100 years ago, Dec. 6, 1918
MATTOON -- Sgt. Lawrence Scott Riddle, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey S. Riddle of Mattoon, made the supreme sacrifice on the field of battle in France on Nov. 10, according to a message received by the parents yesterday evening from Adjutant Gen. Harris of the War Department. Death came to the young soldier only one day before the armistice was signed by Germany and only a few days after it had been chronicled in his home town that with four of his companions he had charged a German machine gun, captured it and returned with prisoners. Sgt. Riddle was 32 years old, having been born on a farm west of Mattoon on Feb. 10, 1886. He spent his entire life in the Mattoon vicinity with the exception of 1 1/2 years at the University of Illinois and the few months he was in service of his country... TUSCOLA -- Ben House, who is husking corn for Alva Watson of Galton, has made a pretty good record for this year, considering that corn is down so badly. In five days he husked 550 bushels, an average of 110 a day. He received 5 cents a bushel for his work, netting him $8.50 a day, which is about $50 a week. In former years when huskers got about 3 cents a bushel, $4 a day was considered big wages. This war business has been a big thing for the man who earns his living by the sweat of his American brow.
50 years ago, 1968
MATTOON -- Installation of a pipeline along U.S. Route 45 under Interstate 57 at the interchange south of Mattoon is moving southward under the interchange.Doing the work is Morrin Construction of Bourbonat a bid of $23,707. The last section of pipeline under the new interstate highway was awarded immediately at the request of the Illinois Division of Highways so water, sewer and gas mains from the Mattoon city limits south to the future Lake Land College campus would be placed at the same time... CHARLESTON -- Students at Charleston High School lost no actual classroom time yesterday despite a telephone threat to the school. The call was received at 12:42 p.m. during the activity period, according to Gail Borton, principal. Students were immediately instructed to get their coats and leave the building. Fire and law enforcement personnel arrived and searched the building. Borton said as soon as searchers cleared the building students returned. By 1:25 p.m. the search was completed and students reported to classes... MATTOON -- Mrs. Paula Lovell Neal Coker of Mattoon has been selected as an "Outstanding Young Woman of America for 1968." Mrs. Coker, her husband Gary and their two children, reside in Mattoon. Mrs. Coker will be honored for her accomplishments in community service, professional endeavors and religious activities. A teacher in the Mattoon High School physical education department, she sponsors the varsity cheerleaders, Pep Club and Girls Athletic Association. Mrs. Coker is president-elect of the Southeastern District of the Illinois Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and is active in Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and St. John's Lutheran Church.
25 years ago, 1993
MATTOON -- Amber Martin was happy to submit the name of Mattoon’s new police dog, but she didn’t accept one of the major prizes. Martin, a seventh-grader at Mattoon Junior High School, asked that officials take the bicycle that she won for entering the winning name and give it to a needy youngster in town. Martin’s entry of “Baron Von Bagel” was the winner of about 110 entries submitted by junior high students. The other four finalists were “Blitz,” turned in by Melanie Moore; “Baron Von Trapp,” by Renee Bulloch; “Brunno,” by April Dyer; and “Baron Von Track,” submitted by Jennifer Figgins. Baron will be the name used by the dog’s handler, officer Greg Voudrie… MATTOON -- A record total of more than 23 tons of food was collected Saturday in the Mattoon Rotary food drive for the needy. Mike Martin of the Rotary Club said the food is divided almost evenly between the Salvation Army and the Mattoon Community Food Center. The drive also received $150 in donations. Officials from the two agencies said the food will feed about 3,000 people this holiday season.
100 years ago, Dec. 7, 1918
MATTOON -- Illness is taking a toll on the forces of the Big Four Railroad here. William Mast and Willis Rieck, machinists on the roundhouse force, are on the off duty list on account of illness. Machinist's Helper Charles Henry also is numbered among the absent. Oscar Van Meter, one of the engine hostlers, is on the off duty list for illness. C.A. Voight, a blacksmith's helper, is sick and unable to work. Vic Gustafson of the roundhouse force is off duty on account of illness. Engineer Harmeson, who has been off duty for some time on account of illness, visited the roundhouse Thursday and expects to return to work soon. Kenneth Quiett, an engine wiper, was off duty yesterday. Illness was given as the reason. Tony Rickleman of the boiler shop force has reported for work after being off duty for two days on account of illness... CHARLESTON -- The total cash prize on the car of yearlings exhibited at the International Stock Show at Chicago by J.W. Frazier of Rardin, near Charleston, will total more than $2,500. Mr. Frazier bought the prize cattle about a year ago, his total purchase being about five cars at a cost of $35 a head. Three cars were sold in July and August. Mr. Frazier has taken prizes at the International Stock Show all three years he has been showing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois... CHARLESTON -- Esther Elizabeth Burnett, aged 2 years and 10 months, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Warner Burnett of Charleston, died at the sanitarium yesterday morning of gangrene poisoning, following an intestinal operation. The little girl was the youngest child of the Burnetts, being survived by two brothers, Russell Burnett, 5, and William Burnett, aged 7.
50 years ago, 1968
MATTOON -- The city donned a pretty, new white coat today in preparation for welcoming Santa Claus. The jolly old gentleman from the North Pole should feelm right at home when he makes his appearance today at the "Miles of Smiles" Christmas Parade. Snow flurries which began about 5:30 a.m. and picked up in tempo covered Mattoon with a white blanket of snow by 7 a.m. With temperatures in the mid-20s, the glistening white flakes are assured of remaining until the parade that brings Santa to the city. After the parade, sponsored by the Retail Division of the Mattoon Association of Commerce, Santa will move into the house prepared for him at 17th and Wabash... CARBONDALE -- Several Mattoon-area students are members of the Southern Illinois University undergraduate "Brain Trust." To be included, students must maintain a minimum 4.0 grade point average on SIU's 5.0 scale. Area members include Dennis Krutsinger of Mattoon, Michael Pace of Arcola, Stephen K. Jurgens of Arthur, John Stephen and Kelly Tucker of Effingham, Carol Trumbold and James Birch of Shelbyville, Terry Scritchlow of Toledo and Sandra Helm of Tuscola.
25 years ago, 1993
CHARLESTON -- The second report of possible gang-related graffiti in a week’s time appeared over the weekend on a building in the 300 block of Sixth Street. Greg Miller, owner of Miller’s Automotive, reported there was a circle with a six-cornered star in black spray paint on the alley side of his building at 315 Sixth Street. He also said there was some other graffiti on the same wall a few weeks ago, but someone had covered it up with black spray paint… MATTOON -- The volunteers of the American Heart Association’s Coles County division have selected officers for the 1993-94 campaign year. The officers are Ramona Tomshack, president; Joyce Zschau, vice president; Rita Austin, Eastern Coles treasurer and memorial chairwoman; Libby Pruett, immediate past president; Dr. Marietta Deming, program and schoolsite chairwoman, all of Charleston; Fran Gover, secretary; Dianna Hooper, Western Coles treasurer; Ruth Rankin, medical adviser; Norma Grisamore, Western Coles memorial chairwoman; and Rosalie Buser, Skate for Heart chairwoman, all of Mattoon.