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Emails for June

Looking for W. C. Brewster

Dave, do you or anyone in the area know what happened to W.C. Brewster. He went to M-D-R his freshmen year(1955). Then I think he moved to Texas. He has not attended any of the class reunions. I think his mother and step dad still live in Minonk, but I am not sure of their name. It is one of the Schneider's. Would appreciate help in tracking him down.

Thanks....Karen Mooradian

Editor's note: Bud Schneider is W. C.'s stepfather.

Remembers pool hall shark

The person I was referring to in my letter about the pool hall was Tom Rossman. He is presently a trick shot artist traveling all over the country doing trick shot demonstrations. I used to shoot pool with him just about every Friday night at Elsie's.

I also remember sledding on Spencers Hill and also building cars (somewhat similar to soap box derby cars) to race on the hill. We lived at the north end of Locust Street when we did this.

Bill Hinkle

Wash Frank Swisher the pool shark?

Hi Dave, Could the person be referring to Frank Swisher in regards to the pool tables, etc? I don't know if he worked on them, but he is one of the first persons I met when I first came to Minonk. He was quite a gentleman and was a good pool player. He was a mechanic and had a big bldg. behind his trailer. Not too long after that he had to quit working all together. He has been passed away for several years if he's the one they were thinking about. He was loved by everyone, and such a gentleman. He also helped out at the VFW a lot.

Wanda Patterson

Editor's note: Refer to the Elsie's Pool Hall letter below

Remembers unknown building

Hiya Dave :

Geesh the whole site is wonderful !! Who would have thought Minonk would be on the internet. I remember your dad very well. He was such a nice man.

My name is Kim Livingston Wakefield.... my dad is Dave Livingston and my brothers are Stephen and Mark. My grandma and grandpa were Tom and Mildred Livingston. Not sure which ones you remember. It's been a long time since I heard all those names. Stephen graduated from Minonk in 1966, Mark moved to Bloomington and graduated from Normal Community High School in 1970 and I graduated from Minonk in 1975.

I did want to comment on the old picture tho. I believe those buildings were where the bakery, and movie theater are. Well not sure what the theater is now. But, I spent a lot of time riding my horse in town ( may remember me doing that hahahaha) and the building farthest down reminds me of the bakery. Thunder used to love to stop at the bakery and the guys would sneak him a loaf of fresh bread. I could be wrong about those buildings. Let me know will you ??

These pages brought back a lot of memories... I even got to see my grandmother in the library photo. I haven't seen a photo of her in 20 years. THAT was worth more than I can tell you !!!!! Thank you all for creating such great pages !!!!!!

Kim (Livingston) Wakefield

Editor's note: The writer is referring to the building on Oak street. See story.

Looking for Betty Morgan

Dear Dave - I have been searching for information on Betty (Morgan) Orr. I believe she graduated in 1957. She married a Clarence Orr from Streator. I've lost contact with her; wonder if anyone in Minonk can help me out.

Carolyn (Durre) Blobaum

Feedback on "Doc" Hodgson

Hello Dave-I got an email from a Minonk resident (Emily Zivney) who identified the Pharmacy for me. It is apparently a bar, connected to the bowling alley. Thought you might like to know.

I have another question for you. I have a diary that my gr-grandad kept the last 2+ years of his life. He apparently had a few good friends that helped him out, driving him to town, etc. One name that appears over and over is John Ryan. In your "chatterbox" section of the website, I see a John Ryan mentioned--I don't think this could be the same man, but possibly his son? If you are ever in touch with the family, please let him know that my gr-grandad refers to John Ryan fondly, many times--he made life much easier for an 80+ year old neighbor.

The diary has made for interesting reading-the entries are vey brief, and are chronicles of the weather, visitors, and gr-grandad's health. There are many names of old residents who called on him-John Ryan, the Newtons, Ralph McCurdy, Mrs. Van Doren, Rev. Dirksen, Mrs. Patten, Babe Smith, Tom Livingston, etc. etc. I often wonder about these folks, they sound like very nice and caring people.

Thanks again for a great website!

Deborah Huffman

Update on 1951 basketball team

Dear Dave, I really enjoyed your writeup on how time passes all too quickly. For the record, Ray Harms' nickname was "Rainbo" and he lives now in Decatur. Snake (Dishinger) and my wife and I had lunch with him the day before the class reunion. Our record was 26 wins, 3 losses, and we won 22 in a row. Also went to the sectional, where we lost to DePue (as you mentioned). We enjoy your website very much! Keep up the good work!

Tom Toler

Remembers 1951 sectional game

Hi Dave, I too was at Ottawa with my dad for the sectional, four smaller schools that year, Morris and St. Paul of Odell being the other two. Thanks for the memory.

Bob Schmitz

Editors note: The writer is referring to the 1951 sectional basketball between Minonk-Dana and Depue. St. Paul of Odell went on to win the sectional and went to the Sweet Sixteen in Champaign.

Glad to see Minonk on the internet

Hi Dave!! I'm not sure you remember me but I certainly remember you having watched you play basketball. I was pleasantly surprised to learn from my sister Glenna that Minonk had a web site. I immediately went to the site to find out that the site is fantastic. I have spent a few hours going through the site and enjoying the memories. I was especially surprised to see a picture of Davis Bros.'s first tractor and seeing Dad and my Uncle's picture. I have seen that picture before but it has been many years ago. I called my Mother who lives in Hot Spring's Village, Arkansas and told her about the site and the picture. I also noticed a picture of the 59 basketball team and my cousin Gary Davis. The site is really well done. I too was interested in knowing about the old MDR trophies. I look forward to once again seeing them displayed with pride some day. I saw a number of email addresses that I intend to contact. Again, thanks for all of your effort in making this site such a wonderful resource.

Brian Davis
Class of 65

Remembers Elsie's Pool Hall

I spent a lot of time at Elsies pool hall in the early 60's. It was the place to hang out. Some of the things I remember about it were the hot roast beef and mashed potatoes and the french fries in a brown bag. We would stop there before school and put our order in for lunch and Elsie would have it sitting on the counter when we got there at lunch hour.

We all wondered about a guy that always was around there and who worked there on the pool tables, we called him Switzer, he was always kind of mysterios. We spent a lot of Friday nights up there to play a few games of pool before going to the show and then afterward. There is even ony guy I know who worked there racking balls and was a real good pool player and went on to be a professional trick shot artist. Keep up the good work.

Bill Hinkle

Wants info on E. M. Hodgson Pharmacy building

Hello-My name is Deborah Huffman, and I stumbled across you website today. I have enjoyed it! I have never been to Minonk, but my great-grandfather, E.M. Hodgson Jr. was a longtime resident, and operated a Phamacy in Minonk from 1900, until he retired in1940 (he passed away in 1958). I was wondering if by any chance the building is still standing--the only reference to the store location is in his obituary: "On March 15, 1900 he purchased the C.L. Zinser drug store in Minonk, in the south block, where he conducted the business very successfully until he retired on April1, 1940, having sold the business to Mr. C.J. Struble". Also, I do have a copy of his obituary, and was wondering if you might like to use it in your biography page. If so, I would be glad to send it along. If it helps in your decision-making, his obit also states: "During his long residence in Minonk, Mr. Hodgson had served as a city treasurer, and had served on the Minonk school board, a trustee of the Presbyterian church, and was a Republican in politics". In addition to the obit, I have a photo of my gr-grandfather riding his horse in the Minonk Street Fair of 1902, and standing in front of his Pharmacy in the early 1900's. Any info you may have on the existence of the Pharmacy would be most appreciated! I will send along the info I have if you wish. I look forward to hearing from you!

Deborah Huffman

Expresses appreciation for veterans

Great job on your editorial on Memorial Day. Very informative and enlightening. One of those WW2 casualties was my uncle Harrison Witte. The recent article in the News Dispatch about him answered some questions that I always had about his death. I too, would like to express my sincere appreciation to all the men and women that have served, and continue to serve in the military to keep our country free. I think that your editorial was so good that it should be published to additional regional sites and newspapers.

Arlen Ruestman
Toluca, IL