100 years ago

As the newly chosen pastor of the Monticello Presbyterian Church I desire very much to have each member and friend of the church and congregation present next Sabbath morning. My message will be expressly for them. — Morton C. Long, Pastor.

Committee discussion continues to ascertain if it would be possible to proceed with the building and equipping of our tuberculosis sanatorium on Mr. Allerton’s donated land for that purpose north of Camp Creek near Nelson’s Crossing.

Monticello fans turned out en-mass last Sunday afternoon to see the newly organized Community Club ball team in action against the Weldon aggregation. Weldon team prevailed in the extra inning game 7 to 2. Next Sunday the Decatur All Stars will be the attraction.

The assessor for Goose Creek Township has finished his work. He found and has reported the following property: 1335 horses, 1431 cattle, 195 mules, 237 sheep, 2037 hogs, 87 engines, 322 wagons, 214 automobiles, 98 sewing machines, 95 pianos, 44 phonographs and 118 dogs.

The Community Club discussed organizing a city-wide Sale Day featuring special advertising and the giving away of a car, as Tuscola had done. A vote was taken as to car. It carried unanimously.

ll the farmers in and around Atwood, when the farm organizations of Moultrie Douglas and Piatt Counties held a joint picnic in the Albert Quick grove one mile north of Atwood. The farm advisors of all three counties spoke from the platform.

Corn is doing fine and most of the farmers will be through cross plowing by the middle of the week.

The DeLand Chautauqua will be held July 2-6. Mansfield’s will then commence on July 9.

The boys of Bement are forming a Radio Club. The first meeting is to be held at the home of Joe Curry.

The body of Kelso Garver, who died in France during the World’s War, will arrive in Mansfield today. A military funeral will be held Sunday afternoon at 230 at the home of Mrs. Garver’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Schuler.

Four large advertisers appear on page one of the Mansfield Express paper: Wm. House – Hardware, Furniture, Undertaking; Cash Supply Company – Groceries; W.E. Peck Company – Groceries along with S & H Green Stamps; A.R. Ross – Staple and Fancy Groceries.

– Compiled by Roger Wisegarver

75 years ago

Nell England and Max Platz won the 2-ball foursome golf tournament as the Monticello Golf Club opened its 25th season. Elizabeth Lodge and Donn Piatt were 2nd and Isabel Platz and Herb Bradley were 3rd.

Art Mathisen, 1943 cage captain and center of the famed U of I Whiz Kids has been named basketball coach at MTHS to succeed another ex- U of I cager, Tom Nesbit according to E.L. Johnson, principal. John L. Freemuth, now assistant coach at Batavia, has been appointed football coach to succeed Eugene H. (Buck) Schroth, Johnson announced.

Sydney E. Alkire has been hired as principal of Bement High School, it was announced by Lew Wilkinson, president of the board of education.

Vernon E. Broadhead, superintendent of community schools in Thawville, has accepted the principalship of DeLand High School.

1,800 poppies were sold by the American Legion Auxiliary. Monticello citizens contributed $288.58.

Eight students had perfect attendance at MTHS for this school year.

Forty nine eighth graders and 8 from rural schools were treated to a tour of Chicago last week making the trip in 2 busses.

Sixty six MTHS students were named on the school honor roll for the last semester, 21 freshman, 13 sophomores, 12 juniors, and 20 seniors.

Fourteen school districts in the Bement vicinity will vote Saturday on one of the largest elementary school consolidations ever proposed in the state. Ballots will be cast in 5 polling places on a proposal that the 14 join and send pupils to school in Bement. Districts taking part in the election will be Ray, Concord, Moma, Bement, Davies, Fisher, Mitchell, Coffin, Moore, Gulliford, Voorhies, Beard, McCabe and Baker.

“Speck” Stiverson of Monticello turned in a 75 Sunday at Villa Grove to chalk up the lowest score of the four city golf tournament in which Sullivan beat out Monticello Farmer City and Villa Grove.

Voters of 14 school districts in Piatt County approved overwhelmingly the largest elementary school consolidation in the history of the County when they voted to send their pupils to the grade school in Bement beginning next fall.

DeLand residents voted Saturday to authorize the board of education to purchase a home for use by the new principal of the township high school.

Piatt County will receive $3,231 as its share of state motor fuel tax receipts for May.

AD: An OPA order on increases for milk prices was issued effective June 7, 1946. Sanitary Dairy prices in Monticello and Bement are as follows: Milk – quart - .14 cents; milk – gallon - .53 cents; whipping cream – 1-2 pints - .23 cents, cereal cream – pint - .17 cents; chocolate milk – quart - .14 cents.

The engagement of Dorothy Jane Butler to Linden V. Combes was announced – marriage will be July 3rd at Presbyterian Church in Monticello.

Forty six children are enrolled in the kindergarten which is being conducted at Lincoln Grade school. Kathryn Valentine is the teacher.

Glenn Summers of Decatur, formerly of Monticello, has been employed as principal of Washington School. He will replace Miss Pearl Mosgrove who resigned as principal, but will continue as a teacher in the departmental grades.

– By Kay Gilbreath

50 years ago

Parkland College will offer over 100 credit courses and several non-credit courses during its six week summer session beginning June 21. The courses, both daytime and evening will range from college transfer to leisure time activities, from special career to home improvement courses and from business to agriculture courses.

Mansfield American Legion Kelso Garver Post No. 650 officially dedicated their own memorial stone on Sunday, May 30, located on the lot just north of their building on the main business street. This huge two ton stone which was excavated north of Mansfield by the highway men for the new road, was brought into Mansfield and placed on the lot some time ago.

Recreation director Tom Young has announced that the annual summer recreation program is slated to get underway on Monday, June 14 and will continue through Friday, July 30. Playground activities will be conducted at Washington School on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning from 9 – 11. Girls’ softball will be at Washington School playground at 10 a.m. Golf instruction will be at the golf course on Mondays at 1:00 p.m. Tennis will be on Tuesdays from 9 – 11 at the high school courts.

Members of the Monticello Chamber of Commerce heard a progress and growth report concerning Kirby Hospital from Tom Dixon at their regular monthly meeting Monday. Dixon first commented on the newly built extended care facility, said that in less than a year the facility is fully occupied with a present waiting list of twelve individuals. He commented that the building of the annex and the plans in its preparation were a real education for him and the Board of Directors.

More than one million dollars’ worth of earth moving and conservation machinery will be used to transform four Monticello farms into models of soil and water conservation August 24-26. The occasion will be the 1971 Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Show, more than 10,000 people are expected as spectators during the event sponsored by Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association. Farms of Piatt County Landowners Melissa Noel, Ella Norfleet, Robert Miller and Mollie Williams were selected for the show site.

– Compiled by Jack Stiverson

25 years ago

Bement residents and visitors celebrated Bement Day this past Saturday with a variety of activities, including a Backyard Volleyball Tournament, old-fashioned children’s games, a 5K run, pedal tractor pull, chicken fry and Dixieland jazz. The town’s new signs, paid for by Bement Village, arranged by the community’s Development Committee, were also unveiled on Bement Day. Donn Piatt, a 75-year-old businessman who makes it a practice to show up for work each day, last week celebrated a career that has spanned a half-century. Piatt is an active owner of Burgess &.Cline Insurance, located on the north side of the Monticello square. Piatt is a native of Monticello and the great-great grandson of Piatt County founder James A. Piatt. A new display at the Red House Museum in Monticello features dolls and doll accessories from as far back at the early 1900’s. The dolls have been collected through donations and antique collections and include antique, porcelain, china, plastic, and rubber dolls and other accessories such as high chairs and carriages.

The Monticello Railway Museum hosted its annual Father’s Day “Bluegrass & More” celebration this past weekend. The train yards on the museum grounds featured an open stage show for bluegrass musicians, and fathers were invited to ride the train free when accompanied by their child. See the aerial fireworks on Lodge Park and avoid all the traffic. The “Fireworks Train” will run on July 3rd. The train leaves from the Old Wabash Depot in downtown Monticello at 8 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, camp stools & picnic baskets if you wish. Food, ice cream and soft drinks available at the site. A popular event this year at the Fat Hill Fest in Cerro Gordo was the Bed Races. Six teams were entered and prizes were awarded. The five-member teams included four who pushed and one who rode. John Baker, chairman of the Fat Hill Fest, was the official starter for the Bed Races. Twenty-nine students from DeLand-Weldon High School and seven chaperones, under the direction of Suzan Schlesinger, traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in a choral music festival called “America Sings!” May 8-11.

– Compiled by Deanna O’Reilly

As Time Goes By is researched and provided to the Journal-Republican by The Piatt County Historical and Genealogical Society.

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