The Way We Were

25 Years Ago

1989 – Vandalia Soroptimists planted flowers in downtown barrels as part of its “Bloom in Historical Vandalia” promotion.
Twenty-four students were initiated into the Vandalia Community High School chapter of the National Honor Society.
About 400 attended Vandalia Night at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis.
The Fifth Saturday celebration held in Vandalia was well attended. That evening, more than 400 attended the Music Fest sponsored by The Leader-Union.

30 Years Ago

1984 – A large group of youngsters fought the rain as they looked for Easter eggs during the Vandalia Lions Club Easter egg hunt Sunday afternoon at Sonneman Park.
Gary Swick pulled from Kaskaskia River a large walleye pike last week. The fish weighed 10½ pounds and was 28 inches long.
New officers for the 1984-85 year for Alpha Beta Sigma Phi were elected by unanimous acclamation as follows: president, Deloris Oldfield; vice president, Marge Fossberg; recording secretary, Willie Strobel; treasurer, Bettye Sprayberry; corresponding secretary, Pauline Caraker; extension officer, Connie Bandelow; and coordinating committee, Rosemary Gerkin and Connie Bandelow.
The Vandalia Lions Club honored the Ramsey Lions Club at its annual Ramsey Night. More than 125 people from the two clubs attended the event, including two charter members from Ramsey – Edmund Hoffman and R. J. Mueller.

40 Years Ago

1974 – More than 175 musicians from the five Fayette County schools were in Vandalia for the ninth annual Fayette County Music Festival. Paul D. Egli, Greenville College band director, was assisted by Mary Lou Modlin of Brownstown; David Sebeseck of Ramsey; Bobby K. Cox of St. Elmo; William Spanton of Vandalia; and Suzanne Hopper of LaGrove. Chris Curl of Vandalia Community High School was announcer for the program.
Members of the Ramsey and Vandalia Lions Clubs observed the 30th anniversary of the Ramsey club’s charter, Monday night.
Two drilling permits were issued in Fayette County this month – one in Loudon Township and the other south of Bluff City.
After having served 28 years as a member of the Evans Public Library Board, Curt Muelchi retired. With his picture in this week’s Leader appeared a history of the library.
“Bon Voyage” was the theme for the Welcome Wagon newcomers’ charity ball.

50 Years Ago

1964 – Twenty-five blood donors were sought for little Herbie Smith, who was scheduled to have open-heart surgery.
The city let a contract to Barenfanger for building fire station.
Vandalia Jaycees planned to sponsor a tennis tournament on May 9 for young people and adults.
Three Vandalia young men – Williams S. Cocagne, Douglas Clay Eadie and Sherel Duane Horsley – were named to the dean’s list at University of Illinois.
Eight Fayette County youths made the dean’s list at Southern Illinois University: Brenda Leppin, Farina; Alan David Walker, St. Elmo; Stanley E. Bochtler and Laverne F. Schaal, St. Peter; and Romona P. Harrison, Carol Ann Mills and Jenna Tedrick, Vandalia.
Unlike most communities in mid-Illinois, which were flooded during recent rains, the Vandalia area received only 1.8 inches of precipitation over a four-day period, Saturday through Tuesday. April 16 was like a summer day with the thermometer climbing to 83 for the week’s high. Donald Arndt, Vandalia High school student, won first in the District 5 FFA Public Speaking contest at Carbondale on April 15.
Holly Ann Blythe celebrated her first birthday on Sunday at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Blythe of Brentwood, Mo. Present were her grandparents, Mrs. G.V. Blythe, and Mrs. Ardis Sonnemann and her great-grandmother, Mrs. Ethel Sonnemann, all of Vandalia. G.V. Blythe was in Germany and missed the celebration.

60 Years Ago

1954 – Patricia Cole, third grade, gathered up 17 eggs at the Lions Club Easter egg hunt, Sunday. Her two little cousins, Nancy Lawler and Sharon Smith, were unsuccessful in finding even one egg.
Richard Cress, voted outstanding player on Vandalia Community High School team, received the American Legion trophy from Jim Mose, commander, and President Cliff Sturgeon awarded Bob Michel the Lions Club free throw trophy at the all-sports banquet on April 12 at the high school cafeteria.
In celebration of the annual Ramsey-Vandalia Lions Club anniversary, a Gay '90s party was planned for Monday night.
Alva Binnion was burned Sunday when a blaze occurred in the basement of his home caused by gasoline igniting.
Senior class planned to present a three-act comedy, “Our Miss Brooks,” on May 5. Kay McKellar took the part of Miss Brooks. Other members of the cast included Virginia Schan, Shirley Reidle, Marilyn Reese, Jim Schmidt, Dean Hartwick, Sherry Pummill, Phyllis Goodman, Kay Sue Eadie, Joan Thompson, Marlene Albrecht, Carolyn Hamblin, Richard Cress, Tom Clayton and Bill Durr.
At an estimated cost of $1,300, Brownstown Lions Club planned to construct a shelter house at the Fayette County fairgrounds.

70 Years Ago

1944 – W.E. Miller was elected president of the Chamber of Commerce; J.B. Turner, vice president; F.L. Rice, treasurer; and R.S. Denny, secretary.
R.B. Trueblood was named chairman of the board of supervisors on Tuesday. Richard Royal was appointed by the board to serve in the absence of State's Attorney Robert G. Burnside who was leaving for training with the U.S. Marines.

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