The Way We Were

25 Years Ago

1989 – Bill Donaldson was named assistant regional superintendent of schools, effective at the end of August.
Vandalia hosted the Pioneer Sectional ACBL Bridge tournament, attracting 120 players.

30 Years Ago

1984 – A weekend storm dumped close to an inch of rain in the area. Accompanying the rain was hail on Friday and high winds on Sunday.
The officers of the Family Y of Fayette County Board of Directors were re-elected by the board on Thursday evening. Jeff Kinkle was re-elected president; Dale Freeman, vice president; Karen Herrington, secretary; and Dale Timmermann, treasurer. Three new board members attended their first meeting: Pam Baker, Bill Taggert and Tom File.
David Oldfield, a 1971 graduate of Vandalia Community High School, was the guest speaker at the National Honor Society initiation held at the high school. Thirty-one new members were initiated and the 15 two-year members handled the initiation of these students.
Tracy Dooley of Vandalia won the 400-meter dash and the high jump to help the Class A girls team win first place in the nine-team Brownstown Invitational.

40 Years Ago

1974 – The Vandalia Junior High  School band, under the direction of Judy Wasmuth,  received a first-place rating in a state contest Saturday at Mascoutah.
Joyce Staff, chairman of Fayette County Blood Program, announced that for the May 6 visit of the bloodmobile in Vandalia, the goal would be 140 pints. The May 6 visit was being sponsored by Vandalia Unit Teachers Association, under the presidency of David Pierson.
With the end of the present year, Thurlow Bannister will have completed a 43-year teaching career. Bannister taught in the Vandalia schools 35 years.
Larry Brown of Pittsburg  found 360 mushrooms last week. One that he found this week measured eight inches.
Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Spaulding purchased the A&W building in Vandalia and planned to open a restaurant.
Vandalia band students were honored at a dinner on May 7. Parents approved trips for students.
Evelyn Harner, secretary to the Fayette County nurse, retired,  effective May 1. She had worked at the Fayette County Courthouse since 1950.
Vandalia Leader received first certificates of award at the 1973 Illinois Newspaper contest, sponsored by the Illinois Press Association.

50 Years Ago

1964 – Precinct committeemen of both political parties met Monday night and re-elected their present slate of officers: Eugene Smith, Democrat; and Chester Elder, Republican.
Attorney Jack Johnston was named county chairman for National Foundation of Polio, Birth Defects and Arthritis on Monday.
Independent Order of Odd Fellows burned their building mortgage on Tuesday night. History revealed that the hall had been damaged by fire.
Forty-five years ago, Jacob Julius, then a small boy, carved his initials and the year 1917 on a small land turtle. Last week, two local boys found that turtle on the 160-acre farm where Mr. Julius still resides in Loudon Township.

60 Years Ago

1954 – The Liberty Theatre installed a large movie screen.
Johnny Daniels won the district-plowing contest near Montrose.
Democrats named Eugene Smith as head of the  party's committee: C.J. Metzger headed the Republican committee.
The local First Methodist Church planned to be host to at least 600 at the annual conference scheduled to be held here in May.
Cameo Club learned how to pack a suitcase from Martha Moore, representative of St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad on Thursday night.
Dr. Ross B. Sommers became a member of the staff at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis on Thursday. His wife was formerly Jane Washburn.

70 Years Ago

1944 – Glen Goodman, president of Vandalia Lions Club, announced that I.F. Bishoff, Fred Chappelear and John Bingaman were delegates to the state convention at Danville. Abbie Evans and Kermit Davies, new members, were initiated that night.
Kelly Roe was re-elected chairman of the Democratic Central Committee on Monday night at a dinner meeting at Hotel Evans.
Litchfield defeated Vandalia in a dual track meet on Friday. Branham, Lester, Schulte and Smith won seven firsts in the 13 contested events.
Brownstown band contest winners at Flora were Oberta Smith, Wanda Lane, Harold Turner, Byron Hammon, Lorene Hill and Farrol Hazenfield.
St. Elmo band contest winners at Flora were Mary Boles, Martha Butler, Mary Thrasher, Mary Ann Philbrook, Mary Belle Smith, Charlotte Massey, Audrey Pittman, Bondy Harmon Jr., Norma Jean Lange, Mary Jane Dufford, Robert Wallace, Doris Gibbons and Dorothy Pulliam.
After two weeks of intermittent rains, the Kaskaskia River reached an all-time high on April 17. An estimated 40,000 acres of rich farmland were inundated when a levee broke after 3.13 inches of fain fell in 27 ½ hours. Many basements were flooded as the town branch water backed up into the residential section.
Vandalia Community High School musicians – including five solos and two ensembles – received superior ratings at a band contest in Flora. Six soloists received Group IP ratings. Thirty-five Vandalia band students entered solo and ensemble numbers.
Lyda Mae Ecke was named to membership in an honor society at the University of Illinois.

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