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Columns

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This picture, taken in the late 1940s, shows a young man who graduated from Seminary School in 1949 and from Vandalia High School in 1953. He married in 1959 and has lived in Vandalia ever since.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – After deliberating for about 30 minutes, a Fayette County jury found Kelly McGinnis of Greenville guilty. McGinnis, who previously was sentenced to 60 years in prison for murdering Greenville Tom Meyer, was charged with armed violence after shooting up the office of Vandalia Attorney Larry LeFevre.
    Rob Blackerby resigned from the chief deputy position with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Michael D. Kleinik announced that he would not fill the vacancy.

  • Grace Kurtz funeral showed her status

     We were sitting at my kitchen table when I told my friend, Dale Reeves, that he was allowing me a rare opportunity. Dale had placed a small photo album in front of me containing pictures taken by the late Edith Hausmann that he had purchased at an antique store.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two boys, the youngest boys in a family of seven children (three girls and four boys), both served in the military.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – Based on an ordinance, water rates for residents of Vandalia were increased by 7.01 percent and sewer rates were hiked by 1.48 percent.
    After hearing residents in the area of Sunset Drive and Fillmore Street voice complaints about speeders, the Vandalia City Council agreed to consider making the intersection of Sunset and Fillmore streets a four-way stop.

  • Can Vandalians be called river rats?

    I moved from Vandalia to Springfield in the fall of 1970. It was about this time that I found out we Vandalians, or at least this particular one, are considered "River Rats" by some of the "flatlanders" up north.
    The first time I heard the phrase, I protested! My folks lived on North First Street,  and the Kaskaskia River flowed a short distance from our back yard, but I didn’t think much about it. I knew the river was behind our house somewhere, hidden by the trees, but did not spend time looking for it. A river rat, indeed!

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This photo, taken in 1963 or 1964, shows three siblings. The older girl now lives in Ramsey. The younger girl lives in Kentucky. And the boy farms in rural Ramsey.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – Plans were explained for the Deken Sports Park complex being planned in St. Elmo. Included in the plans are three baseball/softball diamonds.
    FAYCO Enterprises held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new 14,500-square-foot addition in Vandalia.
    Under a plan presented by Sheriff Michael Kleinik, memorial trees were to be planted on the grounds of the Fayette County Courthouse.
    The Vandalia Tourism Commission announced plans for its fall Corn Day festival, a celebration like those held in Vandalia 50 years earlier.

  • Furniture maker Otto Bouc made replicas

    Back in the mid-1930, as Illinois historians and architects worked to restore the offices in the Vandalia Statehouse to look the way they did in the days of Lincoln, a search was underway to identify original pieces for placement in the historic building.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Morris Kern.
    Identifying him were: Mary Cripe, Dan Oberlink and Kenneth Hall.
    This week’s Scrambler:  rehet ear wot smeit ni feil hewn a nam ludhos ont leatcupes newh eh noctan rofdaf ti, nad newh eh nac.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.