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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy


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1882

The Comptroller of the Currency today authorized the Sioux Falls National Bank in the Territory of Dakota, and also the First National Bank of Lexington, Illinois, to begin business. Capital $50,000 each. [24 Nov 1882 - Wheeling Register]



1889
It would certainly be a commendable act for our highway commissioners to appropriate money for the graveling of roads. The improvement wrought by such a course is no longer a debatable subject, as it has been proven that the graveled roads are the best country roads known. [25 Apr 1989 - Compiled by Phyllis Liston - The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois]


1908

Dec. 5, 1908: Yesterday brought the season’s first snowfall, with young boys and girls alike pelting passers-by and each other with snowballs. One letter-writer took space in the paper to protest this “snowballing,” signing off as “A Martyr.” [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 6, 1908: Leroy is pumping its own water now, instead of contracting the work out to the Leroy Light Company. City marshal Thomas Clark will now be in charge of the pumping station.
[The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 7, 1908: Local postal officials are awaiting delivery of the new ten-cent special delivery stamp. It is a radical departure from the traditional U.S. postage stamp because it is patterned after a French design. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 10, 1908: Rabbits are plentiful this hunting season. Hunters are bringing lots of them in to meat markets every day. Rabbits are selling for about fifteen cents each, or two for a quarter. This season a good rabbit weighs about two pounds. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 11, 1908: The Chicago and Alton is ordering 22 new steam locomotives, and selling off its obsolete ones, like engine 218. Once a major passenger engine, but now “brushed aside by the irresistible wheels of progress,” it will go to the tiny Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 17, 1908: Leroy attorney Wesley Owen will become one of three judges in the Panama Canal Zone, as appointed by President Roosevelt. Mr. Owen, who was born in Covell, doesn’t know yet when he will be leaving for his new job. It pays $6500 per year. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 25, 1908: Not all Christmas mail is delayed by heavy volume. The other night a C&A mail car bound for here burned up in a train wreck at Brighton Park. The first scraps of burned mail are now here, and the post office will try to deliver them with an explanation.
[The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 27, 1908: Christmas on the Chicago and Alton saw a busy passenger business but not many freight trains. The railroad tried to give as many workers as possible the day off. Dispatchers and callers worked, but offices were closed. A few mechanics were available. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]



1909
Jan. 3, 1909: Normal has gone 15 years without actually paving a street. North and Beaufort Streets in the business district were the last. But more paving projects are expected “in the near future,” which is exactly what was said after the last job back in 1893. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies by: Jack Keefe]



1910
Tuesday, March 15, 1910 - The following messages were received from the President of the United States: To the Senate of the United States: I nominate the following-named persons to be postmasters: Zachary Taylor, at Colfax, Illinois, in place of Zachary Taylor. Incumbent’s commission expires April 5, 1910.
[Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America. Volume XLI, Sixty-first Congress, second session, from December 6, 1909, to June 25, 1910, with index. December 6, 1909 Executive Journal]

To the Senate of the United States:
I nominate the following-named persons to be postmasters:
...Frank Woolley, at Saybrook, Illinois, in place of Frank Woolley. Incumbent's commission expired December 6, 1910....
[1910-12-05; Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America. Volume XLII, Sixty-first Congress, third session, from December 5, 1910, to March 3, 1911, with index]

To the Senate of the United States:
I nominate the following-named persons to be postmasters:
...James S. Courtright, at Normal, Illinois, in place of James S. Courtright. Incumbent's commission expires December 13, 1910...
[1910-12-05; Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America. Volume XLII, Sixty-first Congress, third session, from December 5, 1910, to March 3, 1911, with index]

1913
The White House, August 29, 1913.
To the Senate of the United States:
I nominate the following-named persons to be postmasters:
...John A. Freeman, at Heyworth, Illinois, in place of John S. Albin, resigned....
[1913-04-07; Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America. Volume XLVI. Sixty-third Congress, special session from March 4, 1913, to March 17, 1913. Also sixty-third Congress, first session from April 7, 1913 to December 1, 1913 with index]

1914

April 25, 1914. Northern and eastern McLean county was swept yesterday by a cyclone and hail storm as to surpass the damage established by the memorable windstorm of June 10, 1902. Reports from Lexington, Chenoa, Colfax, Lawndale township, Weston and other towns are that houses were razed, barns scattered over fields, trees uprooted, fences blown down, windows blown out and smashed out by hail stones. [25 Apr 1989 - Compiled by Phyllis Liston - The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois]



1915
The White House, January 16, 1915.
To the Senate of the United States:
I nominate the following-named persons to be postmasters:
...John T. Scott to be postmaster at Saybrook, Illinois, in place of Frank Woolley. Incumbent's commission expired December 13, 1914....
[1914-12-07; Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America. Volume XLVIII, Sixty-third Congress, third session, from December 7, 1914, to March 4, 1915, with index]


1918
George Rankin to be postmaster at Normal, Illinois, in place of G. Rankin. Incumbent's commission expired October 22, 1918. [1919-05-29; Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America volume LIV, sixty-sixth Congress, first session, from May 19, 1919, to November 19, 1919]



1919
John T. Scott to be postmaster at Saybrook, Illinois, in place of J. T. Scott. Incumbent's commission expired February 3, 1919.
[1919-05-29; Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America volume LIV, sixty-sixth Congress, first session, from May 19, 1919, to November 19, 1919]

1933

Normal city council went into closed session to hear complaints about the police. Businessmen representing 211 petitioners said officers are making indiscreet speeding arrests and are running a racket. There’s no resolution to this complaint yet. [Dec. 5, 1933 - The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

One month ago, 2,500 people were on relief in McLean County. Today there are “only” 1,600. The other 900 have been put to work on one or another of the various aid programs.
[Dec. 15, 1933, The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

When four hunters went for rabbits and quail about five miles north of Normal they bagged a 50-pound prairie wolf. These days, that’s a rarity. The hunters were Frank and Tony Ditchen, Russell Ambrose and Clarence Roeske. [Dec. 18, 1933, The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Voters in Normal approved construction of a new school by a 359-279 margin. The site is bordered by Poplar, Cypress, Walnut and Maple Streets. (It was named Eugene Field School, and became Eugene Field Special Services Center after it was closed.)
[Dec. 12, 1933, The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]


1958

Dec. 8, 1958: Sylvester Melvin of Greenfield is still working at his insurance company desk after 59 years. In his time, he remembers pioneers, covered wagons and more. Mr. Melvin is 107 years old. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 10, 1958: Governor Stratton announced a $25 million construction project for I-74 between Danville and Urbana. That amount will pay for 9.73 miles of new four-lane highway. (Completion of I-74 to Bloomington-Normal was still almost 20 years in the future.) [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 13, 1958: Governor Stratton cut the ribbon on the Murray Baker Bridge over the Illinois River at Peoria. The span is part of the new Interstate 74. The bridge is named for a noted Peoria industrialist and philanthropist, who was at the ceremony. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 16, 1958: The days of storied Route 66 are numbered. Ralph Bartlesmeyer, chief highway engineer for the State of Illinois, says as US 66 is updated to Interstate system standards, it will be known as Interstate 55. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]


1964
April 25, 1964. This story started in November, 1962, when an oil rig began drilling on the T. P. Kiley farm northeast of Wapella. Oil has never been found this far north in the state. This month, the millionth dollar’s worth of oil was pumped from what is now known as the Wapella East Field.
[25 Apr 1989 - Compiled by Phyllis Liston - The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois]


1983

Dec. 5, 1983: Four area young people received DAR awards for citizenship. They are Robert Neirynck of Bloomington; Carol Johnson of Morton; Janet Baldridge of Delavan; and Barry Housour of rural Bloomington. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]


Dec. 9, 1983: Local school officials checked storage shelves for cases of impounded meat, which accidentally got shipped out to schools in about half the counties of Illinois. So far, none has turned up here. The meat had come from plants with alleged unsanitary conditions.
[The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]


Dec. 10, 1983: Character actor Slim Pickens died at Modesto, California. He was perhaps best known for his cowboy-style roles in Doctor Strangelove and Blazing Saddles. Slim Pickens was a stage name. He was really Louis Bert Lindley, Jr.
[The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 11, 1983: Despite the gloomy skies, the Minier Christmas parade attracted hundreds of people. As WMBD’s weatherman rode by, one woman called out “Where’s our sunshine?” Rollie Keith replied, “Behind those clouds,” and continued his ride. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 19, 1983: Marilyn Argubright was sorting through donated clothing at a center for mentally handicapped adults in Oglesby. She found $21,000 sewn in various items, all from the same donor, and all very old. Authorities returned the long lost funds to the family. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 20, 1983: It was sixteen below zero yesterday. That meant problems. At Lincoln, the high school closed early when the boiler broke down. At Mennonite Hospital, the phone was ringing for cases of frostbite. And services stations were getting calls for starts and tows. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 21, 1983: WMBD-TV news anchor Anne Ferry has moved to Tampa, Florida. Her replacement will be Donna Schulte, who comes from sister station WCIA in Champaign. Ms. Schulte will start in Peoria on January 3. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 22, 1983: Morton millionaire couple Elmo and Edna Batterton have been missing since December 11. In an effort to develop clues, police will have Delavan psychic Greta Alexander tour the couple’s home. She has worked with the police before. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 25, 1983: Cold and snow dominate life in Central Illinois even though it’s Christmas. This year, last minute gifts might just be IOU’s because of impassable roads, power outages and closed stores. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies - By Jack Keefe]

Dec. 31, 1983: It’s New Years Eve. If you’re going out tonight, read the story on page A-2 of the Pantagraph. Based on the fact that alcohol is a depressant, the story tells how to avoid waking up with a hangover tomorrow morning. [The Pantagraph - How Time Flies by: Jack Keefe]



Unknown Date
CHENOA - Chenoa was the mecca for residents of surounding territory Thursday as hundreds gathered for the annual community fair. Launched by a parade in the mroning, the exposition lasted throughout the day with the crowning of a road Belgian mare belonging to W. H. Gibbs of Gridley as grand champion of the draft horse division, the closing afternoon event. An amateur show, Thursday night was to end the show. Winners of first, second and third palces in the various events follow:
Children’s pets in parade -- Elizabeth A. Streid, Delores Wahles and Gene Auxberger [sic = Augspurger].
Doll buggies in parade for girls under 6 years -- Shirley Bauman, Margerie Bauman and Shirley Streid. For girls over 6 years -- Elaine Gentes.
Floats -- First and second grade, juior class of high school and Parent-Teacher Association.
Wagon teams in parade -- J. H. Streid, Lewis Gibbs and Bernard Feit.
Foals -- Lewis Gibbs, American Legion cold, Donald Jonshon
Yearlings - Rudy Moncelle
Two year olds - E. P. King, Chatsworth; Clarence Wollezine, Weston and Fred Sheer, El Paso.
Three year old fillies -- W. H. Gibbs, J. H. Streid and W. H. Gibbs
Three year old geldings -- J. H. Streid, Bernard Feit and Sam Streid
Grand champion draft horse -- W. H. Gibbs, Gridley
Reserve champion - J. H. Streid, Chenoa
Poultry -- Barred Rock young pens -- Wesley Bantz and G. I. Gundy.
Young pullets -- Wesley Banty, Inez Banty (second and third)
Buff Orpington pens -- G. I. Gundy
Single comb red pullets -- G. I. Gundy (all three places)
White Rock pens - G. I. Gundy, Louis Rapp and Floyd Weaver.
Pullets -- G. I. Gundy (first and second) and Louis Rapp
Brown bantams -- Pen -- Helen Fosdick
Speckled bantams -- Helen Fosdick
White Leghorns -- First pen and first second and third pullets -- John Miller
A community banquet will be held Tuesday.
(caption beneath accompanying photo) First place colt in a line-up of 10, said to be the best quality in the 25 years that horses have been exhibited on the streets of Chenoa for prizes, this Belgian owned by W. H. Gibbs of Gridley won first place. In the first colt show there 25 years ago, there were 19 colts. The decline in numbers resulted from general use of tractors, but quality is better than ever before. Mr. Gibbs also had the grand champion of the show, an eight year old Belgian mare.
[date unk - The Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, Illinois]



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