15 Years Ago
1996 – The Vandalia City Council accepted the resignation of Jeanne Gustafson, who had headed up the city’s economic development efforts for the previous 6 1/2 years. Gustafson accepted a similar job in Mt. Vernon.
Vandalia Correctional Center Warden Mike Baker reported that the construction of a new work camp at VCC was “moving right along.” The work camp was to house 400 minimum-security beds and employ 155 staff members.
Albert and Rena Torbeck were planning to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
All 13 of the Vandalia Community High School wrestlers competing in the regional tournament advanced to the sectional level. Those wrestlers were Seth Henry, Todd Hale, Mike Mabry, Nathan Graumenz, Matt Emerick, Nick Cocagne, Ty Kidd, Jacob Culbertson, David Graumenz, Pat Cocagne, Shane Graumenz, Jeremy Durbin and Jason Troxell.
The wrestlers defeated Belleville Althoff, 42-17, in a match at Vandalia Middle School to win the team regional title.
20 Years Ago
1991 – Vandalia’s new recycling bin was ready for use by city residents.
Senior Greg Emerick, after having finished third in the Vandalia Sectional, represented VCHS in the Class A State Wrestling Tournament.
Arthur Young offered “free maintenance” – which included an oil change, filter change and lube, plus a check of belts, hoses and fluids – to wives, husbands and parents of Operation Desert Storm participants.
A reception was held to honor Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hoffman of Ramsey on their 70th wedding anniversary.
Brownstown Elementary students collected more than $2,000 in pledges in a "Jump Rope for Heart" fund-raiser.
25 Years Ago
1986 – The Vandalia City Council passed a bond ordinance for its waterworks and sewer treatment project.
Monica Schumacher scored 29 points as the Vandalia Lady Vandals crushed Hillsboro 61-31 in Mid-State Conference action.
Vandalia beat Ramsey 59-52 in basketball. It was the first time in 52 years the two Fayette County teams had met during the regular season. Members of the Ramsey and Vandalia teams that played 52 years ago were honored prior to the game. It was a big win for Vandal Coach John Denton, who was a standout at Ramsey in the late 1960s.
About 600 attended Fayette Service’s 50th annual meeting.
A new county-wide, quarter-cent sales tax and a new 1-percent use tax were approved by the Fayette County Board.
Jim Calvert was hired as a full-time patrolman in St. Elmo.
Mulberry Grove’s eighth- grade team beat Morrisonville 52-49 in overtime for its first sectional championship and a chance to compete in the state tournament at Washington. Team members were Keith Steiner, Nathan Metzger, Jim Brown, Jeff Waters, Richard Bryant, Kevin Buchanan, Curt Goodin, Kendall Blunt and Cornell Fletcher. Stan Bruechaud was the coach.
Ramsey’s seventh-grade basketball team lost 40-35 to Lovington in state tournament action, despite 30 points from Andy Lay. Other team members were Tony Cunningham, Greg Hayes, Jeremy Kelly, Mark Luster, Jason Roberts, Joey Naab and Josh Kelly. The Rockets had defeated Mulberry Grove and Livingston in the regional and Waverly in the sectional to advance to the state tournament for the first time in school history.
Robert Emerick was named manager of the Vandalia operation of United Cities Gas.
35 Years Ago
1976 – Kenneth “Red” Chrisman planned to retire as Vandalia Park District Superintendent on June 1.
Freezing rain that clung to trees, power lines and bushes formed a winter wonderland, but resulted in hazardous road conditions.
The daily IC local was now the only user of the once-busy main line of Illinois Central. On Feb. 10, Illinois Central Gulf Railroad celebrated its 125th anniversary. To examine what remains of the once prosperous railroad line, The Vandalia Leader-Union received permission for a reporter to ride the local freight train on its way from Centralia to Pana and back. He told his story in a special feature carried in this week’s edition.
Members of Vandalia High School’s stage band included Rose Westendorf, Carol Revis, Penny Milhoan, Linda Goodin, Jo Meyer, Steve Meadows, Rock Johnson, Jerome Themig, Paul Robinson, Bobbi Schwabe and Debbie Nichols. Drew Schneider was director.
The goal for the Fayette County Heart Fund was set at $3,500.
Twelve Vandalia groups were participating in a bicentennial tour planning.
Bob McAllister guided his wrestling team to its fourth loop title.
Vandalia Lions honored their sweethearts at a dinner party Monday night.
Mr. and Mrs. Leo Cocagne attended the 67th annual convention and monument industry show on Feb. 8-11 in Atlanta.
Mark Johnson was Vandalia ninth-grade’s high scorer against Hillsboro with 25 points Tuesday night.
45 Years Ago
1966 – The Fayette County Board of Supervisors, at its meeting on Tuesday, studied a health program for people in Fayette County over 65 years of age.
On Saturday, the thermometer dropped to -10.
The Vandalia Historical Society, assisted by Vandalia Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and other interested organizations and citizens, observed Heritage Day on Saturday.
The old state capital took on a look of elegance following a new coat of paint and the hanging of new draperies.
Second Baptist Church sponsored a church-wide Valentine party on Friday night, Feb. 4.
Mr. and Mrs. George Aukamp, St. Peter, entertained in celebration of their 45th wedding anniversary on Feb. 6.
Cuppy’s Pharmacy gave away 500 philodendrons at its grand opening following a remodeling program.
55 Years Ago
1946 – Barenfanger Lumber bowlers won the team tourney championship. Team members were Mrs. Wayne Depew, Mrs. George Hausmann, Rachel Larson, Mrs. Paul Gruenbaum and Mrs. Emmett Brannon.
Carole Ann Cripe and Gary Paul Houck celebrated birthday anniversaries on Valentine’s Day.
Jen Engel was chosen the DAR winner at Farina LaGrove High School.
Mr. and Mrs. J. Albert Lowry of St. Elmo observed a 72nd wedding anniversary Feb. 10.
Dr. A.M. White, dentist, moved his office to the second floor of First National Bank.
Cliff Sturgeon was moved to Belleville to manage a new Kroger store there.
H.B. “Dick” Hoffmire observed an 88th birthday anniversary on Monday.
65 Years Ago
1946 – Ruth VanSickle resigned her position as fourth grade teacher at Washington School prior to her marriage. Mrs. Eugene Culbertson was hired to finish the term.
Dr. George Stanbery resumed his practice on Feb. 4, after serving 47 months in the military.
The Rev. and Mrs. Rene Aeschliman and sons were honored at a potluck dinner in the Presbyterian Church. Aeschliman was a former pastor here.
There were five new houses under construction in Vandalia; the housing situation demanded more than that, however.
The city grade school faculty held a party Monday night at Washington School. Betty Freeland won the prize as the most beautiful baby. Other prize winners were William Wheatley and Maurice Wilson.
75 Years Ago
1936 – At the city council meeting Monday night, the treasurer's report showed a balance of $2,105.22. The water fund showed a cash balance of $4,039.44, combined with investments and accrued interest thereon, totaling $10,228.20. The purchase of 300 more feet of fire hose was authorized, since a few days previously two sections of old hose burned in the Patterson fire.
A fire destroyed the Richard Mattes home.
Brownstown won the grade school tournament held here, with McKinley School acting as host team.
Mrs. Harvey Munger of St. Elmo returned Friday from St. Anthony’s Hospital in Effingham, where she had received treatment for a broken ankle she received while coasting on Johnston’s Hill.
Mrs. Leo Burtschi fell on icy pavement Tuesday morning, breaking her arm.