15 Years Ago
1996 – A big crowd turned out on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 25, to welcome home the Vandalia Community High School wrestling team, the new state champions in Class A.
South Central won the Class A Regional Tournament in St. Elmo, defeating Patoka, 80-55, in the championship game.
Judge Harold Pennock III of Centralia took under advisement a request for a new trial for Stuart Heaton of Bluff City. Heaton was convicted the year before of murdering 16-year-old Krystal Lynn Naab of rural Ramsey.
The John Bauer family of rural Bingham was named the Conservation Farm Family of the Year at the annual meeting of the Fayette County Soil & Water Conservation District.
Mary Peyton Meyer was named Conservation Woman of the Year, and Ray Meseke was given a plaque after retiring from the SWCD Board. Meseke served on the board for 24 years and served as its chairman for 22 years.
Arnold and Zella Beyes of rural Vandalia were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
20 Years Ago
1991 – Vandalia American Legion Post No. 95 Ladies Auxiliary honored a number of area female military veterans. Honorees included Wilda Harmes, Elaine Froehley, Mary Stringer, Lucille Nesbit, Josephine Franklin, Farrell Gruenbaum, Marci Depew and Cara Kelly.
Fayette County received a new punch card voting system to be used for the first time in the consolidated election in April.
Contest winners of the Grande Levée special commemorative license plates design competition were Mac McClure, first place; Dan Jones, second place; and Sharon Hoover, third place.
The Siebert Hoover family of rural St. Peter were the recipients of the Conservation Farm Family award.
Nineteen area athletes were named to The Leader-Union’s 1991 Winter Sports All-Area Team. In boys’ basketball those named were Brian Kern, Vandalia; Randy Heckert, St. Elmo; Kevin Roberts, South Central; Kevin Jackson, Mulberry Grove; Andy Lay, Ramsey; Casey Hord, St. Elmo; Kris Biggs, Brownstown; Ian Moore, St. Elmo; and Richard Bryant, Mulberry Grove.
In girls’ basketball: Michelle Kaiser, Vandalia; Jamie Behrends, Brownstown; Sara Powless, South Central; Angela Condor, Vandalia; and Teresa Sigrist, South Central.
Wrestlers named were: Greg Emerick, Ray Rees, John Jones and Todd Emerick, all of Vandalia.
25 Years Ago
1986 – Phil Craycroft advised Ford Motor Co. that he was interested in selling the Craycroft Ford Mercury dealership in Vandalia. It was the oldest automobile dealership in Vandalia, as it had been in his family for more than 75 years.
Mark Miller won his first match in the IHSA State Wrestling Tournament, then was pinned by the eventual 98-pound state champion in the second round. It took Steve Pierce of Stillman Valley 2:43 to pin Miller, while he won his title bout in 56 seconds.
Venice won the Vandalia Sectional, beating Wesclin 50-45.
Organizers were planning Vandalia’s first Teen Aid Conference. About 400 students would attend the conference, which was designed to address problems faced by teens. Marlys Hayner was project director.
Vandalia’s Lady Vandals were defeated by top-seeded Pana, 46-37, in the semifinal game of the Pana Regional Tournament. Susie Campbell scored 15 points.
35 Years Ago
1976 – Mayor “Slim” Washburn asked the Vandalia City Council to help rid the city of its many eyesores.
Restoration at old state capital was halted temporarily because of masonry defects discovered.
Four State Police cars, rotated from district to district, were painted red, white and blue in observance of the bicentennial.
The need for a community center was the main topic discussed at the Monday meeting of Vandalia Chamber of Commerce board of directors meeting.
Ten area people, all of whom had come in contact with a rabid bull, were taking rabies shots.
State Rep. Don Brummet was seeking election to his fourth term in the House of Representatives. He had been a resident at Vandalia since 1939.
Spring-like temperatures prevailed this past week, with a high of 75 and a low of 40.
Ray’s Market and Bi-Rite sold ground beef at 59 cents per pound. Gene’s Red Fox and IGA sold chuck roast at 79 cents. Kroger reminded senior citizens that they don't charge to cash Social Security checks.
Miller Flying Service was making special offers to interest people in learning to fly.
U.S. Sen. Paul Simon joined in the fight to keep rural post offices.
45 Years Ago
1966 – William R. Simmons was chairman of Fayette County Cancer Crusade this year. Committee members were Coral Brooks, Peggy Joe Dees and Don Bernhardt.
Plans were made to have $3 million for recreational development at Carlyle Lake.
Kenny Blunt announced this week his plans to run for county treasurer’s office.
A bright farming picture was predicted at the annual Lions-Farmers night Monday evening.
March came in both like a lion and a lamb. There was snow and ice in the morning, and before the day was over, the sun was shining and the day was clear.
The Rev. O.D. Brissenden, speaker for the Rotary-Urban dinner Tuesday evening, viewed Russia as a “different” world. The women do most of the hard work and look old and tired at 30. Each farmer is given .6 of an acre as his own. On these plots, people plant every inch into garden and raise chickens and livestock in the back yard.
Brownstown beat Altamont, 77-59, in the Greenville Regional on Tuesday night. Effingham beat LaGrove, 79-37, at Flora; and Patoka beat Carlyle, 66-63, at Breese.
When June Squibb, daughter of Louis Squibb of Vandalia, was touring U.S. military bases in the Far East with a USO company, she had an opportunity to meet a friend of the family and a former resident of Vandalia, Commander Maurice Dean Buck, in Tokyo.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Denny and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Craycroft were vacationing in Hawaii.
Harold Hartwick had completed 25 years with First National Bank of Vandalia on Tuesday. He was presented a gift by Harry Rogier, president of the bank.
55 Years Ago
1956 – Mike Hulskotter, who can celebrate his birthday anniversary but once in every four years, entertained a group of 8-year-old friends at a leap year birthday party Saturday.
Vandalia Fire Department presented Chief Higgins with a diamond ring bearing the fraternal emblems of his Masonic accomplishments at a ladies’ night on Feb. 25 at Vandalia Country Club.
Vandalia ag students started a new project with the purchase of 250 broiler chicks. In eight weeks had them ready to market.
Girl Scout Week was observed, beginning March 11. Mrs. Melvin Donnelley was chairman.
Illinois Bell Telephone began installation of four new switchboards.
Hugh Kraner of St. Elmo announced the county American Red Cross drive by appointing Robert Corneille, Vandalia, as the fund drive chairman.
Coach Russel Hewitt helped Ronnie Pontious and Dan Carruthers train for the state wrestling match on Friday at Proviso.
The Vandals basketball team beat Ramsey by a score of 67-54 in the regional.
Hillsboro clipped Vandalia 64-46 in the final scheduled game of the season.
65 Years Ago
1946 – Directors and officers of Farmers & Merchants Bank were feted at a dinner.
The first British war bride, Kay Davies Switzer, arrived in Brownstown with her 13-month-old daughter, Sandra Jean.
National Trail Telephone Co. installed automatic phones in Brownstown.
The Vandals took the first game in St. Elmo tournament from Beecher City by the score of 70-42.
Mick Quintet won the championship of Southern by defeating Centralia, which had twice defeated them, by the score of 28-27.
Herbert Woolsey won first place in an oration contest at Salem.
Lions Club observed Ladies’ Night with a ham feast for 80 people in I.O.O.F. Hall.
The four local PTA clubs celebrated Founder’s Day on Feb. 15, with 215 present in Washington School basement.
Dr. R.M. Govaia reopened his optometrist office here after having spent more than three years in the service.
75 Years Ago
1936 – Nearly 400 teachers and guests attended a Fayette County teachers meeting, held at Vandalia High School.
Curt Muelchi, O’Fallon, accepted a position with Vandalia Drug Store.
Mr. and Mrs. W.I. Dunbar of Loogootee were to have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on March 2.
Johnny Wills, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Wills, gave an open party on his second birthday anniversary. An invitation was given to all boys and girls under 12 years of age to be his guests at a matinee on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Liberty Theatre. Wills, who was born on leap day, was 8 years old on his second birthday anniversary.
According to Ned Atkinson, ice was 7 feet deep at the Vandalia water filtration plant.
The Okaw River hit the flood stage. Rains added serious danger. The river rose 12 feet from Sunday until Wednesday.
Vandalia beat Mt. Vernon by a score of 46-27; Effingham beat Vandalia, 28-23, the Vandals’ fourth loss of the season.
Virgil Golden moved to Vandalia on March 4 from Harrisburg to begin work at the Eakin Hotel.