100 years ago, Jan. 14, 1920
MATTOON — At a meeting of some 20 representatives of child welfare and anti-tuberculosis workers, held at the Red Cross canteen building on Monday, initial steps were taken towards establishment of what will be known as the Red Cross Health Center. The organization will look after the health work of the city, including the fight against tuberculosis and looking after the general welfare of the children. Mrs. G.W. Tetley, Mrs. G.H. Rudy, Mrs. J.W. Harris, W.C. Lumpkin, F.M. Schulhoff and C.D. Kiger were named as members of a committee whose duty it will be to select a set of officers. The principal officers for this health center work will be the city health officer, the school nurse and the community nurse. Mattoon has had no school nurse since the departure several months ago of Miss Flora Bowman. It is stated that the recent measles epidemic in Mattoon could have been largely averted if there had been a school nurse on the job... CHARLESTON — While there is oil in Coles and surrounding counties, now comes the location of coal on the farm of O. Matteson, nine miles south of Charleston. Matteson has taken enough coal out of the ground to test it by burning and found it to be real coal. But owing to the frozen condition of the ground and lack of proper tools to work with, he could not determine the depth of the coal. Older residents of the area can remember back to about 1882 when a Mr. Nees owned the same farm, dug coal out of the place and sold it but lack of demand for coal at that time stayed further development.
50 years ago, 1970
MATTOON — The president of Operation Progress told a group of interested people today that "operators, real estate owners and other interested downtown parties will pay every penny of the mall improvement." John Phipps told more than 20 people gathered at Burgess-Osborne Auditorium that no city money will go for the project. Phipps listed three things as major parts of the downtown improvement: improved traffic circulation, added parking and easier and more pleasant shopping... MATTOON — The Mattoon school board gave its approval last night to the investigation of possible participation by Mattoon High School in Junior Achievement. The national program, designed to present the nation's free enterprise system to high school students, was explained by board member Robert Lane. Lane said students form business corporations, sell stock in the company, design, manufacture and market a product and either make or lose money in the venture. Cost of the program is supported by local businesses, he said... MATTOON — A record number of patients were being cared for today in Mattoon Memorial Hospital. William A. Hurlburt, hospital administrator, said 115 people were patients in the facility this morning. This breaks the previous record of 109 patients established last winter. Hurlburt said there is a waiting list of non-emergency patients seeking hospital care. The Illinois Department of Public Health says Memorial should have a maximum limit of 92 patients.
25 years ago, 1995
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CHARLESTON — Rex, the Charleston Police Department’s new K-9 dog, had a great first day on the job. At 2:49 a.m. yesterday, Rex was sent in to sniff out alleged burglars at Twin City Automotive, 21 C St. In a matter of minutes, Rex found one of the men hiding upstairs. The dog held the man at bay until police could make an arrest. The other individual was apprehended as he walked through the building. Thursday was the first day on the job as a team for Rex and K-9 officer John Bennett Wednesday after 14 weeks of intense training. Bennett and the police department raised $30,000 to purchase and train Rex, a Dutch malinois, who was bred in Holland specifically for police and military work… DELAND, Fla. — Bob Hallett has had more air time than the O.J. Simpson hearings. Although Hallett may not be as recognizable as the football star turned inmate, the former Neoga resident has considerably more control over his free-fall into his 15 minutes of fame. The owner of SkyDive DeLand, a drop zone in DeLand, Fla., Hallett is sort of a Lon Chaney of the sky. In the current Wesley Snipes’ action movie, “Drop Zone,” Hallett plays numerous parts – not the least of which is doubling for Snipes in a tandem jump scene. A 1968 graduate of Neoga High School, Hallett began his foray into skydiving while attending Eastern Illinois University in 1971. He opened the Florida skydiving business 12 years ago. One of his students was actor Tom Cruise, which is how he was introduced to Hollywood.
100 years ago, Jan. 15, 1920
MATTOON — Whistles throughout the city will begin to blow promptly on the dot at midnight tonight. Why? Because at that hour the 18th amendment to the Constitution of the United States becomes effective, making the nation bone dry for the first time in its history. The whistles are to be blown at the request of Mattoon's chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Mrs. H. Edwards and Mrs. A.M. Raef of the local WCTU called on Mayor Cisna to get permission to have this new epoch in the nation's history ushered in in an appropriate manner... MATTOON — Some 170 railroad clerks in Mattoon are affected by the new agreement entered into by the national organization of railroad clerks and the federal railroad administration. The word is coming that the agreement signed is exceptionally good news in railroad circles here. Details of the new agreement, effective from Jan. 1, have not yet arrived, yet it is known that the clerks will be paid time and a-half for overtime with one full day off each week... MATTOON — There was an enthusiastic meeting of mothers, wives, sisters and daughters of members of the American Legion yesterday evening, at which time an auxiliary organization to the local post was perfected. The new organization will work in cooperation with the American Legion in the patriotic work being carried on by the Legion all over the country. The following officers were elected: Mrs. H. S. Riddle, commander; Mrs. D.W. Branan, vice commander; Miss May Miller, secretary; and Mrs. C.H. Fletcher, treasurer.
50 years ago, 1970
CHARLESTON — Members of the Coles County sheriff's department investigated 193 traffic accidents in the county in 1969. The department investigated an average of 16 traffic accidents a month. Fifty of the accidents occurred on rural roads and 35 collisions occurred on Illinois Route 16. A total of 21 accidents were investigated on Illinois Route 130 and 19 happened on U.S. Route 45. The most accidents in a month was 23, which were recorded in both June and July. In 1968, the department investigated 177 accidents... MATTOON — James W. Singer, 36, has been elected president of Central National Bank of Mattoon. Singer was elected by the bank's board of directors this week. Singer replaces A.D. Williams, president of the bank since 1953. Williams was elected chairman of the bank's board of directors. Greta Grafton, auditor at the bank since 1968, was named vice president and auditor. She has been with the bank since 1947. Singer said Lucile R. Bowman, senior vice president of the bank, will retire at the end of January. She began her career at the Commercial State Bank of Windsor in 1918. On Nov. 20, 1922, she accepted a position with the Central Trust and Savings Bank, which now is Central National Bank.
25 years ago, 1995
Sunday. No paper.