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Columns

  • 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.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two sisters, pictured about 38 years ago, now work in businesses in Vandalia. One is a bookkeeper for a local business and one works for a local doctor. One is celebrating a birthday this week.

  • Eight couples celebrate 50th anniversaries

    I was among those who eagerly awaited the publication of Brenda Protz’s "Images of America" pictorial history book of Vandalia several years ago. Many of the pictures in the book were just what Brenda had hoped for – one-of-a-kind, unpublished photographs.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These four siblings grew up in Shafter Township north of  Vandalia.

  • 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.