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Columns

  • Vandalia's first schools were by subscription

    The first school in Vandalia was taught by a Mr. Jackson in a little log shed in 1819. This tidbit of historical data, from the History of Fayette County, Illinois, published in 1878, sets the scene for this article.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – Crime was on the rise in 1997. Courthouse figures show that there were 243 felony cases filed, 92 percent more than the 1996 total of 126. Juvenile cases were up by 101 percent.
    Joe Barth was named a partner in the Vandalia CPA firm of Luallen & Cearlock.
    Tom Harmon, owner of Harmon Foods IGA in Vandalia, confirmed that he had purchased land on Van Tran Avenue (now Veterans Avenue) for a new and larger store.
    Mt. Zion defeated Vandalia 45-24 to break the VCHS wrestlers’ 79-match win streak.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: No photo this week.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Lila (McFarland) Whitford.
    Identifying her were: JoAnn Corry, Louise (Campbell) Bilyeu, Joyce Cable, Pat Blankenship, Mary Cripe, Jeanie Whitford, Dean Elam, and Doris and Lyle Elam.
    This week’s Scrambler: fi uoy lyrale nawt ot od ghitnemos, oyu ilwl dinf a yaw; fi uyo od ton, oyu lilw nifd na seecux.

  • Miller treasured baseball memories

    With the Cardinals in spring training in Jupiter, Fla., it seems appropriate to tell a story about baseball.
    I had the good fortune to meet Floyd “Pop” Miller and his wife, Vivian, from Mulberry Grove when I joined the Fayette County Genealogical Society in the late 1980s.
    The mere mention of the word "baseball" in a conversation would start Floyd reminiscing about his early days with the Mulberry Grove team.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – As the year came to a close, area law enforcement were gearing up for a change in the legal intoxication limit from .10 to .08 that went into effect at midnight on Jan. 1.
    Fayette County Sheriff Michael D. Kleinik and his department, along with Illinois State Police, were investigating an armed robbery at First National Bank in Ramsey.
    The Vandalia City Council approved the purchase of a $54,000 computer system. The system would alleviate the record-keeping system of writing and typing.

  • Lincoln's protest against slavery

    On March 3, 1837, by a protest entered upon the Illinois House Journal of that date, at pages 817, 818, Lincoln with Dan Stone, another representative of Sangamon County, briefly defined his position on the slavery question.
    “They believe that the institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy; but that the promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than to abate its evils.

  • Reports of newspapers' demise exaggerated

    Back in 1897, James Ross Clemens was ill. Not-so-careful passing on of information resulted in word that Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name of Mark Twain, was dying in London.

  • Asking questions unfolds McManmie story

    Sometimes it just helps to ask.
    That is how I learned what I now know about Pvt. Isaac McManmie of Company G, 21st Arkansas Infantry, Confederate States of America (C.S.A.)

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, who grew up in Mulberry Grove, was about 15 when this picture was taken.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This picture, taken of Augsburg Lutheran School in 1971, shows students in grades 1-4. Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.