Today's Opinions

  • Perry Davis was a local man of firsts

    Perry Rollin Davis was born in Sefton Township, Fayette County, on the same land first settled by his grandfather, Henry L. Davis, a native of Pennsylvania who was here as early as Feb. 15, 1845.
    Perry was the seventh child of the Rev. Mark Pinkley and Margaret Almyra Pittman Davis and is remembered as a progressive thinker.
    It seems he may have inherited some of this from his grandfather, Henry, who was the first merchant in Sefton Township. He was also a veteran of the Black Hawk War of 1832 in Northern Illinois.

  • You can join the beautification work

    Are you one of the Vandalia residents who bemoans the appearance of the community? Now you can be a part of a community facelift.
    The beautification committee formed by Mayor Rick Gottman late last year has met several times, kicking around some ideas about improving the city's looks. Now, it's inviting civic organizations and individuals to join the effort.
    The committee is holding a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday in council chambers at city hall, during which it will talk about possible beautification projects.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    There is no photo this week.
    There was no photo last week.
    This week’s Scrambler: aenrnocig si tno silsb, ti si ibovlnio.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: Creativity has a lot to do with a willingness to take risks.
    Unscrambling it were: Larry Cable, Harold and Loretta Tidwell, Andrew Crosswait, Ruth Ann Garrison, Melinda Garrison, LaTisha Paslay, Juanita Workman, Lois Jackson, Judy Elder, DeeDee Diveley, Cy and Lorene Locke, and Wayne and Bonnie Purtilar.

  • Work on TIF rules is a good idea

    Time and time again, members of Vandalia's Tax Increment Financing advisory committee and city council have asked for more guidance as they considered applications for TIF grants and loans. Hopefully, they will be getting that sometime soon.
    Mayor Rick Gottman announced at Monday's council meeting that he is forming a committee to study the existing rules and regulations for TIF awards, and to recommend changes for those.
    That's a good idea, especially considering discussions on TIF requests at recent council meetings.

  • Looking Back
  • Pearson circus overwintered in Ramsey

    The other day, on my way to Vandalia, I was met by three semi trucks hauling carnival rides. After all, this is the season for carnivals that winter in the southern states to make their northern trek, providing entertainment for us in the hinterland.
    When I returned home, I pulled a file that I had started some time back on the Pearson Carnival, whose home was Ramsey. It was Mrs. Pearson who had the Ramsey connection.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week's photo: These siblings graduated from Vandalia Community High School, and they live in Fayette County.

  • Ancestry test gives some surprises

    This past holiday season I took Ancestry up on its offer for a basic DNA test. Many of my genealogy buddies had already done this and could talk about their ethnic background.