100 years ago, Dec. 26, 1917

CHARLESTON -- The Charleston News asks: Is there a fuel administration in Coles County? If so, will he please explain how Ashmore people buy lump coal for $4 a ton? Also, why Oakland pays $5.50, Charleston $5.25 and Mattoon $5 a ton? ... MATTOON -- The roof of a two-story frame residence of Mrs. Chester Gucker at 2316 Charleston Ave., occupied by the families of Chris Slover, Riley Bishop and William Calhoun, and a number of roomers, was destroyed by fire today just before noon. Chief Weaver of the fire department estimates the loss at $500 or more. Three other alarms were called in today.  Damage in each of the fires is about $25.WASHINGTON -- A coal shortage of 50 million tons for 1917, even with the greatest coal production of any year in the country's history, has been caused by war demands, Fuel Administrator Garfield told the U.S. Senate investigating committee today. Coal production is up by 10 to 16 percent, but the bituminous coal production of 50 million tons is only half of what is needed. Munitions factories in New England are greatly hampered by a shortage of coal.

50 years ago, 1967

TUSCOLA -- Fire officials today are attempting to determine the cause of a Christmas morning fire which destroyed three business buildings and damaged three others. Damage has been estimated at about $150,000 from the blaze which was discovered at 12:31 a.m. yesterdayat the rear of the Strand Theatre on Sale Street. Destroyed were the theater, Montgomery Ward catalog store and the unoccupied Furste building. Damaged were the Sears catalog store, the Flesor Candy Kitchen and the Harry Young Electric Shop. Telephone and electric service was out for several hours due to the fire. A Tuscola city official said the last three major fires there have occurred on holidays... MATTOON -- Members of the 1967-68 yearbook staff at Central Junior High School are Danny Taylor, Curt Thiel, Jeff Gates, Shelley Decker, Kathy Swanner, Teresa Womack, Mary Evans, Missy Lucier, Kathy Garner, Debbie Fleming, Nancy Timm and Billie McKee.

25 years ago, 1992

MATTOON -- A farmer checks commodity prices and asks questions about fertilizer on his cellular telephone, all while plowing the back forty. Driving to an appointment, a banker makes arrangements for another meeting later in the day and receives messages from the office. A Mattoon businessman coming home from Casey gets a call from a customer in Charleston. By using a cell phone, the businessman gets the message and makes the stop on the way home, rather than backtracking upon returning to the office. Cellular phones are the latest technology advancement to create a nationwide -- and Coles County region – sales boom. About 1 percent of the national population currently owns a cellular phone. In some areas, as much as 5 percent of the population owns one. Farmers are among the top purchasers of cell phones. Some customers want a cell phone from safety reasons when traveling… HUMBOLDT -- A dream has come true for photographer Joel Dexter. Dexter always wanted to create a book. His coffee-table type book is making its debut in the area this week. “For Everything There is a Season” contains color pictures of rural Illinois, mostly of the Charleston-Mattoon region. The book features people and places. The photos span 10 years and include several taken when Dexter worked at the Journal Gazette/Times-Courier as a staff photographer. Dexter’s book contains about 200 photos, narrowed down from an original list of 700 pictures.

100 years ago, Dec. 27, 1917

MATTOON -- A case of measles on 18th Street here in Mattoon mysteriously made its appearance a few days ago. Parents of the 2-year-old girl were mystified as to how their daughter could have caught the disease. Then the thought came that a letter containing some crochet work had arrived about a week earlier and the little girl handled both items. The family in Alabama which sent the letter had several children who were sick with measles at the time, and the germs in an innocent way had been carried that distance to find a subject in Mattoon, according to a physician... WASHINGTON -- President Wilson announced that he will take over the nation's railroads at noon Friday. William McAdoo, secretary of the treasury, was named as railroad dictator. The action was taken as a war measure. President Wilson said the war in Europe is a war of resources, no less than of men, and it is necessary that the transportation system of the country be organized and employed under a single authority.

50 years ago, 1967

MATTOON -- Dennis Dobson, a 1960 Mattoon High School graduate, recently completed a month's tour of Southern California nightclubs as he tries to break into show business. Dobson, currently in Mattoon for the holidays, studied voice at United Artists and has recorded two albums, "Little Things" and "Summer Skies," which did well on the West Coast. Dobson has appeared on the "Perry Mason" and "Brighter Day" television programs. He currently is reading for a role on a TV series and for the movie version of "The Boston Strangler." Dobson first became interest in acting when Sullivan's Little Theatre owner Guy Little Jr. encouraged him to try out for a role in "The Music Man." Dobson has appeared in several shows in Sullivan... CHARLESTON -- William Ledford has announced the sale of Ledford Ford in Charleston to Robert L. Hickman of Terre Haute, Ind. The new agency will be known as Bob Hickman Ford Sales. Hickman, a Terre Haute native, was graduated in 1960 from Kansas University where he was an All-American basketball player. Hickman has been in the auto sales business since returning to Terre Haute following college. Ledford, who owned Ledford Ford for four years, is moving to Kokomo, Ind., where he will take over the Ford agency there.

25 years, 1992

Sunday. No paper.

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