As Time Goes By is researched and written for the Journal-Republican by the Piatt County Historical and Genealogical Society.

100 Years Ago

The annual Piatt County Sunday School Convention is scheduled to be held in the Bement Park in August.

Thieves stole a 55-gallon barrel of gas and five pounds of heavy cylinder oil from the Sangamon Township Road tractor near White Heath last week.

The Illinois Traction Company (McKinley Lines) is a real electric railway now offering parlor cars, sleeping cars, modern passenger coaches, centrally located passenger stations and the handling of heavy freight between all points. Frequent passenger service between Peoria, St. Louis, Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, Bloomington, Danville and all intermediate points.

The Illinois State Christian Conference met in the 39th annual session at the Bethel church southwest of Mansfield. Fourteen different ministers of the Christian denomination took part in the program, all of which had a message for the people.

Joseph Rittenhouse, an aged veteran of the Civil War took his own life at his home in Mahomet last week. He went to the barn soon after the noon hour and was found a few minutes after he had hung himself.

Compiled by Roger Wisegarver

75 Years Ago

Dedication of Bryant Cottage as a State Memorial will be July 29 in Bement. The program will be held on the lawn of the cottage. The Bryant home is the place where Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas planned a series of debates on July 29, 1858. Mrs. Lily Sprague was the donor of Bryant Cottage. There will be guest speakers and dignitaries from the surrounding area.

The Piatt County soil conservation district will no longer hold membership in the Upper Sangamon Valley Conservation Service of the City of Decatur. The Piatt County directors voted to pull out due to a disagreement over the policies of flood control. Decatur wants to build dams on the Sangamon, but Piatt County would lose valuable farmland.

Over 400 boys and girls of 4-H and home economics clubs will hold their annual show and exhibits at the Forest Preserve Park in Monticello. Foods, home displays, and clothing made by the home economic division along with livestock from the agricultural division will be judged, and ribbons and cash prizes will be given.

The 2nd Annual Bement Homecoming, July 31 thru August 2, will be held at the Forest Preserve Park. One of the features will be the Empire Magic Show. A dance with Bill Oetzel’s Orchestra in the pavilion will be from 9-12. There will be rides, games, and eats all three days.

Mr. & Mrs. Carl Perry have been placed in charge of the newly remodeled Piatt County Nursing Home. The announcement was made at the open house, where more than 300 visitors inspected the facilities.

In Teen Age Baseball, Monticello beat Tuscola. Cerro Gordo beat Ivesdale to remain tied for the league lead.

AD: Pfeffer Implement Co. has new GMC trucks. The cabs are longer and wider.

Piggly Wiggly has boneless catfish for 42¢ a pound, boneless perch for 37¢ a pound, and homemade potato salad for 27¢ a pound.

At the Lyric was “The Sea of Grass” with Spencer Tracy, while at Bement was “Till the End of Time” starring Dorothy McGuire and Robert Mitchum.

Dr. R.T. Powers is announcing the establishment of a veterinary practice in Bement.

Mr. & Mrs. Clifford Allen are parents of a son born July 21 at Kirby Hospital. They named him Clifford Steven.

Mr. & Mrs. John Rice are parents of a daughter born July 15 in Decatur. Her name is Suzanne.

Compiled by Tim Maier

50 Years Ago

Merle Chapman, manager of the Monticello Grain Company announced this week that his firm has purchased the elevators and facilities owned by the White Heath Grain Co. The purchase was effective July 1, 1972. The sale included the elevators at White Heath, Lodge and Caldwell.

John Gillow, head of the Illinois Division of Waterways, met with a group of Piatt County residents and explained steps which should be taken by Piatt County to reap the maximum benefits from the proposed Oakley Reservoir. Gillow states that farm drainage is one of the big hurdles facing farmers in both Piatt and Macon Counties.

Members of both the Piatt Co. Board and the Kirby Hospital Board held a joint meeting Monday morning to discuss and attempt to iron out details of the proposed new Piatt County nursing home. The legal aspects concerning the land itself have been worked out, but final details as to the operation of the home will have to be ironed out before the go ahead is given to begin the project.

This week at Monticello’s beautiful theater, the Lyric: Thurs, July 27 thru Tues, Aug 2 – All they wanted was their chance to be men – and he gave it to them. John Wayne and “The Cowboys” Rated GP. One show each night at 7:30.

Compiled by Jack Stiverson

25 Years Ago

Nearly 300 people a day enjoy swimming at the Monticello Aquatic Center and 475 people have participated in swim lessons there this summer. According to manager Carlos McClellan, families are the biggest attenders at the pool. In June, 112 family passes were sold.

Kelly McCorkle and his wife Amber have recently opened The Cavalry Co. Pro-Shot Gunsmiths at 4 Bennett Drive in Monticello. McCorkle, who has seven years experience in repairing guns, recently attended school in Missouri for Professional Gunsmiths of America. McCorkle’s full service gunshop offers custom bluing, bore sighting, wood and metal checkering, trigger and action work, firearm cleaning, re-barreling and re-chambering. He also does restoration work and builds custom rifles.

Nine members of the Shorin-Ryu Academy in Monticello qualified for and attended the state championships held in Edwardsville. Five members received gold medals and are recognized as the 1997 state champion of their respective divisions. The Shorin-Ryu competitors were Greg Young, Dale Hibbs Jr., Brett Ritter, Sensei Dale Hibbs, Zeke Wade, Bridget Lee, Justin Houdeshell, Ron Miller, and head instructor Mike Randall.

Compiled by Deanna O’Reilly

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