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A look back at interesting history from the pages of The Normalite

25 Years Ago
September 12, 1991
• The Town of Normal and the John Wesley Powell Chapter of the Audubon Society will dedicate Audubon Gardens at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14. The Gardens are located on Constitution Trail, just north of the Vernon Avenue crossing, west of Towanda Ave. The project is designed to educate residents about plants and shrubs that attract birds and butterflies.
• Avonell Greeness, Normal, and Eugene C. VandeMerkt, Englewood, Florida, were married Aug. 17, 1991 at White Chapel First United Methodist Church, Normal. Judy Marquardt and David Greeness, daughter and son of the bride, attended their mother. The groom was attended by his sons, John and Larry VandeMerkt.
• Ellen Margaret Nord became the bride of David Michael McClure, Aug. 31, 1991 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington.
The bride’s parents are Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Nord of Bloomington. The groom’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Harry McClure, Gibson City.
The bride is a graduate of Normal Community High School and attended Lincoln College. She is attending Illinois State University.
The groom is a graduate of Gibson City High School and Illinois State University with majors in Animal Science and Agribusiness. He is employed as a herdsman for White Wheel Charcoals Ranch in Rankin.

50 Years Ago
September 23, 1966
• Thomas B. Raycraft will close a career as Postmaster on Friday, Sept. 30. His term has spanned thirty-one years, during which time five presidents held office and seven citizens served Normal as Mayor.
Appointed acting postmaster on Feb. 1, 1935, Mr. Raycraft watched the construction of the present building from the old site in what is now the Velvet Freeze.
At the time the ground was broken, North Street and Broadway were lined with wonderful trees. Randalls was then a meat and produce market under the name of Piggly Wiggly, predecessor of Eisners. The Broadway Garage serviced the Model T’s which are pictured parked in familiar fashion  in front of business establishments. There was no movie theatre, but the red and white barber pole stood out on the sidewalk. Parret’s produce and dry goods store was located at the present Washburn site, with the Cline home to the west. The southwest corner then as now was a drug store.
After four years as acting Post Master, Mr. Raycraft was appointed Post Master in 1939.  He has served successfully through the years, combining efficiency with quiet courtesy.
In 1935 the new Post Office had but one section of mailboxes. Today there are five sections with the expectation of even greater need. It is to Mr. Raycraft’s credit that the operation of the Post Office has maintained constancy in service through many taxing situations.
• Mr. and Mrs. Earl Reitan and two children, who are making their home in Champaign, spent Saturday at their home here and with Normal friends.
• Funeral service for Miss Mary Arnold, 57, was held Tuesday at the Beck Memorial Home. Burial was in Park Hill Cemetery.
Miss Arnold died Sunday at Brokaw Hospital after a prolonged illness. She was born July 12, 1909, at Roodhouse, the daughter of John A. and Ellen Anderson Arnold. She held degrees from Illinois Weleyan University and Illinois State University, the University of Michigan and had studied at Columbia University. She taught in the Bloomington elementary schools and in Oak Park before joining the ISU facility in 1939.

75 Years Ago
September 5, 1941
• The recent Illinois drive for old aluminum for defense purposes is estimated to have rounded up more than 600,000 pounds. Peoria leads all downstate concentration centers, with 50,000 pounds of scrap, Chicago reports 277,000 pounds.
All this aluminum will be shipped to smelters within the next few days for reduction into refined ingots.
Normal’s contribution was sent to Peoria and is a part of the largest collection in Illinois.
• Miss Marie Smith, niece of Miss Elvira Held, Normal, has moved to Long Point, where she has opened a beauty shop. Miss Smith has lived with her aunt for about two years and worked at the Montgomery Ward Beauty Shop.
• Jack Keith, who is stationed with a selective service corps at Fort Riley, Kansas, spent the weekend visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.L. Keith.
• Max Chiddix, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Chiddix, will go to Urbana September 17, where he has an assistantship at the University of Illinois. He will do graduate work and teach in the chemistry department.
• Mrs. Wayne Myers of London, England, who is making her home with her mother, Mrs. F.S. Garretson in Normal, addressed the Brokaw Hospital alumnae association Thursday evening. She told of her experiences abroad.
• Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Larson are the parents of a son born Sunday at Mennonite Hospital.
• Mrs. Beatrice Peifer Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Peifer of Decatur, and Jerry Landes, Normal, were married Friday at the home of the bride’s parents.
The bride wore a beige dress with green trim, brown accessories and a corsage of American beauty roses.
The bride is a graduate of Decatur high school and Brokaw Hospital nurses training school. She has since been on the hospital staff. The bridegroom, graduate of Normal Community High School, is a member of the Normal water department.
• Miss Doris Lesher, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.C. Lesher, Normal, became the bride of Barrett Coddington, son of Mrs. Cleveland Coddington of Atlanta, Sunday afternoon at the home of the bride’s parents.
The bride wore a brown street dress with matching accessories and a corsage of gardenias. The bride’s mother wore light blue and Mrs. Coddington wore navy. Both mothers had corsages of white gladioli, gypsophila and chrysanthemums.
Mrs. Doddington attended Normal Community High School and Mr. Coddington attended Atlanta High School. He is employed at the Caterpillar Company in East Peoria.
• Mr. and Mrs. Bert Montressor and Miss Bonnie Armstrong have moved to Florida for the winter. Mr. Montressor has been serving as the golf pro at the Maplewood Country Club.
•Mrs. William Childers entertained the Loyal Workers of the Illinois Coon Hunters Association at her home Tuesday evening. Mrs. Childers is president of the group.


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