Pickings from Pike’s past: 75 YEARS AGO: UNION AND NON-UNION REA WORKERS IN VIOLENT CONFRONTATION
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150 Years Ago
Nov. 23, 1871
Winter is at our doors, cold whistling winds play around us, and make dreary music as they kiss the leafless branches of the trees. Already the ground is clothed in snowy robes.
There is some talk among the young folks of organizing a Dramatic Club in Pittsfield. We hope sincerely that the matter may not end in talk. We are compelled to have some kind of amusement this winter, and we know of no means of passing time more pleasantly.
Our young friend, Jim Grigsby, son of our worthy fellow citizen, Strother Grigsby, has been appointed route agent on the Hannibal and Naples Railroad. The appointment is a good one.
Someone’s hogs have recently been engaged in ploughing in the courthouse square.
125 Years Ago
Nov. 18, 1896
We have had the warmest of Indian Summer weather for several days. Today the skies are cloudy, the weather threatening snow, and a change is evidently at hand.
The eighth annual ball of the Pittsfield fire department will be given at Armory Hall Thanksgiving night.
There will be a game of football in the baseball park Saturday afternoon between Whipple Academy of Jacksonville and the Pittsfield High School eleven. Turn out and enjoy yourself and help the boys along by paying the admission fee of 25 cents.
The depot at New Salem was burned last Sunday morning. Mount Sterling’s new and beautiful high school building, which was nearing completion, was destroyed by fire Saturday night.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin was played by a traveling troupe at the Opera House in Nebo Friday night.
100 Years Ago
Nov. 25, 1921
According to the 1920 census, 2,006 farms in Pike County were operated by owners, and 1,291 were operated by tenants.
The ladies of the Pittsfield M. E. Church cleared about $150 on their chicken dinner this year. This was the last dinner to be served in the old church kitchen, the fine new dining room and kitchen being well on the way to completion now.
The board of education of the Pittsfield schools has put a ban on rolled down stockings, silk stockings, rouge, eyelash paint and filmy blouses, and any student or teacher found wearing any of the above will be immediately suspended.
State and national road-building records were broken in Illinois in 1921; 391 miles of paving had been completed at a cost of $28,540 per mile.
Rockford High School telegraphed an $800 guarantee for a Thanksgiving football game at Rockford, but Pittsfield has a contractual obligation to play Canton, and they will fulfill that, and forego the money and publicity of playing one of the strongest high school football teams in northern Illinois.
Pittsfield High School placed five on the “All Western Illinois Scholastic Football team.”
75 Years Ago
Nov. 20, 1946
Fourteen union employees of the R.E.A. at Winchester who were out on strike, attacked 12 non-union men when they attempted to go to work last Thursday and a bloody battle was the result, with two men having gashes cut in their heads. Tuesday evening supports on a pole were cut, which allowed the pole to fall, cutting off electricity to some 800 R.E.A. customers. The struggle is because the R.E.A. management will not agree that only union workers can be employed in the company.
Russell O. Keys, who has been employed at Loyd Hardware store gave up his position there, and is going to begin work at the First National Bank as a bookkeeper.
The Union Thanksgiving service in Pittsfield was held at the Methodist Church at 9:30 Thanksgiving morning.
The Barry Adage recently celebrated 75 years of continuous publication.
Chris Hamilton of Barry spent last week with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Caldwell of Nebo.
Visit Toyland at Harp’s 5-10-25 cent store—dolls, cowboy suits, balls, games and toys of all kinds.
50 Years Ago
Nov. 24, 1971
Many Pike County relatives and friends of President Nixon’s Secretary of Defense, Melvin Laird, enjoyed an “old home week” visit with the cabinet officer Thursday in Jacksonville. His father, Melvin Laird, Sr., was born in Griggsville. Six first cousins attended a luncheon with Laird and the president of Illinois College. Congressman Paul Findley arranged the event. He and Melvin Laird served together in Congress before Laird became Secretary of Defense.
Donald Foster, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Foster and a member of the El Dara Lucky Loafers 4-H Club, won the Illinois Farm Electrification Council trip to Chicago Nov. 17, 18 and 19. Foster was one of 20 4-H’ers selected to go on the trip.
25 Years Ago
Nov. 20, 1996
Pike motorists are getting pretty good at deer hunting. Pike County is the downstate leader deer-vehicle collisions. Motorists “bagged” 419 deer in 1995 on Pike County roads, and are already ahead of that number in 1996, with 492 reported so far. Six counties north of I-18, all with much larger populations than Pike, had more deer-auto accidents in 1995 that we did last year.
Dr. Jim Grote said he was in an airplane last Thursday when he hit an 11-point, 200-pound deer. “Bob Rowles had the controls and I had the brakes,” Grote said. They were in a 1959 Beechcraft single engine aircraft.
Barber Agency Insurance will celebrate its 70th year in business with an all-day open house Nov. 22. The history of the business dates back to 1926 when Charles “Charlie” Barber, still a high school student, purchased an existing agency in Pittsfield. Merle Barber joined Charlie, and for many years it was known as Barber Brothers Insurance Agency. Present owner, Chuck Barber, joined his father, Charlie, in the business in 1961.
10 Years Ago
Nov. 23, 2011
This year the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) reports required schools to have at least 85 percent of students pass reading and math tests. No Pike County school made the grade. Superintendent Paula Hawley believes the state’s intention of having 100 percent of students meeting state standards by 2014 is unrealistic.
The 2011 Deer Expo at Assembly of God church in Pittsfield attracted more than 800 people to the annual gathering of “all things hunting.” Locals and out-of-state visitors got to observe many bucks and sheds from near and far.
■ Compiled by Michael Boren