Looking Back 2010-2017

"Looking Back Over the Years"
From The Blade

 January 1, 1970
The Chatsworth Virginia Theater will be reopening January 3 and 4. David McKinley of Chatsworth and Robert McKinley of Bloomington will be managing the theater.  
January 12, 2000
Wednesday was a special day for members of the Chatsworth Historical Society, when the famed, much talked about, "Caboose" was moved from the sidetrack of the T P &W railroad to special tracks that were installed in "The Grand" parking lot, the site of the former building that many years ago, housed the Grand Ballroom.  
January 17, 1980
Fire Tuesday at noon roared through a huge barn on old 24 in Chatsworth used by the Max Moore Construction company as a shop. The blaze started when a late model van, being tuned, backfired and ignited the engine. The blaze spread to the ceiling and there was no stopping it, despite the efforts of firemen from Chatsworth, Piper City and Forrest. The barn contained the firm's office, all records, construction equipment, and an apartment for an employee. 
January 26, 2000
Robert Dohman of Chatsworth will be recognized by the Illinois Pork Producers Association at the upcoming IL Pork Expo in Peoria. He will receive the 2000 Swine Manager of the Year.  
January 31, 1990
Chatsworth residents Ron Briscoe, Kelli Gerth and Erma Kahle and Forrest resident Cathy Roth were among 1,460 students at the Illinois State University chosen for the Fall 1989 Dean's List. 

February 18, 1910
One of the most daring bank robberies in the history of Livingston county took place at Chatsworth Tuesday morning. The robbers secured between nine and ten thousand dollars in cold cash.  
February 18, 1960
Forrest, Odell, and Chatsworth set the stage for gambling raids by the Livingston County Sheriff's department. In Forrest, the point of interest was the Crossroad's Cafe; in Chatsworth, Point's Tavern. Two pinball machines were picked up at the Crossroads. At Chatsworth, the officers found one pinball machine and several other illegal gambling devices.  
February 19, 1970
Chatsworth's 31st annual Community Sale will be held, regardless of weather, Saturday, February 21, on the town's main street, beginning at 11:00 a.m.  
February 28, 1930
The Commercial National Bank of Chatsworth failed to open its doors Wednesday morning and is now under the control of the comptrollers of currency at Washington, D.C. The cause of the closing is reported as being the steady withdrawal of deposits from the bank for some ten days previous to its closing.  
February 28, 1980
Judy A. Wiles of Chatsworth and Michael McCoy of Fairbury, were married in a wedding mass Saturday, Feb. 23 at St. John's Catholic Church in Fairbury.  
March 8, 1940
Miss Bertha Friedman, of Chatsworth, is spending a few weeks at the home of her grandfather, Henry Bachtold.  

March 16, 1950
The new church chimes in the Chatsworth Evangelical U.B. church were installed this week with the formal dedication set for Sunday, March 19. The formal dedication will be held at the morning church service. There will be an organ recital from 4 to 5 o'clock in the afternoon.  

April 9, 1920
The two-story farm home of William Gerth, south of Chatsworth, was burned to the ground Monday morning about 9 o'clock. The fire is believed to have started from a defective chimney.  All the household furnishings were saved.  
April 16, 1920
Petitions have been circulated for an election to form a community high school at Chatsworth. It is considered very likely that the new proposition will carry. 
May 2, 1990
A four-year-old boy and his three-year-old sister are alive today, quite possible, because of the quick thinking of two young men: Jason Winters, 16, and Chris Fraher, 20, minutes after a fire began in one of five second-floor apartments in a century old building in downtown Chatsworth last Thursday.  
May 2, 1990
Viola Whittenbarger returned home Saturday after spending the winter months at here residence in Lantana, Fla.  
May 2, 1990
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Costello returned home after spending a week with Capt. Dennis Costello of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.  
May 21, 1920
Damage amounting to around $4,000 was done Saturday morning about 11 o'clock to the parsonage of SS. Peter and Paul's church at Chatsworth, by a fire.  
May 24, 1940
About five o'clock Monday evening a rain and wind storm did considerable damage in the Chatsworth locality, especially south of Chatsworth. On the Herr farm, tenanted by Henry Kyburz, at the north edge of town, a hay stack was blown down, five trees blown down, two windows broken in the house and a haystack blown from a wagon. 
At the Dick Weller farm two fruit trees were blown down and two windows blown out of the house.
At the George Sutter place, 8 1/2 miles south of Chatsworth, a chicken house, 18 x 24 feet in size,  was slammed against the dwelling house and the roof blown clear over the house, and windows broken. 
Jesse White was planting corn on the Schade farm about two miles south of Chatsworth when he saw the storm approaching and started for the barn. The wind blew the planter over, and it ran over Mr. White's leg, bruising it. The planter tongue was broken and the team turned around.   
May 31, 1940
In Chatsworth's first annual May Festival held there Wednesday of last week, Lois Chantry was crowned May Queen. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Chantry of Chatsworth, and is an eighth grade student. 
June 7, 1940
The Chatsworth village board received word Monday that the state officials approved the plan to use $5,700 of village motor fuel tax funds for the proposed improvements of Main street.  
July 2, 1970
The Chatsworth town board passed a new ordinance at their recent meeting which allows the Cable Television Co. of Bloomington to provide cable tv to all residences within the town limits of Chatsworth. This new service will provide 12 channels and a weather station.  
July 4, 1990
Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Kerber of Chatsworth celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Sunday, July 1 with a family dinner at Jim's Steak House in Bloomington. 
July 10, 1980
One of Chatsworth's newest business ventures is off to a good start according to Les Bundy who owns and operates Chatsworth Recycling located on Rt. 24 east of Chatsworth in the building formerly housing Quint's drive-in.   
July 23, 1970
CAPS Lake is the world's largest man-made swimming area of it's kind. The lake itself is 200' x 200'.  
September 24, 1920
Thieves entered the barn of Albert Penwit, near Chatsworth on Monday night of last week and stole a set of new work harness that cost Mr. Penwith $85 last spring. There were evidently two men mixed in the deal as tracks indicated that a car had been stopped a short distance form the place at the side of the road and one fellow evidently was on watch while the other fellow walked through a corn field west of the place, carefully opening and shutting gates.  
October 15, 1900
Last week a Chatsworth meat market advertised it would sell boiling beef at ten cents per pound in an effort to reduce the high living costs. People came from the surrounding country for miles and even surrounding towns, and quickly cleaned out the supply of meat.  
October 17, 1990
Approximately 80 women attended the October 11 meeting of the Livingston County Bankers Auxiliary at the Chatsworth American Legion Hall. The meeting was  hosted by the women of the Citizens Bank of Chatsworth and the First State Bank of Forrest. The Chatsworth American Legion Auxiliary members served the meal.  
November 28, 1930
Mrs. Sarah Rumbold, of Chatsworth, but formerly of Fairbury, reached the century mark in age Wednesday. One of the real pioneers of Livingston County, she was born November 26, 1830, in Berkshire county, England, and came to the United States in 1859.  
Miss Viola Kyburz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Kyburz, Fairbury, became the bride of Pvt. Earl W. Spence, of the Air Corps, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clemen Spence of Chatsworth.  
December 19, 1990
Les Bundy, owner of Chatsworth Recycling, discussed a curb-side recycling plan with members of the town board at their Dec. 11 meeting. The board gave Bundy the go-ahead to begin a pick-up of tin, aluminum, metal, glass and plastic bottles and jugs. It is scheduled to begin early in 1991 and separate containers needed for each type of material.   


JANUARY 7, 1971
The ancient sport of falconry was made very real for area residents around Chatsworth as nearly 100 persons took part in the annual meet of the Great Lakes Falcon association this past week.  
JANUARY 18, 1951
Three Chatsworth youths were hospitalized Friday when their car ran under the rear end of E.J. Hohulin's gravel truck on Route 24 between First and Second streets. Both vehicles were going west. Mr. Hohulin was not injured, but the three occupants of the car received cuts and bruises when the front of the car was smashed and the windshield broken. The driver, James Mootz, 19, was released Saturday and the other two, William Beckhoff and Victor Jones were released Friday night.  
JANUARY 16, 1991
A possible furnace explosion at a house trailer on the farm of John Ready, located about three miles south of Chatsworth, is the suspected cause of a fire that destroyed the unit Friday afternoon around 1:30. A member of the Ready house, which is situated just north of the trailer, heard an explosion and saw flames coming from the end of the unit where the furnace is located.  
February 13, 1991
A one-car rollover occurred 3 p.m. Saturday at 2150 E. and 1400 N. during a heavy fog. Roger Schroeder, 21, of Chatsworth and Craig Broadus, 20, of Fairbury, were treated and released. Erick Dunn refused treatment. No tickets were issued.  
March 21, 2001
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Milstead of Forrest will observe their golden wedding anniversary on March 24. Milstead and the former Mary Louise Blundy were married at the Methodist church parsonage in Chatsworth on March 24, 1951. They have three children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  
April 6,1961
Sears-Roebuck & Co., Chatsworth, was broken into sometime between 9:00 a.m. Saturday and 9:00 a.m. Monday. Mr. Wittenberger, manager of the store, reported the theft of guns when he opened the store for business Monday morning and discovered the merchandise missing. Entrance was gained to the attic of the store from a ventilation on the roof, which was found pried open.  
April 11, 2001
Mr. and Mrs. Elery Perkins of Chatsworth observed their 60th anniversary on March 29. The couple were married March 29, 1941 at St. Louis, Mo. They have two children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  
May 22, 1931
A horse belonging to Carl Miller, living southwest of Chatsworth, was so badly injured on Tuesday morning, when hit by an automobile, that it had to be killed. Another horse of a four-horse team was bruised and cut.  
May 25, 1961
Chatsworth grade school principle, Bob Farris, made a hole-in-one on number two green last Tuesday, at the Indian Creek Golf and Country Club. He told the Blade he used a number four wood on the drive. The hole is 165 yards. Farris ended up with a 37 for the round.  
June 20, 1941
Mrs. Leo Kerrins, Mrs. E.P. Compton and Mrs. Neil Hanley entertained guests for seven tables of bridge, euchre and luncheon Tuesday evening in compliment to Miss Kathleen Healey who becomes the bride of Donald Bergen of Chatsworth, in a church ceremony next Tuesday morning. A miscellaneous shower of gifts was presented to Miss Healey.  
June 27, 1941
The marriage of Miss Kathleen Healy to Donald Bergen, of Chatsworth, was solemnized Tuesday morning at St. John's Catholic church, with the Rev. S.F. Kubiak officiating.  
July 17, 1991
This years's Chatsworth Heritage Days pageant, Through Fire and Trial, is a romantic portrayal of life, love and adventure in Chatsworth and Dakota from 1880 and 1900. The main parts of the pageant picture the emigration of thousands of farm families looking for free land on the western plains, the tragic train wreck of 1887, the great fire of 1890, which demolished the town's center business block and the Spanish-American War.  
July 24, 1991
The T P & W Historical Society has been successful in getting T P & W Railroad to furnish an engine and their railroad tracks for train rides on both Saturday and Sunday during Heritage Days. Rides will leave from the "depot: in and around the big tent and go out to the wreck site east of town.  
August 9, 1901
C.C. King has sold his 140 acres of land near Chatsworth to James Hastings for $90 per acre.  
August 18, 1921
The first of last week a gentleman and his family from Springfield motored through Fairbury on their way to Chicago, stopping at Fairbury Auto company for some gasoline. Sunday they came back through and again stopped here for gasoline, but when he went to pay, his pocketbook containing $23 was gone. The gentleman recalled stopping at a school house near Chatsworth and was of the opinion that he had lost his pocketbook there. The school house is near the C.J. Claudon farm that is farmed by David Roth.  Mr. Roth was called by telephone and going to the school house found the pocketbook and telephoned here to that effect. The autoists were anxious to be on their way, so left for home after instructing Mr. Roth to send the money to Mr. Hanson, of this city, who took out the money for the gasoline purchased and then forwarded the remainder to the autoist at his home in Springfield. 
(Thought this was a good story representing the honesty and faith that existed in the old days.)  


November 20, 1931

If Mrs. Sarah Rumbold lives until next Thursday, Nov. 26 she will have reached her 101st birthday. she is Chatsworth's oldest citizen, probably the oldest woman in Livingston County and one of the few in the state of Illinois to pass the century mark. Born in England in 1830 she came to Livingston County in 1858 as the bride of Robert Rumbold. They resided for some time at Fairbury and many years ago settled on a farm a short distance south of Chatsworth, where they continued to reside until the death of Mr. Rumbold eighteen years ago.  

November 14, 2001

Emily Klehm, daughter of Henry and Sharon Klehm of Chatsworth was given the first annual Michael Aguilera Young Organizer of the Year Award by Citizen Action Illinois at the annual statewide conference at Jumer's in Bloomington.  

December 2, 1921

The 13-year old son of Mr. and Mrs. William Martin, residing southwest of Chatsworth, was kicked in the back of the head Wednesday morning by a horse while engaged in doing the chores and for several hours was unconscious, but he will recover.  

December 19, 2001

Bertha Sharp hosted two Christmas parties in her home last week. Monday the Chatsworth Kitchen Band, spouses and one guest held their annual Christmas potluck part. On Tuesday the members of Chatsworth HCE, spouses and one guest gathered at Mrs. Sharp's home for a potluck and Christmas party.  

December 28, 1961

A Chatsworth auto dealer was awarded the contract to furnish squad cars for the Livingston county sheriff's department force in a decision of the county boards public property committee Thursday. Walters Ford Sales of Chatsworth had the low bid for renting four vehicles at $125 a month each.  

2012 Tidbits from The Blade

January 4, 1962

A bouncing 7 pound 11 1/2 ounce was the first child born in Fairbury Hospital this year. He has been named Frederick Paul, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul F. Salzman of rural Chatsworth. Little Frederick arrived at 1:38 p.m. on New Year's day. He is the fourth child of the Chatsworth couple and also the winner of prizes galore from Fairbury merchants.  

January 8, 1992

On Saturday, Dec. 28, several members of the Great Lakes Falconers' Association were guests of Delmar Ford on his farm south of Chatsworth. Delmer's farm is a haven for wildlife and he allows some of his friends hunting privileges each year. He is interested in the way the falconers use their birds to get pheasants and rabbits. The birds lift off from the gloved fist of their handler, sometimes nearing a speed of 200 mph, as they try to knock or drag their kill to the ground.  

February 5, 1991
Joni Franey, Prairie Central High School graduate from Chatsworth is making an impression on Illinois Wesleyan University's Lady Titans team, a college press release reports. Franey is averaging 8.2 points per game and 8.1 rebounds and leads with 51 assists. The report says her single-game highs were 16 points and 14 rebounds in a 59-55 win over Elmhurst. She is a three-year letter winner and a co-captain for the past two years. Last season she was Most Valuable Defensive Player for IWU. A public accounting major at Wesleyan, Franey is the daughter of John and Teresa Franey of rural Chatsworth.

Looking Back from the Blade
Sep. 15, 2015

Fifty Years Ago
Sept. 18, 1965
Nussbaum Chevrolet-Olds in Chatsworth has been sold to Gene Gardner of Naperville, effective October 1. Prior to the change, an auction of used vehicles, including an extra large selection of trucks, will be held Friday, Sept. 24. The firm has been operated for the past five years by Alden Nussbaum of Fairbury and Dean Nussbaum of Chatsworth, with the latter serving as manager. About two years ago they built a new large garage on U.S. 24 at the east edge of Chatsworth. The new owner has been the used car manager for Colonial Pontiac-Buick at Naperville.

Thirty Years Ago
September 13, 1995
Wes Johnson, the Twirly Man, is closing down Chatsworth's most colorful business. After being diagnosed with cancer, Johnson has decided to shut down his business that he started in 1963. In 32 years, he has woodcrafted some 159 different items, many that were "gobbled up" before he could display them. He's been dubbed "The Twirly Man" because of the colorful spinning whirligigs he's turned out, many with animation in several directions. His vivid work has gone to England, France, Holland, Italy, Japan and Germany, and has been shown throughout central Illinois at shows in Lexington, Loda, Gilman and elsewhere.

Looking Back from The Blade
December 9, 2015

20 Years Ago
Dec. 6, 1995
Tyler Kinney, son of Gary and Linda Kinney of Chatsworth, is one of the 13 winners in the 1996 Regional Organ Bank of Illinois (ROBI) Calendar Art Contest. The calendar feature drawing by children who have received or are waiting for an organ transplant. Tyler, a fourth grader at Chatsworth Elementary School, received a kidney transplant from his mother. Each child wrote a statement about what a transplant means to him/her. Tyler wrote: "Now that I have my new kidney, I am more like the other kids. I am healthier and more happy than I have ever been. Getting a kidney from my mom gives me a chance to become whatever I want when I grow up."

Looking Back from The Blade 
Jan. 13, 2016

50 Years Ago
January 13, 1966
Loss was kept to a minimum at the grain elevator of The Livingston of Chatsworth, early Wednesday morning when fire was discovered there about 7 am. A bearing on the dryer inside the elevator got hot causing the dust, which accumulates in an elevator, to catch fire. The dust ignited the wooden shaft which was burning when discovered. Ed Stoller discovered the fire and called the fire department, which responded and doused the fire before it could travel up the air shaft and cause a major loss.

20 Years Ago
January 10, 1996
Dave and Sue Diggle of Peoria have recently announced the sale of their funeral homes in Forrest and Chatsworth to Scott Hager. He has worked at the funeral homes for the past three years and completed the purchase Jan. 4, 1996. The funeral homes will be referred to in the future as Hager Memorial Homes. Scott was born and reared in Dwight, and is a fifth generation funeral director in the family. His great-great grandfather began the Baker Funeral Home and Furniture Store in 1854, which remained in Dwight for 135 years.

Looking back from The Blade
Jan. 20, 2015

80 Years Ago
January 17, 1936
A double wedding with unusual features took place in Chatsworth at 9 o'clock Wednesday morning when a widow became a bride and her son a bridegroom. Mrs. Anna Perkins was married to Fred Bittner and Miss Wilma Edwards to Burnell Perkins, the weddings taking place at the home of Mrs. Perkins, the former Hoppert residence, fronting Route 24 in Chatsworth. The witnesses were Virginia Bell Perkins and Clarence Bittner, daughter and son respectively of the elder bride and groom.

Looking Back from The Blade
Jan. 27, 2016

10 Years Ago
January 25, 2006
The Hager Memorial Homes of Forrest and Chatsworth were sold Jan. 18 to Partick Martin and Michael P. Burke, current owners of Harris-Martin-Burke Funeral Homes, Pontiac and Cullom. The had both worked for the Harris family prior to purchasing the home in 1992. Burke has been involved with the funeral homes in Pontiac and Cullom since 1979 and Martin has been employed there since 1982. The four funeral homes will now operate under the name Martin-Burke Funeral Homes, Inc. Scott Haeger will continue to own and manage Hager Memorial Home in Dwight.

March 9, 2016
40 Years Ago 
March 11, 1976
The Chatsworth board of education met with the Forrest-Strawn-Wing board of education at the Monday, March 1 meeting at the request of the FSW board to discuss if there was an interest in consolidation talks between the two. Both boards seemed to agree that a better educational program could be offered to the students with a larger enrollment, with a possible goal of from 600-700 enrollment in the high school.

20 Years Ago 
March 27, 1996
Chatsworth will have a new sporting goods store in the near future. William Sanford has made arrangements with local businessman Rich Pearson to renovate and open the new store at 508 E. Locust. The new shop, to stock all type of hunting, fishing and archery items, is scheduled to open about the middle of April.

50 Years Ago
April 14, 1966
A two day picket line at American Screen Products Company of Chatsworth was removed at 6 pm Tuesday following a short period of negotiation between company officials and representatives of Local 179 of the Teamsters from Joliet. The negotiations began while the company was in the process of obtaining a restraining order from Judge R. Burnell Phillips in Livingston circuit court at Pontiace, to prevent "harassment' of American Screen employees.

June 8, 2016
20 Years Ago
June 5, 1996
Four 50-year veterans were honored with framed plaques at ceremonies held recently at the Walter Clemons American Legion Post 613 in Chatsworth. Making the presentation was Post Commander Larry Gerdes. Honorees were John Bergan, Chatsworth; Traeger Rosenboom, Piper City; Richard Milstead, Forrest; and Otis Bargman, Chatsworth. The four veterans have recorded 50 years of continuous service.

July 8, 2016
10 Years Ago
July 5, 2006
Lyle "Ike" Dehm, a Chatsworth business owner for over 55 years, is this years's recipient of the Noble Pearson Award. Dehm and his wife, Wilma, are former owners of the West Side Drive-In and for many years have owned and operated Dehm Bus Service in Chatsworth. Since 1970, the bus service has been located in the old Chevy garage along Locust Street, where they operated the Chatsworth School District buses and also a charter bus service. One of his most famous passengers was blues legend, BB King and his band. While on tour, his bus broke down near Pontiac and Dehm ended up taking King on a 10 day, five state trip. When 1983 movie, Grandview USA was filmed in Livingston County, Dehm transported the actors an actresses.

July 13, 2016
50 Years Ago
July 14, 1966
Miss Kathryn Livingston of Chatsworth, 1966 Miss Livingston County, will be journeying to the Miss Illinois Pageant in Quincy on July 18. She will be accompanied by her chaperon, Mrs. Beverly Freise, and Fairbury Jaycee escort, Stan McCulloh and his wife Carolyn. Miss Livingston will compete with 39 young ladies for the coveted Miss Illinois crown. Miss Livingston is the 10th contestant to be sent to the state pageant by the Fairbury Jaycees. 

September 28, 2016
40 Years Ago
September 30, 1976
Clarence and Elizabeth Culkin, owners and operators of funeral homes at Forrest and Chatsworth, will mark their 25th anniversary in the funeral business October 1.
In 1951 the Culkins purchased the J. W. Brown Funeral Service and moved to Forrest. the funeral parlor at that time was on Main Street where the coil factory is now located. In October 1952 the present modern funeral home at Forrest was built and an open house held for the community. In 1965 they purchased the Hanson Funeral Service at Chatsworth and a new funeral home was built and opened for service there.
Clarence is a native of Chatsworth, having been born in Charlotte Township, the son of the late Arthur and Blanche Trunk Culkin. He graduated from Worsham college of Mortuary Science of Chicago before entering the funeral profession.
Note: The new funeral home built in this article is now the Calvert Funeral Home in that same location as of 2016.

October 5, 2016

80 Years Ago
October 2, 1936
Mrs. Nance, of Cropsey, purchased the Haynes lunch room at Chatsworth and will take possession in a few days.
The purchase includes the dwelling house that was formerly the Todden residence, located northwest of the grade school building.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hayes, of Davers, bought the place a couple of years ago and started a little lunch room which they have continued to operate. The location is on Route 24.
It is reported that Mrs. Nance will be assisted by a son in the operation of the same and that they will probably add to the building, enlarging it on the west end.
Note: Mrs. Nance is Mabel Popejoy Nance (my Grandmother). This became the "Midget Cafe"  and operated only a few years.

November 2, 2016

20 Years Ago
October 30, 1996
A long-time Chatsworth eatery has been closed and reopened under the new name of Heritage Inn. The Chapel Inn has been taken over by Randy and Terri Runyon. The new owners plan to carry on the long standing tradition of family fare and homestyle cooking long popular with customers form a wide area. Terri Runyon, who "years ago" worked as cook and waitress at the former Farmers Pub operated by Dick and Janet Steidinger, says she'll  "be right at home in the cafe's kitchen" where she will, along with steaks and chicken, turn out some of her homemade fruit pies.

December 7, 2016
100 Years Ago
December 8, 1916
The death of four persons, three of them sisters, and the serious injury of two more persons, was recalled in the branch court of Peoria Monday when Alfred Bollier testified in the suit of his father, Jacob Bollier, of Forrest, against the Toledo, Peoria and Western railway company. Bollier's automobile, which was driven by his son, was struck by a passenger train west of Chatsworth on Thanksgiving Day, 1914. Viola, Lottie and Sarah Hagaman, of Chatsworth, and Charles Jobst, of Pontiac, were killed, and June Kargar and young Bollier escaped death but Bollier was badly injured. He has brought suit against the railway company for personal injury and this case will be heard after the auto damage case is disposed of.