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100 years ago, Feb. 14, 1919

MATTOON -- Trail officials and representatives of each town on the Egyptian Trail, from Champaign to Effingham, met in Springfield yesterday with the Illinois superintendent of highways and the acting director in an effort to induce the state highway commission to make a survey of that portion of the trail between Champaign and Effingham at an early date so this stretch of the road could be one of the first to be improved under the new $60 million bond issue. The importance of the trail was stressed by E.B. Tucker of Mattoon, chairman of the delegation, serving as it does the University of Illinois and the state institution at Kankakee, as well as other important cities. He said the Egyptian Trail serves more people than any other state route thus far laid out to be improved. The topography of the route is such that no physical obstacles are presented in its construction with but few bridges... CHARLESTON -- A vein of coal, five feet in thickness, has been discovered by Hutton oil seekers. The vein, which was struck by workmen drilling for oil on the Joe Rennels farm, 10 miles southeast of Charleston, appears to be composed of a good grade of bituminous coal. The coal vein was located about 500 feet below the surface of the land. At the present time, a depth of 1,000 feet has been reached, with no indications of oil. The contract calls for boring of a well 1,100 feet in depth. It is said that during the boring of several other wells nearby, other good streaks of coal were located.

50 years ago, 1969

STRASBURG -- John L. Kammrath of Strasburg recently was commissioned a U.S. Army second lieutenant in a ceremony at the Army Engineer Officer Candidate Regiment at Fort Velvoir, Va.. Col. Alfred Griebling, commanding officer of the regiment, pinned the second lieutenant bars on Kammrath. Col. Griebling was assisted in the ceremony by Kammrath’s wife Sara, also a lieutenant. The new lieutenant is the son of Rev. and Mrs. Marvin Kammrath. The new 2nd Lt. Kammrath and his wife have moved to Fort Bliss, Texas, where he has been assigned to the Defense Language Institute Support Command. He will attend Vietnamese language classes for eight months… MATTOON -- Welcome Wagon of Mattoon recently installed officers for 1969. They include Mrs. Thomas Angster, president; Mrs. David Mrizek, first vice president; Mrs. Lorin Fortier, secretary; Mrs. Jay Walsh, treasurer; and Mrs. Gordon McGregor and Mrs. Justin Grady, telephone co-chairmen.

25 years ago, 1994

CHARLESTON -- Working the city streets in the wee hours of the morning, police officer Gordon Henderson has experienced the good and the bad. Henderson wanted to be a police officer since he was a student at Eastern Illinois University. And after serving an internship, he was hired in 1985. Recently, he was selected by the department as 1993 Police Officer of the Year. The reward is an honor for Henderson, who credits his co-workers with maintaining a community of relatively low crime. Recently, Henderson gained enough seniority to switch from the midnight shift. This is good, he said, because he and his wife are expecting their third child this summer… CHARLESTON -- Three members of Charleston High School’s athletics department made some money for the program at halftime of Friday’s Mattoon vs. Charleston boys basketball game at Baker Gym. Clyde Frankie, Barb Sharp and Steve Craig made 37 baskets during a three-minute stretch as part of Personal Care Insurance of Illinois Halftime Hoopla. With $10 for eachbasket made, the three faculty members made $370 for Trojan athletics. Trojan basketball players made some shots, too, as they edged Mattoon 64-61.

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100 years ago, Feb. 15, 1919

MATTOON -- Highest honors were awarded the 16th district, of which Coles County is a part, in the big United War Work bond campaign, which was made throughout the state last fall. This district had the highest percentage of collections of any of the 22 districts in the state. Its percentage is 136. And while the 16th district, which comprises the counties of Coles, Clark, Cumberland, Douglas and Edgar, is given its full honor, the county of Coles, as an individual unit, must not be forgotten. Coles County stands ninth out of all 102 counties in Illinois. Its percentage is 147. Coles County had a quota of $35,300. The amount collected in Coles was $50,761.22. Credit is due to a myriad of workers, but especial credit is due those most active. These men are R.A. Gabbert, chairman of the district; Fred Grant, chairman of Coles County; H.S. Lytle, chairman of publicity; and F.M. Schulhof, chairman at-large of Coles County... MATTOON -- Movement of freight on Sundays will be virtually discontinued on the St. Louis Division of the Big Four Railroad, beginning tomorrow. Movement of dead freight on Sundays will be discontinued absolutely. The Sunday switching crews in the rail yards at terminals of the division will be reduced to the absolute minimum. They include three eight-hour engines in Mattoon. Provision is made for the Sunday movement of perishable freight already in transit from other states... NEW YORK -- The constitution of the League of Nations is a workable document that will reduce the costs of armed peace and will make future wars less likely to break out and more limited in their destructiveness if they do occur. Practical statesmanship of the highest order is embodied in the basic laws of the league.

50 years ago, 1969

MATTOON -- Lake Land College officials have not been advised when they will receive a legal opinion on a vote by the Illinois Junior College Board narrowly granting approval for the purchase of an additional 133 acres of land for the Lake Land campus. At the Illinois Junior College Board meeting in Chicago yesterday, the board voted 4-3 to give Lake Land permission to purchase the land lying south and west of the 171 acres already constituting the campus. The action will be submitted to the state board’s attorney for a ruling on whether a majority of the full nine-member board is necessary for approval of this kind of action. Two of the state board members were not in attendance yesterday. Sources said those board members voting against the purchase were concerned about legal limitations on the amount of land a junior college district may acquire… CHARLESTON -- There is a critical need for public housing in Charleston, according to Byron E. Munson, head of the sociology department at Eastern Illinois University. Munson told the Charleston League of Women Voters in a meeting at Wesley United Methodist Church that it is difficult for families in the $5,000- to $6,000-a-year income level to rent or buy housing. Munson who came to Charleston in 1967 after serving as supervisor of regional planning and development at Ohio State University, said recent home construction in Charleston is in the $20,000 to $40,000 range. He said Charleston needs a professional city planner.

25 years ago, 1994

MATTOON -- Even they can’t always believe it. Inez and LaRue Hamm of Mattoon, however, truly have been married for 69 years, and three months. That many years of matrimony resulted in them winning first place in the Cross County Mall’s First Senior Couple’s Valentine’s Party. Out of about 50 couples, the Hamms were married the longest. For their nearly seven decades of wedded bliss, the Hamms received a $50 mall gift certificate and a one and a-half-pound box of chocolates. Mattoon residents nearly their entire lives, the Hamms married on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 1924. Son Richard, grandsons Steven and Gary, and three great-grandchildren also live in Mattoon… MATTOON -- Gov. Jim Edgar returned to the area yesterday to present almost $1.5 million in state grants to help rehabilitate substandard housing and construct a multi-purpose recreational trail along an abandoned railroad line from Mattoon through Charleston. The grants include $270,000 to Charleston for housing rehabilitation with $250,000 for Mattoon and $187,500 to Hindsboro. A $639,000 grant will help construct a trail for bicyclists, joggers, walkers and horseback riders.

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