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Columns

  • 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.
     

  • Children tell Sarah Washburn's story

    Sarah Washburn died at her home in Otego Township on a Sunday morning, Feb. 9, 1896, in the 63rd year of her life.
    An obituary, published in The Vandalia Union newspaper, told that she was born in the state of Virginia on Sept. 12, 1833, and came to this county as a young woman. She was three times left a widow, was the mother of six children and stepmother to as many more.

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – Bed races, a car cruise and a community-wide garage sale were among the planned activities for the Cumberland Road Fest being sponsored by the Vandalia Tourism Committee.
    Vandalia Junior High School students were studying the “Roaring ‘20s” during a week-long, across-the-curriculum activity. The week included special instruction and discussion about the 1920s, and a USO Show being put on by the students.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These three siblings, pictured in 1973 feeding Robbie their pet Robin, grew up in Vandalia.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – Charles Davis, 34, of Assumption was arrested for the armed robbery of First National Bank in Ramsey in December.
    Senior Courtney Ulm was crowned queen at the homecoming dance at Patoka High School, and Fred Venturini was crowned king.
    Glenn Poshard, a Democratic candidate for Illinois governor, and Bob Churchill, a Republican candidate for secretary of state, visited Vandalia.

    20 Years Ago