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Columns

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This aunt and niece, pictured in 1967, live in the Vandalia area.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – The city of Vandalia was considering rejoining the I-70 Growth Association, several years after dropping its membership.
    Amy and J.D. Vieregge of Vandalia bought the 28th house built by a building trades class at the Okaw Area Vocational Center. The house is located on East Fork Drive.
    Wilbert and Elenora Yagow of St. Elmo were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, and Wilmer and Pauline Yagow of Kinmundy were celebrating their 40th anniversary.

  • John Doyle Lee implicated in massacre

    “About 40 years ago John D. Lee, the leader of the Mountain Meadow massacre, was living in the north part of this township [Sefton], near where John Reynolds now lives. Mr. Reynolds remembers him distinctly as a still, morose man of considerable ability, and not well-liked by his neighbors, probably on account of the Mormon doctrines preached by him, which were very unpopular at that time.” Page 82, History of Fayette County, Illinois – 1878.

  • Banks of the Okaw


    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two local women graduated from Miss Hickey's School for Secretaries in 1953.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – Glenn Poshard, the Democratic candidate for Illinois governor, visited Vandalia.
    In his weekly column, Charles W. Mills wrote about Charles Lindbergh's flight over the Atlantic and his frequent visits to the airport in St. Elmo.
    Counselors at Vandalia Community High School and Vandalia Chamber of Commerce officials joined together for a job shadowing program for high school students.

  • Remembering the heroes of the early 1800s

    Mayor Ricky Gottman recently declared Monday, June 18, as a day that Vandalia will commemorate to remember the men who served in the War of 1812.
    The War of 1812 was actually a continuation of the Revolutionary War fought some 40 years earlier.
    Although America won the day in 1776, the British weren’t done, and organized with the Indians in Canada to keep the fire against the Americans burning.
    In Illinois, Territorial Gov. Ninian Edwards was charged with protecting the settlers throughout the territory.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This picture, taken about 60 years ago, shows three friends. All three are now retired.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – With power outages in the summer a possibility, Mayor Sandra Leidner was wanting the city of Vandalia to develop an emergency plan.
    At the Vandalia City Council meeting, it was reported that the city's sewer odor problem appeared to be on the mend.
    Victor and Betty Hill of Van-dalia, and Alva and Maxine Lovall of Vandalia were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries. Bill and Marie Durbin were celebrating their 40th anniversary.

  • Zent Drive was home of Jeremiah Zent

    Have you ever wondered why, when they got around to naming the roads near Vandalia Lake, the main road snaking over what locals refer to as “Thrill Hill” was named Zent Drive?
    As with many of Vandalia’s streets, it was named for a family whose settlement here was important to the area. But unlike other street designations, Jeremiah Zent settled near the road that would later bear his name.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – Shane Graumenz and Susan Koonce were crowned king and queen at the Vandalia Community High School prom.
    Acting on a request from the Fayette County Soil & Water Conservation District, the South Central School District was initiating participation in the Outdoor Classroom program. Members of the Science Club and Future Farmers of America were planting grasses and trees on land west of Interstate 57.