Found News Treasures


This page contains articles of interest to Chatsworth, contributed to this site, from new found old newspapers 
 or found online.

From an unknown newspaper
Contributed by Jan Arnold Donaldson

Dec. 2, 1931
From the Pantagraph
Forrest--Two 17 year old girls were drowned in the Kankakee river a short distance south of Kankakee at 3 am Sunday when the car in which they were riding enroute to the city crashed through a "danger" sign and plunged into the icy water.
The dead: 
Miss Clarice Lillian Miller, daughter of Carlos Miller, Forrest. 
Miss Gertrude Bryant, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bryant, of near Chatsworth. 
Flick Teeter, 24, driver and owner of the auto, who lives in Kansas, but who has been employed near Chatsworth husking corn, is in St. Joseph's hospital at Kankakee suffering of exposure. Mrs. Minnie Putman, 35, 35, of Bradley, mother of four children, is also in the hospital receiving treatment for exposure after she had been rescued by Charles Hinkle, 32, a fifth member of the party, who was not injured. The latter has been employed on farms near Chatsworth. 
The accident occurred on Route 49 at the Kankakee river bridge. The five persons were riding in a small automobile coupe. They were said to have been going from Piper city to Kankakee. 
At the hospital Teeter said he did not see the warning sign at the curve in the road. The auto ran almost 100 yards to where the road ends at the river's edge. 
When the car hit the water it settled level and the top was almost level with the surface of the river. Hinkle was the first to crawl out a side window and he aided Mrs. Putman through the same exit to safety on the car roof. Teeter climbed out of the opposite side. The girls were dead before they were taken from the auto by Kankakee firemen, who rushed to the scene with pullmotors. They were called by Teeter, who swam ashore with Hinkle. Mrs. Putman was taken off the miniature island by members of the department. 
The inquest was held at 1 pm Sunday at Kankakee by Coroner O.J. Carter. The bodies were returned by J. W. Brown, Forrest undertaker. The Miller girl was taken to the home of her father and the Bryant girl to a mortuary at Chatsworth.
Miss Miller had left home a week ago, according to her father, who said she was going to Kankakee in search of employment. The family heard nothing more about her until word was received Sunday morning of the drowning. 
She was born Jan. 27, 1914, near Cyclone, Ky. Her mother preceded her in death. Surviving are her father and stepmother, one sister, Ruth, and a brother, Wilmer, both at home. The funeral was held at 2:30 pm Tuesday at the Church of God in charge of the Rev. D.F. Nelson. Burial was in Forrest cemetery. 
The funeral of Miss Bryant was held at the home of her parents seven miles northwest of Chatsworth, at 1:15 pm Tuesday and at 2 pm at the First Presbyterian church, Chatsworth. Burial was in the Chatsworth cemetery. 
Besides her parents, Miss Bryant is survived by two sisters and three brothers.

From the Mayville, Michigan Monitor
Story and photo on S.J. Porterfield

Photo and caption on Leo Hubly at age 18 

From an unknown newspaper, recopied by the Pantagraph
Date unknown
Contributed by Jan Arnold Donaldson

CHATSWORTH-A lively fish of reputed large size was held responsible Friday afternoon for the drowning of Dr. Franklin W. Palmer, prominent local physician, in the Kankakee river, eight miles above Wilmington. Two of his companions, Harry Miller of Chicago, a son-in-law and Jack Lannon, Saunemin, narrowly escaped the same fate.
The trio had gone to Wilmington early Friday on a fishing trip. They were in a row boat in the middle of the river. The day was uneventful until 2:45 pm, when a strong jerk on a line denoted action.
Dr. Palmer and Lannon struggled with the line and as they grabbed for the fish as it neared the surface of the water, the boat shipped water and almost immediately capsized.
Dr. Palmer became entangled in the fishing line, and unable to free himself, sank. Lannon went under twice while struggling shoreward. Miller grabbed an oar and was able to stay afloat until help came.
The doctor's body was recovered an hour later.
At an inquest held at the O.L. Addleman funeral home in Wilmington Friday night a verdict of accidental death by drowning in the Kankakee river was announced by a coroner's jury. The body was removed to the P.L. McGuire funeral home in Chatsworth where it remained until the funeral hour.
He was born at Sandwich, Ill., June 11, 1873. In September, 1911 at LaSalle he married Ellen Fitzgerald. The couple first resided in Peoria, later removing to Roberts and then to Chatsworth where he had since conducted his practice.
Surviving are his widow and two daughters, Mrs. H. Miller and Miss Frances Palmer, of Chicago, and son, Gerald, Washington, D.C. 
The funeral was held Monday morning at SS. Peter-Paul's church.--Pantagraph
Note: This would be Dr. Franklin W. Palmer and the year of the death is listed on findagrave as July 5, 1934 and he is buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Chatsworth. Memorial is here.

From the Roberts Herald
February 8, 1939
Contributed by Jan Arnold Donaldson


Three men were instantly killed and a fourth fatally injured, dying soon after an accident which occurred at 9:15 pm, Friday, February 3, one mile and three quarters south of Chenoa on Route 66. The three instantly killed were Paul Trunk, Sr., Carl Weymouth and Nelson Francis, all having broken necks. The fourth was Claud Sea who was taken to the Fairbury hospital where he died from a fractured skull and other injuries. A fifth passenger was Roy Entwistle who suffered bad bruises and shock. All were from Chatsworth and were returning home from Bloomington.
The owner and driver of the Chatsworth car , Mr. Weymouth, had gone to Bloomington to undergo an examination for an insurance company. He had been injured in an auto accident last year. Mr. Trunk accompanied him on business. Mr. Entwistle had visited his mother who is a patient in the hospital in Bloomington. Mr. Francis and Mrs. Sea had gone to Bloomington to report at the Social Securities office.
According to the McLean County coroner, the truck driver, M. Spaulding, said that the accident occurred when he swerved to avoid running into a snow bank which extended three or four feet over the pavement. The car then stuck the front end of the truck.
Mr. Trunk was the head of the Trunk-Marr Company, later called Trunk Oil Company. He was well known in Roberts. He is survived by a wife and one son, Paul, Jr, a student in business college.
Mr. Weymouth was an employee of the Shell Oil Company, He leaves a wife. Mr. Francis leaves his mother and two sisters. He and Mr. Sea were employed by the T.P.&W. R.R. Mr. Entwistle is  a dealer in used cars.
Claude Sea was a young man who has visited Roberts frequently. He is well known to many of our people. Mr. Entwistle also is quite well known here. Mr. Weymouth and Mr. Francis were not so well known here but were acquainted with several of our people.
This accident happened at nearly the same place  that Roy Stutzman was killed a few weeks ago.
Note: I will add the articles relating to this story from the Chatsworth Plaindealer as soon as possible.

From the Fairbury Blade
August 19, 1898
Contributed by Jan Arnold Donaldson
Frank Bangs, of Chatsworth, a member of troop K, First Illinois Cavalry, died at Chickamauga, August 12. His father, H.M. Bangs, arrived at Chickamauga just before his son's death. The remains were brought to Chatsworth for burial.

From The Aberdeen-Angus Journal
Built Good Herd in Eleven Years
 While Christ Shafer of Paton, Iowa is not very old in the Aberdeen Angus business, he has collected a very good herd of cattle of about 40 head of the Erica and Blackbird families. The bulls in service are Entainer and a son of Eursus of Fairfield, out of Erica 20th of Plateau Farms. On this farm can be seen an Enchantress Trojan, Erica Sr bull calf by Everon and out of Erora R that is in a class by himself. Mr. Shafer has a 600 acre farm six and one half miles southeast of Paton having lived there for the past eleven years. He formerly lived at Chatsworth, Illinois. 

Froebe Brothers -Pioneers and their Homebuilt Aircraft/Royal Aviation
Image of Froebe Brothers and their helicopter

Doug Froebe and his brothers built a Heath Parasol in 1927. They later went on to build Canada’s first helicopter known as the Froebe Helicopter. Both Nicholas and Theodore met misfortune in the 1940s; the latter was killed in a Heath Parasol the brothers had acquired. Heather Emberley interviewed Doug Froebe in July, 1979. This is an excerpt of that interview. 
Doug Froebe: I was born February 7, 1912 in Chatsworth, Illinois. We lived there until 1921, when we moved to Canada and bought a farm in Homewood, Manitoba. While living in Illinois during the First World War, we saw many old aircraft flying over the farm from Rantoul Field, and I guess that’s where I became interested in flying machines to start with. There were Jennies and de Havilland airplanes, and all kinds flying over. They trained at Rantoul Field about 50 miles north of us. Of course, I was eight years old when we left Illinois. I’d always been making model airplanes out of shingles and whipple trees and things like that. After we moved to Canada we continued to build things – snow sleds and snowmobiles, but always had the airplane idea in the back of our heads. Heath Parasol came out with a kit – build your own – which we sent for and built. 
What year was that? Doug Froebe: Oh, that’s hard to say… 1927 maybe. 
You mentioned flying yourself. Where did you learn to fly and how did that come about?
Doug Froebe: Well, I talked to Konnie Johanneson and told him we had tried to get the thing (Parasol) off the ground at the farm. He said I’d better go up in his (DH.60 Gipsy) Moth and see what an airplane feels like when you get it in the air. So I went up with him for 20 minutes, and I followed him on the controls while he took off and flew it around. The second time he said: “OK, you take it off”. So I pushed the throttle open, but he said: “Clear open”. Seemed like it was ready to jump out the front end as it was. I was going along on the wheels, and he said: “Well, when are you going to take it off? We’re going 60 miles per hour now”. So I hauled back on the stick and the thing jumped in the air. He said: “Take it between your two fingers, you’re not handling a plow now”. He corrected me all the way around and the third time I took the thing off and flew it, chopped the throttle and brought it in and landed it and he didn’t say a single word. I thought I’d made a pretty good landing, but I guess it was par for the course. From then on I felt confident enough to try to fly the Heath. We always had a tail-heavy problem with it, so we moved the landing gear back in order to get the tail off the ground. This time I turned it loose on a timothy patch. The tail was up and it was moving right along. I looked down and the wheel was off the ground about three feet, so I chopped the throttle and came down on one wheel and on the other. I had to hold the stick clear over to the right to keep the wing up. We warped the wings to counteract for the engine torque. The next day we tried it again and this time I took it off, cleared the fence and went over the neighbour’s barn. When I looked out over the barn I was lost. The country was so different from the air. I started to make a slow turn and went behind some trees. I would say I was 100 feet high and things seemed to be sinking right down towards the road. Of course I had been reading all the instruction books on flying; to be sure and maintain flying speed, so I shoved the nose right down at the road. I thought I must be headed downwind, so I started a turn in the direction from where I had taken off. I’d made a complete 180-degree turn by the time I got the wing up and straightened out. I plunked right down on a three-point landing right in a wheat field. The ground was so soft it wouldn’t even roll. I jumped out and was so happy the thing would even fly. My brothers kept looking for me. When they heard the engine go silent, they came chasing after me. They said: “The last time we saw you, you were headed this way. How come you’re heading the other way?” They couldn’t figure out that I could make a 180-degree turn at about 100 feet altitude. 
In the building of the Heath, how did you get the experience needed to construct an aircraft? 
Doug Froebe: We had the plans from the Heath Parasol people in Chicago, and it was the Mechanics Illustrated magazine that had the instructions on how to go about fabricating an aircraft. I think that was where we got most of the information on wing coverings and things like that which the blueprints didn’t cover very thoroughly. It did cover the airframe and ribs, wings, etc. The fourth time we were going to fly, the wind was in the west. I took off in a westerly direction this time, cleared the fence and was about as high as the telephone wires, waving at the neighbours going by. At the other end of the field, which was a mile away, there were high tension wires and telephone wires below the high tension wires. About the time I got up to the high tension wires, they were level with the windshield, so I just shoved the stick ahead and the Parasol came down. This experience discouraged us from trying it again. 
Image of Froebe Brothers, Theodore, Douglas and Nicholas
What about your two brothers, Nicholas and Theodore? 
Doug Froebe: Well, during the War they acquired the Heath Parasol that Art Brazier had built at MacDonald Brothers. They’d bought the thing and it had a two-cylinder Aeronca (C2) engine, 35 horsepower. They had taken flying lessons at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. My younger brother, Theodore, had about 40 hours in it, so did my older brother. One of the neighbours was watching him and said it looked like he was trying to loop the Heath and on the third attempt he was just too low to the ground and it hit the ground after he pulled it up into a stall. My older brother, Nick, became interested in spraying crops and he flew an Aeronca Champion with a $600 spray outfit on it. I guess by the looks of the accident he must have made a turn and pulled the thing up in a hammerhead stall turn of some kind – trying to save a little time or something. I guess he had 60 gallons of chemical in the tanks and it stalled and just rolled the thing over in a cartwheel and that’s the way it cracked up. It burned up. That was in 1942, I guess. This article originally appeared in the Summer, 2006 edition of Altitude; the quarterly publication of the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada. The top image is of the Froebe brothers helicopter. The second image if of the three Froebe brothers, Theodore, Douglas and Nicholas. Both images are from the museum’s archive.

A Thesis written by Sister Colette Garrity in 1947
Click to read.

From the Pantagraph
November 7, 1984
Chatsworth--Once the huge building was alive with the sound of music. People came from all around to dance in the elegant ballroom. It was, for many years, the place to be in Chatsworth on a Saturday night.
Now the building stands quiet and empty in a state of deterioration and will fall prey to a demolition crew this month.
The building, located at the corner of Fourth and Locust streets, was first call The Grand Opera House and later The Grand Ballroom.
J.C. Corbett and T.E. Baldwin began building the Grand in 1901. On October 17, 1902, a grand opening was held with the play, "A Ruined Life," by E. Lawrence Lee playing to a full house.
For many years, there was a play nearly every week. Some plays were performed by companies. Tickets for reserved seats were always sold at Haberkorn's Store.
Actor and sign painter Tom Fletcher's theatrical company was in financial difficulty so he decided to remain in Chatsworth. With his sign painting, he did much of the advertising for the owners of the Grand. Fletcher also took part in hometown plays.
Burch's Orchestra, a popular group during that time, presented musical programs in the Grand. According to Louise Stoutmyer of Chatsworth, "If you could get Burch's Orchestra, you really had something."
Commencements and other community events were also held in The Grand. The stage was elaborately decorated, for instance, with many green plants for the commencements.
Because there were only two or three graduates many times, they might be seated in rocking chairs. The graduates themselves were the speakers for the occasion, speaking on complicated subjects.
Political orators, such as William Jennings Bryant, also spoke at The Grand.
In the early 1930's, dancing was stressed at The Grand, and it became known as The Grand Ballroom. Many of the big bands of the era played there to huge crowds. Appearances were made by Tiny Hill, Dick Jurgens, Eddie Howard, Cab Calloway, Hush O'Hare, Jan Garber and others.
Once elegant chandeliers still hung from the ceiling of the ballroom with some of the pieces missing. What once must have been a beautiful wooden floor is now warped and sagging.
The walls are deteriorating, destroying the murals painted there by artist Paul Zorn, whose mother had inherited The Grand from her father. Zorn pained South Seas scenes on all the walls in the huge ballroom, with the figures larger than life.
He finished the painting in the summer of 1943, just before he entered the armed service. Zorn died in World War II.
The lower story of the Grand has housed many different businesses. For instance, in 1912, Charles Rosensweet gave up his rooming house in the Gardner Building and started a picture show in one of the storerooms of The Grand.
In 1915, J. A. Leggate opened a lunchroom in one of the storerooms and William Lavenstein had a confectionery and ice cream parlor in another. P.L. McGuire began an undertaking business in rooms in The Grand in 1927.
The last business to operate in The Grand was the Junque and Antiques Shop of William Durante, who leases the building. Durante's business was recently sold out because of illness.
A storm this spring ripped time roofing from The Grand building and scattered it causing a potentially hazardous situation.
Due to the building's rapid deterioration, the Chatsworth town board has filed suit against the Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company, present owners of the building, and Durantee, leasee, claiming that the building is a public nuisance.
"Their purpose is to abate the public nuisance and bring it up to meet the standards of the town of Chatsworth." said Steve Weeks of the Harvey Traub law office, who is handling the suit.
Note: See the original building here.
Note: Read about the William Jennings Bryant appearance here.

On Friday, February 3, 1939, four area men were killed in a late evening automobile accident on U.S. route 66, about 2 miles south of Chenoa. The crash took the lives of Carl Weymouth, owner and driver of the car, Paul Trunk, Sr., Nelson Francis, and Claude M. See. A fifth passenger, Roy Entwistle, was slightly injured. The men had left Bloomington and were on their way back home to Chatsworth. 
A Missouri truck driver, E.J. Spaulding, was southbound when he swerved to avoid a snowdrift extending into the road. Weymouth's car then struck the truck and rolled some 140 feet. Spaulding was not injured.

On Friday, February 3, 1939, four area men were killed in a late evening automobile accident on U.S. Route 66, about 2 miles south of Chenoa. The crash took the lives of Carl Weymouth, owner and driver of the car, Paul Trunk, Sr., Nelson Francis, and Claude M.

From WJEZ:
Join Dana on Saturdays and Sundays, Noon-6 as she helps you to enjoy your weekends! Dana resides in Pontiac and has lived in the surrounding area (Chatsworth)  her whole life. She is a graduate from Bradley University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Her job at WJEZ is her first experience in radio, but that hasn’t stopped her from diving head first into being on-air. Dana enjoys the fast-paced and ever-changing qualities of her job and is excited to see how her education can help grow the station.

Contributed by Janice Arnold Dowell
From the Paxton Record-Originally from the Chicago Post
May 18, 1865

On Saturday, the 6th instant, at about 5 pm, tow men, named Wm. W. Botsford and Isadore Dureaux, came into town and visited the saloon. They were armed with revolvers and bowie knives, and said they were in pursuit of one John C. Lister, for whom they had a state warrant, and who was moving to Kansas with his wife and four children. The charge alleged against him was that he had seduced a young girl near Middleport, Illinois. They had followed him from Onarga during the afternoon, and passed him on the way, they coming to this place, and he, heavily laden with goods, with four horses, encamped for the night one and a half miles from town.
At about 8 pm, they took their horses from the hotel stable and started to the place, where he was encamped, and found him, after a tiresome day's journey, already retired for the night in his wagon bed--surrounded by his family. They awoke him and said they had a warrant for him and that he must deliver himself up. He (Lister) immediately arose and was getting out of the wagon when Isadore Dureaux fired. The ball, passing through the canvas of the wagon, entered the right breast of Lister and proved fatal within fifteen minutes.
I was called to see him, and on arriving at the place about an hour after the occurrence found him dead. An inquest was held on the body, and the men Botsford and Dureaux were taken in custody for the murder and went to jail. It afterwards appeared that they did not have a warrant.
It is a sad occurrence to find a woman with her children watching the dead body of her husband, who was not long since in the prime of health, buoyant with hope for their new home, on the prairie surrounded by the gloom of night, save the feeble light of the moon. No more touching scene can be--in the midst of stranger as they were--marching over the spot where the body lay. The justice due them should be meted out, and we trust that it will be done.
The is the second man, we understand, that this Dureaux has shot, and should this community, who know his vile character, fail to punish him, it may not be his last.
Cor. Chicago Post

Info on the Nomellini Brothers:
In searching for the Nomellini brothers who operated "The Palace of Sweets" in Chatsworth, I have found this:
Francesco Ugo "Hugo" Nomellini and brother Guido "Bill" Nomellini were from Italy and operated these sweet shops in other towns too, like Gilman and Watseka.
"Hugo" died in a freak shooting accident in August, 1948 and he and "Bill" are buried in Gilman.

May 9, 2017
Article from Target Shopper: part of Ford County Record
Photo is from facebook

May 8, 2017
103 Years Young
Ruth Beryl Irwin celebrate her 103rd birthday on May 1, 2017, at Piper City Rehab & Living Center. Irwin was born and raised on a far west of Cropsey and moved to Chatsworth in 1941. She was a teacher at the Miller Country School, then married Milford Irwin in 1937. They were married 73 years before he died. Irwin has belonged to many clubs, such as the Germanville Club for more than 20 years, the Kitchen Band for nearly 20 years, the Children's Choir and the Methodist Church Women. In her earlier years, Irwin was very involved with her church and community. She currently resides in Piper City. 
Below from facebook is Beryl and daughter Bette Jane.

Short bio of Hugh E. Corbett from "Past and present of Will County, Illinois" Vol. 1

HUGH E CORBETT- Is a native of Livingston county Illinois and the date of his birth 1871. He is a son of Thomas and Ellen Kane Corbett who are old residents of that county. He was educated in the county schools and in the Chatsworth high school. In 1899 he commenced a business and scientific course of study at Valparaiso, Indiana completing which he then taught school for three years and then graduated from the Valparaiso school. He studied one year in the law office of AC Norton in Pontiac was then admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of his profession in Elkhart, Indiana as a partner of Charles F Waltz. He remained there six years and then came to Joliet and formed a partnership with Enishia Meers, with offices in the Young building. 

Article on Don Deany From the Lafayette Leader (Indiana)
June5, 2009

Don Deany, 74, Watseka, grew up in a neighboring county but spent most of his teaching and administrative career in Iroquois County. He was part of both Middleport Grade School and the Crescent City schools, as well as the Regional Office of School.
Grade school 
I'm Donald Deany. I was born in Pontiac in Livingston County in 1935. I grew up in Ford County, east of Cullom. I attended a one-room country school until about the sixth grade. The school burned over the Christmas holidays after it had been cleaned. Then I went to the school where my father's family had attended and my great-aunt had taught school at one time. It was just down the road from my great-grandfather's farm and my great-great grandparents farms. After the school burned and we finished the year, the schools in Livingston County and part of Ford County consolidated and I finished at Cullom Grade School. I went on to Cullom High School and graduated in the class of '53.

High school 
One of the things about going to high school at that time school was on the edge of town. After basketball practice I had friends who would take their shotguns to school in the morning and put them in their lockers. After school and after basketball practice for an hour or so they would go hunt in the land north of town. I often think of that and how we would have the state police and FBI and everyone else at school checking out these people and probably be carting them off in handcuffs today. When I graduated from high school, I knew there wasn't enough land for me to farm so I started school as a business education major. I attended several universities. I had my traveling around. I started in Austin, Texas, at St. Edward's University. Then I finished at Illinois State University where I got my Bachelor's degree while I was teaching school, at that time, you could take an exam. I took the teacher's exam. I passed it. I taught in Chatsworth for a teacher on a leave of absence and I taught in Forrest. Then I went back to Chatsworth for a few years.

Middleport Grade School
In 1963 Joyce Sloter and I were married and we came here. I became the upper grade teacher, principal, and coach at Middleport Grade School in Pittwood. The building still stands a block south of the Pittwood Road. I kind of like to talk about the Pittwood school. When I was there we only had 67 kids. We had some good athletes. When the season ended one year, we put the basketball jerseys on and we had the Trudeaus, Lyndon Swanson, Kerry Bell, Dennis Koonce, Cluver and played an intramural ballgame. If you go back and look at the records in the '70s with Watseka High School, those Pittwood boys were all very good players. They continued on and some played in college.
Crescent-Iroquois High School 
I was there for three years and in 1966 I went to Crescent City as the grade school superintendent. I also taught three classes of math. The next year I became the high school administrator too. In '67 I became the superintendent of the Crescent City school. I had gone to Crescent in 1966 and was there for 17 years. It was one of the fortune things as people retired we were able to find very good teachers. A reason a lot of the students were so successful, in addition to their own ability and talent, was a fine faculty. One of the sad things in my life will be attend the Crescent-Iroquois graduation this weekend and see the last time some of those faculty members will be teaching school. I was able to hire a great group of teachers. We had some great students and great basketball teams. We can all remember the team in 1977 that went to the state tournament. We didn't win but we were one of the smaller schools to make it to the Assembly Hall, which brought a great deal of pride in the community. We think of the fine basketball teams through the years.
In one of the classes we had there was a student who did ophthalmology, another was a dentist and a third had a doctorate degree in one of the other sciences. It was probably unusual there were three in one class. It tells you a lot about the ability that those students had. There were other students who did very well in musical careers, farming, whatever. There was a lot of talent, hard working people who wanted to succeed. We have to salute people like that today. I can remember one of the days when I was at the high school I parked my car away from the front of the building at the grade school. When I got home that night some jokester had taken confetti and put it in my car. Until the day I traded it, whenever I turned on the heat you were likely to get some confetti coming from the heater. I was glad to get rid of that because it seemed I was always getting confetti. I don't know how they managed to get down in the heater but they did.

In 1983 I went into the Regional Office of Schools in the basement of the courthouse in Watseka. Mr. Clifford Bury retired in April of 1986 when I was appointed the regional superintendent of school. I served there until 1995. There was reorganization from 57 regional superintendents to 35. I retired and when I retired I thought, "Oh, this is going to be nice." I couldn't work in Illinois because of retirement laws, so I went over and substituted in Indiana for a few days. It just happened there was a parochial school in Kentland where I was subbing that needed a principal. I told the pastor that if he had trouble finding a principal that I would be glad to help out. In June we came back from vacation and there was a phone call saying, "We have everybody but the principal. Will you come?" I went over and talked with him. I thought this would be interesting and I could work three days a week. I did this for two years and I retired again. In the middle of the summer the phone rang and the pastor at the church in Fowler said the nuns have left, "Would you be our principal? We have a lady who wants to be principal but we have to have somebody with an Indiana principal license. I went to Fowler for two years. I retired again. That same summer I got another phone call and I drove to Rensselaer for two years. I also had a lady who filled in when I wasn't there. With my 36 years in public school and my 11 years in parochial schools I accumulated a lot of teaching. One of the sad things was that early on we had the vocational center, which is now the Administrative Center of Iroquois County. I was here when that began and as the secretary and on the regional board of school trustees I had to sign the lease transferring it over to county ownership. Now, you can see we have students going to the KCC center. It was a sad day because at that time, that type of education was needed for student in our area. 

I have the Irish background. Back in history, one of my great-grandmothers was buried in Loda at the Pine Ridge Cemetery. A lot of the Deany are buried in Gilman Cemetery at St. Mary's. My grandfather was the one in that family who did not work on the railroad. The Deany family became the engineers and the train conductors. One of my great-uncles was the chief attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad office in Chicago. My mother's family came from Germany. This summer we're having a Dohman family reunion. The Dohman came from Dortmun and my mother's relatives are still there. A couple of my mother's relatives are still there. I have not been back to Germany or Ireland. We had planned on doing that when 9/11 came and we couldn't convince ourselves to take off after that happened. My mother's parents went to Germany when she was a little girl. She had an older sister and an older brother and a younger brother that went with the. Grandma got so homesick she wanted to go back after the war. The inflation came so grandpa knew he had to get out of there. He had a 10 acre farm. He sold that and, evidently, he had a lot of money and he still had to wire a relative here to loan him some money for the rest of the passage. He came back and worked on a farm until he could afford to rent a farm. He rented a farm just south of Cullom, not too far from where my father's family had lived. He bought some land around Charlotte, which is in between Chatsworth and Cullom. My mother still has part of the land grandpa had bought just before World War II.

From the Pantagraph:


CHATSWORTH — One person was injured in a hot-air balloon mishap at the Chatsworth sesquicentennial celebration Thursday evening, but the balloon landed safely a short distance away. Four balloons were preparing to launch shortly before 6:30 p.m. when the incident occurred. Witnesses said the wind was calm before the accident. Livingston County Sheriff Tony Childress said Friday, “Apparently, there was a wind gust that caused one balloon to lift up.” The basket tipped and the pilot fell out, he said. The pilot was transported to OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington. Childress said he did not know whether the pilot, whom he did not name, was hospitalized. “It's our understanding at this point that the injuries were not life-threatening,” said Childress. “No one was injured other than the individual that fell out of the basket.” The sheriff said the incident remains under investigation. Mayor Richard Runyon, who was at opening ceremonies elsewhere at the time, said, “Luckily they knew enough to go past the power lines and out of town before pulling the rope” to bring down the balloon. According to one witness, Wayne Germain of Pontiac, “People followed it on the ground and told them what to do.”  Other bystanders told him some passengers got bumps and bruises when the baskets dragged along the ground. “Thank God there weren't any serious injuries,” he said. Germain shot video as the drama unfolded. “It was frightening,” said Germain, noting the wind had been calm for hours. “Out of nowhere, a gust of wind came — 20 mph at least,” he said. “Twenty seconds later, it was calm again.” But in those 20 seconds, there was chaos — and it didn't end when the wind stopped. Four balloons were lined up to take riders aloft and crews had just started to fill the colorful balloons with hot air when the gust blew in. Shortly after the video begins, the wind grabs one of the balloons. Germain notes, “You can hear the rope snap and see a guy fall about 4 feet.” That balloon collided with a second balloon, which had its basket dragged along the ground until it collided with a third balloon, goes airborne, then hits the ground hard before rising up again, with the pilot hanging almost upside down on the side of the basket. He pulls on a cord and falls as the basket hit the ground hard with the balloon again going aloft — this time, without its pilot. Germain said it was fortunate two of the teams were able to quickly deflate their balloons, none of the balloons went into the crowd of spectators and the pilot-less balloon was able to land safely with directions from the ground.  Childress said the balloon “didn't crash” but floated and came to rest at another location. Germain, a hot-air balloon enthusiast, said, “In my 30 years of watching hot-air balloons … I've never seen a gust of wind come across like that.” His video of the incident quickly went viral on the internet, receiving more than 100,000 views on Facebook, in addition to being shown on various television outlets. Germain said he has received calls “from around the world” from people involved in hot-air ballooning who want to use his video for educational and training purposes and he is happy to share it. “I'm glad I got the opportunity to video it,” he said. Although he described it as “a freak accident,” Germain said seeing how quickly conditions can change has cooled his desire to go airborne. “I always wanted to fly in a balloon but couldn't afford it,” he said. “Now, I don't want to go. No, thank you.” The Chatsworth sesquicentennial celebration continues Saturday, with music, fireworks and other entertainment, but Runyon said the hot-air balloon rides will not be rescheduled.

Aelred John Knittles Born: September 30, 1910 - Chatsworth, IL Died: May 24, 1970 - Albuquerque, NM Father Aelred was invested in 1929 and ordained in 1937. Although he was assigned to Roger Bacon High School, Cincinnati, he never arrived because the appointment was shifted to San Angelo, TX. There he served as assistant pastor and had charge of San Jose Mission. Two brief appointments followed: Our Lady of Sorrows, Kansas City, KS, and St. John, Roswell, NM. Aelred made a "temporary" move to Jemez Pueblo, NM, but remained there 7 years. In 1954 he went to neighboring Peña Blanca as assistant pastor and in charge of the missions at Cochiti and Sile. He remained there until his death. Aelred regarded his silver jubilee trip to Europe which included a papal audience as the high point in his 59 years. He was a friar for 40 years.

House fire in Chatsworth 
The home of the Glen Bailey family caught fire on the opening day (June 8, 2017) of the celebration. Here are personal pictures taken by my brother Randy Runyon.


Obit of Thomas Bergan-1991 from the Pantagraph

Chatsworth-Thomas Charles "Charlie" Bergan, 83, lifelong resident of Charlotte, Livingston Cty., died at 12:05 am. , Sunday, May 12, 1991, at the Skilled Care Unit of Fairbury Hospital. He had been ill since August, 1990.
His funeral mass will be at 10 am Wednesday at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Rev. Charles Karl officiating. Burial will be at St. Patrick's Cemetery, Chatsworth.
Pallbearers were Charles Freehill, Mike Freehill, John Sterrenberg, Walt Sterrenberg,  Jim Bergan and Tom Bergan.
He was born July 28, 1907, at Charlotte Township the son of Thomas Francis and Catherine McGuire Bergan.
Surviving are three brothers, Donald and James Dale, both of Chatsworth, and John, Forrest; two sisters, Cecele Sterrenberg, Chatsworth and Marjorie Freehill of Melvin.
Mr. Bergan attended St. Patrick's Academy, Chatsworth, and graduated from Chatsworth High School in 1925. He farmed for 66 years in Charlotte Township on the farm that had been owned by his parents, raising Hereford Cattle and White Leghorn chickens for many years.
An avid Cub fan for many years, he enjoyed playing baseball as a hobby and during the 1930's and 1940's he was right fielder for the Livingston County Tri-League, as well as for several other area teams.
Mr. Bergan was a member of the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Chatsworth Knights of Columbus and Livingston County Farm Bureau.

From the Pantagraph-June 13, 1901
The exercises of the convent school will be held in S.S. Peter and Paul church, Saturday, June 13. The alumni of the high school will give a reception and banquet to the graduates at the school house on Wednesday evening, June 12.
Chatsworth camp No. 1820, M.W.A., will hold memorial services in the park on Sunday, June 16, at 2 o'clock pm. There will be music and addresses by Rev. J.J. Quinn and Rev. I.W. Johnson.

Chatsworth Commencement
Chatsworth, June 12--(Special)-- The twentieth annual commencement of the Chatsworth high school was held at the Baptist church at 8 pm, Tuesday, June 11. The program given was of follows: Music-"Under the Palm and Pine", W.D. Kenneth; Invocation-Rev. I.W. Johnson; Music-Medley Overture, "Harvest Days" -H. Von Filger; Salutatory-Ezra Wunderlich; Oration-"Who Hesitates, Fails"- Alta Bernice Messler; Oration- "The Genius of Napoleon Bonaparte"- Emanuel Bertel Ferrias; Music-"By the Rippling Schuyikill's Shore" - A.L. Fisher; Cornet and trombone- John Burch and J. Armstong; Oration-"America Means Opportunity"-Frank Anton Ortman; Oration- "Looking Backward"-Andrew George Meister; Oration-"It"-Cora Belle Broadhead; Music-Selection from the Burgomaster"- Gustav Luders; Presentation of diplomas-Supt. C. F. Van Doren. Music-"Coon! Coon! Coon!"-Leo Friedman. Music by Burch's orchestra. Miss Ruth Virgil Spencer, the valedictorian of the class died on May 11.

Obit of Joseph L. DeLong, Civil War Hero from a Kankakee, IL. newspaper.
I have been looking for years for this. It was recently added to his memorial at Findagrave by Roy DeLong.

March 17, 1900
Joseph L. Delong, an esteemed citizen of Bradley, was instantly killed Saturday evening while returning to his home from the republican primary polls.
The only witness to the accident was D. Struder, who stood about ten feet behind Mr. DeLong and who relates the circumstances as follows: He was going to his home on the east side of the Illinois Central tracks. Mr. Delong and himself stopped at the street crossing just north of the depot while a north-bound freight train was passing. Mr. DeLong started across the tracks and was struck by the south-bound New Orleans limited which was running at high speed. Mr. DeLong had just stepped upon the track when he was hit. His body was caught by the pilot and thrown against the boiler and then projected about forty feet where a blood stain marks the spot of this fall. He body was then bounded and rolled about sixty feet further until it stopped under the operator's window in the depot. Mr. Struder says that Mr. DeLong was dead when he got to him.
Mr. DeLong was 61 or 62 years of age. He was born in Ohio where he enlisted and went to the Civil War, in which he served three years. He went to Gilman in the early 70's and engaged in the nursery business. In 1875 he went into the merchandising business in Chatsworth, where he burned out three times. In 1893 he came to Bradley. 
He was of an inventive turn of mind and his business for several years has been that of a salesman on the road, selling a number of ingenious wooden novelties that he invented and had made at Schumacher's shop in Bradley. He was a well educated man and often regretted that he had not fitted himself to one profession. 
Mr. DeLong leaves a wife and four children--Albert, who resides in Iowa; Raymond, night ticket agent for the I.C.R. at Kankakee; Gussie, a teacher in the Bradley public schools and Mary, residing at home. 
Funeral will be in the St. Patrick's church at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. Members of the GAR are invited to attend.

From Chatsworth, Illinois Sesquicentennial-2017:

Ted Takasaki

 Hall of Fame Legendary Angler

Born Dec. 16, 1957

Graduated from Chatsworth High School 1976-Salutatorian

Graduated from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana 1982

Systems analyst-Arthur Anderson & Co. 1982-1983

Computer Sales-Hewlett Packard Co. 1983-1999

President-Lindy Fishing Tackle 1999-2008

Full Time fishing Professional 2008 to present

A Fishing Hall of Fame Legendary Angler, Ted is one of the top competitors on the National Walleye Tour. Ted won the prestigious Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) Classic Championship in 1998 and the 1995 PWt Top Gun Angler Award. In 2002, he smashed the all-time, one day PWT tournament record with limit of 5 walleyes that weighted 53.2 pounds.

From 1998 to 2008, Ted was the President of Lindy Fishing Tackle, on the nation's largest freshwater fishing tackle manufacturers. During that time, the company doubled revenue and quadrupled profit under his leadership.

He was also a part of the Master's Walleye Circuit (MWC) Team of the Year in 1991. His credentials include qualifying for the MWC Championship 5 times, the PWT Classic 11 times, and has made it to the FLW Walleye Tour Classic 7 times, with several top ten's to his credit.

In addition, Ted was a part of the team that won the coveted 1993 Mercury National Tournament held on Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin.

He has been featured in many national outdoor magazines, has conducted hundreds of walleye seminars across the Midwest, hosted numerous TV shows and is considered one of America's Walleye and multi-species experts.

From Findagrave:

Birth: Sep. 30, 1889 Lutesville Bollinger County Missouri, USA Death: Oct., 1949 Bloomington McLean County Illinois, USA

Mrs. George A. Sutton, formerly of the Grassy community and later of Columbia, MO, died in a Bloomington, IL hospital, following a lingering illness. Funeral services were held Tuesday and burial was in Chatsworth, IL. Mrs. Sutton was born at Lutesville, MO September 30, 1889, a daughter of Sarah and George Clifton. She was married July, 3, 1908 to Benton R. Dellinger, to whom three children were born, John Dellinger of Chatsworth, IL; Virgil Dellinger and Mrs. Alma Brock of Towanda, IL. Following the death of Mr. Dellinger she married Thomas Schweain of Marble Hill on February 24, 1916. No children were born to this union. On March 11, 1922 she was married to George Sutton and two children were born. They are George Sutton of Belleville, IL and Glenda Mae Sutton of Columbia, MO; also surviving are John M. Sutton of Indianapolis, IN; Gerald Sutton of Rock Island, IL and Wilma Gerbracht of Chattsworth, IL, who are step-children; also three sisters Mrs. Florence Johnson and Mrs. Laura Baker of Kankakee, IL; and Mrs. Arizona McNulty of Long Island, NY; one brother, Burette Clifton of Lutesville, MO and ten grandchildren. (MARBLE HILL BANNER PRESS,

From the Pantagraph
Article about Mike Kerber under "Those who Served"
August 27, 2015

It was a brief but memorable concert for Mike Kerber. A sergeant in a the 101st Division artillery unit during the Vietnam War, Kerber spent a lot of his time on mountain tops in the Ashau Valley during his service from July 1969 to March 1970. “During a day that wasn’t very busy, the 101st Airborne band flew out to see us and were playing some music for us,” Kerber recalls. “All of a sudden the enemy started to mortar us. Mortars started landing very close to the band. It didn’t take long for them to gather up their instruments and jump into a bunker. As soon as the mortars quit, they took off.” A Chatsworth native who resides in Normal, Kerber says his unit provided support during the famous battle of Hamburger Hill shortly before he arrived. “We had three different artillery units get overrun before I got there and after I left,” he says. “I was a lucky guy.” Kerber’s unit was placed on the top of mountains so “you could fire in any direction instead of being down in a valley. It was not like Colorado. It may have only been 1,000 feet high, but for a farm boy from Illinois that was a mountain.” The elevated life was challenging, according to Kerber.
“It was normally very cloudy. A lot of supply helicopters couldn’t bring things to us,” says Kerber. “We might be in the same clothes for a couple weeks. We might be a month between showers. We ate a lot of cold food from cans. It rained a lot, so we were wet a lot. But we still had it better than the infantry out walking through the jungle.” 
See photos from Mike's visit to Vietnam 43 years later here.

Stories from 1938 Pantagraph
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