St. Elmo News

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By The Staff

Wednesday, July 27
• Royal Neighbors of America #5784, 1 p.m., Phillips Building. The RNA is collecting school supplies, which need to be taken to the meeting.

Thursday, July 28
• Exxon/Mobil Annuitants, noon, Vandalia Ponderosa.
Monday, Aug. 1
• Registration for St. Elmo Elementary and Jr.-Sr. High schools will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in the office at the elementary school and in the cafeteria at the high school.
• A seventh-grade orientation/registration for all seventh-grade students and parents is from 6-8 p.m. in the junior high-high school cafeteria.
• The St. Elmo City Council, 7 p.m., Phillips Building.
Tuesday, Aug. 2
• Registration for St. Elmo schools will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
• Friendly Neighbors potluck, noon, Phillips Building.
Wednesday, Aug. 3
• Wright’s Corner Unit of Home and Community Education, 11 a.m., Effingham Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
Thursday, Aug. 4
• St. Elmo Business Association, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• The Wheatland Unit of Home and Community Education, 1:30 p.m., Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
Future Announcements
• The Calvert reunion will be held this year (last year there was sickness). The reunion will be held on Sunday, Aug. 7, at St. Elmo Community Park, with a basket dinner at noon.
• A Red Cross blood drive will be held 1-6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 8, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Birth Announcement
Ariel Crum and Tom Phillips became parents of a baby girl, Tawmi Jo-Ann Phillips, born at 3:19 a.m. on July 18 at the St. Anthony Memorial Hospital in Effingham. She weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 19 ½ inches long. Michelle Crum of St. Elmo is the maternal grandparent, and Marvin and Sue Dunn of St. Elmo are maternal great-grandparents.
St. Elmo HCE
A trip to the Marcoot Jersey Creamery south of Greenville was the special July activity the St. Elmo Unit of Home and Community Education did.
The tour was at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 18, to see cheese made. Those going were Karen Denning, Joyce Drees, Loretta Heischmidt, Anna Jean Rhodes and Karen Wegscheid, and guests Charles and Noma Moore, and Guy Wegscheid.
Before taking the tour, they learned about the creamery from Jo Wolf. Originally from Switzerland, the family name was Markut, but was changed to Marcoot.
The Marcoots started milking Jerseys back in the 1800s, and the Marcoot family of Greenville is the seventh generation to do so. At their peak, they milked 125 Jersey cows in a free-stall setup. Nearly 10 years ago, the family changed their operation to a grazing operation, allowing them to down-size the herd to 50 cows.
Recently, they decided that they needed to expand or find a different way to bring the children back into the operation. They expanded the operation to include a processing facility, which started production in June 2010.
Today, there are three generations helping out on the farm and in the creamery, which is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon-4 p.m. on Sundays. You need to call to schedule a tour, 664-1110. They are located at 526 Dudleyville Road, four miles south of U.S. Route 40, which goes through Greenville.
The finished plant has rooms for both cheese and bottled fluid products, along with a retail space for on-farm sales.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the creamery makes cheese, and when the St. Elmo HCE was there, they saw the making of fresh mozzarella.
Types of cheeses, only made from the Jersey cow milk, are four from raw milk, eight from pasteurized milk and three fresh. Several of the cheeses come in a variety of flavors.
After touring the creamery, they went to a barn to see the new calves; one still had its umbilical cord. When they returned to the creamery, they each received a cone with the homemade ice cream the creamery makes.
The group then went into Greenville to eat lunch at the Turret Café. They were in a room by themselves.
It was Karen Wegscheid’s birthday. “Happy Birthday” was sung to her, and the restaurant let her choose a dessert. The group also sang “Happy Birthday” to Charles Moore and Joyce Drees, who have July birthdays.
A short business meeting was held. The July board notes were read. Karen Denning announced that the next St. Elmo Red Cross blood drive will be held on Monday, Aug. 8, and asked for volunteers from the HCE Unit to donate cookies.
Historical Vandalia Inc. Board
The Fayette County Museum in Vandalia has announced the 2011-12 Season of Entertainment and History, which will feature two Civil War programs and one World War II survivor story.
Historical Vandalia Inc. board members received at the board meeting held the evening of July 18 at the museum tickets to sell. In addition to tickets being available from board members, they are available at Gloria’s Christian Supply and the museum, by calling 283-4866.
The adult season tickets are $30 per person. Adult single event tickets are $13 if bought in advance or $15 at the door. Preschoolers are free. Children in grades 1-12 can buy the season tickets for $15 each; single event tickets bought in advance are $6.50 and bought at the door for $7.50.
All three events are at 2 p.m. in the Vandalia First United Methodist Church in the handicapped accessible Fellowship Hall, and refreshments will follow each event.
The first event, on Sunday, Sept. 18, is “The Fall of the Sparrows: Reverend Francis Springer and his Boatload of Orphans.”
It will be presented by the executive director of the Illinois State Historical Society,William Furry. He will recount the fateful journey of several Civil War orphans in the winter of 1865 from Fort Smith, Ark., to Central Illinois.
Army Chaplin Francis Springer was an educator, minister and one-time neighbor of Abraham Lincoln. The presentation will discuss the fate of the children at the end of the Civil War and how their journeys intertwine with the present.
His illustrated presentation will showcase the research trail he followed and other insights into researching local history.
The second event, “The Koenig Family During World War II,” is on Sunday, Nov. 6, and the third event, “The Illinois 130th Infantry During the Civil War,” is on Sunday, Jan. 22.
Board members present at the meeting were President Steve Durbin, Donna Blair and Allison Magnus of Vandalia, Jim Brewer and Mary Ann Rhoades of Ramsey, Marilyn Beyes of Smithboro, Barbara Buckland of Brownstown and Anna Jean Rhodes of St. Elmo.
Prior to the business meeting, Beyes had the group meet in the north end of the museum.
In addition to showing pictures of John J. Brown, who arrived in Vandalia as an orphan, became a lawyer and legislator, she told about the wood secretary he owned and various items it held.
She also explained the mural, an authentic reproduction of the wilderness capital during Lincoln’s lawmaking period, the wood carved teams of horses, stagecoaches and wagons on a shelf above the mural and the large walnut cabinet to the left of the mural.
It is known as a “paper press,” where letters, papers and documents were stored.
The meeting convened in the meeting room. After the secretary and treasurer reports, it was announced that 36 items had been donated to the museum since the June meeting.
It also was announced that several museum visitors thought the garden west of the museum was very pretty and nice. The abundant rain has produced beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, it has made frequent mowing and weeding necessary.
The museum operation fund cannot afford to pay much for help with the garden. The board would appreciate help from volunteers who like to work in gardens.
The garden produced an abundant crop of gooseberries this year, and gooseberries and pies may still be ordered by calling 283-4866. The museum expects to have fresh vegetables as they become available, and you can call the museum to check on the availability.
All funds from baked goods and fresh produce benefit the museum. Donated aluminum cans are sold to help with the garden needs.
The board members each received the Volume 7, Issue 2 Historical Vandalia Inc. Newsletter that is being mailed to all Historical Vandalia Inc. members. One of the reports is that the museum welcomed 1,393 visitors during the first six months of 2011. This is better than the 1,254 visitors for the same period in 2010, but not as good as 1,531 visitors for the same period in 2009.
It also reports that in the last three months, 106 items have been donated to the museum – some are pictures and small items that are important for the monthly exhibits, and all are historically important.
Vit-Em-In Class Potluck
For the Vit-Em-In Class potluck held in the fellowship hall of the First United Methodist Church the evening of July 21, the tables carried out a July theme by being decorated with red, white and blue floral centerpieces, white placemats and red and blue napkins.
Those present were Bob Cox, Imogene Dothager, Helen Koonce, Delva Krost, Barb Lane, Bob and Joan Owen, Rosemary Owen, Anna Jean Rhodes, and Jack and Marilyn Sproat.
A card was signed for the July 22 7lst wedding anniversary for Dewey and Elizabeth Bail, who are at the Friendship Manor Nursing Home.
After a short business meeting conducted by Krost, Rhodes read “Can you answer all seven of the following questions with the same word?” and “Laymen’s 10 commandments.”  She also gave the meal blessing.