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Columns

  • The Way We Were-Jan. 13, 2011

    15 Years Ago

  • Hand-delivered funeral cards once popular

    “The friends and acquaintances of the family are invited to attend…a funeral…”
    In the days before mass communication through radio, newspapers and telephone, hand-delivered funeral cards notified people of a death and upcoming funeral.
    These cards were printed at the local print shop, and styles varied throughout the years. In the early days, the language was flowery; later it became stark and to the point.

  • The Way We Were-Jan. 6, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Seniors Clint Flowers and Jani Torrence were crowned homecoming king and queen at Patoka High School.
    The city of Vandalia was gathering information about downtown buildings to use for such things as recruiting tenants for vacant buildings and firefighting pre-planning.
    Dana Adermann, the 1995 Miss Fayette County Fair queen, was representing the county at the Miss Illinois County Fair Pageant this week in Springfield.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Jan. 6, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These three boys and one girl grew up in the Augsburg area. The boy on the left still lives in the Augsburg area, is married,  and has one daughter and one son. The boy second from the left recently moved to Decatur, is married, and has two daughters and two sons. The boy third from the left still lives in the Augsburg area, is married and has two daughters. The girl on the right lives in Vandalia and has one son.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.

  • Koehler recalls days as prisoner of war

    A couple of weeks ago, my cousin, Mike Koehler, from Mt. Pulaski telephoned. Mike calls at least twice a month, and at the beginning of this call he asked, “Do you know what day it is?”
    Actually, I had no idea what day it was, although I was fairly certain it was December.
    “December 19,” he said. “Sixty-six years ago today, I was captured by the Germans.  You know that recipe I sent you? That is what I had to eat on Christmas Day.”

  • Banks of the Okaw-Dec. 30, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: In this photo are the owner, driver and crew of a stock car that raced in Brownstown in the 1970s.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Robert P. "Bob" Meyer.
    Identifying him were: Ronnie and Norma Heather, and John Schaub.
    This week’s Scrambler: iescelnsnla mesobce reom tnapomtri henw lsegidons si kylenuil

  • The Way We Were-Dec. 30, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – A space heater was believed to be the cause of a fire which gutted the building on North Eighth Street housing the Sunshine House Health Food store. Vandalia firefighters battled extremely cold weather in putting out the blaze.
    The Fayette County Board continued to study the county’s need for more space. The board met in closed session for about 40 minutes to discuss property acquisition.
    Andrea Lilly and Nick Hopfensperger were winners of “I Dare You” leadership awards.

    20 Years Ago

  • "The Year of the Deep Snow"

    Hughea Davenport was not a resident of our county, but his descendents were. It is through the late Berle Mattes that I received a copy of a memoir, written in May 1876 by his great-grandfather Davenport.
    Hughea was 12 years old when he came to Illinois from Kentucky in 1824, settling with his family six miles west of the hamlet of Springfield, which Hughea told consisted of eight to 10 houses, several stores –  including one with a whiskey barrel owned by Herndon – and the Capps brothers’ hardware and shoe shop.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Dec. 23, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This man, who has farmed all his life in rural Vandalia, is turning 60 today. He is married and has four children (two girls and two boys). The two boys help him farm. If you know him, give him a call and wish him a happy birthday.
    Do you know him? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Zachary Ryan Townsend.

  • The Way We Were-Dec. 23, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – Springfield Calvary upset Shelbyville, the team rated No. 1 in Class A basketball, to win the Vandalia Holiday Tournament. Mario Brown of Calvary was named the tournament MVP.
    State Sen. Frank Watson (R-Greenville), along with several representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, held a meeting at Days Inn in Vandalia to hear concerns about the future of Carlyle Lake. About 70 local residents attended the meeting.