The Way We Were

25 Years Ago

1989 – Blood tests were no longer required for Fayette County and Illinois couples planning to get married. The state legislature repealed the mandatory premarital AIDS and blood testing.
Mayor Rich Walker announced Vandalia would be getting a 60-room Days Inn.
Vandalia Community High School’s No. 1 girls doubles tennis team of Beth Herrington and Kim Lotz won first place in doubles at the Centralia Orphan Annie Invitational Tournament.

30 Years Ago

1984 –  Senior Debbie Orr was named queen at St. Elmo High School’s homecoming dance Friday evening.
A survey, sponsored by the Fayette County Farm Bureau, found both corn and bean yields in Fayette County to be up from a year ago.
Kris Donaldson, 4-year-old son of Bill and Sue Donaldson of Vandalia, escaped serious injury after falling through the bleachers at the Vandalia-Villa Grove football game Friday night.
The Vandalia Vandals made too many mistakes as they lost their home opener to Villa Grove, 27-20. Don Flowers was coach.
First National Bank of Vandalia was among the 200 Illinois Centennial Businesses honored by the Illinois State Society at the Salute to Illinois Business Pioneer recognition reception in Wheaton. Betty and John Palecek accepted the award for the bank.
At least eight bands were scheduled to compete for prizes and trophies in the ninth annual St. Elmo Band Day, Sept. 29. The parade was sponsored by the St. Elmo Improvement Association.
According to Joe Martin, Extension adviser in agriculture, the mild winter and mild summer contributed to their being a large population of bees this fall. More than 100 students at the Vandalia schools and teachers, secretaries and playground supervisors were stung.

40 Years Ago

1974 – A new time and temperature sign was erected at First National Bank.
Most Fayette County crops escaped severe frost damage Monday morning.
Vandalia Community High School homecoming activities began Thursday night. Queen candidates were Chris Durbin, Shayla Wiss, Pam Mefford, Marsha Moore, Beth Brown and Martha Fulton. Voting results were to have been announced during the dance on Saturday night.
Illinois Bell announced that the underground cable being laid in Vandalia was progressing well and was about half finished.
Greenville posed a strong threat to the Vandals’ homecoming game on Friday night. School spirit ran high as students prepared floats and planned weekend activities.
Katie Schukar, Alean Reeves, Betty Edgar and Mary Bell Beckman of Vandalia, Jan Cohea of Brownstown and Mrs. Jerry Parks of Centralia left Sept. 9 for a tour of Spain until Sept. 24.
Coni Staff accepted a graduate assistantship at University of California, where she also planned to work on her master’s degree in education.
The Rev. Leigh Early was installed pastor at Vandalia First Christian Church on Sunday.
For the first time in the history of Boy Scouting in Vandalia, a local scout was to attend a World Jamboree. This scout was David Richards, 16-year-old son of Eileen Osborne and the late Merl Richards. The XIV World Jamboree was to be held at Lillehammer, Norway, beginning July 29, 1975.

50 Years Ago

1964 –  First Baptist Church planned to begin construction of a new sanctuary in 1966.
Mike Johnson caught an 11½-inch bass to win the Jaycees fishing derby.
The city of Vandalia bought a $15,224 machine for the landfill. The net cost was $11,000.
On Sept. 15, Judi Greer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. Kenneth Greer, entered St. Luke’s School of Nursing.
Charlotte Anderson, Sid Burgess, Theresa Pittman, Becky McNeely, Tana Cochran, Barb Wright, Linda Smith, Linda Barbee, Bob Wall, Linda Evans and Ann Catazaro, all of Vandalia, Carolyn Devore and Joyce Blurton, St. Elmo and Linda Sasse of LaGrove contributed to Teen Tab this week.
William Worrell and daughter, Mary Ellen of Pomona, Calif., visited his brother, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Worrell.
Saturday, Sept. 26, was Customer Appreciation Day in Vandalia. Free barbecued chicken was served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., sponsored by Vandalia Jaycees and Retail Merchants.

60 Years Ago

1954 –  W.B. (Bill) Terry, formerly of Vandalia, was named president of a new formed corporation to supply the bottling, brewing and food packing industries in five Western states.
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Dial were installed commanders of Post 65 Disabled American Veteran and Auxiliary on Sept. 21.
Mrs. S.M. Cocagne had all 10 of her children together for the first time in many years on Sept. 21, when she observed her 82 birthday. They were: Alda Paine, Elwina Scapaci, Edward C. Cocagne, Anna Goodbrake, Cecilia Mendenhall, Marie Cunningham of Decatur; Francis Cocagne of Granite City, John Cocagne of Arabia, and Leo Cocagne and Harry Cocagne.
Rotary Club put reflective tape on children’s bicycles at the city school this past week.
Following their regular meeting on Tuesday night, Sept. 21, Fayette 8et40 Salon members folded and stuffed 4,000 Christmas Seals letters for the TB Association.
Pana Panthers shut out the Vandals, 33-0, on Friday.
The Vandalia area PTA Council organized “Mothersingers Chorus.” Elaine Gesell was chairman of the chorus and Verna Nutter was pianist.
Dr. E.A. Kuehn, Dr. J.H. Wiener, Dr. George Stanberry and Dr. Stanley Moore examined 366 school children last Tuesday.

70 Years Ago

1944 – The Kryl Girls orchestra was to have given a performance on Oct. 1, in the high school gymnasium. The Vandalia Youth Band sponsored the program.
Under a remodeling program, which has just been completed, James Drug Store offered again luncheon and fountain service in what was dubbed, The Wagon Wheel.
Illinois Bell Telephone employees surprised two co-workers Wednesday evening when a farewell party was given for Betty Davis and when Florence Walton observed her 20th year with the company.
The county Scouts assembled Saturday at the Youth Center in Vandalia for a weekend camporee.
A crowd of 15,000 saw the horse show, races and exhibits in Brownstown at the Fayette County Fair.
Vandalia Community High School moved into second place in their league by defeating St. Elmo.


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