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100 years ago, Feb. 7, 1919

MATTOON -- An automobile belonging to J.O. Reynolds, broomcorn broker, was stolen yesterday evening from the curb in front of the Grand Theater. Patrolmen Jenkins and Spurgeon located the car at 2 o'clock this morning on the South Ninth Street Road near the slaughterhouse and were rewarded with a check for $250, which they divided equally between them. Reynolds requested immediate search by the police, suggesting they procure a taxi and search the highways and byways of the city. On paying the reward today, Mr. Reynolds said the car is filled with cigarette ashes and otherwise marked by the thieves. If the police catch the thieves and convict them, there is another reward of $100 offered by Mr. Reynolds... SPRINGFIELD -- Rat killing in Illinois promises to be as popular as bridge and poker parties if the Illinois Legislature passes a bill presented by Rep. M.P. Rice of Lewistown. It desires the extermination of millions of rats that infest farms and factories, residences and barns, stores, wharfs and ships in the state. The bill recalls an earlier attempt to get rid of the English sparrow by the same means. The General Assembly called for a bounty of 2 cents a head on the sparrows, payable out of county treasuries. The new bill calls for the claimant to present the heads of rats killed, in lots of not less than 10, to the clerk of the county, township, city or village and make affidavit he killed the rats within the limits. It is up to the clerk to dispose of the heads.

50 years ago, 1969

MATTOON -- Samuel Ochman and Herman Slutzky, both of Mattoon, were among 1,000 American Jewish leaders who participated in one-week fact-finding “Operation Israel” flights. The tours were designed to communicate to the Jews of America Israel’s continuing emergency in the wake of the recent Six-Day War. In the space of seven days, Ochman and Slutzky traveled more than 12,000 miles within the boundaries of Israel. They visited Jerusalem and met with the mayor as well as meeting with Levi Eshkol, the Israeli prime minister. Since 1948, more than 1.2 million immigrants have arrived in Israel… MATTOON -- Army MSgt. Joseph J. Thompson of Mattoon has been awarded the Air Medal for service in Vietnam from October to December 1968. Thompson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Royal Thompson of Mattoon, distinguished himself while participating in aerial flights in support of ground troops in Vietnam, according to the citation. From oct. 23 to Dec. 18, he participated in more than 25 missions over hostile territory. Thompson is a career Army soldier who has served 18 years. His wife and children are residing in Mattoon while he is in Vietnam.

25 years ago, 1994

CHARLESTON -- The team that Cumberland High School sent to Eastern Illinois University’s ninth annual High School Scholastic Bowl was young and inexperienced. But going into its seventh-round match against Mattoon High School, Cumberland was the last undefeated team in the 20-team tournament. After Cumberland jumped to a 73-18 lead, Mattoon rallied for a 166-147 advantage with a few minutes remaining in the contest. But Cumberland team captain Ron Warfel took over, answering most of the remaining questions to lead Cumberland to a 203-186 victory and tournament championship. Warfel is joined on the winning team by Danny Gabel, Mike Willenborg, Nathan Justice and Joe Willenborg. The team is made up of two juniors and the rest are underclassmen. Mount Zion placed second, Shelbyville third, Newton fourth and Mattoon fifth. Sullivan was consolation champion… MATTOON -- Dan R. Cunningham has been appointed Mattoon community president for First Mid-Illijnois Bank and Trust. Cunningham will continue to head the bank’s trust and farm division and as Mattoon community president will assume the additional responsibilities of managing the bank’s Mattoon operations. Before joining the bank in 1984, Cunningham was employed as a certified public accountant with Doehring, Winders & Co. in Mattoon.

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100 years ago, Feb. 8, 1919

MATTOON -- Army Pvt. Samuel Leitch of Mattoon was killed in action in France on Oct. 30, 1918, according to word from Adjutant Gen. Harris, received late yesterday afternoon by Bryan Leitch, who resides southeast of the city. Pct. Leitch went to France last July, having been called to the colors on May 27.Until word came from the adjutant general, the widow, formerly Miss Eva Shain of Mattoon, believed her husband "missing in action." She had not heard from him since Oct. 5... MATTOON -- John Cook, air brake foreman in the Big Four Railroad car department, was called to Shelbyville today to open the safe at the business college there. He took with him W.A. Milam as special assistant. Cook has "opened" several safes in recent years. John Boyle, a member of the grievance committee of the Big Four machinists, went to Indianapolis yesterday in the interest of the machinists. William Mast, a roundhouse machinist, was sent to Midland yesterday on company business... CHARLESTON -- Officers for the Coles County Farmers Institute were chosen yesterday. President is Earl B. Davis of Charleston, F.F. Homann of Humboldt Township is vice chairman and John H. Snyder of Charleston is secretary-treasurer. Elected president of the Household Science Department of the institute was Mrs. Jack Woodfall of Charleston. Vice president is Mrs. E.C. Cavins of Lafayette, while Mrs. C.W. Shoot of Charleston is secretary and Mrs. Ellis Grimes of Charleston was elected treasurer.

50 years ago, 1969

MATTOON -- Dr. L.R. Montemayor, a Charleston physician, was elected chairman of the Charleston-Mattoon Area Medical Planning Council. Other officers elected were William A. Hurlburt, administrator of Mattoon Memorial Hospital, vice chairman; Mrs. Patricia Jenkins, acting administrator of Charleston Community Hospital, secretary; and Dr. W.L. Brunswick, a Mattoon physician, treasurer. The officers of the group will not be the board of directors of the new area hospital, a statement from the council said. The method of selecting a new hospital board of directors will be determined in the near future, the statement noted… MATTOON -- Christopher Thiel of Mattoon is one of three high school seniors recently named Good Citizens by the Governor Edward Coles Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Named at Lovington was David Bowers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Bowers. The recipient in Sullivan was Greg Ray Sanders, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sanders Jr. Thiel, the MHS Good Citizen, is the son of Dr. and Mrs. S.W. Thiel… CHARLESTON -- Frank Bailey of Charleston has been named 1969 crusade chairman of the American Cancer Society of Coles County. His appointment was announced by Mrs. Roy Loos, board chairman, at the group’s quarterly meeting. Appointed to the education committee were Mrs. Ruby Smith and the Rev. Sam Muyskens. Mrs. George Uskali of Mattoon will replace Mrs. X.X. McGee as secretary in the Fifth District office.

25 years ago, 1994

CHARLESTON -- A massive reorganization at Moore Business Forms and Systems will affect more than 50 administrative employees at the Charleston plant, but not shift production. The company announced Monday that all administrative departments will be consolidated into three “hubs.” Each hub facility will oversee operations at satellite production plants. Fifty-two administrative positions in the Charleston plant will be transferred to the hub facilities. Plant Manager Lou Howell said all operations at the Charleston plant will remain the same, “except we won’t have any administrative people.” The 231 Charleston plant employees were told of the changes yesterday… CHARLESTON -- The U.S. Census Bureau released updated population figures on the country’s metropolitan areas, including Charleston and Mattoon. The latest figures are from 1992, showing the changes since the official 1990 census was taken. Charleston saw a 7/10 of 1 percent growth between 1990 and 1992, the government said. The 1992 population was recorded as 20,542. Mattoon’s population was 18,415, a decrease of 1/10 of 1 percent from 1990. Statistics by county included Coles, 51,795, up 3/10 of 1 percent; Clark, 15,812, down 7/10ths; Cumberland, 10,820, up 1.4 percent; Douglas, 19,449, down 1/10th of a percent; Edgar, 19,287, down 1.6 percent; Moultrie, 14,011, up 6/10ths of 1 percent; and Shelby, 22,265, no change from 1990. Las Vegas was the fastest-growing city in the country, increasing population to 971,169, a 13.9 percent increase.

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