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Columns

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – Vandalia resident Wallace Weicherding, who hosted a Ku Klux Klan rally at his lake home in September, was fired from his job as a sergeant at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro for allegedly promoting his racial beliefs while on the job.
    Local artists Kim Shanks and Matt Mayfield dressed up the Vandalia Historical Society room at Evans Public Library by creating a painting of Abraham Lincoln on one of the walls.

  • Statehouse book gives a look at 1840s

    As a volunteer tour guide at the Vandalia Statehouse, one of the topics that I touch on is the fact that only three pieces of furniture in the building are original to it.
    Two are stoves, both Benjamin Franklin models. The Liberty stove, with an eagle emblazoned on it from the Walter Neuman Liberty Stove Co., was used as the model for the 12 reproduction stoves in the building. The second stove, known as a Sally-Ann model, has a bake oven on top and separate firebox below.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Laurna Lowrance.
    Identifying her were: Mildred Morefield, Shirley Cole, Linda Schulte and Jodi Craycroft.
    This week’s Scrambler: veig em ixs rusho ot pohc nowd a eret nad i liwl denps eht rifts urof grenphinsa het exa.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: Vision is a compelling image of an achievable future. (Laura Berman Fortgang)

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – Dawn Clark Netsch, Illinois comptroller who was seeking the Democrats' gubernatorial nomination, visited with Fayette County Democrats at the home of Maurice Trexler, chairman of the county Democrats.
    The Vandalia City Council approved the extension of Sunset Drive south from Jefferson Street to Randolph Street.

  • Remembering Vandalia as it was in 1938

    Last week, while working on a research project that required searching back issues of The Vandalia Union, which are available on microfilm at Evans Library, I came across an article in the July 28, 1938, edition titled, "The Editor Cruises Around Town on A Dull Summer Day," by editor Ira Lakin.
    The writer began by stating that Friday, July 22, was a dull mid-summer day with little excitement and nothing out of which to make a newspaper story.  So, he climbed aboard his "bus" and cruised around town looking for a story.

  • Many county residents served in Civil War

    From what has been written about Vandalia in the history books and personal memoirs, our county seat was an armed camp during the years of the Civil War.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo:
    This young lady, pictured about 40 years ago, grew up in Ramsey, married and moved to Vandalia. She has three children and teaches school in Vandalia.

  • The Way We Were

    25 Years Ago

    1988 – The Vandalia Hardee’s opened its doors.
    St. Elmo’s eighth grade basketball team took first in the Brownstown Invitational.
    More than 78 percent of the registered voters in Fayette County elected Marsha Wodtka, circuit clerk; Don Sheafor, state’s attorney; Dan Taylor, sheriff; and Gary Blurton, coroner.
    Johnny Houston and Sherry Britt were crowned king and queen of the Patoka Halloween Carnival.

    35 Years Ago

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These young people, pictured about 20 years ago, grew up in the Vandalia and Shobonier area.

  • The Way We Were

    25 Years Ago

    1988 – The Madonna of the Trail monument was rededicated on Saturday, the 60th anniversary of the Vandalia monument.
    The team of Gary Gray, Danny Kellow and Randy Fechtler won first place in the Fifth Saturday chili cookoff.
    Brownstown’s volleyball team won the Altamont Regional by beating Ramsey in three games. The Bombers were only 12-12 when they entered regional action. They were eliminated by Pana in the Casey Sectional.