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Emails for November 2011
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City Honor | Hank's Alley Saloon | Wrong Information | Found loose dog | Christmas trees for sale | Christmas House Walk | Santa's Helpers Needed! | Christmas House Walk | To Memories Past | Thanks a million | Kudo's | 30 Years Ago today | Community Religious Concert | Minonk Fire | New Buildings | Donations needed to replace pinewood derby race track | Minonk Successful Farmers 4-H Meeting | Fire Coverage | Huge thanks to Charlie McGuire ! | New Buildings | Looking for photos from Dana Tornado |

City Honor

I would like to send my congradulations to Jack Jochums on his recent award from the City. This is an honor for Jack which is richly deserved and long over due. I can think of very few people in my memory who have contributed so much to the City of Minonk. Jack and I go back many years, as they say.

Jon R Johnson

Wrong Information

The Painting on the bowling alley was not done by Chuckie Pratt but by Gregg Wilson (Illini Painting).
Editors reply: I apologize for the omission. However, I did see Chuckie Pratt up on the cherry picker painting the building.

Lynn Cusac

Christmas trees for sale

Christmas trees are for sale starting, Monday, November 28th at 902 N. Walnut Street. Also for sale are wreaths and roping. Hours are Sun - Mon from 8 am to 5 pm or call 309-287-3300.

Denny Kleen

Santa's Helpers Needed!

Santa's Helpers are again providing gifts for children aged 12 and under who meet the eligibility requirement to sign up through the Minonk Township Food Pantry.

If you would like to be a Santa's Helper, please call Jennifer Lindsay (432-2793) and she will match you with a registered child.

Please take the gifts (unwrapped, but identified with the assigned number) to Jennifer Lindsay's home or to St. Paul's Church at 236 W. 5th St. no later than Sunday, December 11.

The gifts will be distributed on Saturday, December 17.

Nancy Manning

To Memories Past

Dave, the horrific fire that occurred in Minonk in late October was just made known to my family, so the shock of the incident is still fresh for me. While I never lived in Minonk, it is the hometown of all my relatives on both sides of the family. We spent two weeks every summer visiting grandparents, aunts and uncles. Because we moved a number of times during my childhood, the only real "hometown" that I ever knew became Minonk!

In April, 2011, my sister, Carole and I had the opportunity to spend several days in and around Minonk, celebrating the memories of our relatives and the history of Minonk. We enjoyed the hours browsing through your museum, where you have done an outstanding job of memorializing the town history through so many relics and artifacts of years gone by. I hope and pray that your building suffered no damage in the fire, smoke or otherwise.

Thank you, Dave, for your excellent coverage of the fire that will forever change the physical landscape of Minonk. Reluctantly I recognize that life brings change, and I look forward to seeing what creative plans will evolve in the reconstruction of the stores and businesses lost along Chestnut Street. I'm sure the good folks of Minonk will strive to honor the past as they move into the future.

Martha Jones Ashton
Woodbridge, Virginia

Martha Ashton


Please convey my congratulations to SSgt Matt Kalkwarf. Always great to see a fellow Minonkite do well in the service to our Country. From an old retired Airman to a young current Airman.

USAF Retired

Jon R Johnson, Maj

Community Religious Concert

16th annual concert will be held on Sunday Nov. 13th at First Baptist Church in Minonk.
7:00 P.M. free admission. Local musical talent. Everyone invited.

Jack Jochums

New Buildings

Please, please don't build a metal building with the likes of the current IGA! Nothing could be less appealing architecturally than that building on MAIN ST USA!

Bryan Schaffer

Minonk Successful Farmers 4-H Meeting

We will be having our first meeting for the 2011-2012 4-H year on Sunday November 13th at 4:00 at St Pauls United Church of Christ basement in Minonk. New members are welcome!!!! Anyone 8 years old by September 1st 2011 is welcome to join. We will meet on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 4:00 thru out the year. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact Kim Barth at 432-2298.

Kim Barth

Huge thanks to Charlie McGuire !

A huge THANK YOU to Charlie McGuire for coming to our home and roping off the mess in our yard to keep the trick or treaters safe. With all the uneven areas and the broken glass, bricks , gravel, etc. that was left from the construction crew laying the sewer pipes, we were afraid someone would get seriously hurt. Thanks Charlie for caring !!!!!!! The Barths

Betty Barth

Looking for photos from Dana Tornado

Hi Dave,

I was wondering if you could ask the viewers for photo's from the Dana Tornado.
I really can't remember the year, maybe 73-76? This is truly a guess.


Linda (Bane) Booth

Hank's Alley Saloon

In response to Hank Berenz's letter: We miss Hank' hasn't ever been the same since you guys left. As you know, Casi Cusac and I worked for you, we talk about the good old days up there all the time. I still call it Hank's and always will. I still sport my Hank's t-shirt once in a while too. Since Thanksgiving has just passed, I've heard more than one person refer to Hank's-giving...I was one of them!!!!

Take care guys and we miss you!

Rhonda Yeagle White

Found loose dog

We found a sweet male dog running around in our backyard on West 4th Street. He has a blue collar, but no tags. His owner can call me at: 309-825-7146.

Sarah Prosser

Christmas House Walk

Does anyone know how many houses are going to be on the Christmas House Walk? Thank you!

Don't the Christmas lights look beautiful uptown????? It puts you in the mood for Christmas. Thanks to all who work on these things.

Rhonda White

Christmas House Walk

Is there still going to be a Christmas house walk on Dec 3? Where do you get tickets and a map?

Rhonda White

Editor's reply: There is a Christmas house walk on Dec 3. Refer to this link.


Thanks a million

Dear Editor,

After a long weeks. we wanted to take some time to respond to the amazing residents of Minonk and say thank you to some very special people who have been so important while we are re-building our business and reflecting on more than 30 years of great memories. On Wednesday, October 26th after a relentless fire, we were joined by loyal patients and good friends from the town of Minonk while we said goodbye to Dr. Naik's office building in historic downtown Minonk. I want to especially thank some people who were unbelievable during the past week: Fire Marshall John Durre and all of the dedicated firemen, Craig Meyers from Meyer Jochums Agency, Craig Kalkwarf and Stephen O'Riely from Alpha Community Bank, Jim Fox, Gene and Sharon Oncken, our staff – Fern Schlueter, Sherry Tarmann, Jamie Gale, Allison Clapp, Vicki Jones, their friends and family. And millions of thanks to Fieldcrest High School, whose students helped us move all of our furniture, thanks to Fieldcrest high school's football team for their muscles, their coach, and the superintendent. Thanks to the countless helping hands and hearts, we are already back in business at our Toluca office!

We came from Bombay, India 33 years ago, and Minonk was our first home. Quite a culture shock but a good one because we were welcomed with open arms. Our patients in Minonk and surrounding areas welcomed us 33 years ago as perfect strangers, and today they are some of our closest friends and like family. We will forever be thankful to Minonk and the incredible community; we feel lucky to still be a part of it…just a few miles away…

All our best and many many thanks,
Paul, Vandana, Neal, and Meghan Naik


30 Years Ago today


30 years ago today Hank's Alley Saloon opened. It was a Tuesday and election day. The city manager came in at lunch time and told me I had to close untill the polls closed. I told him the law had changed and he went back to city hall to check. He called me about a hour later to tell me I could stay open and welcome to Minonk. The next day the State of Illinois came in to close me down because the last owners were not paid up on their sales tax. I asked how much was owed then cleaned out the cash register and sent them on their way, not able to make change for the 4 customers I had that day. It was a rough start but the next 20 years were the best times of my life. Julie and I both miss Minonk and all the great people.

Hank Berenz

Minonk Fire

From a distance of a lot of miles, you made it possible to follow the very sad destruction of buildings that still were active as they were when I grew up there. I am sure that there are many who feel the pain and will be active in the "rebuilding" of a great part of so much personal history. Again, thanks for all the stories and history of "My" Minonk too.

Albin Johnson

Donations needed to replace pinewood derby race track

The cub scouts lost their pinewood derby race track in the fire in Minonk this past week. An account with Minonk Community Bank has been set up under "pack 3878 race track fund" for receiving donations to help purchase another track. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

Rick Joyal

Cub scoutb Bear Den Leader

Fire Coverage

Thank you for the fantastic coverage of last weeks devastating fire in Minonk. The pictures, videos and articles really helped convey the gravity of the situation to us non-resident Minonkites. To say I have a great appreciation of your outstanding MinonkTalk web site is a gross understatement. I visit the site at least twice a day, every day.
I do not know how to adequately express my concern and support to those who lost their businesses/buildings. Thank God there was no loss of life. May the Good Lord look favorably on the people of Minonk, this day and every day to come.
Keep up the good work.

Jon R Johnson

New Buildings

Great article. Maybe the new buildings could be a mix of the old style building with a modern structure? Maybe incorporate the bank vault in there somewhere. You will only get one chance, so I hope the planning process is not rushed.

Brian Cannon