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Columns

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – The Fayette County Board approved a six-month contract for Emergency Services & Disaster Agency Coordinator John Adermann, despite objections that Adermann voiced about the new pact. Adermann opposed the stipulation that the ESDA vehicle be kept at the county jail and used for business purposes only. The new contract also included a 11-point list of guidelines, one of which stipulated that all ESDA volunteers had to be screened and approved by the board’s ESDA committee.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Kyle Reiss.
    Identifying him were: Mike and Barb Reiss, and Phil and Linda Rebbe.
    This week’s Scrambler:  setr si a dogo inthg, tbu mdeboor si tis tebrohr.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar talked about positive upturns in the state's economy during a visit to Vandalia. Edgar was the guest speaker at a special meeting of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce.
    While in Vandalia, Edgar pro-claimed the Vandalia Statehouse as the state's first Heritage Site.
    Five males – four adults and a juvenile – were arrested for breaking into and burglarized Vandalia Community High School. The five males were ar-rested in St. Louis after being stopped for a traffic violation.

  • The history of the village St. James

    The stories of those who lived through various events and times are referred to as first-person accounts and are my favorite resource for local history.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young fireman, pictured in 1986, knew at the age of 2 that he wanted to be a fireman. He works at a Vandalia business and is a member of the Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department.

  • Feuding neighbors common over the years

    This scene has played itself over several times in our county’s history.
    A farmer invests in a bull with a good bloodline. He advertises to his neighbors that – for a fee – the bull is available for breeding purposes.
    Down in Wilberton Township, Mr. Schaefer bought a bull. His neighbor’s fence just happened to collapse and, wouldn’t you know it, the next crop of calves had the unmistakable markings of Mr. Schaefer’s bull.

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – Paul Zeman, president of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce, announced that he had formed a 21-member committee to study the possibility of annexing land between Vandalia’s city limits and Vandalia Lake into the city.
    Students at Vandalia Junior High School were learning about the 1940s during a week of across-the-curriculum activities. The week included an evening presentation for parents and others in the community.

  • The Donaldsons' latch key was always out

    “They were a hardy set of people, honest and upright in all their dealings, social and kind, the latch string always on the outside.” That was how Presley Garner Donaldson described the early settlers of Northern Fayette County who commenced coming about 1825.
    Around 1910, there was a popular movement for people to publish their memoirs.  Fayette County is fortunate that Presley G. Donaldson told the story of his life in a book titled, "Life and Adventures of P.G. Donaldson," printed at Cowden’s  Jewett Printery in 1908.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: No picture this week. Do you have old photos to submit?
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Members of the Barenfanger softball team in the mid-1970s. They are, front  row, from left, Coach Dan Arndt, Coach Kim Edgar, Kenny Roberts, Chris Barenfanger, Jerry Jones and Rod Branham. Back row, from left, Doug Rames, Tom Walton, Rich Rames, Andy Lester, Bob Bowen and Mike Themig.
    Identifying them were: Phyllis Rames, Bernice Etcheson and Mark Etcheson.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This photo shows a team that participated in the Vandalia men's softball league nearly 40 years ago.