FILES FROM THE CHATSWORTH PALINDEALER
Stories of interest from our hometown paper over the years.
PLAINDEALER'S FIRST PUBLISHER DIES SUNDAY
C.B. HOLMES, 94, DIES AT BLOOMINGON HOME. BURIAL IN MICHIGAN
APRIL 4, 1940
Charles Bradford Holmes, the founder of the Plaindealer, died at his home in Bloomington Sunday at the age of 94.
He had resided in Bloomington the past two years. The body was taken to Benton Harbor, Michigan, Monday for burial.
Mr. Holmes was born at Pekin, July 31, 1846, son of William H. and Mary L. Wilson Holmes.
He was a direct descendant in the eighth generation of William Bradford, second governor of the Plymouth colony, and for him he was named.
His father was a lawyer who rode circuit with Abraham Lincoln, and took the family to Bloomington when Charles was a mere child and when Bloomington was little more that a group of log cabins.
AN EARLY PUBLISHER
In early life, Mr. Holmes became a printer, learning his trade at the Pantagraph, Bloomington.
In an interesting letter published in The Plaindealer December 20, 1932, Mr. Holmes gave a brief story of his life. He stated that he published a weekly paper in Bloomington for a short time but came to Chatsworth in 1873 and decided to move his plant here and started The Plaindealer. Three years later he sold out and went to Fairbury, where he established The Blade. About 1880 he sold The Blade and went to Paxton, where he was publisher of the Paxton Standard for a time, then went to Chicago, where he was a printer in one of the large stores. Some 40 years ago he moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan, where he spent the remainder of his life until two years ago when he went to Bloomington to live with his only daughter.
He served in the Civil War as a member of the 145th Volunteer Infantry.
Mr. Holmes, in his letter to The Plaindealer in 1932 related a number of interesting things that took place in Chatsworth in the early days. He told how George Torrance had tried to start a temperance newspaper in Chatsworth when there were "five saloons and four-fifths of the inhabitants sneaked out before breakfast for a morning nip." He also stated that the year of 1874 was a prosperous one with bumper crops and good prices. Chatsworth people arranged a monster barbecue and celebration of July 4, 1875. He thought the town had the largest crowd in town that day that had ever assembled here, but that was the last day that rain fell until the middle of October and as a result the drought ruined all crops for that year but the next one brought plenty of rain and good crops again.
Mr. Holmes married Martha J. Colvin of Bloomington (his best girl who attended Lincoln's funeral with him in Springfield), in 1871.
Surviving him are a daughter, Mable B. Holmes, with whom he had resided and a sister, Mrs. Jessie H. Watkins, Pueblo, Colorado.
ROUNDS OUT FIFTY YEARS IN CHATSWORTH
DR. T.C. SERIGHT WAS ONE OF THE PIONEER VILLAGE DOCTORS
APRIL 11, 1940
On April 7, 1890, a young doctor, 27 years old, hung out his shingle in Chatsworth and started the practice of medicine. Fifty years later he was still located in the same town.
This man is Dr. T.C. Seright, Chatsworth and Livingston county's oldest physician in point of service. The late Dr. Brewer, of Fairbury, it is claimed, practiced his profession in the county 66 years but next to his record, Dr. Seright is the dean of his profession.
Dr. Seright is a native of Ohio. He graduated from the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and also the Philadelphia School of Pharmacy in 1888. He returned to his native state and taught school for a short time to build up his finances and then he headed west. Coming to Bloomington first he surveyed the locality and decided to locate at Deer Creek in Tazewell county. He remained there less than a year and then turned his footsteps toward Chatsworth. He bought the practice of Dr. B.D. Vaughn who had an office in the old Webster building which stood on the present site of the Robinson Clothing Store. Milton Bangs had a drug store on the first floor and Dr. Seright's office was on the second floor where he also had a sleeping room.
On June 8, 1890, fire destroyed the center business block of fifteen frame buildings and leaving only the east corner Walter brick and the old Plaindealer building which is now owned by Frank Kaiser. Dr. Seright saved only his diplomas which hung on the wall of his office room. Most of his other personal belongings burned. Undaunted he secured an office room on the second floor of what is now the Citizens Bank building and occupied by David's store, which then housed the Edward Bangs drug store. Three years late he concluded it was not good for a man to live alone and wooed and won the heart of one of Chatsworth's fair daughters, Mary Fitzmaurice. He bought the residence property where the couple now reside from W.H. Vennem and built an office and drug room on the corner of the lot. January 10, 1893, the couple were married and took up their residence where they have remained all these years. Later Dr. Seright purchased the Bangs building but later sold it to the Citizen's Bank.
Another rather unusual incident is the fact that Mrs. Seright was born and has continuously resided on the same block where she now resides. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Fitzmaurice, resided in a frame building on the site of the present Charles Dorsey store building.
COUNTRY SCHOOLS BEGINNING TO CLOSE FOR THE YEAR
MOST TEACHERS HAVE BEEN RE-HIRED FOR NEXT SCHOOL YEAR
MAY 2, 1940
Miss Myra Tayler closed her rural school four miles east of Chatsworth on Route 24, Tuesday with a wiener roast. Miss Tayler will teach six miles south of Chatsworth on the hard road next year. Miss Eileen Rebholz will teach the school on Route 24, Miss Rebholz has taught the Dietz school four miles south of Chatsworth the past four years and will close the school on May 9th with a picnic.
The Pleasant View school, three miles east of Chatsworth, on Route 24, closed Monday and a picnic was held in the evening for the pupils and their families. Miss Katherine Kurtenbach has taught the school and has been re-hired for next year.
Miss Cecile Bergan, who teaches the Bergan school two miles west and four miles north of Chatsworth and Miss Betty Sterrenberg, who teaches the Monahan school, two miles north of the tile factory, will hold a joint picnic Friday in the Bork grove north of Charlotte. The ladies have been retained as teachers of their respective schools for next year.
The Evergreen school four miles west of Chatsworth of which Mrs. Everett Collins is teacher, will close Friday with a dinner at noon. Rev. A.F. Waechter, pastor of the First Baptist church, will give a talk.
Mrs. Alfred Saathoff, teacher of the school in district 267 held a noon day dinner at the school Tuesday which closed for the summer. Mrs. Saathoff has been engaged to teach the same school next term.
At the close of the school term of the Cording school four miles west and five miles south of town a picnic dinner was served at noon Tuesday to the pupils and their families. Miss Jane Hagaman, who has taught the school the past four years, has been rehired for the next term.
CARDINALS WILL OPEN SEASON AGAINST STRAWN
MAY 9, 1940
The Chatsworth Cardinals baseball team will open the season on Sunday, May 12th, at 2:30 p.m., on the local diamond at the high school. The Streator Reds, newcomers in the Livingston County League, will be their opponents. Streator is a red hot baseball town and the local boys expect to face stiff opposition on the opening day. The Cardinals have had four good practice work-outs to date and should be in fair condition for this Sunday.
There will be a few new faces on the squad this year. George Walle, of Piper City, will do the bulk of the catching, replacing "Ike" Lehman, but Walle needs no introduction to Chatsworth fans. Kenneth "Dutch" Hummel will cover 1st base until Hank Kyburz returns from collage. the manager, Frank Kyburz, at 2nd base; "Babe" Twiehaus, shortstop; Bill Deany at third base with Blevins, Bergan and Finefield in the outfield.
Lyle "Slim" Wilson, last year's "pitching ace," will be on the mound for the opener.
The arm of Mayor Tom Burns will throw out the first ball at 2:30 and 1940 baseball season will be opened. The locals are hoping for a good clear day Sunday and a lot of rooting and support from the old home town. If you want to boost baseball in Chatsworth, come out to the game this Sunday.
CURFEW WILL RING NEXT MONDAY NIGHT
MAY 16, 1940
A delegation of Chatsworth women visited the village board while in session Tuesday evening and really stirred things up a bit.
The ladies asked that a wheel tax be imposed on all automobile owners in the village for the purpose of oiling the streets. They also asked that a curfew be established, requiring all children under 15 years of age to be off the streets each night at 9 o'clock, unless accompanied by a parent. Another thing they asked that reckless and fast car driving on the streets be stopped and that all dogs running at large on the streets be killed.
Women in the party included Mesdames Ann Matthias, Leslie Ribordy, Robert Rosenboom, Claresa Kueffner, Emmet Roach, Conrad Heppe, Earl Wiggam, J.F. Donovan and Frank Gaisford. The ladies stated they represented other women of the village as well as themselves.
The board called the village attorney from the council room and asked him to prepare a wheel tax ordinance and papers for calling a special election to vote on the proposition. The election will be held some time in June. The ladies even offered to serve as judges and clerks of the election without pay.
Mayor Burns states that the curfew bell will ring next Monday night at 9 o'clock and each night thereafter.
The ladies had finished their job so the board took up other matters.
H.H. Rosenboom was named fire chief to succeed the late Ross Haberkorn at a salary of $40 a year.
Engineer Caey, of the Miller Engineering company, of Streator, presented plans and specifications for the WPA street widening project and papers requesting the gas tax money.
The project calls for relaying the brick pavement on the three business blocks in the village and adding six feet to the south side of the paved portion of the street extending from Third street to Sixth street on Locust street. As the Plaindealer understands it, the west block will be changed first. The pavement will be raised several inches on the north side to permit automobile bumpers to miss the walk. The additional six feet on the south side will be hard surfaced in some manner. The entire cost will come from gas tax allotments and no part of it from direct assessed taxes. It is believed that work will start before long.
ONE KILLED; FIVE HURT IN MOTOR CRASH
ERNEST LIGHTY RECEIVES SKILL FRACTURE WHEN CAR CRASHES
JULY 4, 1940
Ernest Lighty, 31, of Chatsworth, was fatally injured about midnight Saturday and three other Chatsworth youths and two Piper City boys were hurt, in an automobile accident about five miles west of Gilman on Route 24.
Ernest Lighty, Dwaine Lighty, Woodrow Hall and Clifford Hill left Chatsworth for Gilman in Hall's car with Dwaine driving. Dwaine says there was a car ahead with no tail lights and that he did not see it until very close. He applied the brakes of the Hall car and lost control. The car turned over and over and landed in the path of a car going west. This care was occupied by Russell Brown and Earl Ashcraft, of Piper City, and the Hall car is said to have hurtled clear over it.
Ernest was picked up unconscious and taken to the Fairbury hospital, where he died at 7 o'clock Sunday morning. He suffered a basal skull fracture and received numerous cuts and bruises about his head and body. He never regained consciousness.
The other three Chatsworth men received minor injuries and after being treated by physicians were around again. Dwaine suffered from shock mostly.
The body of Ernest was brought to the McGuire funeral home, where it was viewed by a coroner's jury, who were scheduled to convene Wednesday night at 7:30 at the McGuire funeral home for an inquest conducted by Coroner Shafer of Cornell.
Funeral services for Mr. Lighty were held in the First Baptist church Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock conducted by the Rev. Mr. Waechter. Burial was in the Chatsworth cemetery.
Ernest E. Lighty was born August 9, 1908, on the Puffer farm, one and one-half miles south and one and one-half miles east of Chatsworth and moved with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Lighty, to the village 29 years ago. He attended the grade school and one year in the high school. He spent six months in a CCC camp in 1933 and returned in 1934 for four more months. At the time of his death he was employed as a WPA worker.
Those who knew him speak well of him. He was industrious and contributed to the support of the family and was liked by everyone.
He is survived by his parents, three brothers, Herschel, of Richards, Iowa; Albert, of Spirit Lake, Iowa; and Dwaine, at home. He also had three sisters, Mrs. Clinton Serene, of Kankakee; Mrs. Allan Serene, of Forrest, and Ruth, at home.
Coroner Shafer, of Cornell, came to Chatsworth Sunday afternoon and impaneled the following jury: C.W. McKinley, Bertha French, Mary Slater, George Dennewitz, Mary Moore and Mary Kurtenbach. They viewed the body and an adjournment was then taken until Wednesday evening at 7:30 o'clock when the jury was ordered to report at the McGuire funeral home to render a verdict. Mrs. Mary Moore was foreman of the jury.
Mr. and Mrs. Evert Bess sang for the funeral services with Miss Carrie Hall at the organ.
The casket bearers were John Dellinger, Dale Bergan, Roscoe Runyon, Wallace Dickman, George Smith and Victor Runyon.
KILLED BY LOCAL FREIGHT TRAIN MONDAY
ALEX SCHROEDER STRUCK ON THIRD ST. CROSSING IN CHATSWORTH
JULY 11, 1940
Alex Schroeder, a resident of Chatsworth, was killed almost instantly Monday morning at 8:45 when he was struck by the engine of an east bound local freight train on the T.P. & W. railroad at the Third street crossing in Chatsworth.
Mr. Schroeder was walking north on the sidewalk and evidently did not see or hear the approaching train until a second before it hit him. He was thrown 81 feet and lit on the north rail of the side track and was dead when witnesses to the accident reached him.
Station agent Don Shobe was standing on the depot platform a block away and saw the accident. Francis Rebholz, who drives a bulk truck was filling his truck with gasoline not more than 100 feet distant and also was a witness. George Dennewitz, Joe Gingerich and George and Jimmy Smith were also not far away and saw Mr. Schroeder approach the railroad but thought he knew the train was approaching and would stop before crossing ahead of the train. He did not look toward the train, they agreed, until it was nearly on him and then gave a jump as though to clear the rails. The pilot of the engine struck him and threw him several feet into the air and across the pavement and on east of the pavement about 25 feet.
The train stopped immediately and the train crew came back to render aid but death had come evidently when the body hit the rails on the siding.
Mr. Schroeder had spent most of his life in Chatsworth and for a number of years had employment as a mechanic and was always busy. He was handy with tools and could lay brick or paint a house. He could repair a furnace or lay a roof. No reasonable job was refused. He was never out of work and was always jovial and a hard and willing worker. He was a loyal son, a kind husband, a good neighbor and so far as the Plaindealer knows had no enemies.
With Mrs. Schroeder he had returned Sunday night from a two weeks' vacation spent with relatives in Cleveland, Ohio, and was back on the job early Monday morning. He worked out of the Burns hardware store and had visited the store about 8 o'clock and chatted with Mr. Burns a brief period, remarking that it was his first vacation in eight years and then left to look after some work around town. He was returning, it is thought, from the south part of town for some needed material, as he often did, and was so engrossed with his plans that he failed to see or hear the approaching train as he walked directly in its path to his death.
Coroner Shafer, of Cornell, came to Chatsworth Monday noon and impaneled a jury composed of Chris Ellinger, John Gelmer, Mrs. John Ruppel, Mrs. H.H. Gerbracht, Jerome Kerrins and A.J. Sneyd. The jury was sworn and viewed the body and then adjourned until 7:30 o'clock Tuesday evening at the Roach funeral home in order to give the train crew a chance to appear in the inquest.
Funeral services will be held this afternoon at 2 o'clock in the Lutheran church. In the absence of the regular pastor, the Rev. Mr. Bunge, of Chenoa, will officiate. Burial will be in the Chatsworth cemetery.
Cornorer Shafer convened the jury at the Roach funeral home on Tuesday evening at 7:30 o'clock, and made Jerome Kerrins foreman.
The first witness called was Carl Raskamp, of Peoria, engineer of the train that struck Mr. Schroeder. He stated that he had been a locomotive engineer for 23 years; that his train was traveling 30 to 35 miles an hour when approaching the spot where it struck Mr. Schroeder. Said he saw a man walking north on the sidewalk, that the man did not look up; thought he had gotten across until the fireman called to him that he had hit someone. The engine obstructed view of man after he was near the crossing; stopped the train about 800 feet from the scene of accident and walked back. Said he sounded the whistle for the station and also for the crossing.
R.E. Shelton, Peoria, fireman, said he had worked for the railroad 10 1/2 years and gave substantially same testimony as engineer except that he did not see Mr. Schroeder until he saw the body being hurled after being hit.
George F. Bowles, rear brakeman, said he was outside of caboose and felt the air being applied by the engineer and saw the man lying by the tracks and ran back to the body. Reported engineer had sounded whistle and that the train had not intended to stop.
Don Shobe, station agent, stated he was at the Fourth street crossing near the depot flagging that crossing and saw Mr. Schroeder approach the Third street crossing and saw him being hit. He ran into the depot immediately and telephoned to Dr. Locker and then ran to the scene of the accident. He also testified that visibility was good that day and that the whistle had blown for the crossing.
Francis Rebholz, testified that he was near the scene filling his oil truck and saw the accident. Did not see Mr. Schroeder look up until just as train hit him.
George Dennewitz was the last witness. Stated he was in front of his service station about 246 feet distant and saw the train approaching and also saw and recognized Mr. Schroeder. Did not think the man saw the train until too late.
The jury's verdict was to the effect that Alex C. Schroeder came to his death Monday morning, July 8th, at about 8:45 o'clock by train.
MIKE ARENDS SELLS BARBER SHOP TO HAROLD KRUEGER
FEBRUARY 5, 1942
"Mike" Arends sold his barber shop and business the first of the week to Harold Krueger, Gilman.
Mr. Arends originally from the Melvin neighborhood, came to Chatsworth soon after finishing his apprenticeship and worked with W.P. Turner for a time. After operating shops in Cullom and Ashkum for a few years he purchased the Larry Power shop about twelve years ago.
He has continued in the same location in the basement of the Burns building and has enjoyed a good business, with the reputation of an excellent barber and good citizen.
Several weeks ago he secured a job as a munitions plant guard at Wilmington and after giving it a good trial, decided to dispose of his business here. He retains his home here.
Harold Krueger, who succeeds Mr. Arends came here from Gilman last week and conducted the shop a week before purchasing. He has been employed in Henry Ryan's shop in Gilman for a number of years. He is married and the father of two daughters, aged 6 and 7 years. He is negotiating for a place to live and the family expects to be settled down here in the near future.
MAN WHO LOST LEG IN WRECK IS DEAD
FEBRUARY 19, 1942
The death in Chicago, February 10 of F.W. Snedaker, 64, brought back memories of the railroad wreck 54 years ago east of Chatsworth.
Mr. Snedaker, when a lad of but ten years of age, suffered severe injuries in the Chatsworth wreck on August 10, 1887. His mother, also a passenger on the ill-fated T.P. & W. Niagara Falls excursion train, was killed in the wreck which was caused by the burning of a small bridge.
Pinned in the wreckage of the splintered wooden coaches, piled along the railroad right-of-way following the crash, which cost the lives of scores of passengers, the youth refused to allow rescuers to give him aid until the screams of women and children could not be heard. When he thought that all had been rescued, he allowed L.J. Haberkorn, one of the rescue party who still resides in Chatsworth, to remove him from the wreckage. One of his legs was so badly mangled that amputation was necessary. One of this arms was broken, his face was torn and lacerated and he all but lost the sight of one eye. Mr. Haberkorn, in after years when the two met, addressed him as "his boy hero".
For many years and until his death, Mr. Snedaker served a tool grinding concern at 1500 W. Madison street, Chicago, as manager. He was successful in his vocation and had the confidence and good will of a large number of employees.
Surviving Mr. Snedaker, besides his wife and the brother, Rev. G. Snedaker, is a sister, Mrs. Myrtle Shipplett, of Abington, Ill.
ELMER LIGHTYS CELEBRATE 50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
FEBRUARY 26, 1942
Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Lighty celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at their home in Chatsworth Sunday.
Relatives and friends to the number of 35 arrived about noon with an abundance of food and spent a delightful day together.
Included in the gifts was a purse of money for the couple.
Mr. and Mrs. Lighty were married in 1892 in the house in which they now live and have spent their entire married life in and around Chatsworth except a few months when they resided at Paxton, where Mr. Lighty was employed in the electric light plant.
Of the seven living children only three were able to be present and help their parents observe the golden wedding anniversary. However several grandchildren and great grandchildren were present.
ROUNDS OUT SIXTY YEARS IN BUSINESS
L.J. HABERKORN STILL ACTIVE, BUT SAYS SIXTY YEARS IS A LONG TIME
MARCH 5, 1942
L.J. Haberkorn, Chatsworth's oldest business man in point of service, will have round out 60 years of continued business service, March 8th. H is still active and aggressive.
Asked by the Plaindealer for a short story Mr. Haberkorn penned the following:
"Just a few lines that may be of interest to my many, many friends. It will be 60 years next Sunday since I opened up business on our main street, or in other words I opened up my business of music and confectionery on what is now the Burns corner. Shortly after I opened up the place became known as the "Peanut Corner" on account of the many pounds of fancy raw Virginia peanuts that I roasted and sold to the public, and many can and will tell you of the fine quality of these roasts. I have worked hard all of these years to keep my business going, but also took an active part in making our little city a better place in which to live. I have not grown rich, but have lived well, and been able to pay my honest debts. Have always given a dollar's worth of goods for every dollar spent with me and I hope to continue this system of business to the end by treating everybody as I myself wish to be treated, so if I have anything that you can use I will be pleased to serve you, but remember, you are always welcome whether you wish to buy or not. Come in if only to say "Hello L.J." I have been asked many times to write the history of Chatsworth as I have seen it, and have concluded to so so, and I look for our Plaindealer to publish this story in the near future. So I extend best wishes and good luck to everyone."
LITTLE GIRL NOT BADLY HURT WHEN RUN OVER BY DISK
APRIL 30, 1942
Sandra Sue Shade, 3, had a narrow escape from death Tuesday forenoon when she fell from a tractor and was run over by a disk being pulled by the tractor.
The little tot was rushed to a physician in Chatsworth and an x-ray revealed no broken bones, although she was cut on the legs and back by the disk blades but not thought to be seriously hurt.
The little girl wanted to ride with her father, Charles Shade, on the tractor at the Schade farm in Germanville township and he intended to take her one round in the field and had nearly completed the trip when in some unknown manner she slipped from his lap and fell to the ground. Fortunately the ground was soft and she fell face down and was pushed into the loose earth rather than cut by disk, which ran over her body. The little will be 3 years old in June.
ROSENBOOM FAMILY CAME TO CHATSWORTH FIFTY YEARS AGO
MAY 21, 1942
Fifty years ago, May 14, the Henry Rosenboom family landed in Chatsworth from Emden, Germany.
In addition to Mr. and Mrs. Rosenboom there were six children, John, Hilda, Robert, Henry, Marie and Janette, the latter three years old.
They landed in Baltimore form Germany and then came directly to Chatsworth. Mr. Rosenboom was a carpenter and followed his trade after coming to America. The three boys were all mechanically inclined. Two of them, Robert and Henry, learned the plumbing trade and are still actively engaged in business here. John, a resident of Fairbury is an automobile mechanic. Four daughters were born to the couple after their arrival in Chatsworth-- Gertrude, Patrinellle, Annette and Louise.
Of the daughters, Hilda is the wife of Charles Bussard, of Fairbury; Janette Haag, resides in Springfield, Mass.; Marie died in 1912 Gertrude is now Mrs. Frank Canik, of Elmhurst; Patrinelle reside in Hollywood and is Mrs. Art Willert; Annette, now Mrs. Val Dupre, lives in Oak Park; and Louise, as Mrs. Charles Jensen lives in Evanston.
Mr. Rosenboom died in 1912 and Mrs. Rosenboom in 1935.
This large family have proven to be excellent citizens and while only two are now residents of Chatsworth, they were prominent in the upbuilding of the town.
SGT. CHARLES HEINHORST HONORED FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE AT PEARL HARBOR
AUGUST 13, 1942
Scott Field, Ill. August 1
Charles R. Heinhorst, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur F. Heinhorst, of Chatsworth, Ill., is a master sergeant today, his promotion to that rank being the second of two honors bestowed on him in rapid succession at this radio university of the army Air Forces.
The day before his elevation to master sergeant from technical sergeant, Heinhorst was decorated with the Purple Heart by Maj. Gen. Frederick L. Martini, commanding general of the Second District, AAF Technical training command for "performing meritorious acts of essential service during the Japanese air attack on the Island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, Dec. 7.
On detached service as a radio man and mechanic in Hawaii, Heinhorst and his wife and child were asleep on the morning of the raid in their quarters near Hickam Field. As the bombing started the sergeant sent his family into the hills with neighbors and hunted up his squadron at the post.
A bomb hit just outside the building he was in. The walls were blown out and burning powder and fragments of the bomb caused numerous casualties. Heinhorst was wounded in the arm and suffered a torn ligament in his back.
Later, in February, Heinhorst left Hawaii for Officer's Candidate school at Ft. Monmouth, J.J., but was forced to drop the course because of his recurring back injury. He came to Scott Field and was attached to headquarters, Sq., AAFTC, as an instructor.
In making the presentation of the Purple Heart, Gen. Martin asked Heinhorst if he had fully recovered from his wounds and the latter replied in the affirmative. The general expressed the nation's appreciation for the sergeant's war service.
With Gen. Martin at the ceremonies were Col. Wolcott P. Hayes, commanding officer of Scott Field and Maj. W.W. Lilley, post adjutant.
The retreat ceremony and review was presented by the 8th Base Headquarters and Air Base Sq. of the Provisional Air Base group and a detachment of the Aviation Cadets. Let. Col. Roy W. Fleming, group commander, was in charge of the formation, assisted by Capt. O.D. Loomis, adjutant.
Sgt. Heinhorst's medal was the first Purple Heart to be awarded at this field since the outbreak of the war.
CAME BACK FOR WRECK INFORMATION
AUGUST 13, 1942
A.B. Croswell, of Kewanee, accompanied by his wife, motored to Chatsworth Monday, on the anniversary of the great Chatsworth wreck, to inquire about it. Mr. Croswell was a survivor and was just six weeks old at the time. His mother was killed in the wreck and his father died nine months later from injuries received in the wreck. His mother, Mrs. Viola Croswell, was instantly killed and her baby was brought to Chatsworth practically uninjured. He was raised by his grandmother, of Peoria, and did not know until he was seven years old that he was a wreck orphan. The family lived in Peoria at the time of the wreck but his mother's relatives lived in Kankakee and her body was taken there for burial. Mr. Croswell is a sign painter and says he has always wanted to know more about the wreck which came near causing his death. L.J. Haberkorn gave him much first-hand information about the great disaster.
MARRIED SIXTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
SEPTEMBER 24, 1942
On Saturday, September 26, Mr. and Mrs. George J. Walter, of Chatsworth, will have passed their 65th wedding anniversary.
Due to the ill health of Mrs. Walter, no large observance will be made of the event. Mrs. Walter is bedfast a portion of the time but probable will be able to see a limited number of her many friends.
The couple were married in Kankakee and have spent practically all of their married life in Chatsworth and Mr. Walter has been at the head of the tile and brick factory for more than 50 years.
The are beloved by the entire community who are proud to have lived in the community with them and to have enjoyed their acquaintance and friendship.
STILL ON THE JOB AFTER 34 YEARS
HENRY WISTHUFF, 84, WORKS REGULARLY AS GRADE SCHOOL JANITOR
NOBEMBER 19, 1942
Henry Wisthuff, faithful school janitor, will have a birthday this week and he is also finishing his 34th year as janitor of the Chatsworth grade school.
He was born on a farm in Germanville township November 21, 1858, and with the exception of four years on a farm near Sibley and five months he and Mrs. Wisthuff resided in Peoria, all these years have been spent in Chatsworth and 34 of them as school janitor. During this time Mr. Wisthuff also served for a short time as church janitor for two different churches. If there was any way of reckoning the amount of coal and also snow that Mr. Wisthuff has shoveled it would make interesting reading but every weekday morning Mr. Wisthuff is at the building by 6 o'clock and sometimes it has been necessary to put in extra hours to keep the building warm and clean. Not only has Mr. Wisthuff shoveled coal and snow but he has kept the yard in shape and used his carpenter tools to make small repairs. While her health would permit, Mrs. Wisthuff helped her husband in his work and she, too, deserves the thanks of the community for work well done.
The couple live in their home near the school and worship in the Evangelical church. Everyone is their friend and will join in extending congratulations and the very best of wishes to this fine couple.
Note: See his picture here.
CHATSWORTH COUPLE WED IN MICHIGAN
DECEMBER 3, 1942
Miss Eileen Brady, youngest daughter of the William P. Brady became the bride of Sergeant Richard K. Weller, young son of Richard Weller, of Chatsworth, in a beautiful military ceremony on Friday morning at 7 o'clock at a Nuptial High Mass at St. Phillip's church in Battle Creek, Michigan. Rev. Father Gunther officiated at the candle light ceremony.
The bride was attired in a floor length white corded satin, wearing a finger tip veil and carrying a bouquet of white roses. She wore a sting of pearls, which was a gift of the groom. Her bridesmaid, Mrs. Helen Ford-Culkin, wore a floor length turquoise blue satin and finger tip veil. She carried a bouquet of red roses.
The groom and best man, Lt. William Tenney, of Newton, Massachusetts, were dressed in full military attire.
The bride, escorted by the best man, marched to the strains of Lohengrin's wedding march while the bridesmaid and groom followed.
The bride is a graduate of the Strawn high school and of Illinois State Normal University. She is fifth and sixth grade instructor in Strawn grade school.
The groom is an army meat inspector in the Percy Jones Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Both are prominent young people of this vicinity and are very highly esteemed.
HALE AND HEARTY AT THE AGE OF 90 YEARS
DECEMBER 10, 1942
George J. Walter, who started in business in Chatsworth in 1876 had a birthday Saturday. He was 90 years old, and hale and hearty. Not many men are as active at 90 years as Mr Walter. He is at his tile factory every day and weather or snow never gets too bad to keep him from attending church.
He was born in New York City December 5, 1852, and came to Chatsworth in the early seventies. In 1876 he engaged in the restaurant and bakery business in the east end of the business section of Chatsworth. He was married in Kankakee in 1877 to Miss Magdalena Heilman and they took up their residence in Chatsworth.
In the spring of 1877 he moved the bakery business to the middle of the east block and lived upstairs over the restaurant. In the fall of 1878 Mr. Walter sold the restaurant and bakery to J.P. Hanson.
For the next two or three years he worked at odd jobs and did considerable carpenter work around Chatsworth and Eureka.
In 1881 Mr. Walter and E.A. Jackson tested the burning of some clay in a heating stove in the form of marbles. Seeing that the clay was of a very durable quality they proceeded to start a brick and tile factory with primitive machinery. Two or three years later Mr. Walter purchased the interest of Jackson and installed more modern machinery.
From time to time his production and business increased and his products were sold within a considerable radius of Chatsworth by rail, wagon and truck.
Along with his work, as proprietor of the tile factory, Mr. Walter found time to serve as director on both the grade and high school boards and was a member and secretary of the Volunteer Chatsworth Fire Company for a good number of years.
He also was interested in the electric light company at Chatsworth at the time when movements were first started to connect the different towns by the lines. He was also one of the main stockholders in one of the first telephone companies in Chatsworth. About 1909 he supervised the building of the Emmanual Evangelical church, of which he has been a lifelong member.
Mrs. Magdalena Heilman-Walter was a Kankakee girl. Her health failed two years ago and she is bedfast about half of the time. The last few days she has not been very well, due to an asthmatic condition.
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Walter gave Mr. Walter a birthday party at his home Saturday night. A few of his friends were invited. Recordings were made of some of the speeches and singing.
Below is a poem written for George J. Walter by a grandson on his birthday which followed the article:
TO GRANDFATHER WALTER -- ON HIS NINETIETH BIRTHDAY
To a Dad with wit and lots of grit,
And a heart that is kind and true;
To a Dad with miles of sunny smiles,
Father Walter, that Dad is YOU!
To a Dad with love for our God above,
And whose church always finds him there;
With reverent grace he is right in his place
Though weather be foul or fair.
To a Dad who works and never shirks,
When e'er there's a task to share;
From his lips no word was ever heard
That his load was too heavy to bear.
To a Dad on whose shoulder, since now he's grown older,
The year's whit mantle doth fail'
And he has spread gladness and helped banish sadness
With kind words and deeds for all.
And so Dad, we pray that your pilgrim way
Now that your Ninetieth milestone you've passed,
May brighten with love, from our Father above,
Till you reach Heaven at last.
Oliver M. Yaggy
DISASTROUS FIRE NARROWLY AVERTED
CHS BUILDING HAS CLOSE CALL SATURDAY
DECEMBER 24, 1942
The Chatsworth high school building had a narrow escape from being badly damaged and possibly destroyed by fire Saturday.
About 5 o'clock Saturday evening Janitor Phil Koerner smelled smoke and an investigation revealed that a day couch in the north rest room on the first floor was afire and that the entire building was rapidly filling with smoke. He called Principal Kibler and he notified the fire department of the village who made a still run to the scene. There really wasn't much blaze and as soon as the smoke cleared away it was found that the couch was entirely consumed, the maple floor burned through in spots and other articles in the room, including a phonograph, ruined. Smoke damaged the walls and woodwork of two other rooms and while the exact damage had not been decided on pending the settlement with the insurance company it will run at least $200. The couch was a gift from last year's seniors.
The origin of the fire is not definitely known. Maybe a mouse and a match were responsible. That seems as good a guess as anything. Principal Kibler was in the room during the forenoon but said he was not smoking in the room and janitor Koerner had not been in the room prior to the fire. So far as known no others were near the room in which the fire started.
It is hard to estimate what would have happened if the smoke had not started an investigation. It seems quite probable that eventually the blaze would have secured enough air to cause it to spread and envelop the entire interior of the building. The building is of brick and the hall floors are cement but other floors are of wood and of course the doors and window casings are of wood.
The destruction of the building or even if it had been seriously damaged would have been particularly disastrous at this time, owing to the scarcity of building materials and the interference with school work.
The loss is fully covered by insurance as about $60,000 is carried on the building and contents, according to information given the Plaindealer.
MARRIED 50 YEARS AGO
KEEP OPEN HOUSE AT THEIR HOME IN PIPER CITY, ILLINOIS
From the files of the Chatsworth Plaindealer it is learned that Miss Flora Puffer and William T. Cunnington were married December 29, 1892, at the home of the bride's parents, the Daniel B. Puffers, near Chatsworth, by Rev. T. Howland. Miss Tillie Wrede and Albert Jackson were the attendants. The bride was attired in a gown of cream colored henrietta, trimmed in cream chiffon.. following the ceremony a banquet was served to about 80 guests. The bride was the youngest daughter of the Daniel Puffers and the groom the youngest son of the Thomas Cunningtons.
The fiftieth anniversary of the above wedding as chronicled in the Chatsworth Plaindealer in December, 1892, was celebrated on Tuesday by the Cunningtons at their home in Piper City.
The couple held open house to their friends from two until five in the afternoon and from seven until ten o'clock in the evening, when over one hundred friends called to extend congratulations and best wishes to this highly esteemed couple.
During the afternoon and evening musical numbers were given by the Misses Margery and Mary Helen Cunnington, Misses Irene Flessner and Kathryn Switzer, with Weldon Flessner and Mrs. J.A. Montelius accompanying on the piano.
Large bouquets of yellow chrysanthemums, gifts of friends, decorated the rooms and the dining table was centered with a three tier wedding cake topped with a miniature bride and groom.
Refreshments carrying out the gold and white color scheme, were served during the afternoon and evening. Assisting in the serving were Mrs. B.W. Cunnington, Mrs G.H. Kemnetz, Misses Vera Houk, Margery and Mary Helen Cunnington.
Mr. and Mrs. Cunnington established their home in Chatsworth after their marriage. Here were born their two children, Bloice, whose death occurred in 1938 and Dan, who resides in New York. The family later moved to Chicago and after a residence of twenty years there Mr. and Mrs. Cunnington moved to Piper City and have since resided there.
There are five grandchildren, B. Wayne Cunnington, of Chicago, Margery and Mary Helen, of Piper City, and Billy and Joan, of New York.