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Starting Thursday, September 8th, the City of Chrisman will be celebrating its Sesquicentennial. The land where the City of Chrisman stands today was entered from the government by Abraham Smith if 1840.
He was the first man to venture onto the prairie to make a home. His farm was purchased by John Chrisman, who came from Kentucky in 1851. At that time, there were about twenty families in the township.
A few years later, in 1860, he built a home where the Nazarene Church stands today. John Chrisman lived in this home until his death in 1870 when his farm of 800 acres became the property of his son, Mathias Chrisman.
The original town of Chrisman consisted of the part bounded by Monroe Avenue on the south, the railroad to the west, the State Highway on the east and Washington Street to the north.
The railroad addition, eighty acres given previously by the Chrisman family to secure the east-west railroad from the south side of Monroe Avenue to the railroads on the south and west and to Vermont Avenue to the east.
The John Moss Addition (1874) known as Moss Town, included land within the present city limits of the B&O Railroad.
The S.R. Gray Addition (1874), extended from Ohio Street on the west to Jefferson on the south, Washington to the north, and the Old State Road to the east.
The Robert Swank Addition was north of Washington Street and west of Penn Central Railroad. The Mapleton Addition (1904), was an important addition for Chrisman. It comprised of land north of Monroe Avenue, east of Vermont Street, south of Washington and east to Maryland.
The homes on the east side of Maryland were included after 1959. Homes on the north side of Washington Avenue and east of Delaware Street are outside the city limits.
The Samuel Scott Jr. Addition (October 1905), was bounded by Monroe Avenue on the north, Vermont street on the west, Lincoln Avenue on the south and east to the present city limits.
The Chrisman Addition included that part of the city west of the Penn Central Railroad bounded by Alabama Street on the west and Jefferson Avenue on the north.
Blanchard’s Addition extended north of Jefferson Avenue to Alabama Street on the west, Washington Avenue on the north, and the Railroad on the east.
The five homes on the west side of Alabama Street are outside city limits.
The Highland Addition (1913), takes in that part of Chrisman which lies north of Washington Avenue between the Penn Central Railroad and New York Street.
The two homes on the east of New York Street and north of Washington Avenue are outside the city limits.
In 1920, after almost fifty years of existence, the census figure showed Chrisman with a population of 1,101. In 1970, after another fifty years, the population was 1,265 and has made little change since.
Although Chrisman’s population has remained almost constant, it’s a beautiful little city with an excellent location and many advantages.
To date, Chrisman has a total of 1,312 current residents. Usually Chrisman Days is just a weekend celebration, but this year, to celebrate the Sesquicentennial, it will be a four day celebration.
Thursday, September 8th will begin at 9:00 a.m. With Food and Shopping Vendors in City Park; 10:00 a.m.- Opening Ceremony in City Park; 11:00 a.m.- Lunch on the Lawn in City Park; 12:00 p.m.- Antique Tractor Show in front of the Post Office (All Day); 12:00 p.m.- Tree Planting- City Park; 4:00 p.m. To 6:00 p.m.- Chicken Noodle Dinner- Ministerial Association serving at Chrisman Cafe; 4:00 p.m. To 6:00 p.m.- Square Dance Club in City Park; 4:00 p.m. To 8:00 p.m.- Community Club Raffle Sales in City Park; 6:00 p.m.- Brothers of the Brush/Beard Contest in City Park; 6:00 p.m. To 8:00 p.m.- Logan and Lacy Kirby- Bandstand in City Park; 7:00 p.m.- Chrisman Little Mr. and Miss Contest in City Park and 7:00 p.m.- Queen of Hearts Drawing at the Chrisman American Legion.
Friday, September 9th will begin at 8:00 a.m. With Auxiliary Bake Sale at the American Legion; Garage Sales will take place all day; 9:00 a.m.- Food and Shopping Vendors in City Park; 10:00 a.m.- Antique Tractor Show in front of Post Office; 2:00 p.m. To 6:00 p.m.- History of Chrisman Display and Book Sale- Backyard BBQ on the Square; 4:00 p.m.- Hospitality Tent in the alley by American Legion; 4:00 p.m. To 8:00 p.m.- Car Show (Around the Square); 4:00 p.m. To 8:00 p.m.- Fireman’s/Community Club Raffle Ticket Sales; 4:30 p.m.- Fireman’s Bean Dinner in City Park (until gone); 5:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.- Battle Creek Band- Bandstand in City Park; 9:00 p.m.- Fireworks in Centennial Park.
Saturday, September 10th begins at 7:00 a.m with the Pancake and Sausage Breakfast and Auxiliary Bake Sale at the American Legion; Garage Sale are all day; 8:00 a.m.-3 on 3 Basketball tournament- Junior High School; 9:00 a.m.- Baby Contest- Bandstand; 9:00 a.m.- Food and Shopping Vendors in City Park; 10:00 a.m.- HCE Bake Off- C.C.C. Anex (Judging at 11:00 a.m.); 10:00 a.m.- Kiddie Tractor Pull- City Park; 11:00 a.m.- Cake Walk in City Park; 11:00 a.m.- Corn hole Registration- Illinois Street; 11:00 a.m. To 1:00 p.m.- Fireman’s Jonah Fish Sandwiches- City Park; 12:00 p.m. To 3:00 p.m.- Corn hole Tournament- Illinois Street; 12:00 p.m.- Hospitality Tent in the alley by American Legion; 12:00 p.m. To 2:00 p.m.- Petting Zoo/ Face Painting in City Park.
12:30 p.m. To 2:30 p.m.- Parade Registration- Alabama Street (line up at 3:00); 1:00 p.m.- Ponytail Contest in City Park; 2:00 p.m. To 6:00 p.m.- History of Chrisman Display and Book Sale- Backyard BBQ on Square; 2:00 p.m. To 7:00 p.m.- Fireman’s/Community Club Raffle Sales; 3:00 p.m.- Parade; 4:00 p.m.- HCE Food Auction- Bandstand; 4:00 p.m.- Carnival Games- City Park; 4:00 p.m. To 8:00 p.m.- Fireman’s Jonah Fish Fry in City Park; 4:00 p.m.- Tractor Pull in Centennial Park; 4:30 p.m. To 6:30 p.m.- Jake Hoult Band in City Park at the Bandstand; 5:00 p.m.- American Legion Opens; 6:30 p.m.- Bingo at the Chrisman American Legion.
7:00 p.m.- Motorcycle Rodeo at Centennial Park (estimated time will begin after Tractor Pull ends); 7:00 p.m.- Drawing for Brett Eldredge signed guitar in City Park; 7:00 p.m.- Fireman’s/ Community Club Drawing in City Park; 7:00 p.m.- Announcement of Tractor Pull/Kiddie Tractor Pull Winners in City Park; 8:00 p.m.- Alternative Therapy/Travis Henry Band in City Park.
Sunday closes out the celebration beginning at 8:00 a.m. With a Children’s Fun Run, followed by the 5K Run (Sponsored by Horizon Health); 9:00 a.m. To 10:00 a.m.- Order ahead your boxed lunch from Chrisman Cafe (217-269-2826); 10:00 a.m.- Combined Worship Service in City Park; 11:00 a.m.- Pick up boxed lunch at Chrisman Cafe; 11:15 a.m.- Lunch at City Park; 12:30 p.m.- Ice Cream Social in City Park (Sponsored by Horizon Health); 1:30 p.m.- Closing Ceremony with American Legion, Dan Moore and prayer by Pastor Ken Crawford in City Park.