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Columns

  • The stories of Smith, Crump & Cronk

    While working on decorating the tree at the Vandalia Statehouse last week we got into a conversation about names.
    One of the stories we tell to visitors at the old capitol is of Supreme Justice Theophilus Washington Smith, who pulled a gun on Gov. Ninian Edwards. Edwards took it away from him, pistol-whipped him and broke his jaw.
    Another of the justices, Stephen Lockwood, in a letter to his wife, Mary, wrote that Smith’s jaw "had not yet reunited."

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week's photo: All of the members of this family grew up in the Sefton community. Three still live in the Brownstown community.

  • The Way We Were

    25 Years Ago

    1989 –  The annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament was under way.
    The Leader-Union and area merchants were sponsoring the First Baby of the New Year contest.

    30 Years Ago

    1984 – Beginning Feb. 17, one had to pay 22 cents to mail a letter. Postcard rates raised to 14 cents.

  • Vandalia Memories

    As part of their campaign tour across the Midwest in 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton and his running mate, Al Gore, stopped at the Vandalia Statehouse, where they spoke to a crowd estimated at 10,000.

    After their speeches, Clinton and Gore, and their wives, Hillary and Tipper, were led on a tour of the Statehouse by Judy Baumann, who was then the site superintendent. Also in this photo, taken by Leader-Union Editor Rich Bauer, is Roland Burrus, a Centralia native who was the state's attorney general at the time.

  • Vandalia Memories

    This photo was posted at Vandalia Memories by administrator Kathy Schultz, courtesy of Virginia Messex Maulding Witlock.

    According to writing on the back of the photo, this is the Charles Manion Band.

  • Two Statehouse events this weekend

    Excitement inside the Vandalia Statehouse is building as Saturday night nears. On this one night, Illinois’ oldest capitol will be alight with more than 200 candles and its halls echoing with the strains of chamber music from the group Chordially Yours of Edwardsville.

  • The Way We Were

    25 Years Ago

    1989 –  Cowden-Herrick won the St. Elmo Holiday Tournament.
    Wind chill factors of -30 to -40 degrees caused schools to be canceled in Fayette County.
    Forrest Meseke resigned after eight years as Fayette County Farm Bureau president.
    More than 400 Caring and Sharing baskets were distributed.

    30 Years Ago

  • Banks of the Okaw

    There is no Banks photo this week.
    There was no Banks photo last week.
    This week’s Scrambler: A shiw si a srdeie htiutwo na tpmetat.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: Every crowd has a silver lining.
    Unscrambling it were:

  • Visitors research links to Statehouse

    It doesn’t happen often, but from time to time, we have visitors to the Vandalia Statehouse whose ancestor served in the House or Senate during the years that Vandalia was state capitol.
    In many cases, the visitor knows a little about their relative, but as happens in history, the connection to the political history of Illinois is all that is known about their time in the service of the state.
    Earlier this year, Dave Odum visited the capitol and asked about his ancestor, Dempsey Odom, who served in the House and Senate from Williamson County.   

  • Vandalia Memories

    These Central School Junior Vandals won the grade school heavyweight sectional basketball tournament to advance to state.

    In front are Jon Smith, Mike Keppler and Roger Bone. In back are assistant coach Bill Schultz (who managed the team in the absence of coach Jim Littleford), Charles McDowell, Dale Forehand, Reed Bechtel, Bruce Bennyhoff, Tom Force, Gary Nevinger and Eddie Atwood.


    Pat Smith Frost contributed this Vandalia newspaper clipping.