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Columns

  • Memories of Thanksgiving on the farm

    One of my favorite childhood memories is of our family gatherings at my grandparents' farm to celebrate Thanksgiving.

    It was the one holiday when our entire family (on my mother's side, anyway) would get together. There must've been more than 50 of us on most Thanksgivings.

    In addition to mountains of great food, we had all kinds of other attractions on my grandparents' farm.

  • Remington family had Vandalia connection

    While not a common name among Vandalia citizens, Henry J. Remington, "closely related to the Remingtons of firearm fame," chose Vandalia as the place to live out his last years.

    Henry J. Remington was born on June 8, 1839, in Savoy, Berkshire County, Mass., the son of Aaron Remington, a veteran of the War of 1812. Both of Henrys grandfathers served in the Revolutionary War.

    He was an interesting enough fellow that the editors of the "Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Fayette County," published in 1910, included him in their volume.

  • The Way We Were

    10 Years Ago

    1997 The Vandalia Historical Society was to hold a ceremony to recognize Mary Burtschi for her donation of the Little Brick House to the society.

    The Vandalia Jaycees were still looking for a place to hold their haunted house.

    Travis Blain rushed for 294 yards against Pana, but the Vandals lost, 21-14, in an overtime contest.

    Mr. and Mrs. David Hill of Vandalia were celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary, and Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Hollman of St. Peter were marking their 50th anniversary.

  • Soldiers have a story to tell, if they will

    As the soldier from Texas walked by my father, he called, Hey Torbeck, how many lives does a cat have? Nine, replied my father, to which the Texan, Hulett Sells, a Tech Sgt. with the 96th Deadeyes, remarked, Ive had eight. Sells walked on another l00 yards and was hit by a bullet.

    The name of Hulett Sells appears on the Roll Of Honor, with nine other men from Co. D of the 386th Infantry killed over 50 years ago on Leyte.

  • Ceremony to commemorate Eli Forbis

    The 1878 History of Fayette County credits Eli Forbis and John Little as being the first settlers of Sefton Township.

    According to the book, the two men came to the county together in 1830 and settled on Section 19, both building cabins and making improvements that year.

    From research done by Ben Forbis, we know that Eli and wife, Jemima Gardner Forbis, came to Fayette County from Christian County, Ky., where their youngest son, Eli Harper Forbis, was born.

  • Naming road fitting way to recall Emerick

    I’m sure that I was like many of the other 200-plus people who turned out on Saturday for the dedication of the Terry J. Emerick Memorial Highway.

    That dedication took me back to the afternoon of May 25, 1994, when Terry died in the line of duty.

    But it also brought back many more positive memories, those of the time that we spent around Terry.

  • Ceremony to commemorate Eli Forbis

    The 1878 History of Fayette County credits Eli Forbis and John Little as being the first settlers of Sefton Township.

    According to the book, the two men came to the county together in 1830 and settled on Section 19, both building cabins and making improvements that year.

    From research done by Ben Forbis, we know that Eli and wife, Jemima Gardner Forbis, came to Fayette County from Christian County, Ky., where their youngest son, Eli Harper Forbis, was born.

  • Halloween a good time to tell ghost stories

    During my recent travels, I picked up a book titled, “Ghosthunting Illinois” by John B. Kachuba. The stories were short and there were lots of pictures, so I figured it would be good reading material as we wended our way back home again. After reading some of the ghost stories in Kachuba’s book, I remembered some of the stories that I had heard down through the years. It is Halloween, after all, and this is as good a time as any to retell them. A Vandalia woman told me there was a presence in her home in the northwestern part of town.

  • Murals add character to Vandalia downtown district

    If youre like most of us, youve probably done a double-take at the newest residents of downtown Vandalia.

    Lets see, theres a young boy playing with a puppy, a woman in a floor-length white dress descending a stairway and the newcomer a man with an old-fashioned bicycle, the kind with a huge front wheel.

    They dont get around much. In fact, you can see them in the same place day after day.

    No need to call the police to disperse these loiterers, though.

  • Halloween a good time to tell ghost stories

    During my recent travels, I picked up a book titled, "Ghosthunting Illinois" by John B. Kachuba.

    The stories were short and there were lots of pictures, so I figured it would be good reading material as we wended our way back home again.

    After reading some of the ghost stories in Kachubas book, I remembered some of the stories that I had heard down through the years. It is Halloween, after all, and this is as good a time as any to retell them.