100 years ago, Dec. 7, 1917

SPRINGFIELD -- Glen Johns, Arthur Johns, Luke Gossett and J.A. Lippincott, all of Hutton Township in southeastern Coles County, filed a case today with the state utilities commission against the Coles County Telephone and Telegraph Company. The complainants declare that two years ago they signed contracts with the phone company for telephone service, that poles were erected but no wires were strung. They want an order forcing the company to render them phone service... HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- The appalling death toll here as the result of the French munitions ship Mont Blanc, when she was rammed by the Belgian relief ship Ioma yesterday, is close to 2,500. Here and there about the smoking ruins of what had been their homes, men and women, scantily clad and with bloodshot eyes, clawed at the wreckage frantically with bleeding hands in an effort to find missing relatives.

50 years ago, 1967

CHARLESTON -- Quincy Doudna, Eastern Illinois University president, maintained his official silence on the controversy over the resignation of Dr. Franklin D. Kirby last night during a meeting with Student Senate leaders. The meeting, stemming from a request that Doudna appear before the Student Senate, was held even though Doudna told James Edgar, Student Senate president, that it would be inappropriate to make a formal statement on the resignation of any faculty member. Kirby had expressed disappointment with teaching conditions and the learning environment at EIU in his resignation letter. He also said he was denied promotions, pay raises and tenure... MATTOON -- Members of the Corn Belt Shrine Club Motorcycle Drill Team, formed in August, will perform in the Mattoon Christmas Parade on Saturday. The team has performed at the Eastern Illinois University Homecoming Parade and in Shrine parades in Springfield. Members of the team include Louie Morrel, Jim Payne, Monroe Melzor, Everett Fuller, Joe Ethridge, G.A. McArthur, Dale Young, Nelson Seng, Theo Fuller, Hezzie Bariether, John Callahan, Clyde Janis and Jim Purcell.Theo Fuller is the captain and Everett Fuller the lieutenant. Sergeants are Dale Young and G.A. McArthur.

25 years ago, 1992

LERNA -- Was work or play more typical of Christmas Day for Illinois households in 1845? The answer can be either, depending on what kind of household was involved. As demonstrated over the weekend at the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, some prairie pioneers simply couldn’t afford to take the time to relax for the whole day during the holiday. Re-enactors showed how work still had to be done at the log cabin home of Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s father and step-mother. At the nearby farmhouse of Stephen and Nancy Sargent, a more affluent family, re-enactors showed how some pioneers were able to enjoy themselves, visiting by one of two fireplaces in the holiday-decorated house… CHARLESTON -- Eastern Illinois University President David L. Jorns has appointed Jill Nilsen as EIU’s coordinator for the Board of Governors’ marketing project. She will also continue her duties as associate dean of the Graduate School and Research. Nilsen joined the EIU faculty in 1976 as associate professor in the department of speech pathology… CHARLESTON -- The Coles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a series of shootings that resulted in broken windows in two rural Charleston areas. The incidents occurred over the weekend in an area north of Charleston and also a southwest location, a sheriff’s department spokesman said.

100 years ago, Dec. 8, 1917

MATTOON -- The Mattoon area has been in the throes of a blizzard today, the severest of the season. Snow fell throughout most of the night. There was a marked change in temperature after daylight, there being a drop of 10 degrees between 7 and 10 o'clock when temperatures fell to 10 degrees. Drifts appeared in many places of the business district. On the north side of Broadway Avenue, drifts two feet deep soon formed. Trains are being retarded in their movements, owing to the accumulation of ice and snow on the tracks and the poor visibility...MATTOON -- In recognition of the success attained this year by the Mattoon High School football club, every having been a victory, except one, which was a tie, A.C. Smith, a member of the board of education, entertained members of the squad last night at a dinner at the Hotel Byers. Covers were laid for 23 guests. The program for the evening included: "What Made the 1917 Team the Greatest in the School's History" by Robert Crookshank; "What High School Football has Done for Me" by Harold Isaacson; "The Value of High School Athletics" by Irvin Bauer; "How It Feels to Be Principal of a High School With an Undefeated Football Team" by H.B. Black and singing of "Green and Gold." ... WASHINGTON -- The United States now is at war with the Austrian empire. The final act between America and Germany's strongest ally came at 5:03 o'clock yesterday afternoon when President Wilson signed a resolution passed by the U.S. Senate and House declaring a state of war. In other war news, the U.S. destroyer Jacob Jones was sunk by a submarine torpedo last night while patrolling foreign waters. Only 37 survivors have been picked up, the Navy department announced. This means that about 60 men were lost.

50 years ago, 1967

MATTOON -- P. Scott Smith and Robert Wharton, both of Charleston, have successfully defended their Mattoon Bridge Tournament championship at the Elks Club. There was a total of 20 two-person teams entered for the sixth annual tournament. Smith and Wharton averaged 153 1/2 to easily outdistance the second-place team of Mrs. A.D. Williams and Mrs. John Hubbard. The latter pair averaged 140... MATTOON -- Advance copies of the new brochure about Mattoon were distributed to advertisers today. About 6,000 more copies will arrive shortly and be on sale at the Association of Commerce office at Burgess-Osborne Auditorium. The brochure, with many pages in full color, contains facts and figures on Mattoon, plus information on churches, schools, shopping, medical facilities, cultural and historical information, government, farming and transportation.

25 years ago, 1992

CHARLESTON -- The first day for candidates to file petitions for city offices has already dictated a mayoral primary on Feb. 23. City Clerk Patsy Loew said Dan Cougill, Mayor Wayne Lanman and Todd Reardon filed to run for mayor. Meanwhile, six men filed petitions for commissioner, two short of the number needed for a primary. The two mayoral and eight commissioner candidates receiving the most votes in the primary will advance to the general election. Commissioners Bruce Scism, John Winnett and Jim Dunn all filed petitions yesterday. Also filing petitions were Maurice Manbeck, Thomas Michael, Brian Myerscough and Gene Scholes… CHARLESTON -- Conservation officials say the past weekend’s firearm deer hunting season could result in a new state record harvest for the 1992 hunt. Totals from each of the seven area counties were down from the Nov. 20-22 hunt, but that is usually the case, according to Paul Brewer, wildlife biologist with the Illinois Department of Conservation. Preliminary county totals in the area include: Clark, 402, compared to 569 for the first weekend; Coles, 215, compared to 298; Cumberland, 226, compared to 408; Douglas, 70, compared to 101; Edgar, 195, compared to 295; Moultrie, 62, compared to 121; and Shelby, 339, compared to 574.

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