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Columns

  • 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.

  • McDowell competes in world auctioneer contest

    Among the 33 best auctioneers in the world gathered in Oklahoma City, Okla., this past June for the World Livestock Championship was Andrew McDowell, son of Mulberry Grove auctioneer, Alva R. McDowell, and his wife, Linda.
    Described as “the toughest, most prestigious contest of its kind in the world,” this was not Andrew’s first world championship.

  • The Way We Were-Sept. 9, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – The Old Settlers Social, an event which featured an old-fashioned ham and beans dinner, music and a performance by the 175th Celebration Dancers, raised about $4,000 for the restoration of the old Presbyterian Church in Vandalia.
    Karen Chaplin, a native of California, was sworn in as the new postmaster at the Brownstown Post Office.
    Mr. and Mrs. Bob Timmons were planning to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.

  • Trammel terrorized area with Clingmans

    The story of Joe Trammel is one I have visited before in this column. Along with George Welsh and Jefferson Hastings, he was charged with the murder of an Oconee farmer by the name of Morris.
    Robbery was the motive, but a little killing didn’t seem to upset Joe Trammel, as he fired through a window, shooting John Morris in the head as he sat "at table."
    Truths retained in the old family stories handed down from generation to generation never cease to amaze me. Finding supporting facts that bear out these stories is something else.

  • Elijah Lovejoy martyred for freedom of press

    Elijah Parrish Lovejoy was born in Albion, Maine, in 1802, and died at the hands of an angry mob in Alton on Nov. 7, 1837.
    An editor and Presbyterian clergyman, Lovejoy was outspoken on the subject of slavery. He preached abolition through the pulpit and through the pages of the newspapers he edited.
    Elijah received his license to preach in 1832, and was ordained as an evangelist two years later. At this time, it was fairly new doctrine to condemn slavery, along with whiskey drinking and gambling.