St. Elmo News

Tuesday, September 1
• The first clue for the Labor Day medal hunt is in the Sept. 1 St. Elmo Banner.
• The St. Elmo Community Park Board, 6 p.m., park Centennial Building.
Wednesday, September 2
• Wright’s Corner Unit of home and Community Education, 1 p.m., Loudon Township building.                                                                    • St. Elmo City Council, 6 p.m., city hall.
Thursday, September 3
• St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club, 7 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library.
Lighthouse Pregnancy and Health Services
Churches in Fayette County on Mother’s Day received baby bottles to fill with change; this is a yearly fundraiser. If you would rather write a check, it can be put in the bottle. All the bottles need to be back to the churches no later than Sunday, Sept. 6.
St. Elmo Community Blood Drive
St. Mary’s Catholic Church was host to an St. Elmo Community American Red Cross blood drive on Aug. 17 in the parish hall. The quota was 15, and the 20 presenters contributed 19 pints of blood.
St. Mary’s has hosted blood drives for about 50 years, but this is the last drive it will host. The Connections Church will host the October blood drive.
The overall chairman has been a member of the church, but over the years, many volunteers from throughout the area have worked at the blood drives. At each drive, a church or an organization has donated homemade cookies for the refreshment table.
Things change – there used to be more workers needed at the drives. The ones who helped Chairman Jan Niemeyer were: Carol Rine, who took the temperatures; LaVonne Kramer, who kept a recording of the donors; and Joe Rech, who put up the posters.
No one was in the kitchen because of the scare of COVID-19 and homemade cookies could not be served. The only refreshments were in bags – chips, pretzels, dried fruit, etc. – and the only beverages available were cans of apple juice and bottled water.
The reason temperatures had to be taken was to check for COVID-19.
Those who have donated more than 50 units are: Andy Lilly of Beecher City, 137; Anna Jean Rhodes of St. Elmo, 123; Marie Hopper of Farina, 121; and John Krost of St. Elmo, 59.
Others who registered were Dylan Booher, Jerry Brugoto, Tim Caraway, Alan Garrison, Laura Noll , Kergan Phillips and Connie Roll of St. Elmo; Steve Mallen of Pocohontas; Brad Auston, Mark Goldsboro, Evan Schuker and Kara Schuker of Brownstown; and Catherine Adams, Jason Caraway and Roberta Phillips of Altamont.
Historical Vandalia Inc.
Present at the Aug. 17 meeting of the Historical Vandalia Inc. Board were President Steve Durbin, Donna Blair, Bill Haselhorst, Carrie Hill, Joyce Mueller, Phil Shroyer and Mary Truitt, all of Vandalia; Marilyn Beyes of Smithboro; and Anna Jean Rhodes of St. Elmo. Haselhorst and Hill were welcomed as new board members. The other new board member, Charles Sharp of Vandalia, was unable to attend.
In 2019, the museum had 203 visitors in July; this year, there were 43 who registered.
A motion for the Fayette County Art Connection to help the museum with the 2021 Illinois Bicentennial was approved.
A bicentennial logo has been submitted by FNB Community Bank.
For the Vandalia Grande Levée in June 2021, there will be a parade starting at 11 a.m.                                                                               
Items donated to the museum in July are postcards of Ford Roofing Products Company, Evans Hotel and Gallatin Street (maybe in the 1930s); 5”x7” class photo of a Central School class; 5”x7”  class photo of a Lincoln School class, 1939 (Xerox copies of each, plus partial class list); army dress uniform; khaki uniform; dress hat; dress shoes; dark green fatigue uniform; black boots; green and black boots; and color postcard of First National Bank and Hotel Dieckmann.
St. Elmo Board of Education
The St. Elmo Community Unit School District #202 Board of Education met in regular session on Aug. 17 in the unit office at 7:30 p.m.  
Approved were the July 20 minutes, bills and financial reports, and monthly administrative reports.
Other approvals were the first reading of the June 2020 press policies; safety hazard resolution; collective bargaining agreement with the St. Elmo Education Association; salaries for bookkeeper, treasurer and maintenance supervisor as presented for the 2020-21 year; and Abby Durbin as volunteer assistant junior high cheerleading sponsor.
The fiscal year 2020 budget was adopted.
The board accepted the resignation of Rachel Hicks, pre-K teacher.
Charles Smith was approved as full-time temporary bus driver, and Jim Giffin was employed as substitute bus driver.
The board set the budget hearing date to Monday, Sept 21, at 7:15 p.m., with the regular scheduled board meeting to follow.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings on Year 1954
New trucks were looked at on Jan. 4 at Altamont, and Phil brought a new truck home the next day. Still can’t afford a second vehicle, and we have to have a truck to farm. I still am not able to drive.
I became a member of the St. Elmo Woman’s Club April 1. On Jan. 6, Phil received a diploma for attending the several week adult evening school on welding at the Vandalia Junior High School.
On Saturday, May 29, we had an alumni banquet in the high school gym. Several of us were on a committee to do the programs, and I made many little candles for the tables. A dance was held after the dinner. My diary says, “Large crowd—real nice—Phil gave grace before the banquet.” Back then, the decorations didn’t have to be taken down that night.
My diary says that Tuesday morning, I went to the high school to help take down the decorations.
On May 31, Phil finished working on the rented Deke Belden land west of St. Elmo. The night before, someone stole the battery from his tractor and the wagon tires.
This was a really hot summer. June 27 diary says, “The temperature was about 108 degrees today.” On July 14 the diary says the temperature was 108 degrees in the shade at 4 p.m.
I saw a partial eclipse of the sun at 5 a.m. on June 30.
Phil was put as a director on the Fayette County Farm Bureau board.
On July 31, Bill and Nelda Myers, Bob and Mary Olson, and LeMar and Billye Jo Marchman came out to play bridge and we organized a couples’ bridge club.
On Aug. 29, we toured the new classrooms at the high school.
At the Fayette County 4-H Achievement Night, Phil’s Elmonian Club received the Club of the Year award.
Phil started putting up a block silo in October (It is the one just west of the barn and now is used as an incinerator; keeps burning trash under control).
We had a drought this summer, and I remember Phil pitching on the back porch a few very small ears of tiny corn from the highway farm, and he had tears in his eyes when he sat under the maple tree.
When hand harvested, it only made a few bushels.
In November, Jim Claypool started drilling us a water well. We got water at 80 feet, 750 gallon per hour. We needed a deep well, for we had only two shallow wells (I think maybe they were 20-30 feet deep) for water in the house and the cistern that Phil would have to haul water to fill when there wasn’t enough rain to keep it filled.


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