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Columns

  • Enloe's ledger records early Bond history

    A couple of weeks ago, I received a telephone call from John Coleman, president of the Bond County Historical Society. His organization had been given an old ledger book, with the title, "Account Book A – Asahel Enloe."

    Members of the society thought it to be one of the old books discarded 50 years ago by the Bond County Clerks office. John asked if I would like to see the book.

  • Cemeteries mark site of Bowling Green

    About five miles east of Ramsey stands the crossroads village of Twin Churches. Turning left at the corner by the former Reeds Chapel Church and continuing to the top of the hill, about two miles, brings one to the site of the pioneer village of Bowling Green.

    Two little cemeteries mark the site one on either side of the road.

    On the left, or west, side of the road is found the McClanahan Cemetery. Only two stones, for John A. McClanahan and his wife, Susan, are standing. Across the road is the McDonald family burial ground.

  • IHSA still trying to control newspapers

    Once upon a time, organizations like the Illinois High School Association would bend over backwards to get favorable coverage from the press. Treat the media right, and your activities will be covered well, was the thinking.

    Not anymore.

    This past weekend, at the state individual wrestling championships in Champaign, the IHSA made it eminently clear that it dislikes the media and that it doesnt really care if the states elite athletes get any coverage in their hometown newspapers.

  • New feature on Web site allows comments

    Except for major issues such as bond issues, we receive very little feedback from people in the community on those everyday issues that are covered in the pages of our newspaper. Thats likely to change through a new feature offered on our Web site.

    As you may know, our parent company, Landmark Community Newspapers, has provided a new Web site format for us and other LCNI newspapers. The work to improve our Web sites is ongoing.

  • Steinhauer bird collection lands in museum

    Back in the mid-1960s, I was a member of the Junior Girls Auxiliary of the American Legion. Our monthly meetings were held on Saturday afternoons in the American Legion building on Seventh Street.

    The room used for the auxiliary meetings was the one now used for the museum of the Legion, to the left of the main entrance.

    Across the hall was another large room that held glass cases of birds. I remember the cases being positioned along the west wall and extending a short distance on the north wall.

  • It's all about appreciating what we have

    It's not uncommon for people to not fully appreciate their hometown ... and its people. Ed Taylor Jr. is not one of those people.

    Taylor was one of two people honored recently by the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce for community service. As he accepted the award, Taylor explained why he has given a lifetime of service to the Vandalia area and its people.

  • Lincoln Museum worth the wait

    “The luck of the third adventure is proverbial,” writes Elizabeth Barrett Browning. When translated, that means, "Third time’s a charm."

    Well, third time was a charm for me, recently, because along with my husband and son, I finally made it to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield.

    What an experience!

    The parking garage across the street makes access to the museum easy, and from the moment we entered the "gateway" or portal, we were greeted with smiles and knowledgeable volunteers and staff.

  • Stapp served state for most of his life

    James T. B. Stapp was born in Fayette County, Ky., (now Woodford County), on April 13, 1804, the youngest child of James and Sarah "Sally" Burbridge Stapp. His father, from Virginia, was a soldier of the Revolution, and at its end, moved the family to Kentucky.

    When James was 12 years old, his parents moved again, this time to Kaskaskia, Ill., and this is where we pick up their story.

  • L-U clipping identifies musicians on postcard

    It had been quite a while since I had logged onto eBay, the Web site where you can buy or sell just about anything.

    I collect Vandalia postcards, and one evening as I went on line, I decided to see what Vandalia items eBay had to offer.

    About half way down the list was a postcard of the "Vandalia Band." Knowing this could be Vandalia, Ohio, or Indiana, I was pleasantly surprised to see it for Vandalia, Ill., and the seller had dated it at 1905.

    The leader of the band, who was seated and holding a baton, looked familiar, although I couldnt put a name to his face.

  • Jack Ruby spent time in Fayette County

    I can remember this so clearly," Gene Etchason said. "My dad was reclining in his easy chair, while mom was in the kitchen getting dinner ready. We were watching the mid-day news, when, all of a sudden, dad sat up straight and said 'Jack Ruby!'

    "On the television screen was the scene where (Lee Harvey) Oswald was being taken from the Dallas jail when a dark-haired man holding a gun stepped forward.

    Within 15 minutes, there was a banging on the front door. There stood Wilson Hill, and he rushed in the room saying, Ruby! Jack Ruby!