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Columns

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – Chicago native Ron Neibert, who had been economic development coordinator at Columbia for the past two years, was hired as the city of Vandalia's first city administrator.
    Alta Rush, formerly of Brownstown, celebrated her 90th birthday.
    Yolanda Richardson and Nick Krueger were crowned queen and king at the South Central High School prom.
    The Illinois Drug Education Alliance honored the city of St. Elmo for its anti-drug campaign efforts and 9-year-old Heather Mills for her computer graphic poster.

  • Ramsey's Joe Brewer took historic photos

    The capture of a German U-boat, U-234, on May 14, 1945, by destroyer escort USS Sutton, has been described as one of the most dramatic and intriguing incidents of World War II.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This picture, taken in about 1954, shows six kids who grew up on West Main Street in Vandalia.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – Dan Meyer, superintendent of the St. Elmo School District from 1989-91, returned to that position during a St. Elmo School Board meeting.
    Edgar Hunter and Jamie Luster were crowned king and queen at the Brownstown High School prom.
    Robert D. “Junior” Ritter Jr., 47, was fatally electrocuted while setting up a radio display at the model show at Mulberry Grove High School.
    Donald and Beulah Logue of St. Elmo were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

  • Printery is Vandalia's oldest building

    Perched on the hill above the NAPA store on Jefferson Street stands the oldest building in Vandalia.
    Few who pass by the dwelling, built about 1824 for Robert Blackwell, have any idea of the history of the building or the importance it played in Illinois’ history.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These brothers, raised in the Loogootee area, are pictured about 68 years ago. One lives in Florida, one lives in Kankakee and the third still lives in the area.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – A crew from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency came to St. Elmo for an anhydrous ammonia spill caused when tanks broke loose from a truck pulling them.
    Parents of seniors at Ramsey High School were fighting to keep prayer at commencement exercises.
    Outgoing Vandalia Mayor Rich Walker and other city officials hosted a reception for the incoming mayor, Sandra Leidner, and other newly elected officials.
    Mr. and Mrs. Burt Powell of Brownstown were celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.

  • Take time to look closely at Madonna statue

    Dedicated to the mothers of covered wagon days, Vandalia’s Madonna of the Trail statue was one of 12 monuments erected in the United States to mark major migration paths.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – The St. Elmo Board of Education interviewed one candidate for the district’s superintendent position.
    A fire in the laundry room caused an estimated $50,000 in damage at TraveLodge.
    The Fayette County Board discussed the need to begin addressing problems with the county courthouse.
    At his final meeting as a member of the South Central Illinois Regional Planning & Development Commission, Vandalia Mayor Rich Walker received special recognition from the commission.

    20 Years Ago

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two brothers and a sister are pictured in 1948. The oldest brother lives in Fillmore and is retired from the Hillsboro Correctional Center. He has been a minister all of his adult life. The younger brother worked at Caterpillar in East Peoria. He is  retired and living in Tennessee. The sister is married, with four children, and worked as a beautician for 40 years and as a breakfast manager at McDonald's for almost 30 years. She lives in rural Vandalia.