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Columns

  • Banks of the Okaw-July 7, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, a native of Oklahoma, moved to Brownstown during the oil boom in the late 1930s. He played baseball for the Bombers and married a girl from Vandalia. They had two girls and one boy. Now, he  goes to Southern Texas in the winters.

  • The Way We Were-July 7, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Citing “immediate family concerns,” Republican candidate Marsha Sidwell Combs pulled out of the November state’s attorney’s race in Fayette County.
    Lorraine and Andy White of Vandalia celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Jeanne and Ivan Witbracht were also celebrating their golden anniversary.
    Tom Turner, who had served as principal of South Central Elementary School, was chosen for the principal’s job at Patoka Elementary School.

  • James Lafayette Pryor murder is solved

    James Lafayette Pryor was murdered in the early morning of Dec. 17, 1899, while he slept.
    What made the killing of Pryor most unusual and mysterious was that sleeping beside him in the bed at the time of the incident were his wife, Lydia, and 11-year-old son, Grover.

  • Hollmans impacted Vandalia, Galena

    Last month, my friend Rita and I spent a girls' get-away weekend in Galena.

  • Banks of the Okaw-June 30, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young woman, pictured about 40 years ago, grew up in Vandalia.

  • The Way We Were-June 30, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Deliberating less than 50 minutes, a Christian County jury found 41-year-old Rocky Bennyhoff guilty of reckless homicide for his part in an October 1995 wreck that caused the deaths of 19-year-olds Leigh-Ann Metzger and Kelly Horton, both of Vandalia. A prosecution expert testified that his study showed Bennyhoff had about 24 beers prior to the accident.
    Carey Oldfield of Vandalia was crowned the 1996 Miss Fayette County Fair. Samantha Morrison won the Little Miss crown.

  • Banks of the Okaw-June 23, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This picture, taken about 35 years ago, shows an uncle and his nephew.

  • The Way We Were-June 23, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Dr. Tom Jaselskis, a family practitioner in Vandalia for the past five years, announced that he was moving to Tennessee.
    Matt Baker of Vandalia and Brian Maske of Ramsey earned degrees from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
    Vernon and Alma Meyer of St. Peter were planning to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
    Brooke Straub and Mandi Wasmuth of Vandalia were inducted into Phi Theta Kappa sorority at Kaskaskia College.

  • Cemetery yields information about township

    Twice within the past 30 days, I have found myself in the historic Old Liberty Cemetery in Sefton Township. Prior to that,  I had never visited this historic burying ground, although I always thought that one day I would find the time.
    Wilma Kruger of Brownstown was my first guide, and we were on an ancestor hunt. As we followed the road that led to the cemetery, she told me some of her memories of this area. One must cross both a bridge and a ford to reach the cemetery.

  • Banks of the Okaw--June 16, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This little guy, pictured about 23 years ago, grew up in Vandalia. He is currently in the military and lives out of state.