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Columns

  • Radliffs were early county settlers

    Nearly 20 years ago, I was in one of the local antique shops on Gallatin Street when two large portraits caught my eye. The portraits, created in charcoal and pencil, obviously by the same hand, were framed and in very good condition.

  • Banks of the Okaw-March 10, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These five girls, pictured in April 1963, were all from the Bingham area. Though they now live in Ramsey, Herrick, Pana, Springfield and Willow Hill, they remain very close friends.

  • The Way We Were-March 10, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – The Vandalia City Council voted to seek candidates for the vacant position of director of community development.
    The Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department purchased a new set of hydraulic cutters and a new power unit. Half of the $7,500 for the equipment came from city funds, and the fire department paid the other half of the bill.
    Landreth Lumber & Home Center in Vandalia was sold to R.P. Lumber, the owner of lumber yards in a number of Central Illinois towns.

  • Gold rush of '49 included Fayette men

    The "Forty-Niners" took their name from the year the gold rush began. On Jan. 24, 1848, James Marshall discovered gold in the mill race of his employer, John Sutter, while making his daily inspection.
    The news was told in a short paragraph in the March 15, 1848, issue of “The Californian.” In 1849 alone, it was estimated that 9,000 men traveled the southwestern route by way of Santa Fe, while 22,500 traveled the emigrant trails.
    St. Joseph and Independence, Mo., as well as Council Bluffs, Iowa, were staging areas for the westbound wagon trains.

  • Banks of the Okaw-March 3, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young girl, pictured about 45 years ago, is the youngest of eight children. She now has two daughters and two granddaughters. She is a widow and has lived her entire life in Mulberry Grove.
    Do you know her? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Kenny Smith, Robert Smith and Karen Smith Little.
    Identifying them was:   Doris Young.

  • The Way We Were-March 3, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – A Vandalia City Council committee was to gather facts and public input before acting on Mayor Rich Walker’s proposal to change the form of city government.
    Ten area residents served as waiters at an American Heart Association fund-raiser, “Celebrity Celebration for Heart” at the American Legion Home in Vandalia. The event raised $3,172 for the heart association.

  • Morale soared with 'Captain Sam'

    Capt. Sam Houston was an honored member of Co. I, Fourth Infantry, of the Illinois National Guard, joining the unit in 1898 at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war.
    Lest I confuse someone, I’m talking about a golden eagle who served as the mascot for Fayette County’s local National Guard company.
    According to Major E.P. Clayton, one of the commanders of Co. I, “Captain Sam” was captured four miles south of Vandalia by Frank Williams in April 1898 and sold to Martin F. Houston.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Feb. 24, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These three siblings were born and reared in Fayette County and graduated from Vandalia Community High School. The two brothers live around Vandalia, and their sister lives in a Southern state.

  • The Way We Were-Feb. 24, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Mayor Rich Walker reported that the project to extend sewer lines to the city’s western Interstate 70 interchange was nearing completion.
    South Central was knocked out of postseason play with a 79-55 loss to Freeburg at the Vandalia Sectional Tournament.
    During a meeting of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce, Fayette County State’s Attorney Rod Irvin and Vandalia Police Department Sgt. Fred Willms told local business owners what they could do to fight shoplifting and bad check offenses.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Feb. 17, 2011

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Maurice Whitford.
    Identifying him was: Mary Cripe.
    This week’s Scrambler:  lewl-drimare, a amn si degniw; lli chetdam, eh si dleksach.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. (Bertrand Russell)