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100 years ago, Dec. 4, 1918

MATTOON -- President Wilson is on the high seas on his way to the peace conference. His steamer, the George Washington, headed to France today and Mattoon is represented on the ship. Roy Sewell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Grant Sewell of Mattoon, is a fireman on the steamer. Faye Corley, another Mattoon young man, is a member of the crew of the USS Dorsey, a destroyer that is part of the flotilla accompanying the presidential ship across the Atlantic... MATTOON -- Two area military men have been reported as having died after being stricken with influenza. Hedric Rhodes, son of Mr. and Mrs. L. Rhodes living midway between Neoga and Toledo in Cumberland County, died on Oct. 19, only an hour after the ship on which he sailed docked at Liverpool, England. The young man was taken ill with influenza on the trip over and when the boat arrived he was in a dying condition. In Arcola, Mrs. Alma Lyons has received word from Camp Gordon, Ga., that her husband, Lt. Albert J. Lyons, is dead from pneumonia influenza. Surviving, in addition to the widow, formerly Miss Alma Hammer of Charleston, are his mother, one brother and one sister... MATTOON -- The season for the Mattoon High School basketball club will begin with the new year. Currently, nine games are scheduled, beginning with a contest against Paris, to be held here on Jan. 2. Until Dec. 20, the high school athletes will devote themselves to intramural contests with six teams formed. from these intramurals, the high school interscholastic team will be chosen. Members of the football squad, who collected a record of 2-1-1, met last week to elect officials for the 1920 season. Forrest Bennett, who played center on this year's squad, will be captain, and Leo Smith, who played a guard this season, will be the manager.

50 years ago, 1968

MATTOON -- The question of how many slices of pie a 90-pound pumpkin will make brought a terrific range of "guesstimates." The guesses ranged from a low of 48 to a high of 1,795. Naomi Whitaker of Toledo was the most accurate guesser with an estimate of 174 pieces of pie, a bit above the actual 144 which were obtained from the mammoth pumpkin, Carl Goeke, manager of the U.S. Grant Motor Inn, announced today. The pumpkin, which was on display at the motor inn prior to Thanksgiving, was made into 24 pies, six pieces each, and served at a Thanksgiving eve dinner at the Salvation Atmy citadel. The winner of the guessing contest will receive a free dinner at the motor inn... CHARLESTON -- The Coles County Board of Supervisors has taken under advisement a request from the county superintendent of schools that the county hire two truant officers and a clerk for the superintendent's office. Gerald W. Dunn, superintendent of schools, made the requests as he told the board that he has the power to appoint a truant officer, but only the county board can authorize the funds for salaries. Dunn said he wants a truant officer for each side of the county. Dunn said the new post of clerk would have duties beyond those of a secretary. He said the office has been without an assistant superintendent since August.

25 years ago, 1993

MATTOON -- Ranji Adukia of Mattoon has lived in the United States for 20 years, but she became a citizen only a month ago. While it took a long time to make the decision to become a U.S. citizen, Adukia said everyone in her immediate family is a citizen so she decided it was her time. Her husband, Vinnay Adukia, is the material handling manager at the GE Lamp Plant in Mattoon. They lived in Pennsylvania and Ohio before coming to Mattoon about six years ago. She said she came from an affluent family in India and that her father was a government official. But she said she now considers herself to be an American and that she and her husband raise their children that way… FINDLAY -- Hertz Farm Management of Monticello bought 680 acres of Shelby County farmland for $1.25 million. An additional 13 tracts of land belonging to the Irma T. Monroe Trust sold for another half-million dollars bringing the total sale to $1.797 million. The average price per acre was $1,988.

100 years ago, Dec. 5, 1918

MATTOON -- Despite reports from Shelbyville, Sullivan, Arcola and other neighboring cities that influenza is so serious it is necessary to maintain a ban on all public gatherings, Mattoon faces no immediate danger. Dr. O.W. Ferguson, local health officer, today said there are 32 new cases of influenza reported. However, all cases are said to be mild. He stated he sees no reason to put an influenza ban. It would be a bad thing to close up any place of business during the holiday season, Dr. Ferguson said. He added that he will make public statements from time to time between now and Christmas... CHARLESTON -- H.F. Campbell, the local shoe repair man who also makes a sideline of furs, has on exhibit at his place of business a raccoon skin which in size and beauty far surpasses anything that has ever been caught in this section of the country. The skin was taken from a 36-pound coon which was caught by Thomas Tanner, a farmer living near Lee's Shack on the Embarras River. This is undoubtedly the largest coon ever found in these parts. The fur is extremely soft, thick and well-marked. In a stretched state it measures about 2 feet each way. The pelt has been engaged by Miss Mary E. Bates, the local school nurse, who intends to have a set of furs made from it... WASHINGTON -- Influenza has killed more Americans than German bullets, shells and poison gas. Since Sept. 15, between 300,000 and 350,000 deaths from influenza and pneumonia have occurred among the civilian population of the United States, according to public health estimates. American soldiers who died in France from all causes, numbered only 58,478. The total number of casualties, including minor ones,in France, numbered only 262, 692.

50 years ago, 1968

MATTOON -- Mattoon is doing a "very good job" in setting up organizations and making early plans for the 1969 Babe Ruth World Series, local leaders of the series were told yesterday. Richard W. Case, president of Babe Ruth Inc., and George C. Riemann, vice president of the international organization, lauded local efforts in meetings with division leaders. The contract was signed officially designating Mattoon as the host city for the 1969 event. As part of the contract signing, Mattoon officials handed Case a check for $12,000. It is a guarantee that Mattoon will follow through on its obligations for hosting the 1969 series. That money, obtained by 24 people pledging $500 each, will be refunded after completion of the series... MATTOON -- The Lake Land College campus building plans were awarded a first place blue ribbon at the exhibit of architectural drawings displayed at the Illinois Association of School Boards in Chicago. Virgil H. Judge, president of Lake Land, said the plans were judged on the basis of originality, adaptability, flexibility, expandability and overall adaption of space to function. The Lake Land Board will open bids on the first phase of construction Dec. 18. Occupancy is planned for fall 1970.

25 years ago, 1993

Sunday. No paper.

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