100 years ago, Jan. 25, 1918

MATTOON -- William C. Strong, a farmer living south of Mattoon, brought to Mattoon yesterday evening a tramp whom the residents of the Buttermilk School District suspected as being an enemy and a German spy. The man gave his name as Mike Locker, stating that he was born near Straasburg in Alsace Lorraine. He claims to have been a resident of the U.S. since 1896. Locker convinced local authorities that he is nothing but a tramp and was allowed to go on his way this morning.Owing to the shabby appearance of the fellow, it is predicted that he will meet with trouble in every city and village he passes through. In some localities he probably will not "get by" so easily as he did here... MATTOON -- "The old-time loafer finds it a difficult matter to keep away from the passenger station waiting room," said Ticket Agent Lucas of the Illinois Central Railroad this morning. Late yesterday afternoon a loafer whom Lucas ordered from the waiting room said he was waiting for the arrival of relatives on the next train. I assured him it was not necessary to come to the station six to 12 hours ahead of the scheduled arrival time. As convenient as the toilet rooms of the new building have been constructed, passengers or loafers, they do not know which, have already committed acts of vandalism.

50 years ago, 1968

MATTOON -- The Community Mental Health Board of Coles County, meeting last night to organize for the coming year, elected Cecil Swedell of Charleston as president of the body. The board governs the expenditure of funds collected from a tax levied for mental health purposes. Seated for the first time was John LeDuc of Charleston, who was appointed to succeed Dr. L.R. Montemayor of Charleston. Reappointed to the mental health board was Miss Josephine Wilson of Ashmore. Reappointed secretary of the board was Miss Pat Walker of Mattoon. Joseph R. Spitz of Mattoon is legal counsel to the organization... KANSAS -- Three of 16 Angus calves owned by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Heltsley of rural Kansas were killed early yesterday on Illinois Route 16 after they strayed from the Heltsley farm. State Police said the incident occurred about 2:45 a.m. when an eastbound semitrailer truck struck one of the calves about a mile west of Kansas. The driver of the truck, George S. Baxter of Newman, said the two other calves were already dead along the roadway. The Heltsleys said the animals got loose Tuesday afternoon. 

25 years ago, 1993

ASHMORE -- Joan Comstock has missed just one Ashmore Village Board meeting in her 26 years as village clerk. That’s about to change, though. She’s decided not to seek another four-year term. With the caucus for the People’s Party, Ashmore’s only established political party, scheduled for this evening and the village election in April, Comstock is near the end of her career with the village. The clerk not only has to keep the minutes and records of village board meetings, but also is responsible for bookkeeping, tax records, legal publications and more… CHARLESTON -- Several Charleston real estate representatives are members of the President’s Club, for selling more than $1 million worth of property in 1992. They include Barb Carlyle and Dianne Kinnaird, Re/Max Premier; Jane Honn and Martha Drake, Eli Sidwell & Associates; Kathy Spence and Beth Scism, Linda Nugent & Associates; Doug Stanberry, Carol Rhoades and Jan Eads, all of Howard Eads Real Estate; Donna Wood and Linda Toothman, Century 21.

100 years ago, Jan. 26, 1918

TOLEDO -- Drs. W.R. Rhodes and R.F. Stephens have examined quite a number of the Cumberland County boys listed in the Selective Service Act within the past week. Examinations are being conducted in the Masonic Hall, which has a vestibule and several side rooms. Three of those who were examined yesterday, when they returned to the ante-room to re-dress, found that their pockets had been rifled. Guy Huffman had lost a suit of underwear, another man a pair of socks, and a Mr. Gragor of Montrose, two gold rings and about $20 in money. No arrests have been made as yet ... MATTOON -- Phillip Woliung, who operates a horseshoeing and blacksmith shop at 122 N. 15th St., was taken before Judge McIntyre this morning on charges of being pro-German. Woliung made public declaration that he is a loyal American citizen, regardless of what he has said or done. After being severely reprimanded and warned, he was given his release. Woliung is said to have refused to close his blacksmith shop in accordance with orders of the fuel administrator and his utterances are said to be decidedly pro-German. Woliung, it is said, has in his veins the mixed blood of the french and the German... CLEVELAND -- Auditor Zangerle today sent information on the property holdings of John D. Rockefeller in Cuyahoga County to J.A. Counter, president of the New York City tax department. Figures show Mr. Rockefeller owns $569 million in Standard Oil stock, and property in Cuyahoga County worth $311 million in 1914. Zangerle says Mr. Rockefeller owns many other millions in U.S. Steel and other stocks  and has paid less than $10,000 in taxes in four years.

50 years ago, 1968

ARCOLA -- The son of former Arcola residents has been awarded the Soldier's Medal for heroic action in Vietnam. Spec. 4 Robert L. Shaffer, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Shaffer of Wisconsin and formerly of Arcola, was awarded the medal by direction of President Johnson recently. Spec. Shaffer resided in Arcola with his gradparents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Ed Shaffer. On June 1, 1967, while returning from a resupply mission, Shaffer saw a helicopter crash into a rice paddy and rushed to the aid of the crew. He also was awarded the Purple Heart... CHARLESTON -- The Charleston Jaycees at the annual Bosses Night and Distinguished Service Award Dinner last night presented two awards. Jerry sweeney was named Eastern Coles County farmer of the Year while James Scribner received the Distinguished Service Award. Sweeney is a third generation farmer who with his father farms 552 acres and raises 1,200 hogs. Scribner is chairman of the Coles County chapter of the American Red Cross and treasurer of the Eastern Coles County United Fund. The award was presented by Henry Kramer, Jaycees president.

25 years ago, 1993

MATTOON -- Three local businesses have applied to become part of the Coles County enterprise zone, and a fourth already in the zone plans another expansion. J.W. Oglesby, associate director of Coles Together, said the three new applicants are Consolidated Communications, which plans an expansion of its telemarketing division at its location on Lincoln Avenue in Charleston; Laidlaw Waste Systems, formerly ERC Landfill, on Illinois Route 316 just east of the Loxa Road; and Furry & Sons Corp., a trucking company on Route 316 east of Mattoon. Oglesby said the enterprise zone management board approved an amendment to the status of RR Donnelley & Sons of Mattoon. Because Donnelley is already a part of the enterprise zone it does not have to go through the hearing process. The enterprise zone provides tax breaks and other incentives for non-retail businesses that open or expand within it… CHARLESTON -- Fascinatin’ Rhythm, a barbershop quartet, recently won the 1992 Illinois District Quartet championship. Two of the members, Scott and Mike Brooks, reside in Charleston while John Muir and Andy Isbell live in Urbana. After finishing third in 1991, the foursome moved all the way up to first in 1992.

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