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Looking Back

By Arline Adamsick

The Peotone Vedette: December 6, 1968

Just had to lead with this story. It’s, well, funny!! Only in a small town…

“Police Investigate Kidnapping Report,

Vandalism and Break-In”

“Besides a kidnapping scare, Peotone Police have investigated a break-in and 12 complaints of broken windows in buildings and cars this week. (Not funny yet…)

“There is a logical explanation to the kidnapping report that sent Peotone Police on an almost frantic investigation shortly after noon last Saturday. The explanation borders on the humorous side, but at the time it presented a serious situation.

“Mrs. James Stewart, Beecher, appeared at village hall and told the police she had just seen the trunk of a car slammed shut with a man or a boy inside and then the car drove away. The incident occurred on West Street, just south of the Corning Avenue intersection. The car was a new red Dodge without license plates.

“Thinking the person in the trunk was possibly a child, the police started rapping on doors in the vicinity in search of a possible missing youngster. The State Police plane was alert to look for the car, and police in the surrounding area were stopping all cars without license plates.

“The news spread like wild fire, and soon there wasn’t a child on the streets. As soon as the news reached Trader Schroeder garage, police were contacted with the explanation.

“Anyone who has a new car knows how annoying a rattle can be – such was the case with the new red Dodge. Vernon Dubbert and Norman Ruhbeck were trying to locate the trouble. They stopped the car near the intersection of Corning and West Streets, when Dubbert got in the trunk in an effort to solve the problem of the rattle. Ruhbeck shut the trunk and drove away. Leave it to Dubbert; he solved the problem. It was a loose shock absorber.

“Although the situation is somewhat amusing, now, Mrs. Stewart is to be highly commended for her alertness and her prompt action in what might have been a tragic situation.”

“Two youths have been picked up and a third has been implicated on the window breaking charge. Peotone Police received complaints of 10 broken car windows, plus one window was broken at the Vaughn Klenz home Thursday evening. The window of the west door at the high school was broken Friday night, but authorities feel this may have been done by disgruntled visiting basketball fans. Apparently, a rock was thrown through the glass. Reports of windows being broken in Monee, Manhattan, Manteno, Bradley and Kankakee also have been received.

“Peotone Police also are investigating a break-in, which occurred at Hilsenhoff Pharmacies, Peotone, early Saturday morning.

“Thieves, who may have been after narcotics, apparently had to settle for a typewriter. (That’s funny, too!) According to Sgt. Clausing, drugs were strewn on the floor of the pharmacy, but apparently none were taken.”


Did you know that Peotone did have an AMVET Post, at one time?

“Charter to Be Presented to AMVETS Monday”

“Wendall Regnier, 24th District Commander of the AMVETS, will present the Peotone AMVET Post 265 with the charter when the group meets Monday, December 9, at 8 p.m., at the Legion Home.

“All veterans interested in joining the AMVETS are invited to attend this meeting. Refreshments will be served at the close of the meeting.”

“Chamber of Commerce to

Sponsor Christmas Decorating Contest”

“Peotone Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Christmas Decoration Contest again this year. There will be several different classes of entries, and residents of the village are encouraged to enter their homes in whatever class they desire.”

Residents could decorate their entire home, with prizes ranging from $25 for first, plus a traveling trophy, to $15 for second, and $10 for third.

For those who did not want to have a Griswold-type Christmas, one could limit the decorations to the door or entrance (first $15 and second $10) or a window (first $10 and second $5).

“As in the past, an award will be made to the best decorated commercial or business entry. The award in this class is the traveling trophy, which is presented to the winner for display during the following year.   

The Beecher Herald: December 5, 1968

Just a little pre-holiday advice…

“‘Tis the time to be Jolly – and Wary”

“The winter holiday season is the time to be jolly, but it also is a period of greatly increased traffic accidents.

“In alerting motorists and pedestrians to these dangers, Gerald Cavanagh, president of the Chicago Motor Club AAA, points out: ‘The rush and excitement of shopping, the hazards of biting winds, driving snow, and slippery roads combine to create extreme danger for pedestrians and motorists alike.’

“To help keep the holidays safer and happier for all he recommends following these suggestions: “*Be courteous, be cautious, use common sense.

“*Don’t drive and window shop at the same time.

“*Don’t pile packages on the front seat of your car where they may topple and distract the driver.

“*Don’t put packages on the back ledge, either. They might impair rear vision.

“*Never cross the street in the middle of the block.

“*Don’t carry so many packages that they interfere with watching where you’re going.

“*Take it easy when driving or walking. There’s much more danger of an accident when you hurry and become excited than when you are calm.

“*If you take a Christmas tree home in your car, be sure the branches don’t interfere with your vision – front, rear, or on the sides. If you put the tree in the trunk, close the lid.

“*Keep all windows cleared of fog, snow and ice.

“*Allow yourself plenty of time to get to and from your destination.”


Sauk Trail Drive-In: “Paper Lion,” with Alan Alda, plus “Salt and Pepper,” starring Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford.

“Prisoners Moved to New County Jail”

“Will County’s new jail in the County Building received its first prisoners today, according to Sheriff Martin Jackson.

“Included in the 41 who were transferred to the maximum security section were to be two youths, who face a murder charge.

“They are James David Perrequet and Billy Rose Sprinkle, both 14 at the time of their arrests in September. (I was rather surprised they identified the teens, as they were both under age. Maybe the seriousness of the crime allowed for that?)

“They have been held in the Wheaton County Jail because of inadequate maximum security facilities locally. They were indicted by the Will County Grand Jury. Family Court allowed them to be prosecuted as adults.

“They are charged with the September 16 slaying of David Stukel, 14, a student a Joliet East High School.

“The new jail is in the County Building basement. Special dual locking devices control entry and exit. The jail can accommodate more than 100 prisoners.

“The old jail at Chicago and Washington Streets will be used for storage of county records.”

“Attempt Break-In at Stahlberg’s Pharmacy”

“An attempt was made to break-in to Stahlberg’s Drug Store some time between closing on November 29 and early Saturday morning. (Wasn’t this the same night Hilsenhoff’s was robbed???) When R.B. Stahlberg arrived to open the store at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, he found the front door damaged in the attempt to pry the door open.”


And how about this ad? “Christmas trees, Red Pine Tree Farm, Perfectly Shaped Trees for Christmas; Thousands to choose from, no tree sold with roots attached. Select and cut your own – $3.50 a tree!!!!” (No bargain, though, for the landscape…one needs the roots!!)

The Monee Monitor: December 6, 1968

Still going, but remember how this was a traditional trip to Chicago every Christmas – along with viewing the Marshall Field windows?

“Chicago Museum Featuring

‘Christmas Around the World’”

“‘Christmas Around the World’ will be featured during the month of December, beginning November 30 and continuing through December 15, at the Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive. (It’s longer, now, isn’t it?) The holiday programs will show how foreign Christmas customs have contributed to American traditions and feature Christmas trees, holiday dinners, music and pageantry.

“Each day, through December 15, will show the customs and Christmas decorations from a designated country. National meals will be served from 5 to 8 p.m. daily in the dining room and cafeteria – reservations preferred. Guests will be served potato dumplings, Kootya (possibly Kutia – cereal type of dish with wheat berries, poppy seeds, honey or sugar, nuts and sometimes raisins), frijoles, roast duck, veal soup, sauerbraten, Swedish meat balls, hutspot (boiled mashed potatoes and carrots), pilaf, chicken teriyaki, Scotch scones, beef a la radecki, etc.” (Think I could pass on several of those??)

Some of the countries celebrated that year included: Ukraine, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Armenia, Japan, Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Luxembourg, China, Lithuania, and Poland.

“YMCA Tour Group to Visit Kungsholm”

This was in operation from the 1940s through the 1970s, at Rush and Ontario, and featured a traditional Swedish Smorgasbord.

“The YMCA tour group will go to Kungsholm in Chicago on December 18, leaving the Harvey Y at 10:45 a.m. and returning around 5 p.m. The cost is $6.50 per person.

“Tis is a very popular tour, so get your reservations and money in by December 11. We will see Hansel and Gretel in the Miniature Theater at 2 p.m. (Also located in the mansion)

“The Smorgasbord luncheon will have many different dishes, including fish, sea foods, cold cuts, salads, hot dishes and Danish rum pudding for dessert.

“Kungsholm has been a Gold Coast Mansion Restaurant since 1937 (the Internet said the 1940s), and the puppets perform in grand opera and musicals. The plush interior and its dramatic staircase give you a feeling of grandeur. Come and enjoy this tour with us.”

“C-M Band to Be Featured in

Directors’ Clinic at Dorchester Inn”

“The Crete-Monee High School Symphonic Band will be the featured high school band at this year’s annual I.D.E.A clinic, December 6 and 7, at the Dorchester Inn. Invitations to attend the clinic, sponsored by the Chicago Heights Musart Music Company, went to 1,400 directors in the Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin area.

“The Crete-Monee Band, under the able direction of Robert Slider, will perform Saturday at 2:45 p.m. The difficult selections to be demonstrated are new composition or arrangements as of 1967-68.”


It’s officially here – December with all its excitement. I know wishing others a wonderful Christmas is a traditional wish a little later in the month, but each day in December is very special, and often very hectic. It’s the hectic part that bothers me…we often misplace the real “reason for the season.” So, enjoy all the excitement, but don’t forget to find some quiet time each day – not only for yourself, but to really celebrate “the reason for the season!” Life is Good!!!

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