100 years ago, June 1, 1917
MATTOON -- The total list of victims from Saturday's tornado has reached 59, including Mrs. Ella Lyons, who passed away last night; Charles Gullion, who died this morning; and John Roberts, who died this afternoon. Roberts, 30, was in an automobile with four other employees of the A.C. Loomis Construction Co. The men had been working on the state aid road pavement extension on the north road to Charleston. The other four were injured... GREENCASTLE, Ind. -- Scores of letters and papers have been picked up here that were blown from Mattoon and Charleston in Illinois, more than 80 miles from Greencastle. An 8-page booklet from the Coles County Chautauqua in Charleston was found on a farm just west of Greencastle. A farmer living six miles north of the city found a letter and a post card addressed to men in Mattoon. Another found a picture of two boys in a buggy taken in front of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Mattoon.
50 years ago, 1967
MATTOON -- The Coles-Cumberland Medical Society has gone on record as favoring the creation of an "area hospital" to provide adequate medical facilities for residents in a two-county area. The action took place at the group's regular meeting attended by about 30 physicians at the U.S. Grant Motor Inn. Dr. Stanley W. Thiel, resident of the organization, said the group was not in favor of expanding either Mattoon Memorial Hospital or Charleston Community Hospital. Dr. Thiel said it is inefficient to maintain two small hospitals. Construction of a larger area hospital would be more logical, he said... MATTOON -- A rural Mattoon soldier was reported wounded in Vietnam on Sunday as a result of hostile action. Hospitalized is Pfc. Darwyn E. Nelson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Nelson of Rural Route 2. Nelson was admitted to the 85th Evacuation Hospital, APO, San Francisco. He sustained a leg injury when a "friendly grenade" exploded while on a combat operation, according to a telegram received by his parents. He is a 1964 graduate of Mattoon High School.
25 years ago, 1992
CHARLESTON -- Ampad plant Manager Tim Buford will be mayor of Mattoon for a day and Dr. Luke Burchard will try his hand at journalism, thanks to the “May Merriment” benefit dinner and auction. More than 200 people attended the annual affair at Eastern Illinois University’s Union Grand Ballroom Saturday evening. YMCA Executive Director Rob Wilkinson said yesterday it appears the Y is close to its goal of netting $25,000 from the event. Buford paid $275 for a key to the city, a savings bond and to be mayor of Mattoon for a day. Burchard is contemplating what to write in his version of “On the Square.” Journal Gazette editor Harry Reynolds donated space in his newspaper column for the high bidder to sound off about whatever he wanted. Burchard, a family physician, paid $200 for the opportunity to write a newspaper column… MATTOON -- First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, a $266 million bank holding company headquartered in Mattoon, has announced the consolidation of five of its subsidiaries into one bank. Named First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust, the new organization includes the former First National Bank of Mattoon, State Bank of Sullivan, Cumberland County National Bank of Neoga, First National Bank and Trust of Douglas County and Charleston Community Bank. The combination makes First Mid-Illinois the area’s first truly regional banking organization and allows customers to do their banking business at any of its 10 locations in five communities, said Daniel E. Marvin Jr., president and chief executive officer… CHARLESTON -- Juan Herrera took the lead and gave Mark Monahan the baton. And then it was over. Arcola’s 1600-meter relay team of Ryan Petty, Dusty Ingram, Herrera and Monahan made the final event of the IHSA Class A Boys State Track Meet its own, winning with a time of 3:27.65, putting the finishing touches on a banner day for the Purple Riders. Arcola scored 18 points and finished 10th in Class A.
100 years ago, June 2, 1917
MATTOON -- Red Cross workers have made such progress that plans to reduce the force are being made. Three members of the force will be sent away tonight and three more probably will leave Sunday. Thirty-eight new cases of families affected by the storm came to the attention of the relief organization on Friday. This brings the total list to 251 families. The Red Cross made arrangements so far for 24 funerals at a cost of $1,095. W.G. Sawin, head of the food relief committee, provided baskets of food Thursday for 1,184 people... CHARLESTON -- It is impossible to describe the scene in the northern part of Charleston, from Madison Street to Olive and from the Coles County Fairgrounds extending far beyond the eastern limits of the town, destruction is evident as far as one can see by standing on the Big Four Railroad platform and looking in any direction. Homes are leveled to the ground, 34 people have been killed and about 300 injured. Property damage to the amount of $1 million has been wrought and 2,500 people are homeless... MATTOON -- As a class, the employees of the Big Four Railroad shops suffered quite as heavily as anyone in the storm of last Saturday, the figures showing that in the car department alone 66 homes of these employees were destroyed, while the dwellings of 26 others were damaged by the high winds.
50 years ago, 1967
MATTOON -- Terry Ramsey was flying high last Sunday -- one of the most important days in his 17 years. Terry, the son of Mr. and Mrs. R.D. Ramsey of Rural Route 4, was awarded Eagle Scout rank, received his pilot's license and was presented the God and Country Award at the First Christian Church, any one of which is enough to be proud. But the Sunday ceremony also included presentation of his pilot's license. He has been taking lessons from Don Pankey at Coles County Memorial Airport since 1965. State law requires that people be at least 17 to get a pilot's license. Terry received his four days after his 17th birthday on May 21... MATTOON -- A third mail pouch, stolen with two others on Monday night from the New York Central passenger station, was recovered at 2:30 p.m. yesterday. Postmaster Leonard Finnegan said a crew fished the pouch out of the Kaskaskia River at the first bridge north of Skyline Springs about seven miles north of Mattoon on the 19th Street Road. The bag was empty, Finnegan said, but about 30 pieces of mail were found along the road... MATTOON -- Rt. Rev. Msgr. Daniel F. Daly, pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, observed his 50th Jubilee in the priesthood today. Father Daly, 74, is a native of Ireland. After ordination into the priesthood in Ireland, he came to the United States in 1917. He served at parishes in three Illinois communities before coming to Mattoon in 1945.
25 years ago, 1992
MARTINSVILLE -- City Council members on Tuesday received a community agreement three years in the making that outlines the city’s role in permitting, constructing and operating the state’s proposed low-level nuclear waste disposal facility. The agreement addresses some of the Martinsville officials’ concerns about the site’s safety requirements and economic assurances in allowing the facility to be built on 187 acres north of Martinsville, perhaps as early as next year. City Council member Tom Toner said the agreement assures the community the facility will pose no threat to the community… CHARLESTON -- About 50 people have submitted applications to be the next executive vice president of the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce. Eli Sidwell, search committee chairman, said he was encouraged by the number of resumes received by the June 1 deadline. The new executive vice president will assume his or her duties between July 1 and Aug. 1, depending on the person’s availability… OAKLAND -- At age 18, Mark Eskew has his first and Norton Knolls’ first hole-in-one this season. The recent Kansas High School graduate used a 7-iron to ace the 120-yard par-3 No. 8 hole. Jeff Martin, Wayne Freeman and Andy Houk witnessed the shot.