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Columns

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – Mike Baker, a former assistant warden at the Vandalia Correctional Center, was appointed to the warden’s post at VCC by the Illinois Department of Corrections. Austin Randolph Jr. was named assistant warden of operations.
    The Vandalia Lady Vandals defeated state-ranked Breese Mater Dei, 49-45, recording their first win over that school in girls basketball.
    Dannon Cole of Vandalia was given honorable mention honors as an NAIA Division II All-American. He was a defensive back at Greenville College.

  • Capps brothers were business leaders

    Ebenezer Capps was one of the best known men to live in Vandalia during the capital years.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These three young people from Vandalia are pictured in 1954.

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – U.S. Rep. Dick Durbin (D-Springfield) held his first town meeting in Fayette County since picking up all of this county through a redrawing of congressional district boundaries. The town meeting drew about 50 people.
    H. Edward Smith, a former employee of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), visited with students of Vandalia Junior High School.
    Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Harner of rural St. Elmo were planning to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Jan 23.

  • Names of Fayette County towns have story

    Nearly 20 years ago, I compiled a list of Fayette County towns, villages and neighborhoods. My main source for the list was back issues of "Fayette Facts," where, in addition to information on schools, churches and cemeteries for each township, various place names within the township were listed. Many of the villages have long since disappeared.

  • Griffin Tipsword averts a massacre

    Long before the French traders and pelters discovered the Kaskaskia River and her tributaries, the land encompassed by Fayette County was part of vast hunting grounds for various Indian tribes.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – Dr. Phillip Good was the new emergency medical director at Fayette County Hospital.
    First National Bank in Vandalia, Ramsey and Patoka handed out checks to 30 area organizations. In the first five  years of its Hometown Support Program, the bank handed out more than $50,000 to more than 50 organizations.
    As they considered changing the city’s form of government, Vandalia officials discussed the roles of a mayor and city administrator under the city administrator form of government.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This picture, taken in 1956, shows a father and first-born daughter.

  • Several bridges have spanned the Kaskaskia

    According to the Jan. 18, 1823, issue of the Illinois Intelligencer newspaper, a bridge built by A.H. Muckel spanned the Kaskaskia River by that date.

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – Elvis Presley commemorative stamps went on sale at the Vandalia Post Office, and all were gone within an hour.
    Maranatha Felmlee, the reigning Miss Fayette County, was competing in the Miss Illinois County Fair Pageant in Springfield.
    A logjam in the Kaskaskia River threatened to damage the city of Vandalia’s river intake and a United Cities Gas Co. Line.