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Columns

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – Bed races, a car cruise and a community-wide garage sale were among the planned activities for the Cumberland Road Fest being sponsored by the Vandalia Tourism Committee.
    Vandalia Junior High School students were studying the “Roaring ‘20s” during a week-long, across-the-curriculum activity. The week included special instruction and discussion about the 1920s, and a USO Show being put on by the students.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These three siblings, pictured in 1973 feeding Robbie their pet Robin, grew up in Vandalia.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – Charles Davis, 34, of Assumption was arrested for the armed robbery of First National Bank in Ramsey in December.
    Senior Courtney Ulm was crowned queen at the homecoming dance at Patoka High School, and Fred Venturini was crowned king.
    Glenn Poshard, a Democratic candidate for Illinois governor, and Bob Churchill, a Republican candidate for secretary of state, visited Vandalia.

    20 Years Ago

  • Judge Farmer revered then and now

    On June 10, 1927, Supreme Court Justice William M. Farmer was honored by newly elected judges of the Fourth Judicial District in celebration of his 30th anniversary on the circuit and supreme court benches of Illinois.

  • Joseph Boleyjack was larger than life

    The early history of Fayette County, published in book form in 1878, lists Joseph Boleyjack as one of the earliest settlers in Loudon Township. Many others are listed as well, but it is Boleyjack, or “Old Buckskin,” as he was called, who garnered more than a brief mention in the history book.
    Joseph Boleyjack was born about 1809 in Ohio. He married Sarah Cronk in Fayette County on July 3, 1843.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – As landscape waste­ – and leaf burning – became a major issue statewide, Vandalia officials were looking at the community’s disposal options.
    Mindy Williams and Josh Kreke were crowned queen and king at the South Central High School homecoming dance.
    A 9-year-old rural Brownstown resident was injured when a friend accidentally fired a .22-caliber rifle they had while playing in a treehouse.
    Jerilyn Reed and Shawn Cripe were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – A 20-member committee began a study on the needs and problems in Vandalia School District facilities.
    Rachel Engel, the reigning Miss Fayette County Fair, was competing in the Miss Illinois County Fair pageant in Springfield.
    About seven years after the Fayette County Board agreed to begin setting monies aside for such a project, the current board voted to begin work on an addition to the county courthouse and improvements to the existing building.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, pictured about 73 years ago, was in the service and then farmed. He lives south of Brownstown and has three daughters.

    Do you know him? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: No photo last week.

  • Vandalia's first schools were by subscription

    The first school in Vandalia was taught by a Mr. Jackson in a little log shed in 1819. This tidbit of historical data, from the History of Fayette County, Illinois, published in 1878, sets the scene for this article.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – Crime was on the rise in 1997. Courthouse figures show that there were 243 felony cases filed, 92 percent more than the 1996 total of 126. Juvenile cases were up by 101 percent.
    Joe Barth was named a partner in the Vandalia CPA firm of Luallen & Cearlock.
    Tom Harmon, owner of Harmon Foods IGA in Vandalia, confirmed that he had purchased land on Van Tran Avenue (now Veterans Avenue) for a new and larger store.
    Mt. Zion defeated Vandalia 45-24 to break the VCHS wrestlers’ 79-match win streak.