100 years ago, Jan. 27, 1918

Sunday. No paper.

50 years ago, 1968

CHARLESTON -- Applications for admission of 3-year-old children to an experimental kindergarten program are now being accepted by Miss Betty Coles, director of the kindergarten program of the Eastern Illinois Development and Service Unit. Twelve children are to be enrolled for the three-hour experimental school to begin Feb. 7. The kindergarten will be offered from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and parents may register their children for every weekday or for every other day sessions. Tuition will be 50 cents per hour... MATTOON -- Two Shelby County youths were among the top producers in the 1967 Illinois 4-H X-Tra Yield Contest announced recently. Louie Donnel of Shelbyville was the district winner in the corn yield contest. His corn registered a yield of 185 bushels an acre. Dick radel of Nauvoo had the top yield in the state with 228 bushels an acre. District soybean yield winners included Ronald Eversole of Shelbyville with 52 bushels an acre. Robert Tammen of Danforth had the top yield of 64 bushels an acre.

25 years ago, 1993

CHARLESTON -- The recently ended year saw few changes from 1991, Coles County statistics show. The number of marriage licenses issued in the county declined in 1992, while the number of births, deaths, divorces and lawsuits increased. There were 412 marriage licenses issued, compared to 503 in 1992. Births were up from 771 in 1991 to 812 the past year; 581 deaths compared to 507 in 1991; 360 divorces, up from 333 the year before; major lawsuits (seeking more than $15,000 in damages) increased to 142 in 1992 from 121 the prior year. Glenn Lyons, park superintendent at Fox Ridge State Park, said visitors in 1992 numbered 248,940, which was about 30,000 less than the year before. At Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, a total of 105,943 people visited last year, an increase of about 5,000 over 1991, according to Site Superintendent Tom Vance… CHARLESTON -- A Martinsville man died Tuesday from injuries sustained in an accident in which his car apparently hit the side of a building. Authorities speculated that medical problems contributed to the accident and death of Phil S. Cooper, 52, of rural Martinsville. According to Charleston police, the northbound Cooper failed to negotiate a curve in the 1500 block of Reynolds Drive about 6:30 a.m. yesterday, and his vehicle struck the Charleston Federal Savings & Loan building. Cooper was conscious after the accident but died later at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Coles County Coroner John Schilling reported.

100 years ago, Jan. 28, 1918

CHARLESTON -- A report states that a proposition is being formulated for the purchase of the Coles County fairgrounds by Charleston men who want to use the grounds for sites for factories and residential property. The proposition, it is said, may be presented to officials of the fair in a short time, said Saturday's Charleston Courier. It is stated that the once beautiful fairgrounds, described by a chautauqua speaker as being the most beautiful fairgrounds anywhere, were ruined when the tornado of last May tore down and twisted the old and handsome oak trees, besides creating damage to such an extent that it is necessary to reconstruct the grounds... MATTOON -- The Chuse Engine and Manufacturing Company received this morning from the federal fuel administration special permission to operate its plant during the Monday holidays, having on hand several war contracts. The Mattoon company's work permit came this morning and word was sent to employees immediately. This afternoon the plant was run full blast. There are 130 employees, the plant being operated on two shifts. Broadway businesses are closed today. The only places in operation are banks, drug stores, offices of physicians and dentists, restaurants, pool rooms and other places of amusement. Grocery stores closed at the noon hour.

50 years ago, 1968

Sunday. No paper.

25 years ago, 1993

MATTOON -- After a 10-year decline, farmland assessments are starting to inch their way back up. In many counties, assessed value of farmland dropped more than 50 percent from 1983 to 1992. In Coles County, farmland assessments reached a peak of $94.9 million in 1983. That was gradually reduced to $79.6 million in 1985 and a low of $52.4 million in 1991. The assessment total increased to $55.6 million in 1992. John Snider, Coles County supervisor of assessments, believes farmland assessments will go up for another couple years, but beyond that, it’s uncertain, he said… CHARLESTON -- Bill Furry, who farms 2,800 acres on the west side of Charleston, was recently named the Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District Farmer of the Year for 1992. Andy Cerven, district conservationist, said Furry has been an active conservation farmer for years. Merle and Patti Lawson were named the Coles County SWCD Outstanding Farm Family for their continuing efforts to preserve highly erodible land, and their lifelong participation in 4-H, the Farm Bureau and the community… CHARLESTON -- Lloyd and Dottie Huddlestun were named the Coles County Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Member at the organization’s recent annual meeting. The Huddlestons farm 160 acres south of Charleston near Fox Ridge State Park. Huddleston said he joined the Farm Bureau in 1935 because that is when he bought his first car and he needed insurance.

100 years ago, Jan. 29, 1918

MATTOON -- The two-story building at 1600 Broadway Ave., owned by Mrs. Lena Ritter, was gutted by fire yesterday evening. The stock and fixtures of Ed F. Ritter, a druggist who occupied the first floor, and fixtures and furnishings of the Stone Dental Parlors, which occupied the second floor, and property of Aaron A. Jaffe, a soldier in training at Camp Pike, were destroyed. Ed Ritter's building at 1602-04 Broadway, which housed Buckler's Cafeteria, also was damaged. The fire started in the rear of the drug store with a minor explosion. The exact cause may never be known... CHARLESTON -- Sheriff Sinsabaugh is home from his trip to the northern part of the state where he conveyed prisoners to the state training school at St. Charles and the Pontiac reformatory. On reaching Chicago he was forced to change his plans due to the heavy snowfall and approaching blizzard. He has his son, Wright Sinsabaugh of Chicago, make the trip to Pontiac and leave young Richards there. He then telephoned the superintendent of the Geneva schools and asked the official to meet him with sleds. Ida Gavisk and Kate Stewart, who were brought here last week to testify in Coles County trials, and Virgil Brown, who was committed to the St. Charles school for boys, were loaded onto sleighs and taken to Geneva.

50 years ago, 1968

CHARLESTON -- Mrs. Kenneth (Ona) Norton and Everett Brown have been honored by the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce as the outstanding woman and man in the community. The awards were made Saturday before more than 400 people who attended the annual dinner at Eastern Illinois University's student union. Former Chamber board President Don Drake said Mrs. Norton has lived in Charleston most of this century. When families have been in difficulty and no money is available, Mrs. Norton has volunteered her time and gone into the homes, helping mothers by washing, cleaning, cooking, mending and generally aiding the family to return to normal. She is the longest-serving member of the city's recreation board and spends two days a week helping at local nursing homes. Brown is a former mayor of Charleston who was chairman of the Charleston Community Hospital fund drive and has served as president of the hospital board for two terms. He has taught Sunday School for more than 25 years and served as chairman or president of the Charleston Civic Association, Red Cross and Charleston Centennial celebration... MATTOON -- Dawn Attack was about a 21-year-old gray mare when her owner, R.A. Lumpkin of Mattoon, gave her to Southern Illinois University. The mare was one of about 30 horses Lumpkin gave to SIU-Carbondale, and her records indicated that she had never foaled a colt. Dawn Attack is 24 years old now and on Jan. 12 she disproved the theory that she was barren when she foaled a black stallion colt. Ronald Carr, a horse specialist at SIU's Horse Center, said the birth was a surprise. She and her colt live at the animal behavior and research center.

25 years ago, 1993

SPRINGFIELD -- A state task force yesterday recommended elimination of two of the state’s university governing boards. The task force, led by Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra, released its report shortly after Gov. Jim Edgar endorsed its recommendations in his State of the State address. The report recommended the elimination of the Board of Governors and Board of Regents. The Board of Governors oversees Eastern Illinois University and five other state schools. The Board of Regents oversees Illinois State and Northern Illinois universities. The University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University have separate boards… MATTOON -- A flu outbreak in local schools has most dramatically affected Arthur Grade School. Eighty-five students were absent from the Arthur school on Monday and 100 students were out on Tuesday of this week. Total enrollment there is 340. Arcola Elementary School reported that 160 students were absent on two days. Charleston Junior High School had 98 students out one day this week. Barb Druin, Mattoon school district nurse, said the district has experienced higher-than-normal absenteeism last week and this week… CHARLESTON -- Official 10th day spring semester enrollment at Eastern Illinois University stands at 9,960 on-campus students. This is 203 more than the on-campus spring enrollment last year. Minority students represent 7.2 percent of the total, up from 6.7 percent a year ago. Women represent 55 percent of the student enrollment, men make up 45 percent.

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