15 Years Ago
1996 – The demolition of a building on Ill. Route 185, which formerly housed the county nursing home and FAYCO Enterprises, was under way.
Former pro football player Roger Craig was offering a $20,000 reward for information about a hit-and-run accident in Fayette County which resulted in the death of his sister.
Jeremy Durbin of Vandalia Community High School took third place in the 189-pound class at the State Wrestling Tournament in Champaign.
Shane Depew of Brownstown High School passed the 1,000-point plateau, doing so in just two seasons.
Vandalia Mayor Rich Walker presented to the Vandalia City Council the idea of changing the form of government, suggesting aldermen look at the city administrator and city manager forms of government.
Ty Freeland was participating in the Illinois Governmental Internship Program in Springfield, working for state Sen. Frank Watson (R-Greenville).
20 Years Ago
1991 – In the championship game of the St. Elmo Regional Tournament, Vandalia defeated South Central 47-46.
A cease-fire was called Wednesday by President George Bush. A Sunday program was planned to celebrate victory and to serve as a demonstration of appreciation for U.S. troops. The Legion Auxiliary and the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary co-sponsored the event.
David Utley, Fayette County Jail inmate, escaped Tuesday night. Utley remained at large for more than two hours before he was apprehended.
Craycroft Custom Detailing added window tinting to its list of services.
Three Vandalia Junior Wrestlers placed first in the Marion-USA Wrestling Tournament – Adam Lape, Nathan Dugan and Jacob Culbertson.
The Cameo Woman’s Club, along with Van Boatman and Avon Michel, honored Cletess Brungard for her many years of service to the Cub Scouts.
Charles and Emma Zimmer were to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.
25 Years Ago
1986 – Mike Anderson took first in the 155-pound weight class and Mark Miller second in the 98-pound weight class at the sectional wrestling tournament and advanced to the state meet. Jay Hill was fourth, and was a state alternate.
Wanda Bierbaum of Vandalia was one of 16 group winners in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in Orlando, Fla. Her fudge marble cheesecake was a winner in the Rewards and Treats group. Bierbaum won $2,000 for her prize-winning recipe.
David Robnett’s basket on an offensive rebound with no time showing in overtime gave Kinmundy-Alma a 52-50 win over Vandalia in the Altamont Regional. It ended Vandalia’s string of nine straight regional titles.
St. Elmo’s girls’ basketball team won its first-ever game, beating Assumption 44-41. Elise Moore scored 13 points.
Brownstown’s school administrators were rehired.
35 Years Ago
1976 – State Rep. Don Brummet of Vandalia declared that the leasing of 4,739 acres of farmland owned by the Illinois Department of Corrections was a rip-off of taxpayers' money.
Dennis Huber of Hillsboro was named chief public defender in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Public Defender program.
Doris Jones of St. Elmo was awarded a PTA life membership because of her many years of service in the St. Elmo organization.
James and Audrey Horn celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary Feb. 28.
Mrs. Charles Schulte celebrated her 90th birthday Feb. 20. Present were her children, Jean and Charles Davis, Dr. and Mrs. William Schulte and Mr. and Mrs. Tom Schulte.
Vandalia Dairy Queen was to have opened Friday, Feb. 26. A free Dairy Queen Royal Treat was given on Sunday, Feb. 29, if you proved your birthdate was Feb. 29.
Mary Peyton Meyer, who had been writing items for 55 years, was featured in this week’s paper.
45 Years Ago
1966 – In preparation for the building of a new jail, earthmoving equipment was busy cutting out a chunk of the hill behind the Fayette County Courthouse.
Elmer Kuehn headed the 1966 Red Cross Fund Drive in Fayette County.
Vandalia beat Brownstown, 43-21, at Beecher City to win the district tournament, thus making the Vandals eligible to play Effingham in the Mattoon Sectional tournament.
PTA Founder’s Day observance was held at Jefferson School on Thursday night, Feb. 17.
Dr. Tharl Fisher was one of nine Ohio State University faculty members who planned to participate in a teacher-training program in India this summer.
Donald Holtcamp accepted a position as assistant reading consultant in the Alton Public Schools.
Honored at a DAR Good Citizens dinner on Feb. 22 at Robbins Restaurant were Elaine Culbertson, Vandalia; Beverly Bochtler, LaGrove; Carolyn Devore, St. Elmo; Judy Schwarm, Brownstown; and Mary Hauskins, Ramsey.
Progressive Retail Merchants Association sponsored a first anniversary coupon sale on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26.
55 Years Ago
1956 – New candidates for Princess Peggy Five-Year Club were Mrs. Martin Summann, Mrs. James Funk; Mrs. Bob Branham, Mrs. Samuel Hopkins, Mrs. Leonard Hoover, Mrs. Guy Rockwell, Mrs. Bert VanZandt and Mrs. Herbert Helm.
The Shobonier Grade School burned on Tuesday afternoon.
Doug Sitter was named manager of The Model Store.
Brownstown’s new grade school was to have been open to the public for inspection Sunday afternoon.
Mr. and Mrs. George H. Meseke observed their 42nd wedding anniversary on Feb. 19.
Fayette County Hospital had 856 patients the first year.
Mrs. George Stanberry entertained some 35 relatives and friends at a bridal shower for Annabelle Atkinson.
Mrs. Monty Tate was to have left Thursday for Germany.
65 Years Ago
1946 – Don Severns purchased the Red Raven Cafe in St. Elmo from Glen Eyestone on Feb.11.
Guthrie Cleaners opened on Feb. 18.
Farmers and Merchants Bank of Vandalia had completed its 75th year of service on Feb. 1.
Byron Wright joined The Vandalia Leader staff as an apprentice printer. Also assisting at The Leader this week were Paul Doyle VanZandt and Pvt. Charles Mills, who was home on a 15-day furlough.
The First Presbyterian Church congregation raised $2,222 for repairing the church. The Rev. H.P. Aykens was pastor.
Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Force celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Thursday.
The Vandals whipped the Kincaid Ponies by a score of 58-48 on Saturday. The Vandals then drubbed Litchfield, 44-31, on Friday night.
Centralia trimmed Micks in the final game of the tourney to win the championship.
75 Years Ago
1936 – The Chamber of Commerce voted to help the Lions Club with its convention in May. A Miss Vandalia was to have been selected to lead the parade, etc.
Forty-eight women in Vandalia shared in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) employment.
Weather conditions caused the livestock market to a hit high level.
Drawings were made for the March 5 tournament. Altamont and Fillmore were paired; as were St. Elmo and Brownstown; Vandalia was to have met the winner of Ramsey tournament; and Mulberry Grove was to have played the Ramsey tournament runner-up.
Dock Boaz theorized that since the subsoil had been loosened up by deep freezing and the snow blankets had added tons of nitrogen to the soil, we should expect a bumper crop throughout the country this year.
Vandalia High School began its campaign on Tuesday to sell yearbooks at $1.50 each.