Stories of interest from our hometown paper over the years.


JANUARY 7, 1963

The old building at the rear of the Citizens Bank, recently used as storage by Lee Loomis for feeds, has been torn down to make way for a private parking lot for the employees of the bank. 
It is reported that this was one of the oldest building in Chatsworth. From the files of the Plaindealer, the issue of March 14, 1910, states "A deal was consummated on Monday between Dr. T.C. Seright and S. Herr,Sr., whereby the former sold to the latter the two buildings located at the corner of Fifth and Locust streets know as the old E.A. Bangs corner and the brick building just east of it. The buildings are now occupied by the Chatsworth Restaurant and Hotel and the electric theatre.
The consideration is given as $9,000 and it is stated that Mr. Herr contemplates the erection of a new building on the corner to be used for banking purposes into which the Citizen's Bank will ultimately be moved. 
According to reports an old wooden two story structure known as the Bangs Drug Store stood on the corner. Attached to the rear of the building as part of the drug store was an additional one story building. When the two story structure was town down to make way for the new bank building, the smaller addition was moved and turned to face Fifth Street. 
It was used for storing materials during the bank construction. Later a new front was put in and the building was rented.
At one time this was the home of the Chatsworth Plaindealer. At other periods it housed a furniture store, a photographer's shop and a soft drink parlor operated by Con Gerbacht and Henry Gerbracht.
Hicks used it for storage at one time; Louis Haberkorn had his upholstery shop there and the last occupant was Lee Loomis.
A fire destroyed the east end of this block in early days and the corner building was one of the few structures left standing.
The November 4, 1910 issue of the Plaindealer stated, "The Chatsworth post office  will be moved Feb. 1 from the building where it has been located for many years to the new Herr building one block east of the present location and in the rear of the room where the Citizens Bank will be located as soon as the new building on the corner is completed."
A picture of the Dec. 23 issue showed the completed bank building into which they moved on Dec. 26, 1910.
Just what the age of the building recently torn down was, records do not show, but it was apparently "old" fifty years ago.  

JANUARY 10, 1963

Many area newspapers chronicled the death and obituary last week of S.J. Porterfield, former Plaindealer publisher and editor. 
We reprint from the Cullom Chronicle-Headlight-Enquirer of Toby's column as follows: "The death of S.J. Porterfield of Chatsworth, veteran newspaper man, at the age of 89, comes as something of a personal loss to the writer.
It was back in 1912, in the old Chronicle-Headlight office upstairs in the Kingdon Implement Building that we were initiated into our first duties in the newspaper field -- that of wrapping papers on press day -- under Mr. Porterfield's direction. He was then editor and one of the publishers. Some years prior to this he had been editor and publisher of the Cabery Enquirer. Later he was to go on to the Chatsworth Plaindealer. To each paper and community he gave outstanding effort and a product it could be proud of. 
Mr. Porterfield was well grounded in every phase of country newspaper publishing. He ran a newspaper man's newspaper --- one that was always interesting, comprehensive, up-too-date and adequate, and was highly regarded and respected in his profession.  
It is to be regretted that the relentless passage of time has been writing "30" to the careers of so many of the old time journalists.---Toby." 

MARCH 7, 1963

Sister M. Annice, a Holy Cross Sister presently teaching at St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, is the author of a book, "The Mission Of Mary," recently released by The Bruce Publishing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The book, a series of essays in Mariology which emphasize the virtues of Mary as a pattern for all Christians, has both a devotional and instructional end.
The book, to which Sister Annice brings a knowledge of philosophy and respect for its principles, explores the nature, qualities and attributes of Mar. She tries to show just what kind of person Mary is, and just what we can learn of her life to apply to our own.
The native of Chatsworth, a daughter of the late John and Anna Donovan, received her early education in Chatsworth schools and then received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, and a Master's and Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. She has also done post-graduate work at the University of Ottawa and at University of Salszburg, Austria.
Sister Annice is professor philosophy and psychology and is a frequent contributor to such publications as the Thornist, New Scholasticism, Catholic School Journal, spiritual Life, Review for Religious and Cross and Crown.

See her photo here.
Note: Sister Annice also wrote: The Genological Argument for the Existence of God in the Works of St. Thomas Aquinas 


Mrs. Elizabeth Kurtenbach was a little girl, 6 years old, on that summer day, August 10, 1887, day of the tragic Chatsworth wreck. Her family lived 3 and 1/2 miles northeast of Strawn. She recalled that her father, Miles Desire, and a group of men accompanied Dr. Duckett of Forrest to the wreck scene. Their means of conveyance was the democrat, a long buggy with extra seats, often used by the pallbearers in a funeral procession. 
Mr. Desire helped Dr. Duckett search for his wife, who had been a passenger on the ill-fated train. They found Mrs. Duckett between two seats with her neck broken. 
Mr. Kurtenbach remembered her father telling of a little boy with an arm and leg broken and cuts and bruises. When they offered to help him he told them to go help others who were hurt worse than he was. 
Mrs. Kurtenbach said it was mostly men who went to the wreck. The women and children generally remained at home.
A clipping from the Chicago Tribune on the 75th anniversary reprinted some of the facts about that August 10th tragedy.Nine hundred fifty person, with the majority from the Peoria area, made up the passenger list of the excursion train. The fare was $7.50 to Niagara Falls, a tempting offer. 
The train, having been delayed, was 97 minutes late at Chatsworth. The double-header was said to be trying to pick up speed to make up time when the engineer of the first engine was suddenly confronted with the burning wooden trestle. His engine made it across before the weakened timbers gave way. The Tribune described it thusly, "As each of the wrecked cars shot across the creek, it sheared off the top of the one in front, beheading the passengers in their seats and driving the dead and living into heaps at the front end of the cars. The heavy coach timbers were driven through the mass of humanity. 
The Tribune told a story of a woman in the wreck who clung to something. She found she was holding a baby which had been jolted out of its mother's arms when that unfortunate woman was crushed to death.. The baby and its benefactor were both rescued.
Another story was of two men severely injured in the wreck and sorrowing over lost loved one, who killed themselves.
August 12 issues of the Tribune , 1887, carried two full pages about the wreck, and the weekend paper carried a map, drawings, and photographs. 
Farmers were the first to arrive at the scene of the accident. They threw dirt on the flames, saving the trapped from the horror of fire. Will O. Clark, proprietor of Peoria House, a Pullman passenger, managed to escape in his night clothing. He helped others to assist in the emergency. 
Robbing of the bodies occurred, according to reports, but within minutes of the wreck, before the country people and relief trains arrived, indicating the thieves were on the train. Bodies of victims filled the engine house, depot, town hall and school house. 
Relatives thronged to Chatsworth looking for their loved one. Supply of food became a problem. Mrs. Kurtenbach, recalled her father returning home, hungry, stating they couldn't get anything to eat in Chatsworth.
The Tribune spoke in praise of the people of the community. the citizens of Chatsworth simply resolved themselves into a relief committee and went to work caring for the dead and alleviating the suffering of the wounded as if they were personal friends and relatives. 
Much study was made relating to the cause of the fire. Blame was placed upon section workers who were burning grass, but they maintained the area was inspected six hours before the tragedy, and nothing was found amiss.
The Chicago Tribune sent a special train to the wreck, traveling over the I.C. through Kankakee. The train carried three reporters, two expert telegraphers and two young men who had brothers in the wreck. By climbing the pole and tapping his wire they were able to set up a telegraph station at the scene. 
The Chatsworth wreck still creates interest. Three young men visited the scene of the wreck only last week, picking up bits of metal, wondering hopefully if they were souvenirs from that tragedy 76 years ago.

SEPTEMBER 12, 1963

Captain Donald Hummel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Hummel, who has been stationed at Fr. Sam Houston, Texas with the U.S. Army, has completed a six weeks training course. He will leave from San Francisco on Sept. 13 for Saigon, south Vietnam, where he is to serve on the Advisory Assistance Group for one year.
Capt. Hummel graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine, in Chicago in 1962, and completed his internship in Los Angeles County Hospital at Los Angeles on July 1, 1963.

SEPTEMBER 12, 1963

Chatsworth High School has long been recognized for its honors in speech and music contest, sports; it has had four State Farmers and three girls were representatives with the School Band and Chorus of America. The 1962-63 class had an unusually large percentage of class members going to college.
This year there are five sets of twins attending high school, which has a student body of 168, setting another kind of record. Left to right are: Larry and Sandra Kurtenbach, sophomores; and Darlene and Marlene Gillett, freshmen. Back row; Joe and John Thompson, sophomores; Wayne and Elaine Dohman, seniors; and Kay and Jarard Killip, sophomores.
They are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Kurtenbach, Mrs. and Mrs. Paul Gillett, Mrs. and Mrs. Durward Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Dohman, and Dr. and Mrs. D. E. Killip.

See photo here.

SEPTEMBER 26, 1963

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Chatsworth Cardinals Livingston County champs of 1938.
Pictured from left to right, back row, Charles Bergan,cf; Don Deany,Sr., p; Lyle "Slim" Wilson, p.; Kenneth "Dutch" Hummel, of and 1b; Kenry Kyburz, 1b.
Second row, Loyal Collins, of; Dale "Babe" Twiehous, ss; Hank Branz, c.; Bill Deany, 3b.
Front row, Frank Kyburz, 2b, manager; Ira "Ide" Lehman, c.; Dan Blevins, lf; Claude Bailey, rf.
Claude Bailey, rf., was absent when the picture was taken.
This was the team that represented the league in the state amateur tournament at Springfield in 1938.
The league was sponsored by Pontiac New Review, who donated the trophy, W.B. Read furnished the baseballs used to play all the games and donated a gold baseball to each player on the championship team.
Chatsworth merchants bought the suits for the local team.
The Cardinals clinched the championship by defeating the Pontiac Merchants 6-5 on the local diamond.
Some of the players who played some time during the four years were Ward Collins, Walt Lee, Elton finefield, Harold Finefield, Jr., Joe Cooney, John Kuntz, Fred Kyburz, Charles Bork, "Pudge" Stebbins, and Glen Hoteling. 

 See photo here.



JANUARY 2, 1964

A one car crash on the S curve in Gilman sent three boys to the Iroquois Hospital in Watseka Friday night, Dec. 20. Norman Kerber, driver of the car, was the most seriously injured as he has several broken ribs and a partial lung puncture. Michael Cavanagh, a passenger, received a back injury, and another passenger, James Lansdale of Morton, received a sore shoulder. All were taken to the hospital with Cavanagh and Lansdale being dismissed after observation.
According to reports the car hit a patch of ice and went out of control and hit a tree.
No tickets were given.
Norman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Kerber, was spending a two week furlough at the home of his parents. He is stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.  James Lansdale was also visiting the Kerbers. Norman was removed by ambulance Monday to the hospital at Rantoul Air Force Base.


Pvt. Alan Haberkorn left today for Fort Dix, New Jersey where he is to report on the 9th. From there he will be sent to Wurzburg, Germany where he will be stationed.

JANUARY 16, 1964

Snow began falling last Saturday evening and continued throughout the night. Sunday a strong wind of gale proportions up to 55 miles an hour blowing out of the northeast, whipped the falling snow into drifts that slowed up and eventually blocked traffic.
Snow varied greatly in depth, but it was reported nearly a foot deep with drifts piled many feet high. Springfield and Jacksonville were isolated with 10 foot drifts. Only Route 66 remained open through the state. Motorists were warned to stay off the highways.
Monday, schools were closed and meetings cancelled. Radio and TV carried information of institutions that were closed. Among them the U. of I. announced it was cancelling semester examinations Monday which would have to be rescheduled later.
TV channel 3, operated with a skeleton crew. Sheriff Sid and Ed Mason were unable to make it to the station.
The town of Neoga played host to 500 stranded motorists. Citizens opened their home and lodge rooms, churches and school house doors were opened. Kentland, Ind. had 60 unexpected guests. Some were stranded at farm houses along state and national routes. Reports were that food was running low in some areas.
Mail deliveries were cancelled in some towns and newspapers couldn't be delivered, during the worst storm of the winter. Following the snowstorm, temperatures began to skid to lower levels.
Forrest had 24 overnight guests at the Methodist Church. Harold Gullett served a large number of breakfasts at the Coral Cup to folks who remained in Chatsworth over night.
Main street on Monday morning looked like a ski resort with drifts piled high, especially at the intersections. Four trucks and three scoops were employed to remove the snow. Livingston's, Diller's, Haberkorn's and the Town truck were all busy hauling the snow from the street and dumping it in the Railroad Park.
Cliff Runyon, Kenny Ashman and Wayne Haberkorn were operating the scoops. Jake French drove the Town truck. Bill Rosendahl was driving Diller's. Jerome Haberkorn drove the Haberkorn truck and various drivers alternated on the Livingston truck.
Al Tennant and his truck were also a part of the work force.
Lowell Flessner's snow plow was busy on side streets.
George Perry, a Piper City resident, didn't get to the Plaindealer until afternoon. No mail had been in or out and the mail sacks in the post office were piled high. K.R. Porterfield cancelled his usual Monday morning trip to Pontiac. The first car to get through from the west was a little Volkswagon. Mrs. Raymond Billingsley, an employee at Conibears, arrive about 10 o'clock from Piper City. Most transportation was paralyzed.

JANUARY 16, 1964

The Chatsworth Hanger Motel was a busy place due to Sunday's blizzard. Beginning about noon, guests began to arrive. The first family, with children, had battled the snow from Kankakee down and were anxious to get off the road. From then on cars kept coming until they had a full house.
One room that was reserved by someone coming from Forrest wasn't claimed, as that party apparently was stranded before reaching here.
The Motel office was a busy place with people making telephone calls telling relatives where they were and why they weren't where they were supposed to be. Miss Faye Shafer served coffee for some of her stranded guests and for men helping to shovel them out.
Curt Crews reported the hotel had 10 or 12 extras due to the storm. They fed an elderly couple who found it difficult to get out to eat.
Some of the local groceries reported they ran out of bread, milk and eggs before the trucks got in. The first deliveries began coming in about 10 o'clock Monday.

JANUARY 23, 1964

Mrs. Myra Tayler Maplethorpe has announced her intention to retire at the close of the present school year, rounding out a teaching career of 38 years.
With the exception of two years at Paxton, Mrs. Maplethorpe taught within a four mile radius of Chatsworth. The last 17 years she was an instructor in the Chatsworth Elementary School. Before the days of consolidation she taught in five rural schools.
Mrs. Maplethorpe has kept a record of birth date of each of her pupils. She has taught 754 youngsters, 29 of whom, she points out, have followed in her footsteps by entering the teaching profession.
Most of her teaching has been in the fifth grade, although she taught 6th grade for two years and music for 7 years.
In order to become a more proficient teacher, Mrs. Maplethorpe traveled extensively. She obtained a first hand knowledge of geography as she visited 48 states, Cuba and Canada and made two trips into old Mexico. She always brought back souvenirs and pictures of her travels to interest her students.
Mrs. Maplethorpe claims several hobbies, foremost among them, music. She plays 10 musical instruments and has given many music lessons through the years. For several years she conducted her own 6-piece orchestra as a hobby, playing for high schools and community organizations. One season she spent with the Golden Gate Girls, a 14-piece all-girl band from Decatur. Among her other activities, she directed the Minstrel Show one year for the Lion's Club.
Another of Mrs. Maplethorpe's hobbies is her art. She enjoys painting, using oil and water colors.
Parents have praised her work in doing the "extra things", preparing programs, teaching the youngsters little songs and dances, or having them make art objects, sometimes as gifts, sometimes simply as lessons of art.
She reports that with her hobbies her retirement will be a new and interesting experience. She will continue giving music lessons and she hopes to travel. It will require visits to two more states to total 50, but they are tucked in her future plans.
James E. Curtis has notified the Board of Education of his intention to retire June 30. This will complete 17 years of custodian of Chatsworth High School.
Mr. Curtis has seen many changes in his 17 years. The unit was formed during this time and the building has doubled in size, with some other modern improvements. He has been furnished a part-time helper.
Mr. Curtis remarked, "Every day has been interesting with never a dull moment." He enjoyed working with kids and felt just as proud as parents when the pupils marched down the aisle wearing their caps and gowns.
In 1925, the Curtis family moved to this area from Tompkinsville, Ky. Mr. Curtis worked on farms around Chatsworth and for a short time with business firms, before taking up his work at the high school. He was always helpful to both students and teachers, trying to anticipate their needs without being asked.
Mr. Curtis has long been active in church work and at present holds the office of deacon in the First Baptist Church.
He has two children, a daughter, Mrs. Robert Fields, and a son, Rev. Harley Lynwoood Curtis, of Darlington, Wis., and 10 grandchildren. Two of his sons met tragic death. Lovell was killed in Australia in World War II and Rufus died in a car-train collision in Chatsworth in 1950.
Mr. Curtis has a hobby of writing poetry. Many of his writings have appeared in the Plaindealer. He was always quick to immortalize any special happening with a poem.
He says his plans for retirement include writing. He would like to write short stories and verses for greeting cards and Christmas cards.
Note: Mrs. Maplethorpe's band was known as "The Jolly Sailors"
Note: Read a poem by Mr. Curtis here, that speaks of his love for those who passed thru Chatsworth High School.
Note: See their combined photo here.

Hobo Poet Returns to Chatsworth for Celebration
June 25, 1964
This rug was made by a Hobo
Who had had a lot of fun,
He celebrated in Chatsworth 
In Nineteen thirty-one.
Thirty-three years have come and gone
And many have gone to Glory,
And Old Knute is seventy-three
And is fine and hunky-dory.
Father Fitzgerald has passed away 
And so has Druggist Quinn,
Sheldon Porterfield, editor of THE PLAINDEALER 
Had editorials on booze and sin.
All of these men were my friends
And all of them had some coin,
I'll never forget another old friend 
And that was Arch Raboin.
Arch was a natural poet
I was just a beginner,
Naturally I mention a barber,
He is Fuzzy Turner.
1964: New homes as well as new factories, 
New airport, new school, new Motel,
the old burg is prospering,
Everyone is doing well.
The TP&W depot has vanished
But the trains go roaring through, 
Of course, I miss the Jungles
Where us Hobos made our stew.
This year's 4th of July Celebration.

Note:The "Hobo Poet" was Leonard Frye "Knute" Hofius. He was born on March 27, 1891 and died in St. Louis, Missouri, June of 1967 at the home of his brother.
Read some newspaper report on him here , here, here, here, and here you will find a newspaper article which has a photo of Leonard.
Teen Center Holds Grand Opening
July 23, 1964
The grand opening of Stub's Hide Out Teen Center last Wednesday was termed a big success if the number of patrons is any indication. Between 260 and 300 teenagers were in attendance during the afternoon and evening.   
Free pop, popcicles, sandwiches and potato chips were served and free dancing was enjoyed for two hours in the evening.
The Teen Center was decorated with blue and white fringe and balloons hanging from the ceiling for the grand opening. 
Tuesday, July 27, the Mustang's of Forrest will be at the Teen Center to provide live music for dancing.
Mr. Stow reports that 152 membership cards have been sold with more available at the Center.   
Dewey Maplethorpe Retires, Son Takes Over
July 30, 1964
Dewey came to Chatsworth from Forrest, where he formerly worked for the Wabash Railroad. On April 24, 1933, he opened his shoe repair shop on main street, where the Locker Plant is now located. He later moved his shop to the building now occupied by Perkins' Electric, then across the street where he and the Leathers Produce were burned out on January 30,  1949. He then was in the George Miller garage for 18 months, prior to moving into the building which he now occupies. He started handling shoes, along with the repair business in 1937.  
In May of 1962 he received from the Shoe Service Institute of America, a certificate stating that he could fill all doctor's orders, for orthopedic shoes and named him to the National Registry of Orthopedic Shoe Servicemen.   
Dewey L. Maplethorpe comes to Chatsworth with a background of shoe repair business. He taught the business for two years at Sheridan Boys' Training School and had his own shop in Rock Island for 12 years.
He moved his new, more modern machinery here this past week and installed it.  
He will make his home in Chatsworth with his parents who have stated that they have nothing specific in mind to do after retiring except a lot of little things around home.  
Culkin  To Build New Funeral Home in Chatsworth
August 13, 1964
Clarence E. Culkin, owner and operator of the Culkin Funeral Home in Forrest, announced that he will build and operate a funeral home in Chatsworth, with construction starting within the week.   
The site of the new modern home will be on the old Grade School property, which affords a very convenient location. Fourth Street is the only completely through street, north and south to Chatsworth, and old Rt. 24 will become a regular street east and west as soon as the new by-pass around the town is completed. Also it will be in close proximity to main street. Another feature of the location will be the area for off-street parking which will be provided for visitors at the funeral home.   
The building will be constructed with all the modern conveniences of a funeral parlor. It will be one-story (keeping in mind the aged); will be ground level and the exterior of the structure of colonial style in white and red brick finish. The interior will have a double door entry with vestibule; a large chapel to accommodate relatives and friends; a family room (with private entrance for the immediate family) and a rest room.
In conjunction with this, there will be a 2-bedroom apartment with a kitchen-dining area and living room. On the opposite end of the building will be a two-car garage and storage. Also contained in the building will be a large area for display purposes and a preparation room.   
Native Boy
Clarence (Buba) Culkin is a native of Chatsworth, having been born in Charlotte Township, the son of Arthur and Blanche Culkin. He received his schooling here, graduating from Chatsworth High School and from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago before entering the funeral profession.  
He is a veteran of World War II and after serving in funeral homes in Peoria and Bloomington, moved to Forrest in 1951.  
Mr. Culkin married Elizabeth (Betty) Aberle, who is also a graduate of Chatsworth High School and St. Francis School of Nursing, Peoria. They have four children, Diane, Teresa, Thomas and Michael, all at home. 
In the interview with Mr. Culkin, he stated he considered Chatsworth to be a modern and progressive community and that this modern funeral home will add to the community's stature. "We will be able to give the highest quality of professional conveniences available to the Chatsworth, Germanville and Charlotte areas." he said.  
"This home will be built as a memorial to the deceased members of the community." he continues, "and especially in memory of my parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Culkin, who passed away within the past few years. This home will be dedicated to them."    
OCTOBER 8, 1964
Leo E. Kerrins, 56, of Chatsworth, died at 5:10 p.m. , Tuesday, Oct. 6, when his auto, traveling north on 3rd Street apparently either failed to make a turn or to stop for a dead end street.    
The car reportedly went end over end into the northeast tile pond in the north edge of town. 
It is thought that Mr. Kerrins had suffered a heart attack. 
An autopsy was performed Tuesday night and an inquest will be conducted later by Livingston County Coroner Vernon Von qualen. 
Funeral services will be held Friday at 9:30 a.m. at St. Peter and Paul Church with the Rev. Michael Van Raes officiating. Burial will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery.   
Visitation begins today (Thursday) at 2 p.m. at the Hanson Funeral Home with the Rosary recited by the parish at 8 p.m.  
Mr. Kerrins was born in Charlotte Township, Feb. 12, 1908, a son of Thomas P. and Maria Fay Kerrins. He was educated in the Chatsworth schools. 
He married Josephine Hanley, August 29, 1939, in St. Louis, Mo. They have resided in Chatsworth since their marriage.
Formerly a farmer, he was employed as a construction worker for Burnell Watson at the time of his death. 
He was preceded in death by three brothers and two sisters. 
He was a member of Sts. Peter and Paul church.

Advertisers in 1965 are:
Nussbaum Chevrolet-Oldsmobile , Inc.
Shell Oil-Curt Stoller
Culkin Memorial Home
Citizen's Bank of Chatsworth
Walter's Ford Sales & Service
Lady De Beauty Shop
Mabel's Tavern
Hill Top Drive-In-Walt and Virginia Lee
Dennewitz Bros.
N.M. LaRochelle-Maytag dealer
Conibear Drug Store
Hanson Funeral Home
Virginia Theater
The Livingston of Chatsworth, Inc.
H.L. Lockner, MD.
Ed Schmid, DC.
Costello's Town and Country Market

FEBRUARY 4, 1965

Army Pfc. Siegfried Albrecht, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Albrecht, 611 N. Third Street, was assigned to border patrol duty with the 14th Armored Calvary Regiment in West Germany January 13.
Albrecht will be taking part in continuous surveillance missions designed to provide immediate notification of any aggressive activities along the border.
The regiment uses mobile patrols, observation and listening posts and surveillance flights by Army aircraft in carrying out its responsibilities in the border area.
The 19-year-old soldier, a supply clerk in Headquarters Troop of the 14th Armored Calvary Regiment's 3d Reconnaissance Squadron near Bad Hersfeid, Germany, entered the Army in June 1963 and completed basic combat training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
He is a 1963 graduate of Chatsworth High School.

FEBRUARY 25, 1965

Chatsworth's old fire bell has been restored to a place of honor, hanging in front of the fire station at the east end of the business section. The bell once hung from a bell tower at the old fire station by the water plant. This tower became rotten and the bell was removed and stored in the old fire station, as the siren became the warning device.
When the Fire Protection District was formed all the equipment was purchased from the village and turned over to the new organization. The bell was moved to the new fire station where it was stored.
Last week it was brought out of seclusion and put up in front of the fire station. The bell, bearing the date 1877, is made of bronze and is quite heavy. It is estimated to weigh between 300 and 400 pounds. the town hoist was used to set it in place.
We borrowed the fireman's record book and began searching for references to the bell. In the first set of minutes recorded in the engine room, Nov. 7, 1877 it was decided to select a name for the company and make bell arrangements. "The committee on bell arrangements reported favorable and the bell will be bought by the town." Louis Walter was secretary.
On April 2, 1879 in the minutes of the Prairie Bird Fire Company, which was Chatsworth, read, "The bell question arose again and Mr. Morrell moved that a committee of three be appointed to sell the thing." 
May 7, 1879, "The committee appointed to sell the bell reported that they had not effected a sale, the customer not being willing to pay what they considered a fair price."
July 7, 1880, "Fowler remarked that the old bell had been sold." By Oct. 1880, "The bell business is at last settled and the secretary reported $14 more in the treasury." This would seem to indicate the old bell sold for $14.
The above account leads one to believe the old bell was owned by the fire company which gave them the right to dispose of it and the new bell was purchased by the town.
The first time a fire was mentioned was the 28th of Feb., 1881 and a resolution was made extending sympathy to business men suffering losses. The minutes of the meeting was to be furnished to the editor of the Plaindealer for publication.
By July 5, 1883 they obviously had a bell "when the fire alarm was struck.: In the minutes of Aug. 6, 1885, it told of Ike Brace being selected to toll the bell during memorial service of U.S. Grant on Saturday Aug. 8, 1885. The compensation was to be 50 cents.
Sometimes the firemen received compensation. On Nov. 5, 1885 they received $5 as a token of appreciation for work done at the fire Oct. 24 of G. Genther.
Early minutes referred mostly to soyster suppers, dances, balls and 4th of July parades, when the firemen  all turned out to march, some played in the band, and they always decorated the fire engine.
Most minutes of meetings referred to dismissing members for not attending meetings and then reinstating them. They were fined---
Note: Oops missed part of the story will be added later. Sorry

JUNE 17, 1965

Chatsworth's First Baptist Church will celebrate its 100th anniversary Sunday, June 10, with an all day program of special features beginning with a combined Sunday School session at 9:30 am.
Rev. Albert Gurnenz, American Baptist State Executive Secretary, will bring the message at the morning worship hour at 10:30. Following a potluck dinner the afternoon program will begin at 2:00, with a special half-hour of musical talent, then the reading of a part of the church history, words of congratulation from many visitors, former pastors and other friends.
Special musical numbers will be presented during the afternoon service, including a song written by J.E. Curtis, which will be sung by many of the folks who are members of the church choir years ago.
At 7:30, Rev. Lynwood Curtis and rev. Fred Harris, two men who grew up in the church and entered the ministry, will speak. Also, Rev. Charles Hogan, a former pastor, will bring a short message in the evening, with a few musical numbers in between.
The community is invited to attend as many of the activities as possible on this day.
The First Baptist Church began June 17, 1865. It was through the efforts of Hiram Parsons that a group of Baptists met on that date in the home of Dr. Hunt. thirteen persons were enrolled as charter members.
At a second meeting July 1, 1865, Dr. Hunt was chosen clerk and Brothers Parsons and Puffer were elected deacons. The little band of Baptists held prayer meetings and Sunday school in the old school house. (This was probably the building which was later moved to the country and now stands on the south side of Route 24 one mile east of Chatsworth. This was the first school and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1958). Later church was held in Jones Hall, located a block south and one-half block east of the present church.
The first pastor, Rev. E.G. Trask, who had been a chaplain in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, came in 1866. His salary promised to be $200, and more if the money could be obtained.
On November 20, 1871, the first church was dedicated. The building, 56 by 32, cost $3,728, with the lot included. A picture of this church is preserved in the memorial window of the present church. Rev. Belden, pastor of the Presbyterian Church and Rev. Bullard of the Methodist Church, participated in the dedicatory service.
It was during Rev. Kenyon's pastorate in 1878, the bell was purchased and placed in the belfry, the parsonage was built during the pastorate of Rev. George Wittet.
In 1899 the church was rebuilt and modernized by being extended to the west, a basement made and the arrangement of the interior changed. The church was dedicated Dec. 21, 1900. The cost of rebuilding at that time was $3,268.67. Rev. L.P. Russell, the pastor, presented the communion table to the church.
In September 1911, Rev. J. Harvey Gunn became pastor. It was through his efforts the first constitution was adopted. Also, the two women's societies, the Women's Missionary Society and the Ladies' Aid, were united into one society, the Ladies' Circle, which continued until 1954. At that time the society was reorganized under the name of Women's Baptist Mission Society.
Rev. George Woodley came as pastor in 1914. He and Mrs. Woodley left from the Chatsworth church two years late to go as missionaries to British East Africa. They served in the Kenya Colony for eight years. The church people gave them a folding organ to take to their African mission.
Rev. H.T. Pierson died in 1917 while serving the local church as pastor. During Rev. Dillard's ministry the church purchased a piano, folding organ and new hymn books.
Rev. S.L. Buchanan was ordained while a minister here in 1921, as was Rev. William Lucas, the following minister, in 1924.
The church celebrated its sixtieth anniversary June 17, 1925. Rev. McGregor, a pastor here forty years previous, gave the evening address. It was during Rev. Lucas' ministry the Home Department was added, also the World Wide Guild and the adult BYPU and the first Daily Vacation Bible School in the community was held. Through the efforts of Rev. Lucas and the Missionary Society, the first union World Day of Prayer was organized.
During the ministry of Rev. L.E. Olson in 1928, the interior of the church was redecorated. At this time Miss Carrie Hall painted a beautiful mural oil painting back of the pulpit. Miss Hall served as church organist for about 65 years and was a Sunday School teacher for many of those years.
The bulletin board was presented by the Men's Brotherhood. Rev. Jesse Powers came in June, 1930. He became an ordained minister while here. Mrs. Powers organized a junior choir. on one occasion she took her choir to Chicago to broadcast over the radio. On the trip they encountered a memorable snow storm.
During e.W. Crocket's pastorate a piano was purchased for the prayer meeting room in the rear of the church.
In 1938 the church was divided. Rev. Crockett and part of the membership established another church know as the Calvary Baptist Church.
During the ministry of Rev. A.W. Waechter the church celebrated its 75th anniversary. Miss Elsie Stoutemyer wrote an historical pageant depicting the early organization of the church which was enacted by the members.
The missionary Woodley's returned to Chatsworth in 1943. Again the church was redecorated for the Homecoming Day, April 30, 1944. rev. M.L. Sullins of the Methodist and Rev. Bischoff of the E.U.B., assisted in the service.
They BYF for young people was organized in 1952. That same year a fire in December did extensive damage to the parsonage. Rev. Floyd Wilson was pastor at the time.
A Baldwin electric organ was presented to the church in a dedication ceremony Nov. 22, 1953, by Ross and Nellie Stoutemyer in memory of their daughter, Elsie, who had long been a member of the church choir.
Rev. Charles Hogan was another pastor who was ordained at Chatsworth on October 24, 1954. The first school of missions for the local church was held during his pastorate. About this time Miss Jo Hall added a lovely mural painting as a background for the baptistry.
In 1955 the church celebrated its 90th anniversary with an all day meeting and a number of former pastors in attendance.
The present pastor, Rev. Allen Marshall, his wife and daughter, Carol came to Chatsworth in 1959. He is completing his sixth year here which is the longest pastorate of any minister in 100 years. Mrs. Marshall works with young people and Carol has served as church organist.
Two fifty year members who observed the 90th anniversary are now deceased. Miss Pearl Desmond, who was church treasurer for 29 years and E. R. Stoutemyer, who served 42 years as deacon and was then made honorary deacon in 1954. He also served many years as trustee.
Recent improvements include a new gas furnace, new cupboards in the church kitchen, repair of the basement and installation of new lights.
A great deal has happened since the Baptist Church was organized, 100 years ago, even before Chatsworth was incorporated as a village.
See photo of the 1890 Choir and read more history of the church here.


Mr. and Mrs. Martin F. Brown of 1105 Wilson Avenue, Kankakee, will observe their golden wedding anniversary on Sept. 1. The former Chatsworth residents will observe the day with a family dinner at Pheasant Run, near St. Charles.  
Miss Ruth Cameron and Martin Brown were married Sept. 1, 1915 at Ellliott. They are the parents of Mrs. Robert
(Gwen) Adams of Chatsworth; Mrs. Joe Stout (Donalda) of Wilmette and John Cameron, Hines VA Hospital, Hines.  
Years ago Mr. Brown was in the grocery business and later in the Commercial National Bank for about five years. He owned and operated an insurance business from 1914 to 1953 in Chatsworth and was the owner of the Bradley Loan Company, Kankakee, from 1947 to 1962.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown moved from Chatsworth to Kankakee in 1963 when he retired. 
Mr. Brown was a member of the famous Chatsworth baseball team and in later years was quite an enthusiast in baseball, organizing exhibition games among the old timers. 
He holds membership in the Masonic Lodge of Chatsworth; is a member of the Bloomington Consistory and Mohammed Temple of the Peoria Shrine. 

See photo here.


George Boomgarden celebrated his 99th birthday Saturday. He was born in Emden, Germany, October 30, 1866. 
He came to the U.S. in 1879 at the age of 13. He was the oldest of a family of eight. His youngest brother is living at the age of 81. 
Mr. Boomgarden has five living children and five deceased. His sons are William, Ben and John and his daughters are Miss Ethel and Mrs. Wilma Reising with whom he lives. He has eight grandchildren. His wife died in 1942.
His occupation was that of farming. He still plays the accordion occassionly. He likes TV and radio. He enjoyed reading before his eyesight failed. 
Mr. Boomgarden likes to keep up on current events. He enjoys good health. He gets out some and goes to Piper City for a hair cut and business once a month. 
This senior citizen is interest in the space age, comets, baseball, and the World Series. He enjoys company.
Next year Mr. Boomgarden will celebrate his 100th centennial a whole year before the Chatsworth Centennial.

See photo here