Home | Alumni |    Editorial |   Events |  About |  Schools |  News |  History |   Obituaries |   Photos |   Maps

Emails for November

1931 alum found website

My son found this web-page. Great! I graduated from Minonk Community HS, 1931 (Fritz Knoll). Played professional baseball for 5 years, then married. Lived in Minonk for 7 years thereafter. Had two children, then moved to So. Calif (San Diego area) where my other three children were born. Now retired, living in Bonita, Ca. with my wife of 60+years, Mary Kathryn. My sister, Mary McNamara, still lives in the family home @ 215 Walnut, Minonk. Growing up, we were a family of 8 children. My father was a miner @ Sutton Coal Mines and a civic leader. We have traveled extensively around the world having visited numerous cities and sights. I visit Minonk regularly for the annual Knoll family reunion held in the Illinois area.

Fred (Fritz) Knoll

Editors note: Mr. Knoll was a member of the Minonk Fans baseball team back in the 30's. Click here to see his picture with the rest of the Minonk Fans baseball team.

Letter from California

I found this website through a letter to the editor printed in the Los Angeles Times. The letter was written by a former resident, Albin Johnson, who recommended it highly. I grew up in South Bend, Indiana, in the 1940s and 50s. Although it is not as small as your town, there are many similarities and looking at some of your photos and reading about your town brought back memories of my own. I have lived in Los Angeles since 1970, after moving here from Chicago, a town I dearly love. (I am blessed with the ability to enjoy huge cities as well as small towns---each has its own attributes to enjoy!) Every year around the holidays, I get really nostalgic about snow! People who live in it all winter think I am nuts, but I can't forget how really beautiful it is. Christmas out here is never the same as in the Midwest because there is no snow! After all these years, it still seems weird to shop for a Christmas tree in one's shirtsleeves on an 80 degree day! I love to cook and was especially interested in your recipe page. I'll definitely be checking in here periodically to see what's new. I also enjoyed the picture of that very large cat climbing down a ladder after his tour of inspection on the roof! I'm very fond of cats and have two indoor ones and I won't tell you how many outdoor (feral) cats that I am feeding! My parents are both gone now, so I don't get back to South Bend much except for high school reunions. I'm looking forward to retiring in about 3 years or so and may eventually find my way back to the Midwest somewhere---who knows? Anyway, I enjoyed reading about your little town and want to thank you for having such a nice website.

Sandy Spencer

Stop complaining about IGA overhang

OK Dave! Now you've gone and done it again!--Once more you have called IGA's overhang ugly! Maybe you would like our main street to look more like Wenona's or Benson's or even Rutland's and Dana's. These towns do not have any ugly overhangs on their main street-- but then again, they don't have a grocery store either! Thanks IGA for sticking with Minonk.

Lou Jacek
1008 Donnick St

Editor's reply: I am not complaining about IGA as a grocery store. I shop at IGA and appreciate their being in Minonk as much as you do. The point I am trying to make is that the city council should set some standards for downtown buildings so that they comform with the rest of the street. Maybe I am a hopeless romantic but I appreciate beauty almost as much as food. Thanks for your comments.

Former resident enjoys website


I was born and raised in Minonk, but have been away for many years. I don't know you, but somewhere down the line I knew Uphoffs'. I still have nephews in Minonk - the Spencers', Jerry Welchs'. Mark the mayor is grand nephew. About 2 months ago Roberta Cremer Piney, my niece, in Eureka told me about Minonk talk.com and told me to check it out. I want to tell you that you deserve a big thanks for putting together this site. You must have spent many, many hours doing the research for this project. Going through the obituaries I seen lot of names that of acquaintences. Since finding the site I go to it weekly to see the happenings.

Before I go any further I will tell you who I am - Bert W. Welch. My folks Dwight (Rocky) and Myrtle Welch lived in Minonk most of their lives. We were a big family of 8 girls and 4 boys. While in high school I worked at the Sutton General Store and at Yocums Cleaners. After graduating from high school I went to Scoville Business School in Sterling. From there I went to work at Camp Grant, Rockford, Illinois until drafted in the army. I took training in Ft Warren, Wyo. Went to Staten Island, N.Y. - Governors Island, N.Y., Fort Ord. Calif. and then was assigned to AJD and went to New Guinea. After the army I settled in Rockford where I worked in a bank for several years before going to work for Sinclair Oil. I was transfered to Springfield, Ill., where I stayed for l0 years and then transfered to St. Louis, Mo., where I lived for 26 years. I retired from Sinclair after 31 years and after liviing in Chesterfield,Mo 10 years after retirement, we decided to move to Pleasant Plains, Ill, which is l5 miles west of Springfield, Il, to be close to daughter and grandchildren who live in Springfield.

Visited Minonk several times a year when had family living, but I am the last of my immediate family. Have lots of memories of Minonk- climbing the old Jumbo - Santa coming to school with candy canes - buying 2 or 3 cents worth of scrap candy at the candy shops..

I enjoyed your editorial about your 3 friends death. I was especially moved by your mention of Glen Davis. Glen was one of my best friends from early boyhood and he was a great guy.

Thanks for the great service you have furnished the people of Minonk thru this media of the internet.

Bert W Welch
40 Hawthorn Lane
Pleasant Plains, Il 62677

Motel tax is dumb

I think that motel tax is the dumbest thing I heard for a long time. Minonk fought for a long time to get a motel there and right away they put an extra tax on it. If I owned it I would close the doors.

Bill Hinkle

Motel Bed Tax is great

I applaud the city for imposing a municpal "lodging" tax. During my travels, I have never, and I mean never, stayed at a hotel that did not charge a city tax. The business owner doesn't pay for the tax, the lodgers do. The business owner simply collects the amount and it gets passed back to the city.

I am generally not a big fan of taxing without having something to show for it. However in this case, Minonk's citizens are not being taxed at all.

Minonk has their share of expense burdens and needs to create revenue when and where possible. I think its great that we can earn some income without our citizens having to pay for it.

Joe Limbaugh
Minonk, IL

Wants someone to report on middle school sports


I was wondering why there is no middle schools sports news either on your site or in the Minonk Journal. I am not a reporter of any kind but was wondering if there was anyone that had the time that they could attend the Fieldcrest middle schools (east and west) sports activities (girls and boys) and make some type of report to the paper.

I know that my daughter gets upset when she sees all the articles in the paper for Eureka and Roanoke-Benson middle schools but there is never anything in there about them. I'm sure there are other kids that have the same feelings.

If I had any talent and had the time, I would gladly try to write something up on these activities but I'm not familiar enough with journalism or exact sport reporting to try, plus I really don't have the time.

Just thought I would throw this out there to see if there was anyone that could possibly try to do this.


Lori Kapraun

Editor's note: If anyone is interested in reporting on middle school sports just send the results to MinonkTalk and they will be published.

Encourages citizens to keep Minonk clean

We are all familiar with the clich´┐Ż "You can't judge a book by its cover". Well, that might be true in the world of literature, but in other instances it doesn't make complete sense. For example, how about the saying "It's difficult to make a good first impression on the second try."

Aside from books and people, making a good first impression is important when one is presenting the best attributes of small town living. Small cars, not unlike small cities, have to have a few bells and whistles to make them attractive; sporty looks, good gas mileage, and pick up and go! A small city has to try harder too when compared to the conveniences of big city living; a safe and secure environment, uncongested roadways, and the usually friendly atmosphere.

Ok, what's my point? As a new resident and homeowner in Minonk, I enjoy the friendliness of small town living. I am convinced the air is cleaner and the roadways safer in small towns. Residents take pride in their homes and properties. Pets are also welcome and what you do for a living is not as important as the kind of person you are.

On October 13, 2001, the City of Minonk sponsored a "clean up the town" walk. At least 20 civic-conscious men, women and children (and a city worker or two) volunteered to pick up litter from residential and commercial areas. The weather barely cooperated, but in two hours a lot was accomplished.

Unfortunately, once the litter was picked up on this particular Saturday, the good deed was soon forgotten. On Monday morning, papers, cups and bottles once again appeared along curbsides, in the parking lot across from the businesses, along Chestnut Street (Sutton Park), in front of businesses, and in front of abandoned commercial properties. What happened? Where did the spirit of cooperation go? Where did the pride go?

The big remaining question is: Why is our good little City deserving of a thorough cleaning only when someone proposes a clean-up day; usually one or two times per year? Why do the same persons always step forward to do what all residents of the City of Minonk should do on a daily basis?

Nevertheless, the residential areas of our city are mostly litter free, but our downtown area can sure use a lot more tender loving care. If citizens and especially business owners pitch in on a regular basis and pick up litter when they see it, especially before mowing city parks and boulevards, it would be a very good start in presenting a good first impression to visitors to our city. Prospective business opportunities may soon follow.

On Saturday, November 17, 2001 @ 9:00 am, Minonk Boy Scout Troop 481 will be hosting a clean up of the roadway beginning at the Truck Plaza, moving across Rt. 251 and walking along Chestnut Street through Minonk's downtown to just north of the business district. Woody's Restaurant and the Shell Truck Plaza will donate refreshments for our deserving scouts. Please show your appreciation to those who do good for Minonk by picking up where the scouts and others leave off. It's a good start to making a good first impression the first time. I honestly believe that the City of Minonk is poised for many good things to happen. Let's cooperate.

Michael A. Stagliano
Minonk, Illinois

City council made ridiculous decision on parking lot

Dear Dave,

You are absolutely right about the council's ridiculous decision to allow Dollar General to build in the parking lot. We are told that the asking price on the Greentree building is too high, but we were also told that the council was putting a well in the west side park because the property owner of the lot just west of the city park on fifth street wasn't co-operating. My personal research showed that the property owner was never approached. Thus, I can only be left to wonder if the owner of the Greentree building was ever contacted. I guess the council thinks that they can conduct business behind closed doors and the general public in Minonk is ignorant enough to just believe anything they are told.

I think that even though councils of the past have "dropped the ball" in their lack of developing any long term plans for Minonks business development, it is not too late for this council to correct those errors by developing and putting such a plan in place. I think they need to put restrictions in place to avoid a main street lined with steal strand buildings. Such an unsightly business district will not draw new businesses or residents to our town. It will also not inspire current business owners to beautify the existing businesses (another plan that the city has "dropped the ball" on).

Most importantly though, the council needs to remember that this is OUR town and we should have some input in what is happening. I realize that 900 households cannot be present at negotiating sessions, but options could be put on the agenda, giving the public an opportunity to voice concerns or approval before a vote is taken on an issue. Grumbling on the street to friends will do no good, I urge people to contact their council person about the Dollar General and attend council meetings to perhaps avoid some of the atrocities that await us in the not so far off future.


Joyce Limbaugh