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The Way We Were

30 Years Ago

1980 – Representatives of several Vandalia businesses participated in Vandalia Night ceremonies at Busch Stadium.
Jeremy Miselbrook and Jill Neal were crowned king and queen at the South Central High School prom.
Fayette County Hospital received state-of-the-art mammography equipment.
The Madonna of the Trail statue received a $3,900 facelift to help protect the statue from further deterioration due to age and weather. The statue was pressure-washed with water, the concrete base was fixed, cracks in the base and statue were filled and cracked mortar was replaced. A sealant was then applied to waterproof the statue for 10 years.
Lori Williams and Gene Cannon were crowned queen and king at the Brownstown High School prom. Amy Bohle and Kevin Buchanan reigned at Mulberry Grove.

35 Years Ago

1985 – Rich Walker assumed the mayoral duties at the May 6 meeting of the Vandalia City Council.
The Vandalia City Council agreed to improve a section of the Vandalia Railroad track by approving a railroad rehabilitation grant agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation. The $60,000 grant was to be used for rail improvement between Brockway Plastics and Wabash Asphalt.
A four-way flashing stoplight went into operation at the intersection of Eighth Street and VanTran (now Vetereans) Avenue in Vandalia.
Chelsea Enterprises planned to add another shift, which would mean new jobs for 15-20 people.
Fayette County Hospital celebrated its 30th birthday.
Area prom royalty included Kelly Sefton and Derek Rigdon at Brownstown, and Joe Cook and Mary Ellen Bloomberg at Farina LaGrove.

45 Years Ago

1975 – Prom queen and king candidates for Vandalia Community High School were: Barb Lange, Bunny Blunt, Kathy Kelly, Robin Cothern, Greg Curl, Mike McCollum, Greg Hohlt and Bob DePaolo.
Featured for Mother’s Day were three Vandalia mothers and their twin babies: Mrs. Abu Rahman and twin sons David Allen and Edward Anthony; Mrs. Tom Philpot and twins James Powell and Mary Elizabeth; and Mrs. Darrell Spaulding and twins Tara Rane and Renn Lane.
Rose McAlpin, city clerk, swore in new city councilmen Ronald Tompkins and Wilbur Prather. Re-elected were Larry Cable and Dean Cearlock.
Alderman Ed Themig reminded all bicycle owners in the city that Saturday, May 10, was the date for inspection, registration and licensing of two-wheelers in Vandalia.
Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Schwager, owners, and Danny Cade, innkeeper of the Holiday Inn, invited everyone to join them in celebration of the opening of the State House dining room and viewing the State House mural and original portraits of five historic figures of Illinois from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, May 4.
“Wedding Dresses Through The Years” was the theme of the mother-daughter banquet at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in St. Peter Sunday evening.
State Representatives Don Brummet and Dwight Friedrich voted against the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. The proposed amendment was adopted 113-62, with 107 required for approval.
Chuck and Joyce Taylor held the grand opening of the Donut Hole at 524 W. Gallatin on Friday and Saturday.

55 Years Ago

1965 – Fourteen Boy Scouts from Troop 141 participated in the Pilgrimage to Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield on Sunday.
John F. Carpenter was made head of the Vandalia Street Department.
James Bradford of Scottsdale, Ariz., arrived in Vandalia this week to take over the plant manager’s position for Ralston Purina. He succeeded Ray Gillespie, who was transferred to Buffalo, N.Y.
A large group from St. Elmo Church of God drove to Bloomington on Sunday to see the Passion Play. This was the 42nd consecutive year it had been presented there.
On May 31, Floyd Jordan took a group of Brownstown Boy Scouts to the World’s Fair in New York City.

65 Years Ago

1955 – The downtown location of Don Jones Studio and Camera Shop was to have its official opening Friday and Saturday.
Members of Beta Sigma Phi held their annual formal dinner at Hotel Evans on Tuesday, April 26. Pledges were Jeanne Smith, Gwen Caldwell, Nancy Gray and Beverly Hampton.
The Vandalia band received an “excellent” rating in the state finals at Macomb on Saturday.
Vandalia won the heavyweight division of the county elementary track meet in Brownstown Friday.



1974 – County DAR winners were: Nancy Stine, Brownstown; Ruth Etta Mills, St. Elmo; Carol Ann Kruenegel, Vandalia; and Theresa Travis, LaGrove.
Mr. and Mrs. Lonnie Isbell were delighted to have all seven of their children home for Christmas.
Leora Sluder and Larry Coughlin, representing the Boosters Club, presented St. Elmo Board of Education with a check for $250, final payment on a whirlpool bath.
Eight evenly matched teams competed in Vandalia’s Holiday Tournament: Dieterich, LaGrove, Nokomis, Oblong, Vandalia, Gillespie and Casey.
50 Years Ago
1964 – Carl A. Janett of Belleville, and Frank A. Reed of Clinton were presented their 50-year membership cards by Worshipful Master Morris Beabout on Monday night at Temperance Lodge No. 16 A.F. & A.M., Vandalia.
Since the city council adopted a housing project, 50 units were anticipated.
Temperatures for the week ranged from a low of 30 degrees to a high of 53 degrees – unusual for Christmas week.
Bertram Foehley was named director of Civil Defense work in Vandalia.
Fayette County Hospital received three-year accreditation.
National honors came to Crane Packing Co. of Morton Grove and Vandalia when the firm received the John C. Caaler award for its major contribution toward more efficient and effective operation of plants in the chemical processing industries.
Vandalia was included in the communities judged to have top-rated voluntary vehicle safety check programs throughout Illinois 1964. William Brown and Mayor Michel received the plaques on behalf of sponsoring Vandalia Lions Club and the city, respectively.
Mr. and Mrs. Neil Donnals entertained at a family Christmas dinner in their new home on Sunday.
60 Years Ago
1954 – Sherrill Blankenship of St. Elmo received the tractor given away by Brown Implement of Brownstown on Saturday.
Queen of 1954 Princess Peggy Christmas party was little Sidney Burgess, in the absence of her mother, who was accorded that title by fellow employees. Tillie Nimmo was retiring queen.
Gene Boley was re-elected president of Fayette County Fair Board.
The Vandalia Historical Society honored descendants of Old Capitol Day at a tea in the Blue Room at Evans Hotel, Dec. 19.
The John U. Metzger Home was awarded first place in the Christmas Home Lighting Contest.
Phil Craycroft and Harold Hartwick were injured fighting a fire.
Bertha Peterson retired after 17 years with Illinois Public Aid Commission.
Homer Britton, head of the shipping department at Princess Peggy, turned over a large box of toys to Glen Scholes, commander of American Legion’s distribution to needy families for Christmas.
The Rev. William Henderson, pastor of Vandalia First Methodist Church, christened DeWayne Walton on Christmas Sunday.

70 Years Ago
1944 – Fayette County was $125,000 short of its E bond quota of $403,000. The school children solicited from house to house.
A furnace explosion caused nearly $2,000 worth of damage to the Dick McWhirter residence and contents on North Fourth Street on Thursday night.
Vandalia won 48-21 over Litchfield; Cisne beat Farina, 37-27; Champaign defeated Vandalia, 45-33; and Vandalia defeated Collinsville, 46-47.
The following organizations celebrated Christmas with parties this week: Friendly Circle Club, Court House Girls, T.E.L. Class, Silver Star Class, Lions Club, Bonsoir Club, B.T.U. Class, Dorcas Class, Parish Daughters, Methodist Choir, B.W.C., Kalupian Class, Mission Study Circle and Woman’s Bible Class.
The Vandalia’s Women’s Club sponsored a Christmas party and buffet turkey dinner at Evans Youth Center for husbands or friends as quests.


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