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25 years ago – September 11, 1996
The 1996 Calhoun County Fair was held Sept. 5 through 8.
The parade took place on Sunday, beginning at 12 noon. There were over 100 units entered, making this the largest parade in many years.
Winners in their respective division were as follows:
Horse division: First place- John and Diane Stelbrink; second place- Amanda Crowder.
Classic trucks and cars division: First place- Evan Eberlin, 1967 Ford Fairlane; second place- Gary Snyders, 1951 Ford Crown Victoria.
Classic equipment division: First place- Paul Goetze, 1950 McCormick Farmall; second place- Donnie Droege, 1936 John Deere.
Best clown: Carol Seidler as Rolly the Clown.
Floats- most humorous: First place- Illinois Riverdock Restaurant; second place- Calhoun Variety.
Floats- best theme: First place- Bank of Calhoun County; second place- Hardin Package Liquor.
Best overall float: Calhoun County Democratic Party.
Nancy Kraushaar was crowned Miss Calhoun 1996. Lauren Breden was crowned Little Miss Calhoun 1996. Jacob Bailey was crowned Little Mister Calhoun 1996.
50 years ago – September 9, 1971
The Calhoun County Festival and Junior Agricultural Fair occupies the center of attention of Calhoun and surrounding counties this weekend at the fairgrounds just north of Hardin.
The fairgrounds will be open Thursday evening, Sept. 9, this year, with free admission to the grounds and the carnival rides at reduced prices.
The festival really gets underway Friday when the tractor pulling contest begins at 6 p.m.as the opening attraction.
A professional announcer at ringside will introduce the more than 50 tractor drivers from all over Illinois as they engage in their thrilling exhibitions.
The Illinois State Tractor Association rules will apply, according to Donald Dirksmeyer and James Ewen, superintendents of this event.
At 8:30 on Friday, the reigning Apple Queen Miss Jerilu Smith will welcome the audience, and the Henneberry Family, the multi-talented actors, featuring juggling, unicycling, music, comedy and illusions, will entertain.
At 9 p.m., the queen contestants will appear in bathing suits and formals. Unless there are additional entries later, only five are entrants in the contest. They are Charlene Dean, Mary Lea Presley, Pam Webster, Jean Pence and Jana Fiedler.
A tea will be given at 6 p.m. for the girls so the judges may meet the contestants in street clothes and get acquainted.
Members of the Queen Committee, who sponsor the tea, are Mary Nichols, chairman; Letha Simon, Rose Ellen Stumpf, Paula Herter and Carmeta Quiller.
On Saturday, the fair starts early, at 9 a.m., with the judging of the 4-H and junior fair exhibits. It is not necessary to be a 4-H member to enter, and anyone between the ages of nine and under 21 in Calhoun or that portion of School Unit 40 in Greene County is eligible for the competition.
At noon, the adult art show will be judged and this is becoming one of the favorite parts of the fair.
The popular greased pig contest will begin at 2:30 p.m. This contest was first made popular when farmers in Calhoun donated pigs from their herds. Now, those who enter and win agree either to donate money or another pig next year to keep the contest going.
The big, popular western horse show is set for Saturday evening at 7 o’clock with eleven events being presented under the Illinois Valley rules.
The famous Calhoun Cuties will perform on the big amphitheatre stage at 7:35 Saturday. Mrs. Gertrude Fiedler writes and directs this popular show every year for the youngsters from all parts of Calhoun.
Sunday’s activities begin at 1:30 p.m., with the junior olympics, including relays, races and other athletic competition for youngsters.
Something new is added this year, the bicycle rodeo, which takes place at 2:30. All participants need a bicycle and will be put through various safety exercises and rules of the road tests. Sponsored by the Calhoun 4-H Federation, all entrants will receive a small memento.
This article is abridged.
75 years ago – September 5, 1946
Mrs. J.L. Dixon of Hardin received the following letter from a Dutch girl in Europe, who was a friend of the late Fred Poore, son of Mr. and Mrs. Pat Poore, who was with the army in Europe and who was killed last spring when his truck was smashed by a train in northern Illinois.
The letter was interesting, and we thought our readers would be interested in it. The girl also sent some interesting pictures of herself and family.
My very dearest family:
We received your beautiful letter yesterday. You cannot imagine how happy we were to know that you are all in good health and are safe and sound.
We all feel very sorry that Fred is killed. Our hearts were broken when we received the news about Fred. But one thing I’ll tell you. You can be very proud of him.
That he has been so good a boy while he was so far from home and everybody. We can’t forget him any more. We read the letter maybe 20 times. We couldn’t believe it that he was killed.
We all feel so sorry for him and everybody over there who knew him, because the Americans were so good for us. We pray that the Lord will keep you all still a very long time.
Did he like the song I did make for him? Everybody over here is in the best of health and hope the same for you all.
The food is a little better now, but we can’t get so much we want. I hope it will not be for long anymore.
You ask if we could use some material to make some dresses if you can get some over there, we would be very glad for it.
We can’t get something here, only the family whose man works in the coal mines. They get plenty of coupons.
My father is a carpenter, so you see we don’t get something. I hope you would not be angry about my asking.
This morning we went to Margraen. Maybe you will know the place where 1,900 American soldiers were killed in the war. We also have a grave we put some tulips on it. That is all we could do for them and pray for them all.
The weather here is beautiful. The sun shines whole day and Sunday afternoon. Nice to hear that all the American soldiers are home now. Plenty of Dutch soldiers were going to the Dutch East Indies and hope they will come back again.
I will send you a photograph from us four sisters. I hope you will like it. If you have a picture of Fred, we would be very pleased to receive one.
Every day we talk about him, so we can’t forget him anymore. We were very pleased to hear that you would like to answer our letters. That is very kind of you.
I will send you by this way a little souvenir of Margraen. Give Fred’s parents the best regards and the whole happiness in the whole world, and tell them that I don’t forget him and that I will pray for the family.
I will close now and hope it will reach you very soon. I will send this letter by air mail so I hope it will reach you very soon.
Receive the best regards from us all. But receive you the very best from your,
P.S. Excuse my mistakes. I were so poor in English writing. Good by and God be with you all.
Family Schloen, Eingstraat 40 Schinveld (Prov) Limburg, Holland.
100 years ago – September 8, 1921
The giant 11-passenger aeromarine flying cruiser, Santa Maria, which is proceeding on the flight which will complete its aerial circumnavigation of the eastern half of the United States, passed down the river by Hardin last Friday afternoon.
The big flying boat was on its trip over the valleys of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to the Gulf of Mexico.
The flying boat stopped at Alton and remained there until Sunday. It carried as its passengers Mayor Perry of Beardstown and four other citizens from that place.
This airboat is the largest flying boat in the world, having a capacity of eleven passengers and crew, is equipped with two 400 horsepower Liberty Motors, with a wing spread of 104 feet and weighs seven and one-half tons.
It has traveled over 200,000 miles without a mishap.
The aeromarine was traveling at a rate of 90 miles an hour when it passed by Hardin as it made the flight from Beardstown to Alton in one hour and fifteen minutes.