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Columns

  • Tombstone found in fill dirt, returned to plot

    I was going about my Saturday morning routine when the telephone rang. Andy Craig was on the other end to tell me that a tombstone had been found in fill dirt brought in to level the lot on which the new Habitat for Humanity house has been built on North Second Street.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two cousins were in a wedding that took place 50 years ago.

  • History book to include Morton family

    Recently, I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Ralph Morton of St. Peter.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – With support from the Vandalia Main Street Program, Katherine Brown and Riitta Maunula-Craycroft began making plans for a Farmers’ Market on Saturdays in downtown Vandalia.
    A Vandalia School District study of the district’s space issues was to come up with specifications on a new school building.
    Robin Orr and Andrew Crothers were crowned queen and king at the Brownstown High School prom.
    Fayette County Hospital was planning an open house for its new surgical area.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two brothers, pictured more than 40 years ago,  worked together in Decatur for 15 years.

  • Isaac Hill produced early map of area

    Last week, I wrote about Paul Beck, who came to the Big Spring area of Carson Township in search of a good place to build a fort. This was around 1805.
    Soon after Beck had determined  what was the best location for his fort, he met a prominent Indian chief, who bid him welcome and professed great friendship. The Indian invited Beck to come and make his home among them, which he did.
    He built a double-log home near the gushing waters of the big spring that he would later be identified with.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – The Fayette County Board looked over the final plans for a courthouse renovation and addition project, and voted 10-3-1 to proceed with the project.
    A ground-breaking ceremony was held in St. Elmo for Deken Sports Park. The complex will include a baseball diamond, softball diamond, two basketball courts, a jogging/walking path, a children’s play area and four picnic pavilions.
    Earl and Helen Shelton were celebrating their 60th anniversary, and Forrest and Elva Johnson were marking their golden anniversary.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two siblings, pictured in 1930, lived during their childhood in the Shobonier area.

  • George Beck made forts unnecessary here

    After years spent in searching for proof that at least one fort or blockhouse had been put up in Fayette County during the Indian years, I finally found my proof … no forts or blockhouses were ever built here.    
    My proof was lying in the manuscript of George Beck, a great-grandson of Paul Beck, who was credited with being the first white person to settle within what is now Fayette County.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – An evening house fire in Vernon claimed the lives of Elzy and Pauline Gehrken.
    Brownstown Superintendent of Schools Jeanne Jones reported that the district needed to take on a construction project to ease overcrowding at the elementary school. The district filed an application for state funds to help with the project.
    The Vandalia City Council approved an ordinance allowing for massage therapy and tanning parlors in the city.