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Columns

  • Beck family forged friendship with Indians

    My thoughts this week have turned to the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration.
    In addition to the turkey-baking and pumpkin pie-making, my thoughts also turned backward to past celebrations with our family over the past 60 years.
    In the Beck family story, preserved by George Beck, is found the earliest account of a feast of thanksgiving in Fayette County stretching back to the year 1816.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Nov. 17, 2011

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Members of the All-Star game of the St. Elmo and Brownstown Little League in 1968 or 1969. They are:
    Front Row: Mike Sluder, St. Elmo; David Miley, St. Elmo; and Marty Watson, St. Elmo.
    Second Row: Forrest Claypool, St. Elmo; Denny Koonce, St. Elmo; Marty Haslett, St. Elmo; and Terry Spain, St. Elmo.
    Back Row: Coach Leo Haslett, Wesley Sparr, St. Elmo; Doyle Powell, Brownstown; David Williams, St. Elmo; Kris Klitzing, Brownstown; and Coach Max Watson.

  • The Way We Were-Nov. 17, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Kelly McGinnis, a Greenville man charged with the August murder of a Greenville attorney, pleaded guilty to “firing the second of two shots.” A sentencing hearing was to be held at a later date.
    Senior Vandalia linebacker Shane Graumenz was named to the Illinois High School Association’s Class 3A All-State football team.
    Fred Willms Sr. received his 50-year Masonic pin.

  • Dr. Morey was county's first trained doctor

    In last week’s column, I wrote about the family of Dr. John Frederick Aubery, who served as a surgeon during the Revolution.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Nov. 10, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This picture was taken in 1968 or 1969 of the all-star baseball team for the St. Elmo and Brownstown Little League.

  • The Way We Were-Nov. 10, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – The Vandalia City Council voted to pay $260,000 for 26.08 acres of land east of Owens-Brockway and south of John Crane, with plans to give part of that land to Signature Label to retain the local industry.
    The Vandalia Community High School band and band instructor, Sean Reed-Bippen, went to the Vandalia Moose Lodge to record their halftime show for a compact disc. VCHS was one of seven schools chosen for the CD.

  • War of 1812 veterans have local connection

    In celebration of the upcoming bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812, I have been working on a project to identify all known veterans of that war who died in Fayette County.

  • Banks of the Okaw Nov. 3

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Michelle Philpot Barker, Melissa Philpot Elam, Cindy Carpenter Lutz and Jill Philpot Perry.
    Identifying them was: Cynthia Autenrieth.
    This week’s Scrambler: eht nam how slofwol teh drowc lilw sylulau teg on rufhert naht het drowc. eth amn owh slawk nelao si keilyl ot nidf femshil ni slapec on eno seel sha reev nebe.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Longtime Vandalia attorney Joe Dees was the keynote speaker at the Veterans Day program held by Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95.
    A large crowd was present as Kelly McGinnis was led into the Bond County Courthouse to face charges of murdering Greenville attorney Tom Meyer.
    Massac County defeated the Vandalia Community High School football team, 26-2, to end the Vandals’ post-season playoffs. The Vandals ended the season with a 10-1 record.

  • Book tells of first murders in Fayette County

    Over the years, I have written about many of the first murders committed in our county,  with the information coming from the “History of Fayette County, Illinois,” published in 1878.