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Emails for January 2003

Volunteers wanted for July 4th committee

The Minonk Fourth_Of_July Committee is once again seeking volunteers to help organize the Minonk celebration. Anyone wishing to be a part of the 4th of July Committee please feel free to come to the 1st meeting of the New Year. The committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday, January 29th , 7 p.m. at City Hall.

We welcome anyone who would like to help us, has new ideas, likes to stay busy and generally wants to contribute to the community. The committee meets usually once a month until it gets closer to July and there are several sub-committees that volunteers may help out with, they are: Parade (needs help), Beer Tent, Kids Events and anything else that you may wish to do: bingo, pie eating contest, kiddie tractor pulls, a running/walking event, a basketball event, etc. just let us know.

If you aren't interested in actually being on the Committee BUT would like to help behind the scenes please feel free to contact me and we will certainly let you help us out. This event could not happen without the help of many, many volunteers. Anyone wishing to help but cannot attend the meeting please feel free to contact me, Cathy McKay.

Cathy McKay

Former resident finds website

Hi--I am Diane (Kasha) Williams and have only recently found this website--by talking with Jeri Lynn Oncken. I am bringing some Minonk memorabilia to her from my Aunt Margaret Roberta who passed on September 6, 2002.

She became quite a favorite with my children and grandchildren and we have revelled in the many stories she told of her early years in Minonk.

A quick synopsis of "me" is that I returned to college in 1983 when my husband got ill and had to reitre. I attended IVCC having lived in Streator for 32 years, and graduated with honors from Joliet Junior College in 1995(after moving to Morris). I received a bachelor of arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in Addiction Studies from Governors State University, University Park, Illinois in December of 1999. I continued and received my Master of Health Science, Addiction Studies in December 2001 from the same university. I am a certified aIcohol and drug counselor. I had been employed by North Central Behavioral Health Systems, Inc. in Ottawa and LaSalle as a behavioral health therapist for approx. 2 years and am currently employed as counseling director for ADV/SAS (A Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Service) in Streator, and I also travel to the Ottawa and Pontiac offices. Retirement is just out of the question--got too much to accomplish!! When I graduated with my BA, I was joined in graduation honors by my granddaughter Lindsay Tea who graduated from Reed Custer High School in Braidwood and my grandson Steven Williams who graduated from Woodland Grade School, Streator. I feel that is quite a nice accomplishment to graduate the same year as 2 of my grandkids.

Thanks for putting this site together--it is great to be able to run through the list of alumi and recognize many former schoolmates.


Looking for pictures of Mingers home

I have a photo from 1909 of the exterior of the
JA Mingers house which looks like the one posted on your website. I was wondering if there were any photos of the interior of the house before it was torn down. The photo belonged to my grandfather who was a decorator /artist from the Czech Republic, who mostly decorated churches (more than 100 in Illinois and elsewhere) but who also decorated some houses and commercial buildings. He came to Chicago in 1907 and did work all over the midwest shortly after he arrived, and I was wondering if the reason he had the photo might be because he did some work at the Mingers house. The other possibility is that he may have done some work at St. Barbara's church. Are there any interior photos of that also? My grandfather's name was John A. Mallin.

Thank you.

Kathy Mallin
Glenview, IL

Fieldcrest should have promoted from within

Dave, Upon reading Mr. Siefert's letter, it occurred to me that the Ode could have addressed Mr. Siefert's departure as a huge loss to the Fieldcrest school system.

While I am not familiar with the details of his departure, I do know that I addressed the school board with a concern about promotion from within. The board had taken a position to use a talent search company at some expense, to fill top-level positions. While current staff were welcomed to contact the search firm to make application, I questioned the necessity of doing so. I felt then, and feel today, that current staff should be given preferential consideration for promotion. In addition to reducing expense, this would create a more positive morale, as employees of the district would realize that they can reach higher levels of success in their careers, without having to relocate.

In addition, transitioning would be more efficient, as cultures and policies would already be understood. However, the school board could not be prevailed upon, and as I understand it, the policy exists today. In this case, Fieldcrest's loss was El Paso's gain.

I will bestow an accolade to Mr. Siefert. My family certainly misses his professionalism, dedication, and loyalty to the staff and parents of Fieldcrest.

Joe Limbaugh

Wants clarification on Ode to 2002

Dear Dave,

Just as a point of clarification. I am one of 2 principals who left Fieldcrest last year. I would like to think that my 30 year career at MDR, Toluca and Fieldcrest ended on a positive note and not in an argument with the Superintendent.

My choice was based on a career move and not as a result of any dispute. I feel that Fieldcrest had an sound educational system, and that I might have had a small part to do with that program. I do not expect any accolades nor did I get any. I would simply like your readers to know that my departure was based on personal career advancement.

Thank you,

Bill Seifert

Editor's note: The Ode to 2002 reference to a Principal was about Don Achelpohl's complaint of the mold in his office and not about anyone else.

Pantagraph carrier memories

Your story about life as a paperboy brought back memories of when my brother Gail and I delivered papers for the Pantagraph during the same time period when you were delivering papers. Many of your memories I can identify with although my brother and I decided to walk the route rather than riding a bicycle. We thought it was too much trouble getting on and off the bike.

I too remember the bad weather we had to endure. You mentioned how popular our route supervisor Woody Shadid was with your parents. Woody used to stop and visit with my grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Broers, with whom I lived while I was a paperboy. They really liked Woody and thought it was great of him to take a half and hour out of his day to spend visiting with them.

Another memory I had was with "Doc" E. M. Hodgson who ran a drugstore for many years in the south block of Chestnut Street. Every Saturday when I would collect from Doc for the paper I would go inside his house and stand on top of a table to wind his grandfather clock for him since he was unable to reach it.

Thanks for bringing back the memories we had as paperboys.

Jack Cullen

Update on Bradbury Grocery

Dave, I remember the Bradbury on the southside known as the Well's store, 70 years ago. Don't quote me, but I think Mrs. Bradbury was a Wells. They always had the best selecton of penny candy that you couldn't find in Visserings store.

Looking at your temp. this AM I'm glad I'm in SUNNY Az. We're expecting our 75 to go for at least another week. This is running about 10 degrees over average.

Keep up the good work on the site..........Emily Zivney

Looking for more Minonk Fans memorabilia


I am still going through the articles on the Minonk Fans which I have. I have not found anymore covering the 1923 games that remained in the season.

If you think it would do any good to make a public appeal for more Minonk Fans data, that would be fine by me. I do not know if you have received any email on the article you published on the website. I am afraid we might be a little late requesting any data. I called my cousin, Uncle Dutch's son in St. Louis, and he has nothing on the Fans or Minonk. He thinks anything his mother and father might have had was thrown out. Too bad. I will send you the data I have after I go through the final articles. I am enjoying reading the articles and seeing names of people I heard of when I was growing up.

Take care.

George Halfmann

Paperboy memories from Dana

I just finished your story about the Pantagraph route...my sister Mabel, and brothers Jim, Gary, and I had the Dana paper route in our family for 22 years...we relived some of our memories as we gathered last week following our oldest brother's passing. I have a newspaper article but it is decoupaged onto a piece of paneling and not worth scanning.

You didn't cover the stories of how many times birds crapped on you or the 'worst feeling' in the world when your feet slipped off the wet pedals and you were suddenly turned into a soprano! The morning routine helped me in the military and the first job afterwards as I was able to get up and moving before others. Collection on Saturday was a treat and if I would have kept all the chocolate covered cherries received at Christmas, I'd open a candy store! I truly had some great customers and appreciate how they tolerated some late deliveries on some occasions due to illness, weather, etc.

We remember Woody Shadid also ... Gary thinks he has retained some other 'official' (emeritus position) with the paper after he retired as a district representative.

I recall the winter gatherings as well or the regional meetings held in El Paso to help with promoting sales...there were silver dollars as rewards. One of the other 'rewards' was attending a movie in Bloomington with those who substituted for us while we needed help. I believe we saw Old Yeller, about the dog, not the teacher.

Cheers and Happy New Year.

Steve Cinnamon

Looking for information on Eureka cemetery

Hi, I am researching ancestors that were from woodford county. They married in Minonk. I am hoping to find some folks who know about the older cemeteries around Eureka. Does anyone out there know who takes care of the old Methodist E . Cemetary just north and west of Eureka? Also I have an obituary which describes where the person was buried but did not name the exact cemetary. If someone out there could help me? I would be more than glad to provide you what information you may need to help me along in my family history research. My research is around Eureka but haven't been able to find anyone to help me with it. Many thanks in advance.

Susan Gayle

Suggests to read water meter yourself

This is to make a suggestion to the E-Mail from Susan Skaggs in her concern for her water bill. In August 2002 I received my water bill showing I had used 300 cubic feet more than the meter reading. This amounted to 25.00 dollars more on the bill. The meter water meter reader for Minonk read the meter wrong. He read a number 4 as 7, thus adding 300 cubic feet more of water that I did not use. I complained about this when I paid my bill and showed the error to the city clerk.

The City of Minonk sent someone out to read my water meter and confirmed that indeed the meter was read wrong the first time. My suggestion is to read the meter yourself every month or if you do not know how to read the meter, have a friend or family member read it who knows how to read water meters. Some times the meter reader who is always in a rush will in a haste read the meter wrong. Hope this will be helpful.

Bernard Yago

Concerned about city water bills

I'm writing this in concern to the water bills in Minonk. I and several other citizens have been questioning the way water bills are read and how we are charged for water. An example is that for a period of 2-3 months I will pay the exact same amount or very close to the same amount and than we have a month where the bill will go up approximately $25.00 - $30.00. We check for leaks and do not have any. We don't change our normal routine in our household of water use. Than the next month the bill will go back down to the original amount that we normally pay. My mother-in law who lives alone and is very conservative with water use pays and average of $45.00 - $65.00 a month. Another citizen who also lives alone may pay only $17.00 - $20.00 a month. I have also spoke with people who have 3-4 children who do alot of laundry, and who would normally use alot more water than a person living alone pay only $25.00 - $35.00 a month.

I have spoken with the Mayor and the City Administrator on many occasions and have not gotten a clear reason on why this is happening. I truly believe that Minonk has a serious problem with the way water bills are either being read or being charged. I would like feedback from other citizens in Minonk on how they feel about there water bills and if they feel as concerned as I do about this ongoing problem. I would appreciate any negative as well as positive responses.

Susan Skaggs

More paperboy memories

I enjoyed your editorial about carrying papers. I was also a paper carrier. I delivered the Pantagraph and the Streator paper. The afternoon route was easier than the morning route. Most of the carriers would meet behind the post office before the Streator paper got there and we would pitch pennies to a line in the driveway. You didn't get rich doing that but if you were good you could make soda money. I don't think I ever just threw the paper on anyone's driveway. I even had one that I took into the house and put on the kitchen table if no one was home. A lot of people had places where they would hide their money so I could get it when I delivered the paper early in the morning. There was a lot of good times and hard times delivering papers but it was a good experience.

Bill Hinkle

Prima donna paperboys?

You have issued a challenge to us less thoughful paper boys who rode down the street throwing papers at houses as we went by. I'll have to write a response as a Streator Times Press carrier. What warm hearted, service minded, dedicated souls you Pantagraph carriers must have been! And you fell for the 'FREE STEAK DINNER' paid for from the corporate pockets.

Happy New Year.

Barth Weistart