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Columns

  • The Way We Were-June 2, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Due to input from people in the community, Mayor Rich Walker rescinded his proposal to eliminate the Vandalia Economic Development Commission.
    Ed Taylor’s performance of a song he wrote won him first place in The Leader-Union’s Talent Showcase.
    Vicky Shaeffer was the championship flight champ and Glenda Lawler took first place in the A Flight of the St. Andrew’s Ladies Open at the Vandalia Country & Golf Club. Peg Harris won the B Flight, and Dorothy Fannin was the C Flight champion.
    Alice Walton was installed as president of the Cameo Woman’s Club.

  • Potts family had tie to Daniel Boone

    Many of the columns I write require several weeks of research before they are ready to be included in The Leader-Union. Other stories are more easily told. This story, about William Potts, is one of the easy ones.
    The Potts family settled in Illinois around 1829, and although they made contributions to their adoptive state, it is the history of the family before coming to Illinois that is my subject today.
    William B. Potts was born in Frankfort, Ky., in the year 1814, and came to Illinois in 1829 with his father Richard F. Potts, brother Jessie and sister Millie.

  • Banks of the Okaw-May 26, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This picture, taken in 1968, shows three brothers and a cousin. All grew up in the Ramsey area.

  • Michael Steinhauer home housed FCHD

    The auction notice of the building at 509 W. Edwards St., used most recently as headquarters of the Fayette County Health Department, sparked my interest because I discovered only a couple of years ago that this home was built in the early 1860s by Michael Steinhauer.

  • Banks of the Okaw-May 19, 2011

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: The Vandalia Junior High School boys basketball team from 1953-54. Pictured in the front row are, from left, Jerry Swarm, Brad Pryor, Mark Miller, Dan Hampton, Jim Brannon, Ron McKay and Larry Walton. In the back row are, from left, Coach Bill Schultz, Terry Brown, Bill Augenstein, Darrell Stokes, John Cole, Keith Cripe and Coach Jim Staff.

  • The Way We Were-May 19, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Marlys Hayner was the keynote speaker for the Memorial Day program held by Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95 of Vandalia.
    Jennifer Warden of Vandalia Community High School was awarded a volleyball scholarship at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
    Mandi Langston earned a dental hygienist degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
    Tony Eckhardt was trapped under an overturned tractor for about eight hours, digging himself out with a screwdriver and a lid from an insect repellent can.

  • Steinhauers left big impression on Fayette County

    Within the 20-year period between 1840 and 1860, five young men named Steinhauer settled in Vandalia.  They included Michael and Daniel, who were brothers, and Jacob, Frank and Fred, also brothers and nephews or cousins of Michael and Daniel.

  • Banks of the Okaw May 12, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This group of basketball athletes played for Vandalia Junior High School in the 1953-54 school year.

  • The Way We Were-May 12, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Walt Barenfanger asked the city of Vandalia to take over maintenance of the road that runs west of Majestic Drapery and the old Crane Packing building. The council gave Mayor Rich Walker the authority to work with Barenfanger. The local postal food drive netted about 5,500 pounds of food for the CEFS Food Pantry in Vandalia.
    Darrell Gummert, principal of Vandalia Community High School, was elected president of the Charles R. Ruemmelin Foundation Board.

  • 'Vandalia Raid' results in several arrests

    Alenia Dressor McCord was reared in the Bethel community, about eight miles northwest of Greenville, now known as Reno, and was a child during the turbulent days of the Civil War.
    She told her granddaughter, the late Alenia McCord, known to many as a former high school teacher in Vandalia, many family stories. One of her stories was about an event that would become known as the "Vandalia Raid."