The Way We Were

25 Years Ago

1990 –  Brandon Nash, 13, of Ramsey, drowned in the rain-swollen Ramsey Creek.
High-straight winds or a tornado did damage to buildings in Mulberry Grove, Farina, Vandalia and Ramsey during the past week.
Jim Lewis was named assistant principal at Vandalia Community High School, replacing the late Walt Leidner.
Former St. Peter mayor and businessman Armin “Shorty” Hotz, died at Lutheran Care Center in Altamont.
Mike Butler was hired as girls basketball coach at Vandalia Community High School.
The 4×100-meter relay team of Jamison Bolyard, Jimmy Duckwitz, Jeff Shelton and Bobby Crockett of St. Elmo placed second in the state track meet at Washington, Ill. Crockett also was fourth in the 800-meter run.
Three Brownstown students also placed in the state track competition. Lucas Robison was fourth in the pole vault, and Shane Depew was fifth in the high jump and fourth in the 200-meter dash.
Larry Cable was named Vandalia Correctional Center Officer of the Year.
Band students from 12 schools in Bond, Fayette and Effingham counties participated in the Tri-County Music Festival in Vandalia.

30 Years Ago

1985 –  The Vandalia Levee and Drainage District was told that the U.S. Army Corps of engineers would help take care of damages the Vandalia levee sustained in February, but that help would be several months in coming. As a result, the district decided to proceed with repair work itself.
Crowned queen and king of the VCHS prom were Lea Ann Rademacher and Craig Diekroeger. St. Elmo’s royal couple was Janetia Dilley and Kevin Tharp.
Brockway Plastics announced plans for a $2-million, 104,000-square-foot addition.
The Family YMCA moved to new quarters on the second floor of the WPMB-WKRV building on South Fifth Street.
John Campbell and Eric Hohlt were named to the Mid-State Conference’s all-conference baseball team.
Eleven VJHS tracksters qualified for the state meet: Mike McCall, Chad Carder, Donny Elam, Tony Alstat, Tony Phelps, Stacy Workman, Cindy Harrison, Kira Riegel, Katie Hardison, Michelle Osborne and Sandy Swofford.

40 Years Ago

1975 –  Augsburg Lutheran School was to close for good after the end of May. It had been in operation for 97 years.
Woody Meriman was busy making the cemeteries ready for Memorial Day. A question as to which day to observe it – May 26 or May 30 – added to his problem.
Brad Hipsher, a Vandalia High School student, completed a painting for the annual Charity Ball, which this year was to have a bicentennial theme.
On April 25, in East St. Louis, William Daniel Kelly was sworn in as an attorney and counselor at law.
Fayette County Board voted Tuesday night to buy an $86,000 road grader from Caterpillar.
Farmers and Merchants Bank offered free first aid kits to those who joined their vacation club.
At the annual Vandalia School District No. 203 potluck dinner, a piano was presented to the district in memory of the late Marion K. Blythe.
Paul Stroble was winner of the John Phillip Sousa Award and Sharon Mahon the Distinguished Musician Certificate.

50 Years Ago

1965 –   Candidates for king and queen of the junior-senior prom were Keith Wright, Gary Adams, Steve Parke, Mike Hourigan, Franci Wilbur, Janice Davis, Milann Lape and Tiff White.
Jack Roberts was elected president of Vandalia Jaycees on Tuesday night.
Six band students were featured in a Dixieland number during the annual spring concert; Mike Scoles, Jim Atchley, Rick Fair, Ed Caylor, Bert Froehly and Ed Stringer.
Named to three-year terms on the Citizen’s Committee were Andrew White, Charles Lawler, Arthur Young, Elaine Pittenger and Darrell Durbin.
Vandalia Junior High captured both divisions in the Fayette County track meet.
Lottie Smith of St. Elmo, who retired as a public school teacher, was honored at a “Little Red School House” party Thursday night. The school board presented her with a wristwatch encrusted with diamonds, a bouquet of pencils, erasers, chalk, scissors with artificial flowers from her fellow teachers and a number of individual gifts.

60 Years Ago

1955 –   At a regular meeting of the Vandalia Library Board, Dr. E.J. Bost was renamed chairman and all officers were returned to their offices.
The Vandalia Leader received a blue ribbon newspaper award at a recent Southern Illinois Editorial meeting.
James Opfer was valedictorian and Karen Asselmeir was salutatorian of the 1955 VCHS graduating class.
Anna Ruth Kains presented her 98-voice chorus in the annual Spring Concert on Thursday, May 12.
The Vandalia Grade School Band received a First Superior rating in the state contest.
Robert G. Burnside and Joe Dees announced the formation of a partnership of law under the firm name of Burnside and Dees.
Ben Perkins claimed he had sold 26,500 tomato plants in a 6½-hour period. Last year, he sold 100,00 tomato plants.
Joseph Pavek purchased the Bennett Nursing Home and changed the name to Rose Haven.

70 Years Ago

1945 –  Colonel Gen Jodl signed the unconditional surrender terms for the Germans, and May 9 was the date set as the end of the European War. A little red schoolhouse near Rheims, France, was the scene of the surrender.
The local high school placed first in six events in the sectional band contest held in Mt. Vernon… Donna Hourigan, Bob Welch, James Hilboldt, Paul Doyle VanZandt, Delores Withers, Bob Clerk, Charles Hampton; and second-place winners were Elynor Stapp, Andrew Fink, Lois Hackleman, Betty Brooks, Bob Williams, Rosemary Moore, Gertrude Metzger, Donna Hourigan and Betty Pointer.
Canning sugar ration was cut to 15 pounds.
The Vandalia track team won the county meet with 62½ points.
Brownstown scored 47½ points and St. Elmo had 22 points.
A dinner for the Democratic precinct committeemen and party workers was held at the Burtschi clubhouse on Friday night.
Jean Wilk and Tom Schulte were top-ranking VCHS seniors. Mary Beth Thasher and Doris Gibbons headed SECHS seniors.
The merchants gave a dinner in the Eakin Hotel Tuesday night for the new mayor and city aldermen.
The Rev. H.J. Neal was installed as pastor of St. James Lutheran Church Sunday afternoon.
Lydia Mae Ecke, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Ecke, was initiated into membership in Mortar Board, a national honor society.

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