Top of the Morning, July 24, 2014
This weekend, it’s Sidney’s turn to celebrate with its annual Fun Daze. To get us in the mood, I asked village President Chuck White — born and raised in Sidney — for a tutorial on the Champaign County hot spot known for locomotives, ice cream and tree-lined streets.
It wasn’t always Sidney.
“In 1836, the town was registered in the courthouse under the name of ‘Sydney’ named after the daughter of Joseph Davis. It was changed to Sidney in 1855 when Joseph Thomas platted an addition to Sidney, and the clerk made a mistake and put ‘I’ in instead of the ‘Y’ and it has been that ever since.”
Those train tracks piercing downtown get a workout.
“Trains have been a part of life in Sidney since 1855. For the most part, people don’t like hearing them, but it is something you just get used to.”
It’s not Hollywood, but ...
“John Wilson Ruckman was born in Sidney and was a Union Army general in the Civil War. Martin Koeck was not born in Sidney, but he started his practice here in 1950 and kept it here until he retired. Also, we do still have one World War II vet living in town: Chebo McCarrey.”
Cows never called it a night in what now is a popular ice cream stop (right).
“The Sidney Dairy Barn was never a real barn. The owner (did) some work to make it look that way.”
It’s been a decade since Sidney, which was dry for 70 years, OK’d booze.
“I don’t think Sidney has changed a lot from when it was a dry town. Like most small towns, people would still have it. Now the people can stay in town without driving the roads to go get it.”
Beat St. Joe!
“Being in a town that now goes to school with four other towns, we don’t have a big rival like we used to. When I was growing up, I would say that our biggest rival was St. Joseph, which I would say still is.”
The school’s gone, but the name remains.
“Not sure what year the nickname was put in, but as long as I remember it was always Sidney Cardinals.”