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Columns

  • Banks of the Okaw-Nov. 18, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: Is it any wonder that Greenville College had winning basketball teams back in the early 1950s? Four of the five starters were graduates of Vandalia Community High School, and all have been inducted into the VCHS Hall of Fame. Two of them presently live in Vandalia, one lives in Carbondale and one lives in Arkansas.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.

  • The town of Bob Doane now only a memory

    In 1941, the seventh-grade pupils of Beecher City School undertook a project to record the history of the once-flourishing village of Bob Doane, located in the southwest corner of Section 25 in Loudon Township.
    To do this, they visited with some of the older residents, including, Arizona Lockard,  80; Julian Buzzard, 84; E.E. Wood, 71; D.B. Buzzard; Johnny Alsop and Rose Phillips.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Nov. 11, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two boys, pictured about 50 years ago, grew up in Vandalia. The one on the left is now a doctor in Pennsylvania. The one on the right still lives in Vandalia and works at Graham Correctional Center.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
     

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Greg Stine.
    Identifying him was: No one.
     

  • Our nation's freedom is not free

    Ernest Thorp had two consuming passions when growing up on a farm outside Wapella – farming and flying. As a child of the Great Depression, he had plenty of opportunity to pursue both. Thorp was a college student at Illinois State University in 1941 when he earned his civilian pilot’s license. Two years later, he was training to fly B-17 Flying Fortresses.

  • Plank road helped settlers cross bottoms

    History is ever unfolding.  
    Driving east on U.S. Route 140 toward Bluff City this past Wednesday, I was surprised and thrilled to see logs piled up near the bridge construction site along that road.
    The squared logs were reminiscent of the hewn logs that had formed the plank road across what was known as the Okaw Bottoms more than 150 years ago. The logs, harvested from the virgin forest and squared with a woodcutter’s ax, were laid crosswise over the road with planks over the top to fit the wagon wheels.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Nov. 4, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, pictured nearly 50 years ago, attended high school in Vandalia and moved to Ft. Worth, Texas, in 1975. He is married and has two children. His father was an auto body repairman at a local garage.
    Do you know him? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    No photo in last week’s Mystery Banks Photo.
    This week’s Scrambler:  ratts  yb nigdo thaw si rynaceses, hent twah si lobsipes, dan lydsunde uyo rae nodgi eht bimlesisop.

  • Post Office building unchanged in 75 years

    Last week’s column centered on the mural in the Vandalia Post Office painted by artist Aaron Bohrod under the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.).
    This government program was created on May 6, 1935, to help provide economic relief to the citizens of the United States who were suffering through the Great Depression.
    On Aug. 27, 1934, Postmaster George L. Hausmann was notified that out of the 25 sites offered for construction of the new federal building, the corner location of the Schulte home at Fourth and Johnson streets was chosen.  

  • Banks of the Okaw-Oct. 21, 2010

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Barbara (Austin) Randall, Betty (Francis) Schaub, Shirley (Davis) Jones and Anna Ruth (Radliff) Lilly.
    Identifying them were: Don and Ellen Willms, Howard Koester, Normalee Terry and Elizabeth Kasten.
    This week’s Scrambler:  fi ouy tel rafulie hobret yuo, uyo liwl veren dececsu.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. (Henry David Thoreau)

  • The Way We Were-Oct. 21, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – Brent Ellis, 31, joined the Vandalia Police Department as a patrolman, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of “Sonny” Banal.
    Bill Donaldson was the keynote speaker for a Veterans Day program at Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95.
    John Burnam was re-elected president of the Vandalia Board of Education. John Gehrke took a seat on the board, succeeding Calvin Scott.
    Fayette County began a search for a new animal control warden following the resignation of Max Pummill.

  • Modern medicine helps fight disease

    It has been 12 years now since I was told that I had breast cancer…a fast growing type they said. On a scale of two to nine, I was a seven – not a good number to be.
    Being the first in my immediate family to be diagnosed with cancer, I searched my ancestor charts for kin who may have died as a result of this particular immune system disease. I came up nearly blank. In fact, throughout the lives of my family members, the most common "disease" seemed to have been old age.