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100 years ago, Feb. 9, 1919

Sunday. No paper.

50 years ago, 1969

Sunday. No paper.

25 years ago, 1994

MATTOON -- A 16-year school administrator and superintendent of a newly consolidated district was picked last night as the new Mattoon school superintendent. The Mattoon school board voted 6-0 to hire Richard Berg, 44, effective July 1. He received a three-year contract with a starting salary of $80,000. Berg is superintendent of the consolidated Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley district. In addition to serving as superintendent of three school districts, Berg also taught at Illinois State University… CHARLESTON -- Eight local students served as student marshals at Eastern Illinois University’s fall commencement ceremony. They included Kris Andrews, daughter of Ulin Andrews of Oakland and Linda Andrews of Charleston; Kevin Bottom, son of William and Vickie Bottom of Charleston; Lella Cox, daughter of Wayne and Dorothy Cox of Charleston; Michelle Klein, daughter of Ray and Carolyn Klein of Mattoon; Heather Lair, daughter of Bill and Cheryl Lair of Charleston; Jerrimy Nacke, son of Jim and Jeanette Nacke of Charleston; Danielle Smith, daughter of John and Debbie Smith of Charleston; and Jon Woolever, son of Larry and Carolyn Woolever of Charleston. All marshals are selected from students enrolled in the EIU Honors Program.

100 years ago, Feb. 10, 1919

MATTOON -- George A. Kizer closed a deal this morning by which he will become owner of the Thode property at 1491 Broadway, the purchase price being $12,000. The Thode property has a Broadway frontage of 68 feet and a depth of 140 feet, with a paved alley at the rear. On it is located one of the landmarks of the city, and old, dilapidated two-story frame structure occupied by several families. Formerly it was the Thode residence. Mr. Kizer proposes to erect upon the lot a modern, fireproof garage and automobile sales room for the Modern Garage of Kizer and Reynolds. That garage is located at present on Kizer property at 1406 Broadway... MATTOON -- Howard Orndorff, 16-year-old son of W.A. Orndorff of Mattoon, was arrest this morning after a complaint by J. Stanley Weis, cashier of the National Bank of Mattoon. Weis charges the youth with having passed upon local businesses five forged checks amounting to $32. The name of his father was signed to each. After his arrest, Orndorff confessed to writing the five checks held by the bank, plus a check for $5 which he passed at the Cokendolpher and Co. store. When arrested, Orndorff had in his possession $1.10, three oranges, several pieces of chewing gum, some cigarettes, a few stamps and trinkets. He has been in trouble a number of times, having run away from home on numerous occasions, police said... MATTOON -- Street Commissioner McDuffie this morning said he found an old man taking an open-air sponge bath near the old tile factory on the north side of the city. He said the man stood barefooted and naked to the waist with his chest and shoulders covered with lather. The man appeared to be enjoying the scrubbing. Later, on returning to the spot, McDuffie said the stranger had washed his clothes and hung the wash out to dry. "It was below freezing at the time, and I don't see how the fellow stood the cold," the commissioner said. Then, a train passed so the bather threw on his coat to conceal his body from the passengers. After the train passed, he completed his toilet.

50 years ago, 1969

CHARLESTON -- Real estate developer John Young and his attorney will appear before the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities on Feb. 20 in Chicago. Young is concerned that a planned nine-story residence hall will affect his Heritage Woods residential subdivision on the city’s southeast side. The planned residence hall is at the south end of what was once a 40-acre tract owned by Harley Jobe, who now lives in Florida. The south end of the tract encompasses 9.1 acres owned by the Board of Governors which abuts six acres owned by Walter H. Reasor, mayor of Charleston. North of the nine acres owned by the BOG is 23 acres owned by the Illinois Building Authority. Young maintains the proposed dormitory should be built at the north end of the tract before developing the far southern end of the property… MATTOON -- Coles County residents purchased a total of $54,639 in savings bonds and Freedom Shares in December. Total sales in the county for 1968 were $766,654, according to Grant Fleenor of Mattoon and Wayne Hunt of Charleston, Coles County co-chairmen of the savings bond committee. Savings bond and Freedom Shares sales for December in Illinois topped $26.7 million and for the year 1968 in the state sales were $335.6 million.

25 years ago, 1994

MARSHALL -- A Casey man and his wife pleaded innocent yesterday in the Jan. 21 shooting deaths of two workers at Moriah Pork Palace in Casey. Victor D. Phillippi, 21, and Natasha A. Phillippi, 18, sat silently in the Clark County Courtroom while Fred Bray, an Illinois State Police investigator, testified the couple plotted with Luther A. Sanders, 21, of Casey to commit the murders of Wesley A. Hall, 20, of Casey and Jerry Darling, 42, of Greenup. Hall was friends with Sanders and the Phillippis. All four lived in a house next to the hog farm… CHARLESTON -- While Abraham Lincoln was trying to save the union as the nation’s 16th president, he also was paving the way for westward expansion. A new book, “Abraham Lincoln and the Western Territories,” edited by Ralph Y. McGinnis and Calvin Smith of the Eastern Illinois University speech communications department, was recently published after 20 years of work. Smith said Lincoln signed three landmark pieces of legislation and made hundreds of federal appointments that affected the vast territorial holdings west of the Mississippi River. Nevada became a state during Lincoln’s term in office while the president also declared slavery illegal in all U.S. territories in June 1862… CHARLESTON -- Former Charleston resident Lucy Gabbard is one of the performers in Bill Murray’s new movie, “Groundhog Day.” After retiring from Eastern Illinois University, Gabbard and her husband, E. Glendon Gabbard, moved to Chicago to pursue acting careers. In “Groundhog Day,” Mrs. Gabbard is one of three elderly women in a car who annoy Murray. She also has had a role in the TV series “The Untouchables.” Tonight she can be stars in an episode of the “Missing Persons” TV series.

100 years ago, Feb. 11, 1919

CHARLESTON -- Allen Ratcliffe, aged 32, residing three miles south of Rardin, was a human arrow for a huge catapult Saturday afternoon, a lodged tree forming the massive bow which hurled Ratcliffe a distance of more than 35 feet through the air and allowing him to drop more than 30 feet to the ground. He was badly bruised about his body, besides receiving three fractured ribs, and giving him such a general shaking up that it will take days to determine if he suffered internal injuries. Ratcliffe and his father, William H. Ratcliffe, were cutting timber with which to erect a new house. In cutting down a huge tree to convert it to logs, it fell against another tree with such force to cause "locked trees." Ratcliffe climbed the stationary tree to dislodge the fallen one. The stationary tree was bent back by the fallen one to such a degree that it formed a huge bow and when the fallen tree was dislodged, the other straightened with such fearful speed that Ratcliffe was hurled many feet into space before landing... MATTOON -- The epidemic of hiccoughs seems still to be with us, said a Mattoon physician today. According to this physician, the malady attacks adults, and the cases are obstinate, very few of them yielding rapidly to treatment. Most get relief only by waiting it out. Its origin is as mysterious as that of the flu. There are a number of treatments for hiccoughs, some of them homely in origin and others gleaned from research. The only thing to do for hiccoughs, one doctor said, is to try everything. One thing may bring relief... WASHINGTON -- Women suffrage by federal constitutional amendment was beaten again in the U.S. Senate. The House resolution in favor of women suffrage failed of adoption with 55 votes for it and 29 against, one less than the necessary two-thirds. Suffrage advocates went into the test knowing they lacked one vote, but hoping to the last that it would be won over.

50 years ago, 1969

MATTOON -- Lake Land College officials, eying March 23 as the date to break ground for construction of a permanent campus, has approved a $183, 380 contract for planning site development. The contract with United Tectonic was approved by the junior college’s board last night after trustees trimmed $223,620 from the original bid. Board members said contractors, architects and college administrators agreed to reduce the contract price because the college will be required to spend the money without “a contribution at this time” from the state of Illinois. Board members said items removed from the site-development contract with United Tectonic will be included in later phases of construction when state funds become available… MATTOON -- Robert E. Shook, operator of Shook’s Friendly Service at 1320 Broadway Ave., Mattoon, has been named the outstanding Marathon Oil Co. dealer in the nation. Shook was announced as the winner of the contest at a banquet last night in Findlay, Ohio, site of the company’s headquarters. Some 5,000 dealers competed for the award based on sales, station operation, community activities, station appearance and personal qualities. Shook earlier had been named Robinson District and Indianapolis Region winner. In recognition of his selection, he received a $500 bond. He earlier had been presented $100 and $300 bonds in district and regional competition.

25 years ago, 1994

CHARLESTON -- Coles County farmers harvested the second-best corn crop in Illinois last fall and Douglas County had the state’s second-best soybean crop. Corn producers in Coles County harvested an average of 161 bushels of corn per acre in 1993, according to figures released this week by the Illinois Agricultural Statistics Service. While the 1993 figure was down slightly from Coles’ record yield of 166 bushels an acre in 1992, it was good enough to outperform every county in the state except Macon County, which had 165 bushels an acre. Coles’ soybean yield of 48 bushels an acre was fourth-best in the state. Douglas County’s bean yield of 49.5 bushels an acre was second to Piatt County’s yield of 50 bushels an acre… TOLEDO -- The construction of a Cumberland County bridge has met its most formidable obstacle to date -- the Illinois Department of Conservation. Cumberland County Engineer Gary Kruger told the county board yesterday the state department is determined not to allow the county to replace the 90-year-old Ryan Bridge at the location the county wants. The bridge, located about one mile west of Illinois Route 130, spans a section of the Embarras River that is a candidate for listing on the National Register of Scenic and Historic Waterways. The county wants to build the bridge about 100 yards north of the present site.

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