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Today's Opinions

  • Old threshing pictures tell tale of harvest

    Driving in the Ramsey Creek bottoms the other day, I slowed down to watch the graceful ballet of three Case-IH combines as they performed the dance of "gathering the harvest" in the field below me.

    Chaff and dust rose up behind the combines, fully engulfing them as they made a sweeping turn at the end of the row. The men and women in the cab know exactly how far to go before executing their turn so that the beans are fully harvested.

  • Wyatt Earp named for a Vandalia man

    Most of us have heard of Wyatt Earp and the shootout at the O.K. Corral, but did you know that Marshal Wyatt Earp was named for a Vandalia man?

    Yes, Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp was named for his father’s commander during the Mexican War, Capt. Wyatt Berry Stapp, whose family came from Kaskaskia to Vandalia with the capital.

    One of eight children of Nicholas Porter Earp and Virginia Ann Cooksey, Wyatt Earp was born on March 19, 1848, in Monmouth, in Warren County, at the home of his aunt, Elizabeth Earp.

  • Good to see young volunteers

    What’s better than a volunteer program that enhances our business district by providing facelifts on downtown buildings? One that draws participation by a large group of youths.

    Since its inception, the Vandalia Main Street Program’s “Paint the Town” project has brightened several downtown buildings with new coats of paint.

    The last building to get exterior improvements is the National Road Association of Illinois’ interpretive center in the 100 block of South Fifth Street.

  • Ben-Hur Literary Club impacted Ramsey

    The Ben-Hur Literary Club was organized on Oct. 25, 1901, by some of Ramsey’s upper crust ladies, and has been identified as one of the longest continuous organizations in Illinois.

    The object of the club, as stated in their "constitution," was to "advance the knowledge of literature and promote the art of conversation."

  • City's teamwork and volunteers are vital

    In recent years, Vandalia has stepped up its commitment to better present the history of this community, this region and this state. In turn, those efforts have improved the experiences of people from other towns and states who stop here to learn about Vandalia, Fayette County and Abraham Lincoln.

  • Outlaw Slade had ties to Fayette County

    Mark Twain wrote of his Western travels in the book, “Roughing It.” Twain said that the men he traveled with had three subjects on their mind – "Californy, the Nevada silver mines and the desperado, Slade."

    Twain wrote, “From Ft. Kearney west, he was feared a great deal more than the Almighty. Mothers used his name to strike terror in the hearts of their misbehaving children.”

  • Outlaw Slade had ties to Fayette County

    Mark Twain wrote of his Western travels in the book, “Roughing It.” Twain said that the men he traveled with had three subjects on their mind – "Californy, the Nevada silver mines and the desperado, Slade."

    Twain wrote, “From Ft. Kearney west, he was feared a great deal more than the Almighty. Mothers used his name to strike terror in the hearts of their misbehaving children.”

  • Funk, Taylor worthy of honor

    Being chauffeured in a decorated car for five or six blocks is not really an adequate way for two men to be recognized for their lifetimes of service to our community. But it is, at the very least, a way to show Don Funk and Ed Taylor that we do appreciate all that they have done for Vandalia.

    Funk and Taylor will serve as the grand marshals for the Vandalia Lions Club’s Halloween parade next Thursday evening. It will be the first time in several decades that they won’t have to be helping to pull off one of the largest Halloween parades in Illinois.