100 years ago, Oct. 5, 1917

MATTOON -- Fitzhugh Spidell, a Big Four Railroad switchman and a son of Mrs. Mary Spidell of Mattoon, died this morning at Mattoon Memorial Hospital from injuries received last night while at work in the east Big Four yards. Spidell sustained the loss of both legs, the right foot being cut off at the ankle while the left leg was severed above the knee. The loss of blood and attending shock was too great to overcome. Young Spidell, 20 years of age, apparently climbed to the top of a cut of cars, alighting on his head and shoulders. In falling, his legs fell across the tracks and several cars apparently ran over him. There were no witnesses... MATTOON -- Coles County's share of the second Liberty Loan bond issue is $1,370,250, according to information received today. Coles County has a population of approximately 40,000. Therefore, subscriptions averaging approximately $34 a person must be made in order for the county to make good. The county's apportionment is larger than local financiers expected, one banker said. Very little was heard locally about the first Liberty Bond issue because the May 26 tornado disaster prevented Coles County residents from thinking of other things. 

50 years ago, 1967

MATTOON -- This week is "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week" and the slogan for the observance is "Hire the Handicapped." But the intent is more than just a slogan to Charles Mears of Mattoon. In October 1962, Mears was involved in an accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down. After his release from the hospital, Mears was trained to live with his paralysis. Dr. William Podesta then hired and trained Mears to work in Podesta's dental laboratory. Mears, now 23, has become highly proficient in his work... CHARLESTON -- The nationally famous piano duo, Ferrante and Teicher, will perform at Eastern Illinois University during its annual homecoming festivities in late October. The Ferrante and Teicher concert will be at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Lantz Building. Tickets are $2.50 and are now on sale. A New York music critic hailed Ferrante and Teicher as the "most exciting piano team of our time."

25 years ago, 1982

MATTOON -- Technically, there was an airplane crash at Coles County Memorial Airport yesterday, though the incident happened after the plane had already landed. A Springfield man and his son flying to the airport for breakfast lost control of a 1934 Monocoupe plane after landing about 9 a.m., said Christopher Enstrom, a lineman for Foster Aviation. After the plane touched down, the pilot said he just let it get away from him. The airplane veered to the right into the grass, and when the wheel hit the grass it buckled underneath the plane, tearing the left wing, Enstrom said. Enstrom said the man and his son flew back to Springfield with two friends who also flew in for breakfast… CHARLESTON -- Operating a business for any 24-year-old is quite a feat. But, for Mark Williams, who has Down Syndrome, running a business seems to be a natural accomplishment. Last weekend, Williams opened Mats by Mark, a rug-binding business and consignment store on the courthouse square. Williams said his rug-binding business began four years ago after his high school graduation. He said his father, John Williams, bought a carpet-binding machine when buying a load of carpet. Since then, Mark has bought his own binder and can bind any carpets up to 15 feet by 21 feet. He also can create borders, make car mats and runners for hallways and stairways.

100 years ago, Oct. 6, 1917

SHELBYVILLE -- Robert M. Root, a local artist, went to Mattoon this week to secure information for a picture of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Charleston on Sept. 18, 1858, which he expects to paint. Mr. Root, a few months ago, finished a similar painting, the subject being the Lincoln-Thornton debate in Shelbyville in 1856... CHICAGO -- With all the gripping interest that could be mustered from the spectacle of representatives of the nation's two greatest cities meeting in a world's series, Chicago stood expectantly today, waiting the signal that would send the Giants and White Sox into their first grapple this afternoon. The White Sox are beloved in Chicago, far more than ever was the case for the Cubs. Happy Felsch hit a home run and Eddie Cicotte went the distance as the White Sox won Game 1 by a 2-1 score.

50 years ago, 1967

ARCOLA -- Law enforcement and school officials have praised two Arcola High School students whose quick action led to the arrest of three people on narcotics charges. Mike Lovelady and Dennis Edwards were hailed for their quick thinking on the afternoon of Sept. 24 after they met a man who said he had a flat tire and needed some help. Lovelady and Edwards changed the flat. The man and two female companions were each given cigarets as a reward. The man rolled the cigarets, told the boys how to smoke them and "said that we'd get kind of high," Lovelady said. Instead, the two showed the cigarets to Arcola football coach Steve Thomas who contacted police. That led to the man and two women being arrested in Mattoon on narcotics charges... MATTOON -- Recent legislation signed by Gov. Otto Kerner will require that the Mattoon school district provide space for approximately 500 additional students. The law requires that all Illinois school districts offer kindergarten by the 1970-71 school year. John Wargo, Mattoon schools superintendent, said the district's enrollment has grown from 3,883 in 1948-49, the year the district was organized, to 5,354 students enrolled this fall.

25 years ago, 1992

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Jim Edgar is suffering from recurring chest pains caused by a blocked artery around his heart and will undergo a procedure to clear the clogged passage, his spokesman said Monday. Edgar, 46, of Charleston was admitted to a Springfield hospital after undergoing tests earlier in the day. Spokesman Mike Lawrence said doctors told him the condition is not life threatening. Edgar scheduled the tests after experiencing chest pains about 10 days ago while exercising, Lawrence said. Edgar has no history of heart problems… CHARLESTON -- Saturday’s CROP Walk for Hunger will raise close to $8,500 when all pledges are collected, and 20 percent of that is donated to the Charleston Food Pantry. The chairwoman of the Charleston Food Pantry, V. Carolyn Smith, was one of nearly 250 participants who walked the 10 kilometers to fight hunger. Twelve area churches this month also will conduct food drives. Church attendees should be watching for drop boxes and donation baskets all month long.

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