100 years ago,
July 29, 1921
MATTOON — Rig builders from the Lawrenceville area have been secured by the Central Illinois Petroleum Company to erect the derrick on the Dobbs farm southeast of Trilla. On account of the size of the rig, which is said to be the largest brought into the state of Illinois, there has been some difficulty in getting the necessary help to set it up. It will take a week or 10 days before it is possible to get the rig in operation... MATTOON — The baseball team on the Men's Loyalty Bible Class of the Mattoon Methodist Church crossed bats yesterday afternoon at Peterson Park with the Barbers team and was able to get a victory over the haircut men by a score of 5-1. Dr. Trovillion pitched the first seven innings for the Methodists and Vernon Brown finished the game. Sexton and Tomlinson were the battery for the barbers. There were only two barbers on the team, with seven volunteers.
50 years ago, 1971
MATTOON — Area economic indicators show that every indicator moved upward from 1969 to 1970, except the number of automobiles. The number of autos in the Mattoon area dropped from 15,648 to 14,937. However, the number of trucks in Mattoon, Humboldt, Arcola, Gays and Windsor increased from 3,549 to 4,193. Other indicators include population, from 36,549 to 37,411; occupied dwellings, from 12,170 to 12,363; retail sales, from $69,908,922 to $71,822,527; and family income, from $8,060 to $8,324... CHARLESTON — The Charleston school district could lose between $76,000 and $82,300 annually in property tax revenue as a result of the Lincoln Lake project. The tax loss is based on a study made for the school district by Coles County Regional Planning Commission. The tax loss is based on taking 24,000 to 26,000 out of private ownership of land in the school district for the lake area which would be public land and not taxable... CHARLESTON — State Rep. William Cox, R-Charleston, told 300 members of the Eastern Illinois University faculty and staff last night that he would not vote to raise taxes to provide more money for higher education. EIU's operating budget for fiscal 1971 stands at $15,6 million, down $800,000 from last year's budget of $16.4 million. Cox said if the Legislature could find ways to cut money from public aid or other funds, he "would be 100 percent in favor of it."
25 years ago, 1996
MATTOON — The world's biggest bagel breakfast had a pleasant addition this year: moderate temperatures that seemed to keep people around the Midtown area longer. New events such as 3-on-3 basketball and a second entertainment stage also proved popular as the street festival again attracted thousands to Mattoon. Organizers expected about 60,000 to see activities through the week. Chris Byford of the Mattoon Lender's plant won the pie-eating contest while Amanda Skowrinski, 15, won the talent contest. Lincoln Fire Protection District won the first fireman's tug-of-war competition... GREENUP — Employees of the Quinn Broom Works fear their jobs soon could be gone, the victim of cheaper labor at broom factories in Mexico. The U.S. broom industry is a small one — only about 600 workers scattered in small plants across several states, including Illinois. East-Central Illinois once was the center of the broom industry. Broom corn was grown in the fertile prairie soil and brooms were made in nearby farm towns. A U.S. broom industry group says the Mexican share of the U.S. broom market jumped from 20 percent before NAFTA in 1992 to 40 percent last year.