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Columns

  • 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.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This picture shows the cast of a play, "The Eyes of Faith," performed in about 1955 at First United Methodist Church in Vandalia.

  • County courthouse has unique history

     We in Fayette County are very proud of that fact that of the state’s 102 counties, Fayette County is the only Illinois county whose courthouse was once a private residence.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This man, pictured 60 years ago, owned a business in Vandalia and retired as a truck driver. He has two children.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – Vandalia officials announced that local businesses could apply for loans through the city's Community Development Assistance Program revolving loan fund. Previously, the funds were available only for industrial projects.
    A Mt. Vernon architectural and engineering firm presented Vandalia School District officials with a study on district facilities. That study showed that the district needed more space, and that it would be expensive to address that problem.