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Columns

  • 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."

  • Banks of the Okaw-May 5, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young fisherman, pictured about 65 years ago, grew up south of Bluff City. He had a career in the Navy,  retired and moved back to the family farm.

  • The Way We Were-May 5, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – During a presentation to the Vandalia City Council, Bill Donaldson stressed that city participation in the Vandalia Main Street Program was a vital key in the success of the program.
    Jeff Lay and Tom Fackler of Vandalia won the doubles competition at the Mid-State Conference tennis tournament. Vandalia placed second in the conference tourney.

  • 'French 500' had connection in Fayette

    One of the “perks” of being involved in history and historical research is that, from time to time, I am contacted by people with fascinating stories about their Fayette County family.

  • Banks of the Okaw-April 28, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This Stringtown graduate came to Vandalia to attend high school. She is shown modeling a dress she wore to her sorority initiation. A World War II bride, she was married in Atlanta. In Vandalia, she lived in the same house, with many of the same neighbors, for more than 50 years.

  • Banks of the Okaw-April 21

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: The photo of this young Vandalia girl was taken in either 1955 or 1956. She is tied to the Vandalia School District, and her husband is well-known "man about town." One of their children is a Vandalia school teacher, and the other is a nurse in St. Louis. Shown behind her is her brother, who now lives in Texas.

  • The Way We Were-April 21

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – A letter of intent was signed for the sale of Witte Hardware Corp., operator of a distribution center in Vandalia, to Orgill Corp., an independent hardware distributor based in Memphis, Tenn.
    Alicia Gerkin and Jay Keppler were crowned queen and king at the Vandalia Community High School prom.
    Members of Soroptimist International of Vandalia were to canvass the downtown business district over the weekend to plant flowers in barrels as part of its “Bloom in Historic Vandalia” program.

  • Boggs was a part of Civil War ironclads

    James A. Boggs stood before the judge of the Fayette County courts on Nov. 2, 1880, and, raising his right hand, renounced all fealty to Queen Victoria of Great Britain and solemnly swore that he would support the Constitution of the United States.
    Boggs, a native of Nova Scotia, stated that he had lived in the United States for 38 years and, in the fall of 1861, enlisted in the Army, serving his term aboard the gunboat Louisville on the Mississippi River.