100 years ago, Aug. 31, 1917

CHARLESTON -- The exemption board of Coles County, in charge of examinations of conscripts for the New American Army, them examining physicians and about 125 drafted men were greatly inconvenienced, not a little bit annoyed and the examination work delayed by the arbitrary action of Miss Grace Ewalt, secretary of President Lord of the Eastern Illinois Normal School Wednesday afternoon. Examinations have been held in the main building of the Normal. The janitor objected to the extra work that was entailed in the quarters where they previously had been conducted. For that reason, the board changed its base to the gymnasium. They also secured an extra room. When the young men started to disrobe for their examinations when Miss Ewalt appeared and issued peremptory orders to the board and all those present to vacate the room that had been taken possession of. President Lord apparently was out of the city, so the members of the board endeavored to explain to the arbitrary Miss Ewalt the urgent need of the room, but she was as deaf to entreaties as she was arbitrary in action and it was necessary for the whole crowd to vacate the room and dispose themselves as best they could until other quarters were found... CHARLESTON -- According to orders received this morning by Clerk Lantz of the Coles County exemption board, the white and colored young men who have passed the local board's examination for service in the Army must be separated, the whites being placed in one section by themselves and the blacks in another section. This order came from the office of the provost marshal general in Washington, according to Mr. Lantz... LONDON -- The fearful fighting of the Flanders offensive of last month cost England 60,373 casualties in killed, wounded and missing, according to new compilations. The figure is below the 71,899 given last month, but the loss of officers was very much greater. The total provided in July of officers killed, wounded and missing was 2,426. The latest tally has jumped to 5,430.

50 years ago, 1967

MATTOON -- The Ku Klux Klan in Illinois, although beset by money and membership problems, intends within the next few weeks to consolidate its five existing klaverns into one, then spread out over the state in a massive membership drive. The five klaverns are in Aurora, Lockport, Joliet, Chicago and Winthrop Harbor. Total membership was estimated by a klansman to be from 150 to 200. This was learned when Harld S. Kitching, the JG wire editor, infiltrated the Klan, posing as a college student who wanted to organize a klavern in Mattoon... WINDSOR -- A King was named queen of the Windsor Harvest and Homecoming last night. Miss Gloria King, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed King, was crowned by Mary Lenz, the 1966 Miss Windsor. Barbara Storm was named first runner-up and Leslie Kasey was second runner-up. Escorts were Gary Ashmore and Terry Latch. Melissa Gaines of Charleston was a special attendant... MATTOON -- Mrs. Kenneth Carlyle and Mrs. Ronnie Davis captured titles of the Mattoon Country Club's women's golf tournament. Mrs. Carlyle won the championship flight with a 2-up victory over Mrs. Jim Whitlock. Mrs. Morris won the 9A flight with a victory over Mrs. Richard A. Lumpkin. The women's 9B flight was won by Mrs. Stuart Green, who defeated Mrs. Richard Busbey in the finals... WASHINGTON -- Thurgood Marshall, great-grandson of a slave and a longtime fighter for equal rights for Negroes, has won Senate confirmation as the nation's first Negro Supreme Court justice. By a 69-11 margin, the Senate confirmed President Johnson's nomination of Marshall, currently U.S. solicitor general.

25 years ago, 1992

CHARLESTON -- The name of Charleston’s first-ever record store, Positively Fourth Street Records, might strike a note in people’s memories. The name comes from an old Bob Dylan song, said Kirby Johnson, the store’s owner. Johnson said Dylan is one artist who changed rock and roll. And because the store is located along Fourth Street at Lincoln Avenue, the name seemed to fit. Johnson planned the store to appeal to Eastern Illinois University students and Charleston residents as his stock includes blues, new age, classical, jazz and country, plus mainstream… CHARLESTON -- After 26 years, members of Wesley United Methodist Church sit in pews during Sunday worship. Members celebrated the dedication and consecration of their new sanctuary, 26 years after the congregation moved to the South Fourth Street location from the corner of Ninth and Monroe. Almost 1,300 current and former members of the Wesley family attended three services yesterday in observance of completion of the new sanctuary. The Sunday afternoon service featured a concert by Bob and Gina Swickard, former members now living in western Illinois. The Bruce Hoffman family of Edwardsville also played a horn ensemble. Hoffman’s parents, Arnold and Mary Hoffman, donated the land on which the church stands.

100 years ago, Sept. 1, 1917

CHARLESTON -- Coroner James H. McClelland has probably made a record as coroner that will never be equaled by any other man holding that office, by holding 106 inquests in one month of the year. In May he held that number of inquests over the dead bodies of men, women and children. Of this number, 103 were due to instant deaths and fatal injuries received in the May 26 tornado. He received a fee of $1 for each inquest. G.M. Cook, who was coroner for the four years preceding Mr. McClelland, held 173 inquests during his entire four-year term. In the four years prior to that, the coroner held 127 inquests for the term. The previous record number for inquests held in one month was held by Coroner Thomas H. Grimes in August 1907. In that month, Mr. Grimes was called on to hold inquests after the interurban wreck west of the city that killed 18 people... MATTOON -- An informal stag dinner and reception were given at the Hotel Byers last evening in honor of Joe E. (Little Joe) Gray, who will depart next Wednesday for Camp Taylor at Louisville, Ky., Mr. Gray having requested and been given permission by the Coles County exemption board to be one of the first sent from this county in the first selective draft for the New American Army. "Mess" was served at 7 o'clock. A handsome souvenir booklet was laid at each plate, which contained a title page denominating the occasion and the date, a page containing a photograph of the guest of honor and verse, a page devoted to the "mess" and a fourth page, the list of those present, either in person or in "spirit."

50 years ago, 1967

MATTOON -- The Mattoon City Council has approved the reassignment of the contract for garbage collection in the city from Leonard and Gerald Lindquist to Noble Farrier and hiked the contract price by $12,000 a year. The reassignment approved last night was the second since July 1965. At that time, a contract with Farrier called for an annual contract of $24,000. In January 1966, Farrier transferred the contract to the Lindquists at an annual cost of $27,000. The new deal with Farrier calls for an annual payment of $39,000. Mayor Morgan Phipps cited population increase and better service as the reasons for the price increase... MATTOON -- The Ku Klux Klan is a lot like the Chicago stockyards -- the closer you get, the worse it smells. Harold S. Kitching, the Journal Gazette wire editor who recently infiltrated the Illinois klan by saying he wished to organize a klavern in Coles County, said literature distributed by the KKK headquarters in Tuscaloosa, Ala., "is so vile as to preclude reprinting in a reputable newspaper." But "The Ideals of a Klansman" literature directs the organization's attack on three entities: The Roman Catholic Church, Negroes and Jews.

25 years ago, 1992

CHARLESTON -- This year’s “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” on behalf of Mid-Illinois Big Brothers/Big Sisters resulted in pledges and donations of more than $27,500. Special corporate recognition awards went to Consolidated Communications, 20 teams with $5,357.40 pledged; Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, 15 teams with $3,320.45 pledged; and First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust, 13 teams with $2,745.70 pledged. The top individual fund-raiser was Kevin James of Charleston, who raised more than $1,300 for Big Brothers/Big Sisters… MARSHALL -- Researchers found two documents at the Clark County Courthouse in which attorney Abraham Lincoln was involved. One case was a change of venue from Coles County, which researchers had also found earlier in Charleston. The second case, however, was a debt collection case from 1842 in which William B. Archer, a state representative, was ordered to repay a $4,400 loan from Gov. Joseph Duncan. Lincoln, who also was a state lawmaker at that time, represented a man named Thomas January, to whom the governor had transferred the promissory note guaranteeing Archer’s payment. Bill Beard, the Lincoln Legal Papers assistant editor, said the case shows how relationships made while serving in the Illinois legislature enhanced Lincoln’s growing law practice by attracting more wealthy and prominent clients.

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