The Way We Were

25 Years Ago

1989 – The Fifth Saturday Celebration in Vandalia included a Civil War encampment, art show, craft show, Christian music festival, classic car cruise and a biathlon.
Robert Burnside was honored for 50 years in the practice of law during the annual meeting of the Illinois State Bar Association.

30 Years Ago

1984 – Chip Berger was featured in this week’s paper concerning his love for railroads. He owned more than 100 rail cars and had built a model railroad that filled half of his Jefferson Street basement.
DRGs (Diagnosis Related Group systems) caused changes at Fayette County Hospital, but quality care was kept the same.
The Family Y of Fayette County was honored on the field at Busch Stadium before the Cardinals-Dodgers contest. Participating in the Vandalia Day ceremony were Jo Smith, John Leckrone, Sean Leckrone, Jeff Kinkle, Cindy Mohrman, Dennis Mohrman, Dale Freeman and Dale Timmerman.
The Railsplitters from Vandalia finished second in the Class A fast pitch regional tournament at Pana. Members of the team were Scott Wright, Frank Schulte, Gary Bunyard, Joe Harner, Steve Knebel, Brady Philpot, Dave Blain, Dale Konard, Mark Johnson, Melvin McKinney and Dick Shanks.
Lola Gehle of St. Peter had a farm cat that had six kittens, all of which were joined at the stomach. Veterinarians performed surgery to separate the kittens. Five of the six kittens lived.
Mr. and Mrs. Luther Wiles bought the house built by the building trades class at the Okaw Area Vocational Center.

40 Years Ago

1974 – Burle Smith retired from Vandalia Police force after having served since 1953. He began his duties as guard at Vandalia Correctional Center.
A 10-inch pipe was pushed 218 feet beneath Interstate 70 last week as part of an Illinois Bell Telephone construction project. The pipe was to have carried cables to areas north of the road.
Sixty barricades being used on Ill. Route 185 north of St. Peter were ruined by vandals over the weekend.
Boat rides were offered to Vandalia Lions and their guests, – area farmers – following grilled steaks at the Lions Pavilion on Monday night.
Robert Harding of Vandalia  received an engineering degree from General Motors in Flint, Mich.
George Thompson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Don Thompson, received a new TV assignment in Omaha, Neb.
Mr. and Mrs. Dick Hollingshead and son, of Columbus, Ohio,  flew to Vandalia airport to visit his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Grandfield.
Robyn Cothern gave a report on her trip to Illinois Girls State for the American Legion Auxiliary on Thursday night.
The public was invited to the annual Zinna show, sponsored by First National Bank of Vandalia on Friday, July 26.

50 Years Ago

1964 – A little more than an inch of rain fell in this area over the weekend.
Lowell Donnelley, a Vandalia Eagle Scout, left Tuesday for a week at the Boy Scout National Jamboree at Valley Forge, Pa.
Construction on the new Vandalia firehouse began on Monday. It is located between City Hall and The Leader-Union.
At a cost of $405.50, Vandalia Jaycees provided a new Vandalia mascot costume. Robert Barker, art instructor, initiated wearing the Vandal uniform last year.
Brenda, Linda and Cinda Eyman, triplet daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Eyman, observed their first birthday on July 21.
Mrs. Ted Davis brought in three tomatoes, weighing one pound each, which she had picked from her tree tomatoes. Each produced 12 tomatoes at a time. She had six plants, which she kept staked and strawed.
Sefton Township Sunday School Convention was held July 18 and 19 at the Emmanuel Methodist Church.
Mrs. Gertrude Weaver was finishing the new home she had built with advice from her husband Walter, who because of a heart condition, was unable to do the building himself. They planned to move in within a short time.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Griffin operated a chicken farm, with 5,000 Leghorn hens.
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Grubaugh returned from a 2,100-mile tour of the Eastern United States.
Girl Scouts began their annual activities at Camp Marill the week of July 16.

60 Years Ago

1954 – When local firemen made a run to the 600 block of South Elm Street at 1:55 p.m. Monday, the thermometer stood at 106 in the shade.
The annual Benefiel reunion was held July 11 at the Vandalia City Park, with 125 persons present.
Mrs. Nell Kile, who had spent several weeks in Bridger, Mont., in the home of her son and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Kile, returned home on July 7.
Mrs. James Lackey was hostess to the One Card Short Club on Wednesday evening.

70 Years Ago

1944 – Forty-five Vandalia Boy Scouts attended summer camp at Am-Wa-Co, near Olney.
The Vandalia Kroger store leased the Armory building on South Fifth Street to install a self-service for customers.
Sen. Harry S. Truman of Missouri was the honored guest of Vandalia Rotary at the Tuesday luncheon.
Forty et Eight voiture elected officers and planned the year’s activities on Thursday night in the Illinois Power Company’s office basement, with John Binghamm as Chef de Gare.
A picture of nurses’ aides, Gertrude Metzger, Jackie Gerkin, Joan Mabry, Barbara Loyd and Sally Denny, appeared in this issue. Denny was shown taking a patient’s pulse and temperature,  while the others observed.
Harry Allen of Allen Sign Service proposed to paint and erect more than 300 panels on 180 four-by-four posts at a cost of between $300 and $400 as street markers.
Friends acclaimed Father August Forster in his 50th year of Catholic priesthood.


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