100 years ago, Jan. 23, 1918

ASHMORE -- Big Four Railroad Train No. 80, a freight train, was wrecked at 5:30 o'clock this morning at Ashmore. Fifteen cars, heavily loaded with coal, were derailed. A broken rail is said to have been the cause. Traffic has been blocked by the wreck. Passenger trains are being detoured over the Cairo Division of the Big Four and the Clover Leaf between Charleston and Paris by way of Ridgefarm. Ashmore residents, almost destitute from the coal shortage, now will be able to get all the coal needed for the remainder of the winter, as railroad companies generally sell on the ground all coal from wrecked cars... MATTOON -- Andrew Johnson of Loxa, appeared before Judge Alabaugh late yesterday afternoon on a charge of stealing the sleds of Thelma and Eugene Hyde, children of Thomas Hyde of Mattoon, and Fay Tooley, daughter of R.V. Tooley of Mattoon. He pleaded not guilty. The fathers of the three children are said to have recovered the sleds from the Johnson home Sunday evening. Johnson came to Mattoon to do some hauling. The children, according to their story, attached their sleds to Johnson's wagon, having secured permission to do so. The children say Johnson not only consented but tied the ropes tightly himself when the children declined to do so. Eugene Hyde, a little fellow in jumpers, is said to have fallen off his sled at 10th and DeWitt. His sister and the Tooley girl were unable to detach their sleds and abandoned them. Johnson is said to have lifted the three sleds into his wagon and to have driven home with them... WASHINGTON -- Three Americans were killed in action with the Germans yesterday, U.S. Army General John J. Pershing reported to the war department today.The report indicates that clashes between American boys and the Germans are becoming more frequent, one having been reported killed Sunday. It is assumed they were minor patrol skirmishes, developing along the sector in which the Sammies are training.Seven deaths from natural causes also were reported by Pershing.

50 years ago, 1968

 MATTOON -- The American Pad and Paper Co., at its 83rd annual meeting, reported the Mattoon branch contributed to its successful year. More than 5 million pounds of merchandise were shipped from Mattoon, enabling the company to improve service for Midwestern customers. The Mattoon branch of American Pad and Paper opened in 1966 with four employees: Eugene Farrell, branch manager; Ronald Beaudry, assistant officemanager; Leo Normand, maintenance; and Donald Aubin, foreman. Employment now totals 46... MATTOON -- Vickey Piercy of Mattoon is currently in training at the Northern Michigan University Job Corps Center for Women at Marquette, Mich. The NMU Center opened in 1966 and is the only Job Corps Center in the nation located on a college campus and the only center for women in Michigan. 

25 years ago, 1993

CHARLESTON -- Coles County residents did not experience weather extremes in the past year that are the norm in East-Central Illinois. Dalis Price, local weather observer, said the low temperature for 1992 was minus-4 degrees on Jan. 16, 1992. Price said Coles County usually has several days each winter colder than that. And that day was the only time the thermometer even dropped to zero. All the summer months, though, were cooler than normal, and the highest temperature recorded by Price was 98 degrees on June 17. Usually, the Charleston-Mattoon area hits the 100-degree mark a couple days each summer, Price said… CHARLESTON -- Criminal activity rose by 7 percent in 1992, according to police figures. There were 2,129 criminal investigations in 1992, compared to 1,996 in 1991. Police Chief Herb Steidinger attributed the increase to a rise in robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and theft. Also, more drivers had accidents in 1992, than in 1991. In ’92, there were 653, compared to 598 in 1991.

100 years ago, Jan. 24, 1918

MATTOON -- Residents of the Buttermilk School District yesterday detained for a short time a strange German, whom they suspected of being an enemy and a spy. Local authorities were requested to make the trip to the country to take charge of the man, but were unable to do so at the time and he was given his release. When last heard of, the suspected man was headed toward Mattoon. It is said that he has been going stealthily into barns and outbuildings on a number of farms and his conduct has been such to cause suspicion. At the Clyde Rose farm he is said to have scared the womenfolk... MATTOON -- The Illinois Central Railroad Company, according to semi-official information, will erect soon on the west side of the subway between the Broadway and Big Four bridges a twin building to the new passenger station, for use by the American Express Co. The proposed new building for the express company will cost approximately $60,000. It will be three stories high and of stone, brick, concrete and iron. The exterior brick and trimmings and the tile for the roof will be like that which was used in construction of the passenger station.

50 years ago, 1968

MATTOON -- The recent story about the brown recluse spider invasion of Mattoon High School got widespread circulation. The newspaper received requests from numerous newspapers and schools from throughout the United States for more information and got clippings of newspapers that ran the story, including a Houston, Texas, paper that carried the story on page 1. The record was reported by Capt. Kenneth Sharp, Salvation Army Corps commander, who said a friend wrote him from Hong Kong and noted the story was carried by a newspaper there... MATTOON -- New officers have been elected by the Mattoon Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. The new officers include Mrs. Lee Steward, president; Mrs. John Ewart, president-elect; Mrs. Ray Wurtsbaugh, secretary; Mrs. Richard Kime, first vice president; Mrs. Bill Davis, second vice president; Mrs. Derald Doehring, board member; and Mrs. Harold Wayner, board member. Mrs. Dan Handley is immediate past president.

25 years ago, 1993

Sunday. No paper.

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