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Columns

  • Responding to emergencies takes guts

    We live on a road with a dangerous s-curve. Over the years, many vehicles have failed to negotiate that difficult stretch. Just before 3 a.m. Monday, another one ended up in the ditch.
    For some reason, I was awake enough to hear the vehicle approaching. Then came squealing tires, a thud and an eerie silence.
    I went to the window to confirm what I thought I’d heard…hoping that my sleep-clouded brain had manufactured the incident. No such luck; I could hear voices yelling for help.

  • Perrysville became Perryville, then disappeared

    A query from B.J. Mueller, publisher of  The Ramsey News-Journal, about the historic village of Perryville, located south of Pittsburg, caused me to pull out my file on this ancient village.
    Perryville was platted in 1817 as the first county seat of Bond County. It stood on the bluff west of the Hurricane fork of the Kaskaskia River.
    The village has long since turned to soil, but to stand near the millstone and read the signboard erected there by Steve Schildknecht in 1990 gives the visitor a sense of the history of the primitive village.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Sept. 30, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two young cousins, pictured in about 1935 grew up in the area. The girl now lives in Carbondale and the boy lives in Vandalia.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Clockwise, from upper left: Wilma Rook Kruger, Frank Rook Sr., Frank Rook Jr. and Mary Rook Gebke.
    Identifying them were: Norma Terry, Shirley Mattes, JoAnn Corry, Paul and Phyllis Sarver, Carolyn Grames and Karen Zimmerman.

  • The Way We Were-Sept. 30, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – A child playing with matches started a fire which caused extensive damage to his family’s home and destroyed two buildings near the house.
    Charles W. Mills, former owner and publisher of The Leader-Union, was selected as the parade marshal for the 53rd annual Vandalia Lions Club’s Halloween parade.
    Vandalia officials held a pre-construction conference for the extension of sewer lines to the city’s western Interstate 70 interchange. Construction was to get under way the following week.

  • Family stories enhance ties to ancestors

    In Panzi Blackwell’s recent Fayette Faces column "Meyers still holding hands after 70 years," we were allowed into the life of Elvis and Maxine Meyer of rural Vandalia.  
    Having known Elvis and Maxine for years, it was very interesting to learn more about how they met and their life together.
    Through the annual family reunions of the Meyer family, I came to know Elvis’s father, Clyde Meyer, as well as his brother, Claude, and sister, Fern Worker – all first cousins to grandma, Berniece Meyer Spires, of Bingham.

  • The Way We Were-Sept. 23, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – The Fayette County Board voted to seek bids for the removal of asbestos from the old county nursing home on Ill. Route 185 northwest of Vandalia.
    Sophomore Gretchen Schneider was crowned homecoming queen at Vandalia Community High School.

    20 Years Ago

    1990 – Molly Schumacher was crowned VCHS Homecoming queen.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Sept. 23, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This family photo was taken in 1954. The father was a corporal in the Army and fought in the Korean War. He and his son could often be seen racing at the Fayette County Speedway. The mother and daughter are both retired from state jobs. The father is deceased. The mother and son live in the Brownstown area, and the daughter lives in Vandalia.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Twyla Haynes Durbin.
    Identifying her was: Rosemary Case.

  • Schneider home used as school for a time

    In July 1935, the Vandalia School District purchased the two-story brick house on the corner of Third and Randolph streets, built by John J. Schneider, Vandalia’s premier boot and shoe dealer.
    The home was built around the same time as the high school building, and by 1935, more room was needed because of the increase in student census. My late aunt, Vida Rebbe Freeman, remembered attending home economics classes in this house.

  • The Way We Were-SEpt. 16, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – At the request of Mayor Rich Walker, the Vandalia City Council agreed to hire a Missouri firm to update the city’s zoning, subdivision, lake and interchange regulations.
    The city’s consulting engineering firm, HMG of Carlyle, recommended that the city increase its water and sewer rates. The proposed rate increase would be 35 percent. It would be the first rate hike since 1986.
    Site work began on the new work camp at Vandalia Correctional Center.

    20 Years Ago

  • Banks of the Okaw-Sept. 16, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young woman grew up in Lone Grove Township. She is married, and has a son, two grandsons, a stepdaughter, two stepgrandchildren and a grand- dog! She lives in Vandalia and works in a local factory.
    Do you know her? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Camille Ann (Hathaway) Brown.
    Identifying her were: Linda Townsend and Lily Reed.
    This week’s Scrambler:  dohbel eht luertt: eh lyno kemas srepgors nehw eh kitscs shi kenc uto.