursing education in Peoria.

Carl Metz, manager of the Locust Street Kroger store, stated last evening that plans have been made for remodeling the store and making it into a self-service store.

John T. Lyons left for military services with the U. S. Army May 11.

Mr. and Mrs. Albert Schlatter motored to Chicago last Thursday evening to attend the commencement exercises of Michael Reese hospital. Alberta, their daughter, was one of 86 nurses completing the course.

Monday morning at Baltimore, Md., Miss Celia Mitchell, of Cropsey, was married to Sgt. Raymond Somers, of Strawn.

70 Years Ago

May 22, 1952

Miss Betty Nussbaum, whose path has led across two oceans and into lands of the mysterious Orient and cultured West during the past five years, is visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Nussbaum. On June 30, she returns to Vienna, Austria.

Dave Steffen bought Russ meat market Thursday from Roy Russell and Lloyd Hartman, with the market to change hands on May 28. Mr. Steffen has leased the market to Alan Parks of Pekin.

Ollie Strode of Fairbury received a broken ankle and Ray Elliott, Weston, suffered a dislocated shoulder when a scaffold collapsed Thursday morning.

What apparently is to be one of the largest plantings of corn in this area in the past few years is about 80 percent completed, it was revealed yesterday in a poll of a number of local farmers and elevator men.

60 Years Ago

May 24, 1962

"I've been playing golf for the last twelve years and that's the first hole-in-one I've ever got," said Max Currington last week as he plucked the ball from the cup at number four green. Currington used an eight iron for the shot. Bud Goslin and Leonard Rabe were in the golf party and witnessed the rarity. Goslin told the Blade that this was the third hole-in-one he has witnessed personally at number four.

Miss Lois Buettemeier, 18, of Flanagan walked off with the Miss Livingston county title Saturday night here before an estimated crowd of 1,000 people. There were ten contestants trying for the crown. Fairbury was well represented in the pageant. Marsha Purdum was first runner-up and Marilyn Goembel was second runner-up. Erica Albrecht of Chatsworth, was voted "Miss Congeniality" by the contestants.

Colleen Bressner was notified recently that she has been selected to participate in the First All State 4-H Chorus at the U. of I., June 20 to 22 during the State 4-H Week. She will sing in the alto section. The chorus will present two concerts following their rehearsal under the direction of V. C. Shaul. Colleen, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Bressner, also is representing her club, the Avoca Queens, as a delegate to the convention.

50 Years Ago

May 25, 1972

The appointment of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Monroe as missionaries under the United Methodist Board of Missions is announced today. Mr. and Mrs. Monroe plan to leave New York on May 30 for Paris, France. On June 2 their plans call for leaving Paris to go to Chambon-Sur-Lignon for six months of language training. About Jan. 1, the Monroes will leave for Algeria where they will work under the Algerian government. They will be serving for two years with an option for three.

Mrs. Helen Bennett of Fairbury, fourth grade teacher at Saunemin elementary school, is retiring at the close of this school year. She has taught for 26 years, 18 of which were in Saunemin. She taught in Chatsworth primary grades for six years and at Chesebro school near Saunemin for two years.

Mr. and Mrs. Hartzell Rigsby and daughter, Theresa, and Don Karnes left Tuesday morning to attend Commencement weekend at Vassar college, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. The Rigsbys' daughter, Bridget, is a member of the graduating class. Bridget, a graduate of Fairbury-Cropsey High school, was this community's first exchange student under the Americans Abroad program of the American Field Service, spending all of 1967 in New Zealand where she attended high school as a senior. Her F-C diploma was awarded in absentia that summer.

40 Years Ago

May 20, 1982

Even though not one school board member or administrator voiced support for the proposed Fairbury youth Football program, and some outright opposition was expressed, the Fairbury-Cropsey board of education Monday night gave tentative approval for the league to stage its games this fall on the FCHS football field.

Rain showers on Saturday and Sunday afternoons brought relief to area farmers and gardeners, but the smiles on their faces were not universally wide. Rainfall reports varied from as much as 1.8 inches, in Fairbury and northeast, to just .2 a few miles south of town. Northwest, toward Pontiac, there were reports of water standing in fields. Carl Bork of Bork Nurseries in Onarga, said Sunday that they'd only gotten .1 in the Saturday shower, and that east of Onarga, there had been no rain.

Fairbury-Cropsey school administrators were given the go-ahead Monday night to explore federal funding for an innovative reading program which would serve both as a remedial aid for junior and senior high school students and stretch retention and vocabulary skills for the college-bound. In the past, reading instruction has been terminated at the sixth grade level. Unless a junior or senior high school student was reading two grade levels below his class standing, he was not given any additional reading instruction.

30 Years Ago

May 20, 1992

The National Safety Council recently awarded it's million mile safety award to Ernest Sapp of Fairbury. The award is given to professional semi-truck drivers attaining at least one million miles of accident free driving. The National Safety Council's Jeanne FitzMaurice in Chicago said that Mr. Sapp has compiled "a remarkable record of accident-free driving equaled by few professional drivers." Sapp, who has been a driver for 18 years, runs approximately 120,000 miles per year.

The Prairie Central girls track team took advantage of the beautiful running weather at Coal City last Friday to set three new records and send two relay teams to the state meet at Charleston on May 22 and 23. In the very first event, the 800-meter medley team of Jill Steidinger, Melissa Salrin, Kari Dehm and Sherry Hetherington garnered a state berth with an excellent second place time of 1:56.45. The Hawks had to wait until the very last event, the 1600-meter relay, to advance another team to state. Kari Dehm, Jennifer Salrin, Melissa Salrin and Sherry Hetherington claimed second with a time of 4:23.75.

Fairbury resident, Bob Wharton and his wife attended the commissioning of the new Navy guided missile cruiser, the USS Anzio, at Norfold, Va., May 2. Wharton is one of more than 800 veterans of Anzio Beach, the site of a World War II engagement that cost 25,000 Allied casualties, who attended the ceremony. "I feel very honored to have a ship named after a battle I fought in; it was very appropriate that the Navy chose to remember such a historic event." said the 67 year old Wharton. Wharton served in the Army during World War II.

20 Years Ago

May 22, 2002

Brooke Bachtold, a first grade student at Westview Elementary school in Fairbury, and the daughter of Mark and Paula Bachtold, is the winner of the “Reading is Fun” program sponsored by the Fairbury Junior Women's Club. Brooke received an extra book of her choice and a $50 US savings bond at the April 29 distribution.

The Prairie Central math team qualified six different events to the state math contest at the University of Illinois. The highlight of the state contest was the second place finish of the Junior-Senior eight person team. In this contest a group of eight people have 20 minutes to answer 20 challenging mathematical questions without the use of a calculator. The PC team of Henry Handler, Chris Metz, Amanda Slagel, Kyle Dawson, John Gerber, Rudy McMinn, Leslie Freehill and Ryan Marshall tied for second place with two other teams by answering 12 questions correctly.

A total of $3,515 was recently presented to Fairbury-based Girl Scout troops from the Marjorie Fulton Girl Scout Fund that is administered by Prairielands Foundation. Fulton, a lifelong Fairbury resident and benefactor to the community, had a special love of both nature and scouting, and was a local troop leader for over 54 years. The money will be divided among four Brownie troops in the Fairbury area, and will help defray costs for summer camps, trips and other activities.

10 Years Ago

May 23, 2012

A still-smoldering pile of rubble is all that marks the rural Forrest home of Jay and Amy Steidinger, but the family of six is doing all right. The Steidinger family, which includes four children, Caleb, Lindsay, Seth and Ryan, are staying with Amy Steidinger's mother, Denise Kinzer, of Fairbury. No one sustained injuries as no one was home when the fire broke out, around 10 p.m. Saturday. Forrest Fire Chief Sam Schmidgall said the fire was reported by someone who saw flames and although crews responded quickly, the home was already engulfed in flames when they arrived. The family lost all their belongings, including son Seth's cap and gown for his upcoming graduation at Prairie Central High School.

The J. A. Folwell Unit 174 American Legion Auxiliary of Forrest will sponsor Cydney Wetzel as their delegate to Illini Girls' State. Cydney is a junior at Prairie Central High School and participates in band – marching, jazz, pit and pep bands. She is also in chorus and was in the fall play. She works at Turning Point Rehab Gym in Fairbury. Her parents are Norman and Jeannie Wetzel of Strawn. Girls' State, a leadership opportunity for young women, will be held June 16-23 on the campus of Eastern Illinois University, Charleston.

Senior Sarah Oprondek and sophomore Liz Walter advanced to the state track meet held at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston this past weekend. Oprondek becomes one of the few Prairie Central athletes who advanced to state all four years of her high school career. Walter advanced to state last year as a freshman in the same event. PC scored 34 points to tie for 5th in the sectional meet held at Mendota Friday night. Oprondek pole vaulted 9'9”, which automatically qualified her when she attained the height. Walter broke her own school record set Monday night at Coal city, running a 12:08.76, besting her old time in the 3200 meter run by less than a second.

Kari Kamrath

This article originally appeared on Pontiac Daily Leader: The Blade Looking back through the pages