Today's Opinions

  • The 'Milk War' back in the 1930s

    Several years ago, I was asked by John Goldsmith of Greenville what I knew of the 1920s “Brownstown Milk War.” Up to that time, I had never heard of the “war,” so consulted my local Brownstown expert, the late Ben Forbis, He confirmed that there was such a thing and it took place in the early 1930s.
    I then turned to one of the best sources, back issues of The Vandalia Union. Most newspapers publish a recap of news events throughout the year in a December or January edition. Any kind of “war” was sure to be reported.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week's photo: This young girl was raised in Shafter, and both she and her daughter teach.
    Do you know her? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week's photo: Janet Lach, Lorna Hoyle, Margo Hoyle, Lisa Hoyle and Bill Hoyle.
    Identifying them were: Jessie Maske, Charlie and Linda Townsend, Kathy Bauer, Harold Bergin, Roger and Betty Roe, Joyce Maske Huddlestun, Ada Carroll, Melody Lach, Mary Ann Rhoades, Roger Corrington, Elaine Michel, Elaine McCormick and Pat Harris.

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1995 –  The city of Vandalia expressed interest in joining the recently formed Illinois Presidential Corridor. Mayors in Dixon, Eureka, Galena, Springfield and Tampico – communities, which served as homes for U.S. presidents - were forming the group.
    Janice Isbell was sworn in as an alderwoman in Ward I for the city of Vandalia. She was appointed to the seat by Mayor Rich Walker following the death of her husband, Tom.
    Floyd and Joann Hopkins were planning to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

  • Thompson among those with the 'fever'

    They took their name from the year the rush began. On Jan. 24, 1848, James Marshall, while making his daily inspection, discovered gold in the mill race of his employer, John Sutter. The news was told in a short paragraph in the March 15, 1848 issue of The Californian.
    In 1849 alone, it was estimated that 9,000 men traveled the southwestern route by way of Santa Fe, while 22,500 traveled the emigrant tails. St. Joseph and Independence, Mo., as well as Council Bluffs, Iowa, were staging areas for the westward-bound wagon trains.

  • Have a fun – and safe – Halloween

    The Halloween season is upon us, which means that it's time for trick-or-treating, a haunted house and, of course, our largest parade of the year, the Vandalia Lions Club's Halloween parade.
    It's a time to enjoy dressing up in costume, getting all kinds of Halloween treats and enjoying the seasonal decorations created by our local residents.
    But, there are some safety issues that everyone needs to remember, particularly on the night of the parade.

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1995 –  Brent Ellis, 31, joined the Vandalia Police Department as a patrolman, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of “Sonny” Banal.
    Bill Donaldson was the keynote speaker for a Veterans Day program at Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95.
    John Burnam was re-elected president of the Vandalia Board of Education. John Gehrke took a seat on the board, succeeding Calvin Scott.
    Fayette County began a search for a new animal control warden following the resignation of Max Pummill.

  • Vacant lot could give downtown a boost

    On the matter of what to do with the corner of Fifth and Gallatin streets made vacant by the recent building collapse: I have always been interested in our downtown and still am.
    A drive through the area is a bit disheartening. Yes, all small downtowns have some empty buildings, but I believe that we have too many for our downtown’s size.
    I go downtown quite often and attempt to do business with the downtown merchants when I can. It is time and just might be our chance to give our downtown some much-needed attention.

  • Vandalia Memories