This week I thought I’d take you back to the pages of the Tazewell Courier from 1974.

This week I thought I’d take you back to the pages of the Tazewell Courier from 1974.

It’s hard to believe it was 40 years ago. I was 6 years old and my family just moved to Sunnyland the prior year. 

I’m not likely to remember many of the following things, but you may.

In January, “Fiddler on the Roof” was playing at the Morton Cinema and “Tom Sawyer” was playing at Valley Forge Cinema in Washington.

Residents could get a free InstaLoad Camera with a Kodak 126 film cartridge and Sylvania magicube with a $1,000 deposit in a new savings account at Washington State Bank.

OurX Drug Store in Morton offered Prell shampoo for 59 cents, Bugs Bunny vitamins for $1.99 and Miss Breck hairspray for 49 cents.

Essig Motor Co. in Washington said “We’ll Knock Ourselves Out for You in ’74” with an ad for various cars, including a 1973 Oldsmobile 98 hardtop sedan for $4,795, a 1971 Ford LTD Sedan for $2,095 and a 1973 Chevy El Camino Custom for $3,495.

East Peoria Jaycees pancake breakfast tickets were being sold in January in East Peoria. Joyce Rosen and Brad Parnham of the EPCHS Band presented samples of the tickets to Commissioner Sherman Burrus and Mayor Jim Spinder. The proceeds were to send the EPCHS band to Mexico in April.

A column called “Richland Ramblings” by Millie Helferich provided some chicken dinner news. She reported that Pvt. Jimmie Sprinkle was home for a visit; Mr. and Mrs. Jessie Perdue visited family in Tennessee over the Christmas holidays; Terry Hatten, 12, had her tonsils taken out; Rosalie Hatten said it was Girl Scout cookie time; and the sixth-grade class at Lincoln School won a pizza party for collecting the most soup labels. 

I do remember collecting Campbell’s soup labels when I was in school at Beverly Manor.

In another column, called “Wildcat’s Cage,” Fran Barber reported that “The Central lightweights downed a strong minded District 50 team by a score of 54-34 in their first game of the County Tournament.”

Steve Grebner scored 20 points. Bill Monk, Steve Haberkorn and Jim Brummitt all scored 10 points apiece.

A photo showed construction of the Fonduland YMCA building. There was no caption with the photo.

Illinois Central College offered a Dial-A-Class in which residents could call a number to register. Classes included agriculture, home economics, business, creative arts, communications and languages, engineering and industrial, health, police and fire science and library. Sewing classes were offered off-campus at East Peoria High School included sewing. Woodworking was offered at Washington High School. A TV course “for people who like kids” was also offered. It included growth and human development.

A Community Life section contained these headlines: “Bride chooses Christmas colors for wedding” and “Newlyweds honeymoon at Wagon Wheel Lodge.”

Funeral director Robert Haller was interviewed for a feature story in East Peoria telling about the details of the business. Haller said he was encouraged to join the profession by his funeral director cousin. He purchased Schmidt Funeral Parlors in 1965 when Harold Schmidt died. 

This is just a small glimpse into 1974. Hope you enjoyed it.


— Jeanette Kendall is the executive editor at TimesNewspapers and the editor of the East Peoria Times-Courier.