The Way We Were

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By The Staff

20 Years Ago

1993 – Elvis Presley commemorative stamps went on sale at the Vandalia Post Office, and all were gone within an hour.
Maranatha Felmlee, the reigning Miss Fayette County, was competing in the Miss Illinois County Fair Pageant in Springfield.
A logjam in the Kaskaskia River threatened to damage the city of Vandalia’s river intake and a United Cities Gas Co. Line.
The Vandalia Junior High School cheerleading squad finished 12th out of 70 teams at the National Cheerleaders Association national championships in Dallas, Texas. Members of the squad were Megan Schukar, Gretchen Schneider, Kiley Pepple, Brooke Swyers, Andrea Kaiser, Danielle Kellow, Courtney Oldfield, Brandi Gerkin, Heather Osborne, Crystal Schulte, Kari Johnson and Lindsay Langston.
FAYCO Enterprises was awarded a $392,000 contract for the manufacture of trousers for the state of Illinois. FAYCO was working with Demoulin brothers of Greenville on the contract.
Maurice Trexler, chairman of the Fayette County Democratic Central Committee, and his wife, June, was among 12 local people traveling to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of the new U.S. President, Bill Clinton. Also in the group was Joan Shafer, the chairwoman of the Fayette County Democratic Woman.
Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95 and Unit 95 Auxiliary held a party for Jesse Etcheson, who was retiring as the Legion’s business manager.
Vandalia native Dwight Nestrick was promoted to president and chief executive officer of Citizens Bank of Henderson County.

25 Years Ago

1988 – The Vandalia City Council, in a 6-1 vote, approved the sale of liquor on Sundays in Vandalia.
Vandalia Correctional Center employee Ray Ruhl, 35, of rural Oconee, and Illinois State Police Agent Virgil Lee Bensyl, 41, of Monticello, died in a shootout at an Oconee gas station on U.S. Route 51. The shootout erupted as Bensyl and other state officers attempted to arrest Ruhl, who was allegedly scheming to have his wife killed.
Stacy Mitchell of Farina, the reigning Miss Fayette County Fair, was competing in the state county fair queen pageant in Springfield.

35 Years Ago

1978 – Bowen Brothers purchased the old Vandalia Laundry building and planned to open at that location on March 1.
Mr. and Mrs. Don Ledbetter planned to open Mode O’Day on March 1.
David Marty became sole owner of The Model. He previously had been part owner,  along with Pat Meseke.
Under the presidency of Randy Edwards, the Vandalia Jaycees were observing National Jaycees Week.
Rich Rames of Vandalia was the captain of the Millikin University men’s basketball team.

45 Years Ago

1968 – Mrs. Melvin Donnelley purchased Milady’s Fabric Shop from Mrs. Glen Stombaugh.
Vandalia’s sesquicentennial committee booked an organ grinder for its celebration.
Fifteen Fayette County draftees, the largest contingent to be called since December 1965, when 35 men reported, left for the armed services induction center in St. Louis.
Esther Volberg was installed as president of the Lutheran Church Women by pastor Gerald Leaf.
The Vandalia School District was completing its move into the new junior high school, according to Superintendent G.V. Blythe.
Vandalia was covered with 10 inches of snow.
Residents in areas north and west of Vandalia were voting on whether to have their areas annexed into the city.
55 Years Ago

1958 – Felma Nell Hunter won the high school Daughters of the American Revolution Award.
The razing of the old Schenker place at the corner of Fourth and Johnson Streets was under way.
Pastor W.H. Wetzstein preached his final sermon at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. He was leaving for a Chicago pastorate.
Mack Parke of Vandalia was appointed as temporary county superintendent of highways by the Fayette County Board of Supervisors. He succeeded James Mose, who had moved to Shelbyville.

65 Years Ago

1948 – The Fayette County Board of Supervisors tabled a jail project after learning that the estimated cost was $140,000. A few years earlier, the estimate was $40,000.
Members of the new Civil Air Patrol had an opportunity to learn instrument flying in a Link Trainer that the war department had furnished.
One hundred and twenty hunters bagged only two foxes during a big hunt in Fayette County.
Clyde Roberts announced his candidacy as a Democratic candidate for state representative.

75 Years Ago

1938 – The WPA brought 418 miles of graveled road to Fayette county, as well as six new bridges, 362 new culverts, 3,325 linear feet of curbing and 1,725 feet of drain tile, as well as the clearing of land and building of 4.5 miles of levees, 367 sanitary privies, 9.59 miles of new sidewalks, the clearing and landscaping of 598.5 acres and the terracing of 4.228 cubic yards in Vandalia Cemetery.
North Sefton School purchased a radio and wind charger.