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150 Years Ago
May 30, 1872
We learn that a terrific hailstorm passed north of Griggsville on Sunday. Chunks of ice of immense size fell, killings hogs and poultry, breaking in windows and roofs of buildings and devastating orchards. The beating upon barns was such that horses broke loose and ran out into the storm, so frightened were they by the noise.
Farmers are like fowls—neither will get full crops without industry.
125 Years Ago
June 1, 1897
Considerable corn has to be replanted on account of the cool weather, but some are not through with the first planting.
Decoration Day services were held in Pittsfield Saturday and brought a large crowd of people to the city. The day was bright and clear, though very cool. The veterans, with fife and drum, marched to the West Cemetery and there ceremonies for the day were duly observed.
A baseball club has been organized in Pittsfield with Wes Hicks as captain. Lovers of the national game are expected to see good ball played in Pittsfield this season.
Strauss and Brother, the new owners of the Mansion House, are overhauling the hotel and making some improvements.
June 4, 1897
So far, summer has been held in check by the coldness of the weather, and the last three nights especially came within an ace of frost. Vegetation is almost at a standstill. Even the weeds refuse to answer any calls made upon them to grow. Corn is generally planted and some complaints of bad stands, cutworms, etc. are heard.
The city has a number of teams at work hauling dirt from the south part of town and grading East Washington Street, preparatory to putting on the gravel.
Stock in the new telephone company has all been taken and about the first of July the line between Pittsfield and Barry will be in operation.
100 Years Ago
May 31, 1922
It was estimated that 1000 persons were present for the dedicatory services at the remodeled and redecorated First M. E. Church in Pittsfield. Six memorial windows were admired by all. The new electric percolator furnished delicious coffee in abundance for both dinner and afternoon luncheon. The addition to the building is L shaped, forming a court, a Sunday school building, and on the south side a building known as Orr Memorial Hall. The old church building was erected in 1874.
Decoration Day was observed in Pittsfield. Closing of business houses was an innovation. The Pittsfield band came out and furnished splendid music for all services.
The hauling and pouring of concrete for the widening of the two miles of concrete road extending east from the corporation line from East Washington Street, which is to be part of Route 36, was commenced last week. The road is only ten feet wide, and four feet is being added on either side, which will give an 18-foot roadway.
The recent flooding of the Illinois River has made a cut of 50 feet wide and from six to 15 feet deep. This interferes with the Ocean-to-Ocean highway and, unless the road can be rebuilt, the Valley City Ferry will have to be abandoned or moved to some other more accessible point on the river.
According to the Calhoun News, Calhoun County is suffering from a two-fold plague. It seems that the mosquitoes have reinforced the buffalo gnats, and many persons are carrying large bumps and swelling on their anatomies caused by the bites of the insects.
75 Years Ago
May 28, 1947
Dr. William Kraybill was the speaker at the Lions Club meeting Thursday evening. Where he presented a very interesting paper discussing a county health department. He spoke about how such a program would control the spread of disease and benefit the health of the people.
June 1, 1947 marks the end of rent control in Pike County, Ill., Pike County, Mo. and Lewis County, Mo. An Office of Rent Control survey indicates that housing in those three counties is no longer critical.
Time, with a 4-0 record, remains the only undefeated team in the 10-team Pike County baseball league.
Biddle Dairy of Pittsfield will start June 4, making house deliveries of pasteurized dairy products.
Nebo Community High School graduated 13 on Wednesday, May 28. Betty Boren, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Homer Boren, was named valedictorian; Dorothy Hubbard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hubbard, was named salutatorian, and honorable mention goes to Vera Neese, who was third in her class.
Kinderhook is in the process of setting up the first rural fire protection district in the Pike County.
Bob’s Lunch at the Cate Oil station on West Washington in Pittsfield reopened last night after being closed for a few days for extensive alterations that have been made in this popular eating place.
50 Years Ago
May 31, 1972
The Clarence Marshall Ford agency and garage, at the corner of West Washington and Franklin streets, burned last Wednesday. The fire apparently started in the body shop, and spread very quickly. Marshall says he is still in the business of selling new and used cars, utilizing a small wooden building at the rear of the lot as sales headquarters and office. The Pittsfield Fire Department sent all four fire trucks and its rescue van to fight the blaze, which made a thick black smoke, visible as far away as Pike Station.
The Bottle Shop, owned by John Blake, will have a grand opening tomorrow. It will be a retail package liquor store and specialty foods shop.
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Kay Dehart of Pittsfield had a son, Michael Kay, born at Illini Hospital May 28.
The Independence Church Sunday afternoon held its 17th annual dinner for the upkeep of the Watson and Burbridge cemeteries.
25 Years Ago
May 28, 1997
After about 10 months of negotiations, the City of Pittsfield and the city police union on May 20 agreed on wages and working conditions for police officers. It was agreed that in 1998, new officers’ salaries will start at $20,000.
Alicia Curry has been selected for lifetime membership in the Illinois State University Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, a national honor society in business and management. She recently returned from Canterbury, England where she studied for a semester at Christ Church College as a Study Abroad student. She is the daughter of Kim and Lynn Curry of Griggsville.
Every Memorial Day season for the past 20 years Jim and Evelyn Griffeth have placed flags on the graves of veterans in area cemeteries. For the past 12 years they have been assisted by their son, Brandon.
H. Eldon Fesler, 84 of Pittsfield, died May 25 at Illini Community Hospital. He was born in El Dara in 1912, the son of Harry A. and Anna Harshman Fesler. He married J. Ellen Parrack in 1933, and she died in 1994. They are survived by a son, Pedro, and a daughter, Carol. Mr. Fesler taught school for more than 42 years in Barry and Pittsfield schools, including many years teaching chemistry and physics at Pittsfield High School.
10 Years Ago
May 30, 201
Pittsfield High School staff would like to congratulate Zachary Ferguson on being chosen as this year’s faculty scholarship. Zach is the son of Dana and Judy Ferguson, and will be a senior at Illinois College.
Mayor John Hayden and other members of the community joined Paul and Patty Ruble in a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday afternoon as the Courtyard Café moved to a new location on the square at 128 East Adams Street.
■ Compiled by Michael Boren