The Way We Were

25 Years Ago

1996 – Projects completed in 1995 and ones planned for 1996 were spelled out in a report prepared by Vandalia’s director of economic development. Projects completed included the completion of an updated site plan by a St. Louis firm, new city brochures with updated information and updated marketing materials for the city. Planned projects included sewer and commercial development at the city’s west interchange, reconstruction and redevelopment of sewer mains in the Kaskaskia River bottoms and meeting infrastructure needs for the new work camp at Vandalia Correctional Center.
A smoke detector saved the life of a man when there was a fire in his apartment at the High School Apartments in Vandalia.
According to figures at the Fayette County Courthouse, felonies and misdemeanors were up in 1995. There were decreases in traffic cases, marriages and juvenile petitions.
Greenville native Patrick Schaufelberger joined a local law firm.

30 Years Ago

1991 – Fire destroyed the home of Louis and Darlene Vollentine.
St. Elmo took the consolation trophy at the National Trail Conference Tournament after defeating Stewardson-Strasburg, 81-54. Two St. Elmo players, Randy Heckert and Casey Hord, were named to the all-tournament team.
The Vandals’ Sports Boosters Club was attempting to honor all VCHS basketball players who have scored 1,000 or more points with a plaque to be displayed in the high school hallway. Players included: Gary Plum, Gary Nevinger, Rich Rames, Mike Orr, Doug Reams, Mark Johnson, Jeff Mefford, Tom Dooley, Brian Kern, Meg McKellar and Michelle Kaiser.

35 Years Ago

1986 – The EPA filed a five-count lawsuit against Van Tran Electric in its attempt to force the company to pay for the cleanup of alleged soil/water contamination at its plant.
Stacy Hawkey, a 12-year-old LaGrove Junior High School student, was accepted to train for Olympic competition in gymnastics under Bela Karolyi, who coached Olympic gold medal winner Mary Lou Retton.
Jeff Mefford of Vandalia, a sophomore at Illinois College, was leading his school’s basketball team in scoring.
St. Elmo’s Scholar Bowl Team was to appear on the public television program “Scholastic Hi-Q.”

45 Years Ago

1976 – George Huber, assistant state’s attorney, was in the process of terminating his association with M.J. Corbell law firm and establishing his own law practice.
Charles Wells of the Illinois Department of Aeronautics addressed the Vandalia Rotarians on the value of an airport to a community.
Freezing rain created a winter wonderland as trees and bushes were glazed with ice Sunday morning, but the same conditions resulted in treacherous driving.
Tammie Cripe, daughter of Lila and Bob Cripe, received the Soroptimist Citizenship award, a $25 savings bond.
Soroptimist International of Vandalia presented a check for $300 to Fayette County Mental Health and $200 to FAYCO Enterprises.
The new Illinois Bell Telephone books saluted the 100th anniversary of Graham Bell’s invention.
Richard Scott Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Warren Johnson, was awarded a $500 scholarship by the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Scott was a VCHS senior.
Natural gas was stored at St. Elmo in an underground storage field.

55 Years Ago

1966 – 4-H leaders with more than five years of service were awarded pins: Zola Rosenberger, five years; Mrs. Leland Stein, five years; Forrest Meseke, 10 years; and Mrs. William Anderson, five years.
Members of Vandalia Rotary Club toured Van Tran Electric.
The state’s Public Aid roll had an increase of 3,391 over the previous year. November recipients totaled 520 and received a total of $39,884.
At a planning session of Vandalia Chamber of Commerce, every member was given a job and put to work.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Deverick enjoyed a Dairy Queen-sponsored trip to Hawaii. They returned home on Jan. 2.
Mr. and Mrs. Arvel Wright of Albuquerque, N.M., came back to Vandalia to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary at a reception on Feb. 6 in the friendship room of First National Bank of Vandalia.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kline of the Farina area observed their 60th wedding anniversary with an open house at the Methodist Church in Alma.
Dr. and Mrs. Rames and family accompanied by her mother, Laura Johnson, went by train to Chicago, where they spent the weekend with Dr. and Mrs. Paul Brothers and family. Mrs. Brothers and Mrs. Rames are sisters.

65 Years Ago

1956 – Lions Club held the annual rural-urban banquet at the Washington School basement.
Kay Sue Eadie was a queen candidate at the ROTC military ball at Carbondale.
Fred Spurlin was installed as head of the DeMolay Chapter, Villa Grove.
Chuck roasts sold at 27 cents a pound, center cuts at 35 cents, and rib roast at 45 cents a pound.
Hotel Elmo in St. Elmo was traded for Vandalia property by Dr. H.O. Lewis to Walter Hall.
Susan Froehly celebrated her 12th birthday anniversary at a party with 20 of her friends as guests in the home of her grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. E.J. Bost.

75 Years Ago

1946 – The railroad superintendent thanked Judy Clearly for taking to Illinois Central tower part of a wheel rim that she found along the right-of-way. The train was stopped at Ramsey, and the car set off from which the piece had fallen out. A possible derailment was thus averted.
A court order stopped the shutoff of gas into the local mains.
The Rev. H.P. Aykens was installed at First Presbyterian Church Sunday afternoon.
The Pennsy Railroad competed its gate installations at the crossings at a cost of $50,000.
Cleo Robbins, county treasurer protem, made the annual report of the county’s financial status.
Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Tate celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary Jan.14.
Sheriff Charles Brannon was guest speaker for Junior Woman’s Club Thursday at a dinner meeting in the Dawson Tea Room.

85 Years Ago

1936 – Vandalia lost to Edwardsville here Saturday night by a score of 22-21.
Lions Club’s big W.L.S. Barn Dance cast included characters from over the entire county for a three-night run in the high school gymnasium.