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Columns

  • Letters lead to duel challenge for Abe

    Abraham Lincoln, who saw service in the Black Hawk War in Northern Illinois, is said to have joked that the only blood he shed during the conflict was from mosquito bites.

  • The Way We Were-Aug. 18, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Roger Gottman, 27, of St. Elmo, died from injuries sustained when he was hit by a train as he was crossing railroad tracks in St. Elmo.
    The Vandalia Community High School football team opened its season with a 38-6 win over Carlyle.
    David and Eileen Brown of Vandalia were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

  • Residents' impact felt after they moved

    Last week, I told the story of James Thomas Burbridge Stapp, who after living the first 41 years of his life in Vandalia, took his ideas and dollars – 20,000 of them – and moved to Decatur.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young woman, pictured when she was about 16, now lives in Brownstown. She has three children and three grandchildren. She worked at a local warehouse for 29 years.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Aug. 11, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This brother and sister, pictured about 65 years ago, were born in Oklahoma, but moved to the Brownstown area  during the oil boom in the late 1930s.

  • The Way We Were-Aug. 11, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar and Odie Washington, director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, visited Vandalia for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new work camp at Vandalia Correctional Center.
    Jeff Bullard, 27, of Mt. Vernon, joined the Vandalia Police Department as a patrolman.
    More than 50 people attended a kickoff meeting for Vandalia Main Street.
    Sam and Evelyn Jolliff of Patoka were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

    20 Years Ago

  • Stapp helped build Vandalia, Decatur

    James Thomas Burbridge Stapp cut quite a swath through the political life of early Illinois.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Aug. 4, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two cousins are pictured 45 years ago. The one on the left works for the county and lives in the southeast part of the county. The one on the right lives out of state, but grew up in the Ramsey area. She is a registered nurse.

  • The Way We Were-Aug. 4, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – A nationwide search was kicked off for Kelly McGinnis, a Greenville man who gunned down Greenville Attorney Tom Meyer in the alley behind the lawyer’s office downtown.
    The Vandalia City Council approved a resolution prohibiting drinking outside of bars in the city, after some bar owners asked for permission to have beer gardens.
    Bruce Clanton of rural Vandalia was recognized as a candidate for the American FFA Degree, the highest honor in the Future Farmers of America.

  • Wolf packs terrorized citizens, livestock

    “Grandfather Howell came to Illinois from Tennessee in 1825, settling in Marion County, having taken up land from the government, 80 acres at the time of his coming. He afterward bought 120 acres from the government, a part of which was timbered and a part was on the prairie.
    “There were not any settlements on the prairie at that time, all the settlements there were then being in the timbered land. The first Monday in May was wolf day. All the settlers gathered at that day and made a general drive, often taking numbers of prairie wolves.”