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Columns

  • E.M. Pope was blacksmith in Vandalia

    Elijah M. Pope began work as a blacksmith when, at age 16, he was apprenticed to learn the trade.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These three siblings, pictured in 1960, grew up in Fayette County.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These Cub Scouts, pictured nearly 50 years ago, are from the Vandalia area – and several still live here.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – Students at Vandalia’s junior high and high school were being asked to address concerns voiced by local residents about students walking into traffic before school, during lunch and after school.
    The Vandalia City Council was considering a one-block extension of Kennedy Boulevard, by renaming the 100 block of South Third Street.
    Brownstown’s Erik Sefton was chosen to participate in the fifth annual Central Illinois All-Star Basketball Game.

  • L-U starts new photo feature

    They bring back memories of the candy section and creaky wooden floors of G.C. Murphy on Gallatin Street and the ice-cold root beer at A&W.
    Because of that, it’s quite appropriate that the Facebook page started by Kathy Schultz is named “Vandalia Memories.”
    And while the Facebook page does, indeed, stir many memories, it’s also a great display of Vandalia’s past for all ages.
    Schultz started the Facebook page a little more than three years ago, and since then, hundreds of old Vandalia photos have been put online.

  • Nancy Snyder Blalock preserves history

    “I am the youngest daughter of Henry and Nancy Snyder, and was born on the bank or near the Okaw River, on what was then called the Snyder Hill, now known as the Dan Clark Hill.”
    So begins the story, written by Nancy Snyder Blalock, for the 50th anniversary of The Vandalia Union newspaper, as she joined other old settlers in reminiscences from those earlier times.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, pictured in 1959, grew up in Fayette County.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – Mayor Sandra Leidner presented to the city council a proposed restructuring of the Vandalia Tourism Council.
    Vandalia Community High School senior Marc Sikma signed a letter of intent to play football at McKendree College in Lebanon.
    The Vandalia City Council approved the purchase of three lots in the 300 block of South First Street. Mayor Sandra Leidner said she would like to see that area developed into historical park.

  • Managing state's debt distinguished Ford

    Lately, I have been reading the Illinois sesquicentennial edition of Illinois Gov. Thomas Ford’s book, "A History of Illinois From Its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847," published posthumously in 1854. Not owning a copy myself, I borrowed the book from the local library.

  • Illinoisans played key roles at Gettysburg

    By Tom Emery
    This week marks the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg, the most famous battle of the Civil War. The Union victory on July 1-3, 1863, checked the northern invasion of Robert E. Lee, and is considered the turning point of the war.
    Several Illinoisans played key roles at Gettysburg, including Lt. Marcellus Jones of the 8th Illinois Cavalry, who borrowed a carbine from a fellow soldier and fired the first shot of the battle around 7:30 a.m. on July 1.