Sunday, August 20, 2017

Chatsworth Sesquicentennial Photos

Here are some photos you may have missed:

Centennial Queen (1967) Mary Clore-50 years later!! Still a beauty!

The great job of restoration of the Dennewitz Bros. Standard Station by the Glen Dehm Family.

The beauty of an orange and blue sky!

The lovely ladies who made the quilt shop happen!

Alan Baltz  and Zoe Pearson check out the new "Plaindealer" files now available on searchable cd-rom. Soon will be online thru the Baltz Library.

Great pieces on display at the original William Dehm farm. This farm was originally the Puffer farm.

Great piece donated to the town by the Glen Dehm Family.

Check out the full display of photos here.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Obit of Gladys (Warren) Boyer

Former Chatsworth teacher.

Gladys J. Boyer, 81, of Heyworth, passed away at 2:50 a.m. Sunday (Aug. 13, 2017) at her home. Service will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with Greg Taylor officiating. Graveside service will be at 3 p.m. at Ohio Cemetery, West Union. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday and one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Memorials may be directed to the First Christian Church Library, Clinton, or Lewy Body Dementia Association. 
Gladys was born April 24, 1936, in Hume, the daughter of Thomas Kelly and Naomi Harris Waren. She married John R. Boyer on June 12, 1965, in Catlin. Survivors include her husband, John R. Boyer, Heyworth; children, Leigh (Larry Ulrey) Kimmel, Indianapolis, Ind.; Brian Russell Boyer, Bloomington; Kevin Thomas (Angela) Boyer, Bloomington; and Brad Allen Boyer, San Jose, Calif.; two grandchildren, Joanna Lynn Boyer and Joshua John Boyer. She was preceded in death by her parents

Gladys graduated from Illinois State University, Normal. For two years, she was a teacher/librarian at Chatsworth High School; five years at Catlin High School and a librarian at Frankfort Public Library until her retirement. Condolences may be made at

Friday, August 11, 2017

Obit of Rev. William Frank Paton

Former Calvary Baptist Church Minister
Rev. William Frank "Bill" Paton, age 72 of Missionary Acres near Silva, passed away Friday, July 14, 2017 at Terre Haute, Indiana. He was born October 5, 1944 at Oakland, Michigan, the son of Andrew Paton and Dorothy (Hall) Paton. Rev. Paton served as a missionary pastor for many years and served in churches all over the country. His last pastorate was at Calvary Baptist Church in Chatsworth, IL. He was married to Janet Hyer-Elliott May 28, 1994 at Elyria, Ohio. He and his wife Janet had lived at Missionary Acres for the past 7 years. He was a member of Evangel Baptist Church. Survivors include his wife, Janet Paton, of the home, 4 children, Karis Elliott, of Hobart, IN, Kevin Elliott and his wife Wenda, of Temple, TX, Kaylene Bush and her husband Thomas, of New Albany, IN, Kraig Elliott and his wife Anne, of Perry, MI; one sister, Mary Andersen and her husband David, of Rochester Hills, Michigan. Also surviving are 12 grandchildren, Benjamin, Marieve, Ethan and his wife Kelsey, Rosalie, Allyssa, Arik, Kaitlyn, Andrew, Kiersten, Kandice, Kacey and Alistair. Memorial services were held Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at Evangel Baptist Church near Silva with Pastor Mark Hunsberger officiating. Rev. Steve Little and Bro. Ken Moon assisted in the service and special music was provided by the Elliott family, along with congregational singing. Services were under the direction of Morrison-Worley Funeral Chapel. Memorials have been requested to the Evangel Baptist Church.

Obit of Judith Ann (Gillette) Fryda

Judith Ann Fryda, 75, of South Williamsport, passed away Saturday, August 5, at the Gatehouse of Divine Providence Hospital. She was born May 21, 1942 in Joliet, Illinois. The daughter of Lloyd and Dorothy (Bennett) Gillette. Surviving is her husband Lawrence Fryda (Married, February 19, 1994), two daughters; LaDonna (Bradley) Miller of Florida and LeAnna Koerner of Florida, two step sons Bradley (Natalie) Stokes of Colorado and Christopher (Tamera) Fryda of Colorado, two granddaughters; Megan Diller of Florida and Carly Diller of Illinois and one sister, Linnea (Galen) Donley of Illinois.
 Judy was preceded in death by her parents, a niece, Lea Elliott and in-laws James and Maxine Fryda. She was a graduate of Chatsworth High School (1960) and attended Mennonite School of Nursing. Judy was a board certified Echo-cardiographer, EMT and supervisor / teacher of Echo-cardiology at Bromenn Hospital, Bloomington ,IL and Susquehanna Health in Williamsport, PA. She also taught in hospitals in Vladimir, Russia and Accra, Ghana. Judy enjoyed international travel (Italy, Russia, Japan, Egypt, Mexico, Peru, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Australia, Ghana, South Africa and England). Many of these travels allowed her and her husband to work on humanitarian aid projects in the developing world. She shared her love with family and friends by spending quality time together. She never missed a birthday or anniversary. Judy loved the ability to access each of their lives through the world of social media and stayed close though miles divided them. 
Her love of life, her courage and caring heart will be missed by all. She was a life time member of the United Methodist Church. A funeral service to honor Judy’s life will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, August 10 at Pine Street United Methodist Church 441 Pine St.Williamsport, with the Rev. Douglas M. Eberly officiating. Visitation will be held from 1-2 p.m. Thursday at Pine St. UMC. Burial will be in Piper City, Illinois with a memorialservice in Chatsworth, Illinois at a later date. The family suggests memorial contributions in Judy’s name be made to Susquehanna Health Foundation, 1001 Grampian Blvd., Williamsport, c/o Lung Cancer Treatment Center or Pine Street UMC, 441 Pine St., Williamsport, PA 17701. Arrangements entrusted to Sanders Mortuary.

Obit: Judith Ann Fryda

Obit of Joe Saxton

Former Teacher at Chatsworth
VARNA - Joe Saxton, 77, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and teacher passed away on August 6, 2017 in his home. He was born October 31, 1939 in Flanagan, IL, son of Clifford and Marcia (Lucas) Saxton. He married Lillian Highland on June 8, 1962 in Rowe, Il. She survives, as does one daughter, Teryl (Louis) Holocker of Varna, and one granddaughter, Kayla Heal of DeKalb, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, and four brothers. Joe graduated from Illinois State University on June 6, 1966 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in education and in addition, completed graduate studies. He was an Industrial Arts Teacher, retiring from Midland High School in Varna in 2005, but taught many subjects at Midland, Chatsworth, and Piper City high schools throughout his teaching career. He was a carpenter, expert craftsman, bird watcher, and avid gardener. Cremation Rites have been accorded A memorial service will be planned for a later date. Memorial donations may be made in Joe's name to the Varna ambulance. To share memories and condolences with Joe’s family, visit

Joe E. Saxton

Obit of Frances E. (Wilson) Friedman

Frances E. Friedman, 87 of Fairbury passed away at 9:40 pm, Sunday, August 6, 2017 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center, Peoria. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, August 13, 2017 at Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Fairbury. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that memorial contributions be directed to Fairbury American Legion Speedway, Fairbury or Livingston County Humane Society. Cremation rites will follow the visitation with a private family graveside inurnment in Graceland Cemetery, Fairbury at a later date. Frances was born February 7, 1930, in Chatsworth, a daughter to Claude C. and Mayme W. (Berlette) Wilson. She married Harold J. Friedman June 11, 1950, in Chatsworth. He died November 24, 1995. Survivors include one daughter, Pamela (Tom) Hedrick of Fairbury; two sons, Roger (Janis) Friedman of Fairbury; Randy (Lisa) Friedman of Downs; three sisters, Lois Wallrich, Marilyn Dehm, both of Chatsworth; and Mary Lou West of Knoxville; one brother, Claude “Jr.” Wilson of Dwight; nine grandchildren, Daren (Kelly) Friedman, Eric (Kim) Friedman, Jeb (Niki) Friedman, Denver (Mindy) Hedrick, Brooke (Jason) Welborn, Beth (Chris) Mygatt, Kara (Andrew) Weber, Jasmine Bettis, Amanda Bettis and 18 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; 5 brothers and 2 sisters and one infant son, Virgil Allan Friedman. Frances was an avid Chicago Bulls fan and loved her World Champion Cubs. She enjoyed local dirt track racing on Saturday nights in Fairbury. Her dog Maizie gave her great joy and comfort. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Frances E. Friedman

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August Updates



August 10-11. 2017
130th Anniversary of the Great Chatsworth Train Wreck

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Check out his facebook page!

Kurt's Fabrications & Wood Creations



Click on files at the bottom of the page

Friday, August 4, 2017

Obit of Janet Honegger

Janet Ann Honegger, 86, Chatsworth, died at 7:45 am Thursday, August 3, 2017 at Gibson Area Hospital, Gibson City. Graveside inurnment will take place in Graceland Cemetery, Fairbury at a later date. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Fairbury is assisting with arrangements. Mrs. Honegger was born September 29, 1930 in Forrest the daughter of Harold “Dutch” and Anna Mae Ehnen Weihermiller. She married Albert E. Honegger on June 19, 1948 in Charlotte. He died on July 13, 1999. Surviving are her children, Cheryl (Jim) Culkin, Houston, TX; Rob (Barb) Honegger, Louisville, KY; David Honegger, Chicago; 4 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and one brother, Keith Weihermiller. Mrs. Honegger was a graduate of Forrest Twp. High School. She was a bookkeeper at Greenbrier Nursing Home, Piper City and the town clerk in Chatsworth for many years.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Obit of Jacob Scher

Jacob T. Scher, 95, of Sylacauga, Ala., passed away early Thursday morning (July 27, 2017) in his residence. Jacob was born Nov. 8, 1921, in Cotton County, Okla., to Jacob and Lillian Christine Fix Scher. He married Ida Lou Miller on July 20, 1946, in Walters, Okla. She preceded him in death on Oct. 12, 2013. Jacob was baptized in a Baptist church in Walters, Okla. Jacob had worked for many years at the American Screen Products, Chatsworth, as an electrical engineer. Jacob is survived by his children, John Scher, Normal; Jerry Scher, Sylacauga, Ala.; James Scher, Sylacauga, Ala.; Margaret Whitney, Sylacauga, Ala.; Barbara Hassan, Sylacauga, Ala.; and Janet Whitney, Birmingham, Ala; seven grandchildren; 22 greatgrandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, two brothers and three sisters. A funeral service will be at noon Friday at the New Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel, 1300 Chester St., Plymouth, IN 46563, with the Rev. Ed Friberg officiating. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until time of service on Friday at the chapel. Burial will follow in the New Oak Hill Cemetery.

Jacob T. Scher

Monday, July 17, 2017

Obit of Joseph L. DeLong-Civil War Hero-1900

Obit of Joseph L. DeLong, Civil War Hero from a Kankakee, IL. newspaper.
I have been looking for years for this. It was recently added to his memorial at Findagrave by Roy DeLong.

March 17, 1900
Joseph L. Delong, an esteemed citizen of Bradley, was instantly killed Saturday evening while returning to his home from the republican primary polls.
The only witness to the accident was D. Struder, who stood about ten feet behind Mr. DeLong and who relates the circumstances as follows: He was going to his home on the east side of the Illinois Central tracks. Mr. Delong and himself stopped at the street crossing just north of the depot while a north-bound freight train was passing. Mr. DeLong started across the tracks and was struck by the south-bound New Orleans limited which was running at high speed. Mr. DeLong had just stepped upon the track when he was hit. His body was caught by the pilot and thrown against the boiler and then projected about forty feet where a blood stain marks the spot of this fall. He body was then bounded and rolled about sixty feet further until it stopped under the operator's window in the depot. Mr. Struder says that Mr. DeLong was dead when he got to him.
Mr. DeLong was 61 or 62 years of age. He was born in Ohio where he enlisted and went to the Civil War, in which he served three years. He went to Gilman in the early 70's and engaged in the nursery business. In 1875 he went into the merchandising business in Chatsworth, where he burned out three times. In 1893 he came to Bradley. 
He was of an inventive turn of mind and his business for several years has been that of a salesman on the road, selling a number of ingenious wooden novelties that he invented and had made at Schumacher's shop in Bradley. He was a well educated man and often regretted that he had not fitted himself to one profession. 
Mr. DeLong leaves a wife and four children--Albert, who resides in Iowa; Raymond, night ticket agent for the I.C.R. at Kankakee; Gussie, a teacher in the Bradley public schools and Mary, residing at home. 
Funeral will be in the St. Patrick's church at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. Members of the GAR are invited to attend.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Obit of Donald G. Baker

Husband of Pat (Rosenboom) Baker
Donald G. Baker, 78, Fairbury, died at 10:53 pm Thursday, July 13, 2017 at Gibson Area Hospital, Gibson City. Cremation rites have been accorded. Graveside inurnment will be in Forrest Twp. Cemetery. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Fairbury is assisting with arrangements. Mr. Baker was born December 15, 1938 in Pontiac, IL the son of Clarence and Helen Burtch Baker. He married Patricia Rosenboom on December 29, 1962 in Chatsworth. She survives in Fairbury. Other survivors include one daughter, Rebecca (Steve) Wagner, Fairbury; one son, Eric Baker, Chatsworth; seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren and one sister, Melinda Wilgus, Chandler, TX. He is preceded in death by one son, one daughter and one sister, Louise Snyder. Mr. Baker formerly worked at Interstate United Canteen and later Wackenhut Security at State Farm Insurance. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be given to the Donald Baker Memorial Fund.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 12 Update

New Photos

2 new photos added the the Hornickel Family Album
4 Generation Photo added.

Found News Treasures

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Obit of Laverne Bittner

Cook at the Old Chapel Inn
LaVerne Bittner, 89, of Fairbury, died at 9:30 pm, Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at OSF St. James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center, Pontiac. Mrs. Bittner was born August 5, 1927 in Normal, one of five daughters of William and Lena (Demler) Schaab. She graduated from University High School in 1945. She married Wayne E. Bittner on September 15, 1948 in Normal. Their devoted 65-year marriage produced five children. He died June 4, 2014. Her parents, two sisters, two brothers, one daughter, Connie Mueller, and one son, Paul Bittner, also preceded her in death. Survivors include her children, Gary (Linda) Bittner of Silver Spring, MD; Jane (Al) Freehill of Chenoa; Keith (Vickie) Bittner of Fairbury; two sisters, Arlene Gittings of Bloomington; Martha West of Congerville; sisters-in-law Roseann Schaab of Normal; Jean Bittner of Fairbury; and Emma (Pete) Schaffer of Fairbury; 23 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-granddaughter. Mrs. Bittner’s beautiful hands undertook a lifetime of loving work. She used them to work at a photography studio in Normal as a teenager and cook at the Old Chapel Inn in Chatsworth years later. She helped on the Bittner family farm and loved to grow flowers and vegetables in her garden. Those hands also baked countless cookies and pies, as well as knitted and crocheted many a blanket. She also corresponded faithfully with her large family through the years, never failing to send a letter or remember a birthday. She was a member of the Country Domestic Science Club for over 50 years. She also enjoyed card games like Canasta, Skipbo, and later, bingo. There will be a private family funeral service and burial will be in South Apostolic Christian Cemetery, Fairbury. Visitation will be 4:00 to 8:00 pm, Friday, July 14, 2017, at Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Fairbury, and memorials be directed to S.E.L.C.A.S of Fairbury or OSF St. James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center, Pontiac.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Biography of Ted Takasaki

From Chatsworth, Illinois Sesquicentennial-2017:

Ted Takasaki

 Hall of Fame Legendary Angler
Born Dec. 16, 1957
Graduated from Chatsworth High School 1976-Salutatorian
Graduated from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana 1982
Systems analyst-Arthur Anderson & Co. 1982-1983
Computer Sales-Hewlett Packard Co. 1983-1999
President-Lindy Fishing Tackle 1999-2008
Full Time fishing Professional 2008 to present
A Fishing Hall of Fame Legendary Angler, Ted is one of the top competitors on the National Walleye Tour. Ted won the prestigious Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) Classic Championship in 1998 and the 1995 PWt Top Gun Angler Award. In 2002, he smashed the all-time, one day PWT tournament record with limit of 5 walleyes that weighted 53.2 pounds.
From 1998 to 2008, Ted was the President of Lindy Fishing Tackle, on the nation's largest freshwater fishing tackle manufacturers. During that time, the company doubled revenue and quadrupled profit under his leadership.
He was also a part of the Master's Walleye Circuit (MWC) Team of the Year in 1991. His credentials include qualifying for the MWC Championship 5 times, the PWT Classic 11 times, and has made it to the FLW Walleye Tour Classic 7 times, with several top ten's to his credit.
In addition, Ted was a part of the team that won the coveted 1993 Mercury National Tournament held on Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin.
He has been featured in many national outdoor magazines, has conducted hundreds of walleye seminars across the Midwest, hosted numerous TV shows and is considered one of America's Walleye and multi-species experts.

June 27 Update

New Albums

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Obit of Otto Adolf Albrecht

Otto Adolf Albrecht passed away June 10th, 2017 in Stockton, CA. Otto was born in Villingen, Germany on October 24th, 1943. He attended elementary school in Schwetzingen, Germany from 1949 until 1956 when the Albrecht family immigrated to the United States. They arrived in Chatsworth, Illinois in May of 1956, being sponsored by the Lutheran World Federation and the Vernon Hummel family of Chatsworth. Otto attended Chatsworth Elementary/High School where he graduated in 1962. He married Sharon Jensen of Piper City, Illinois in 1964. They had 2 children, a daughter Robin and a son Darin. Otto worked as a maintenance supervisor for a convalescent hospital in Piper City. Otto moved to Lodi, CA in 1987. He worked at Arbor Convalescent Hospital in Lodi for 18 years before retiring. He married Anne Watkins Cheney in 2001 and they then moved to Galt. Otto enjoyed fishing in the Sierra's, going to the cabin at Hathaway Pines, NASCAR races, his 1938 Ford Deluxe, and his cat Pokey. Otto is survived by his wife Anne Albrecht, daughter Robin Albrecht of New York, son Darin Albrecht of Illinois, step daughter Alana Millerick of Linden CA and step son Marc Cheney of Linden CA. He also leaves behind his brother Michael Albrecht Jr. (Kathleen) of Arizona, sister Erika Bekermeier (David) of Oregon, sister Angelika Brooks (Larry) of Oregon, sister in law Sharon Albrecht of Illinois, brother in law Tom Watkins (Gayle) of Linden CA, sister in law Jane Watkins of Rocklin CA and several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by 8 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Preceding him in passing were his parents Michael Albrecht Sr., Elsa Albrecht and brother Siegfried Albrecht. A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday June 27th at 1:00pm at Heritage Park 700 2nd St in Galt, CA. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the American Cancer Society or Hospice of San Joaquin. Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from June 23 to June 29, 2017
Otto Adolf Albrecht Obituary

Obit of Virginia (Leman) Wahls

Virginia K. Wahls, 91 of Chatsworth passed away at 3:57 pm, Thursday, June 22, 2017 at OSF St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Bloomington. Her funeral will be 11 am, Monday, June 26, 2017 at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church; Chatsworth with Pastor Mauricio Vieira officiating. Burial will follow Chatsworth Township Cemetery. Visitation will be 2 to 5 pm, Sunday, June 25, 2017 also at the church in Chatsworth; and 10 to 10:45 am, prior to the service at the church on Monday. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Fairbury has charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the family of Virginia K. Wahls. 
Virginia was born December 2, 1925 in Strawn; the daughter of John and Flossie (Kessler) Leman. She married Albert Wahls on March 8, 1961, in Chatsworth. He died in May of 2001. Her parents and her best friend, Phyllis Shols also preceded her in death. Survivors include her children, Fred (Gwen) Wahls, Strawn; and Steve (Becky) Wahls, Fairbury; and six grandchildren, Erin Wahls, Fisher; Andy Wahls, Rachel Wahls both of Strawn; Lacy (Joe) Turner, Chatsworth; Tyler Wahls, Loredo, TX; and Carson Wahls, Fairbury; and 4 great grandchildren, Dairn, Mariah, Wyatt and Ruby Turner. Virginia and Albert farmed for many years in the Strawn-Chatsworth area. She was a member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chatsworth. Virginia loved people and enjoyed any activity if she could be with friends and family. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Virginia K. Wahls

Obit of Francis Johnson

Francis Johnson, 97, of Saunemin, passed away Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 3:40 p.m. at Evenglow Lodge Tjardes Health Center in Pontiac. His service will be held Monday, June 26, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cullom with Reverend Dr. Richard Riley officiating. Burial will follow at Sunny Slope Cemetery in Saunemin. Visitation will be Sunday, June 25, 2017 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Duffy-Baier-Snedecor Funeral Home in Pontiac. Duffy-Baier-Snedecor Funeral Home, Pontiac, is in charge of arrangements. Francis was born January 13, 1920 in Charlotte, IL to John and Elsena (Gerjets) Johnson. He married Mary Lehmann on September 21, 1941 in St. Charles, MO. She passed away March 30, 2015. He is survived by his sons, Francis (Joanne) Johnson, Jr. of Whitefish Bay, WI, Eric (Joan) Johnson of Saunemin, IL, and David Johnson of Sugar Grove, IL; daughter, Eileen Immke of Saunemin, IL; sister, Fannie Diemer of Pontiac, IL; grandchildren, Marianne Johnson, Chris Johnson, Scot Immke, Shannon Prewitt, Kirk Johnson, Kent Johnson, and Evan Johnson; and seven great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary; two brothers; and one sister. Francis attended Star School in rural Saunemin. He served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945 with the 67th Signal Battalion in France, Germany, Belgium, and the Philippines. He went on the Peoria Honor Flight for veterans to Washington D.C. in 2015. Francis was a lifelong farmer and also worked on the Norfolk and Western Railroads. He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cullom, IL and the Saunemin American Legion. Francis was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He was an avid Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan. Memorials may be made Saunemin Fire and Rescue and Peoria Honor Flight.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sesquicentennial Mementos Still for sale

Still For Sale

Sesquicentennial History Books
$20 - $7 S&H
Sesquicentennial Coins
Now $10
Sesquicentennial T-Shirts
Available at Town Hall or contact
Richard Runyon-815-674-5497
Joy Dassow-815-848-2620
Dawn Hobart-815-848-5727
Send check or money order to:
Sesquicentennial Committee
P.O. Box 151
Chatsworth, IL. 60921


Sesquicentennial Cookbooks
$16 - $5 S&H
Available at Baltz Library 
Send check or money order to:
Baltz Library
P.O. Box 638
Chatsworth, IL. 60921


Sesquicentennial Crocks
Contact Pat Frye at 815-635-3167

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

House fire-June 8, 2017

House fire in Chatsworth 
The home of the Glen Bailey family caught fire on the opening day (June 8, 2017) of the celebration. Here are personal pictures taken by my brother Randy Runyon.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Train Derailment from the Pantagraph

From the

CHATSWORTH — Crews continue to clean up from Tuesday’s train derailment near Chatsworth in Livingston County. “They are working on it, but it’s not causing us any problems here in town,” said Mayor Richard Runyon. Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, a westbound Toledo Peoria & Western (TP&W) train derailed two miles east of town. Four cars derailed, Runyon said. One fell over while three others remained upright. Access into and out of Chatsworth was limited for about two hours and crews are still working on the tracks outside of town. The investigation is continuing, but Runyon said railroad officials think the hot temperatures this week had an impact. “The railroad people told me that because of the heat, the tracks have a tendency to buckle and will move up and down,” he said. “That’s happened before and it apparently happened again.” Temperatures were above 90 degrees earlier in the week. There were no injuries reported, Runyon said.   This wasn’t the first rail derailment, nor the worst, in Chatsworth. “For those of us that live here, we constantly are reminded about the one that kind of made us famous,” he said. “It’s part of our history and we recognize that during our anniversary celebrations.” In 1887, a TP&W passenger train on its way from Peoria to Niagara Falls derailed after crossing over a trestle damaged by fire. The Aug. 10 crash killed 85 of the 700 passengers. There also were derailments reported in 1951 and 2010. The accident in 2010 fell on the 123rd anniversary of the 1887 derailment and also was blamed on hot weather.

Chatsworth train derailment

Obit of Gary Pendleton-January, 2017

Husband of Nancy Dickman
Gary F. Pendleton, 80 of Champaign; formerly of Paxton passed away at 4:05 a.m. Saturday, January 7, 2017, at his home. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 14, 2017, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Chatsworth with Rev. Emil Blobaum officiating. Burial will follow in Charlotte Cemetery, Chatsworth with military honors. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday, January 13, 2017, at Baier Family Funeral Services, 406 E Pells Street, Paxton and one hour prior to the funeral service from 1-2 p.m. Saturday at the church. Gary was born February 4, 1936 in Ashaway, Rhode Island the son of Delmar and Mona Hunt Pendleton. He married Nancy Dickman March 4, 1956 in Chatsworth. She survives. Along with his wife, he is survived by many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Bruce Pendleton, one daughter, Linda Pendleton; two brothers and one sister. Gary grew up in the Westerly and Coventry, Rhode Island areas. He served in the United States Air Force for 20 years, retiring in 1974. During his service, he was stationed in Korea and Okinawa for 1 ½ years and also in California, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Delaware. After his retirement, he worked in Civil Service at Chanute Air Force Base until they closed in 1993. He was a former member of the First Lutheran Church, Paxton and the Paxton Lion’s Club. While stationed in Hawaii he was a Cub Master and belonged to the PTA. He was an avid Boston Red Socks and New England Patriots fan. Gary enjoyed working on his computer, watching TV and fishing. He was generous with his time and loved helping others. He was well known as the neighborhood fix-it man. Memorials may be made to an organization of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be offered at

Gary Francis Pendleton

Saturday, June 10, 2017

More on the Balloon Accident

From the Pantagraph:


CHATSWORTH — One person was injured in a hot-air balloon mishap at the Chatsworth sesquicentennial celebration Thursday evening, but the balloon landed safely a short distance away. Four balloons were preparing to launch shortly before 6:30 p.m. when the incident occurred. Witnesses said the wind was calm before the accident. Livingston County Sheriff Tony Childress said Friday, “Apparently, there was a wind gust that caused one balloon to lift up.” The basket tipped and the pilot fell out, he said. The pilot was transported to OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington. Childress said he did not know whether the pilot, whom he did not name, was hospitalized. “It's our understanding at this point that the injuries were not life-threatening,” said Childress. “No one was injured other than the individual that fell out of the basket.” The sheriff said the incident remains under investigation. Mayor Richard Runyon, who was at opening ceremonies elsewhere at the time, said, “Luckily they knew enough to go past the power lines and out of town before pulling the rope” to bring down the balloon. According to one witness, Wayne Germain of Pontiac, “People followed it on the ground and told them what to do.”  Other bystanders told him some passengers got bumps and bruises when the baskets dragged along the ground. “Thank God there weren't any serious injuries,” he said. Germain shot video as the drama unfolded. “It was frightening,” said Germain, noting the wind had been calm for hours. “Out of nowhere, a gust of wind came — 20 mph at least,” he said. “Twenty seconds later, it was calm again.” But in those 20 seconds, there was chaos — and it didn't end when the wind stopped. Four balloons were lined up to take riders aloft and crews had just started to fill the colorful balloons with hot air when the gust blew in. Shortly after the video begins, the wind grabs one of the balloons. Germain notes, “You can hear the rope snap and see a guy fall about 4 feet.” That balloon collided with a second balloon, which had its basket dragged along the ground until it collided with a third balloon, goes airborne, then hits the ground hard before rising up again, with the pilot hanging almost upside down on the side of the basket. He pulls on a cord and falls as the basket hit the ground hard with the balloon again going aloft — this time, without its pilot. Germain said it was fortunate two of the teams were able to quickly deflate their balloons, none of the balloons went into the crowd of spectators and the pilot-less balloon was able to land safely with directions from the ground.  Childress said the balloon “didn't crash” but floated and came to rest at another location. Germain, a hot-air balloon enthusiast, said, “In my 30 years of watching hot-air balloons … I've never seen a gust of wind come across like that.” His video of the incident quickly went viral on the internet, receiving more than 100,000 views on Facebook, in addition to being shown on various television outlets. Germain said he has received calls “from around the world” from people involved in hot-air ballooning who want to use his video for educational and training purposes and he is happy to share it. “I'm glad I got the opportunity to video it,” he said. Although he described it as “a freak accident,” Germain said seeing how quickly conditions can change has cooled his desire to go airborne. “I always wanted to fly in a balloon but couldn't afford it,” he said. “Now, I don't want to go. No, thank you.” The Chatsworth sesquicentennial celebration continues Saturday, with music, fireworks and other entertainment, but Runyon said the hot-air balloon rides will not be rescheduled.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sesquicentennial Events Happening

(New photos added as they happen)

Balloon Launch Accident

See Facebook post of film of the balloon mishap posted by Wayne Germain. Things could have been a lot worse. The first balloon came down in a field northeast of town. 
Click on link below.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Chatsworth Wreck Programs

And more: local history books and displays
JUNE 10, 2017 – 10 A.M. & 1 P.M.


What's New at the Chatsworth Illinois Memories website???
Click on the "Announcement" photo to go there.
Much more info that I have here on my blog!!