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Columns

  • 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.

  • Notice anything different about this L-U?

    Have you noticed anything different about today’s issue of The Leader-Union?
    Think old friend, new friend.
    Give up?
    Take a look at the next two pages. That’s where the old-and-new theme comes in.
    On page 5 is the old friend. We’re bringing back The TV Leader. After more than a year’s absence, we revisited our decision to pull the plug on that feature. At the time, we weren’t sure how many people were using it. Since cutting it, we found the answer: quite a few.

  • Interesting stories surround elections

    With this Tuesday being an election day in some parts of the nation, I thought it appropriate to recount some true stories of past elections in our area.  
    The earliest actually took place shortly after statehood, and the people involved lived near the current site of VanBurensburg.  In 1816, a group of families and neighbors from that part of Warren County, Kentucky, which is now Allen County (near Bowling Green), left their home and proceeded northward to what is now Bond County, Illinois.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young fisherman, pictured nearly 20 years ago, is now a carpenter who lives and works in the Vandalia area.

  • The Way We Were

    25 Years Ago

    1988 – The Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department’s rescue truck sustained major damage when it jumped into gear and rolled down an embankment after being called to a three-vehicle collision at the intersection of U.S. Route 51 and Van Tran Avenue.
    Ramsey won the Egyptian-Illini Conference volleyball tournament. Shanin Whitten of Ramsey was named tournament MVP.
    Beth Herrington and Cindy Harrison represented Vandalia Community High School at the IHSA state tennis tournament.