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100 years ago,

April 13, 1919

Sunday. No paper.

50 years ago, 1969

Sunday. No paper.

25 years ago, 1994

CHARLESTON -- Calling it a boost to economic development, the Coles County Board yesterday appropriated funds for road work at the county’s proposed industrial park. The roughly $1 million expenditure, which will come from the county’s share of motor fuel taxes, will help develop the 160-acre site on Illinois Route 16 at Loxa Road. The board recently swapped county-owned farm land near Ashmore for the park location so the Route 16 land can be used to attract new business and industry to the county… MATTOON -- The Mattoon school board last night was urged to immediately draft a discipline policy to be reviewed by the discipline committee. The committee of parents, teachers and administrators met 14 times beginning Oct. 20 to review district policies and procedures. It recommended the committee be given the opportunity to review a new policy proposal. The recommendations were part of a seven-page summary of committee activities which covered a variety of topics… ARCOLA -- For 37 years, choir members at Arcola United Methodist Church sang hymns while standing in front of a white wall in the sanctuary. Now, Pastor John Robert McFarland delivers his message in front of what that wall used to cover up – a 94-year-old stained glass window. In 1957, the stained glass window portraying a person hanging onto a cross, which is on the wall across from the entrance to the church, was covered by a wall of plaster. McFarland said no one remembers why the stained glass window was covered. The window was recently uncovered by Don Wigler General Contractors, which is also repainting the sanctuary.

100 years ago,

April 14, 1919

MATTOON -- Passenger train No. 5 of the Big Four Railroad, which left Mattoon this morning at 6 o'clock, was wrecked at 8:55 o'clock a few miles east of Gillespie. The wrecker was called immediately and left Mattoon about 9:15. The train was in charge of Conductor Joe Nary and was pulled by Engine 6930 in charge of Engineer Alf Andrews. The engine was derailed and its tender overturned. The mail car, two baggage cars and smoker were derailed and then overturned. The day coach was derailed but remained standing. Reports are that several have been injured, but none seriously... CHARLESTON -- The whippet tank which was brought to Charleston from Mattoon last week, got stuck in the Town Branch between Sixth and Seventh streets about 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon and it was well into the night before the big implement of modern warfare was rescued from its perilous position, with the aid of a big tractor. The tank, after it had pulled off some stunts on the courthouse square, went down to the Town Branch and plunged over the embankment, just as though it was used to that sort of performance every day. It had just about dragged itself across the little stream when it stuck in the mud, and try as it might it could not budge. A big tractor engine finally pulled it out of the ditch, but not before it had broken two of its caterpillar plates.

50 years ago, 1969

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CHARLESTON -- More than 50 boys and girls from 18 high schools took part in a paper airplane contest as part of the Eastern Illinois University division of the  Illinois Physics Project. The purpose of the project was to promote the study of physics, said Robert C. Waddell, director of EIU's National Science Foundation summer institute. Mike Harris of Edwards County High School in Albion had three paper airplanes fly for 19 seconds to win the contest. Bill Lockhart of Shelbyville was second with a total of 15.4 seconds. Carol Hammond of Martinsville won the girls division with a single flight best time of 9.2 seconds. Among the boys, Lockhart's best single flight was 10.4 seconds while Harris' best was 10.2 seconds... MATTOON -- The three incumbents were re-elected Saturday in the Mattoon school board election. Olin C. Wirth was top votegetter with 1,340 votes. Also re-elected were Grant Fleenor and board Chairman Tom Donnell. Incumbents in Charleston also were re-elected to the Charleston school board. Lawrence A. Ringenberg, professor of mathematics and dean of the College of Letters and Science at Eastern Illinois University, defeated Robert V. Shuff, chairman of the department of educational administration and supervision at EIU. Others re-elected were John K. Reed and J. Howard Hutton.

25 years ago, 1994

MATTOON -- The Week of the Young Child will be celebrated Saturday through April 23 with special events Saturday at the Cross County Mall. As part of the special need for children, statistics have been compiled on child care service in a six-county area. Jackie Swango, child care resource specialist with the School of Home Economics at Eastern Illinois University, said there are 136 licensed day care homes with 1,338 slots and 37 day care centers in operation with 1,105 slots. In Mattoon, there are 38 homes with 286 slots; Charleston has 49 homes with 354 slots. Charleston has nine day care centers with 323 slots and Mattoon offers 10 centers with 339 slots… VILLA GROVE -- Gov. Jim Edgar declared a disaster from flooding in Douglas County and three western Illinois counties yesterday, qualifying them for state assistance. More than half of the 1,000 homes in Villa Grove were hit by a flood created by the Embarras River. But the flooding quickly receded. Illinois Route 130, the main north-south artery in town, is open and most streets are accessible. Flooding is not new in Villa Grove. In 1958, the town experienced a record flooding level. Yesterday’s flooding matched that. Some Villa Grove residents were evacuated after the swollen Embarras River left its banks this week and put parts of Main Street under six feet of water.

100 years ago,

April 15, 1919

MATTOON -- The quota for Coles County for the Victory Liberty Loan is $1,300,100, according to a telegram from Heman Gifford, federal reserve sales director for Illinois, to F.M. Schulhoff, chairman for the west side of Coles County. On the usual basis for apportioning the Coles County quota, the west side will have to raise approximately $740,000 of the county quota of the Victory Liberty Loan. Proceeds from the bond sale will be used to help reduce the country's debt from the cost of the recent European War... MATTOON -- M. W. Speer, a car department laborer for the Big Four Railroad, is off duty on account of a foot hurt sustained Friday while at work. The hurt was caused by dropping a brake staff on his foot. The toes of the foot were mashed severely. Fred Cole, a member of the car department force, has returned to work after being off duty for 10 weeks. He first was ill from influenza. Developments from this ailment kept him in poor health for weeks afterwards. Raymond Vice, better known as "Speck," has returned from overseas, where he served a long time on the battle front, securing a number of wounds. He wears on his sleeve two wound stripes. He will return to the Big Four soon, being a machinist's helper.

50 years ago, 1969

MATTOON -- The Lake Land College Board of Trustees last night approved the appointment of a committee to establish a college foundation. The foundation, board members indicated, would be a single nonprofit entity to which funds for college use could be donated. It is anticipated the foundation could also act as an agency for administration of grants and scholarships to students. In other action, the board approved a cosmetology curriculum beginning with this year's fall quarter... MATTOON -- One of the oldest family-owned businesses in Mattoon will celebrate its 65th anniversary next week. Icenogle's Grocery at 3120 Marshall will give away 24 baskets of groceries valued at $15 each. Several other items also will be given away. The grocery was founded in 1904 by J.D. Icenogle. The exact location of that store, known as the Basket Grocery, is unknown, but it is thought the store was located either on DeWitt or Shelby. The current store opened in the 1930s. Current owners are Lester Icenogle and his sister, Mrs. Lois Stull... HOUSTON, Texas -- Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11, has been chosen to be the first man to walk on the moon. George Low, director of the Apollo spacecraft program, said yesterday that Armstrong, 38, would be the first man to set foot on the Earth's satellite after he and Air Force Col. Edwin E. Aldrin, 39, land the Apollo 11 lunar module there. No date for the lunar landing and walk has been set yet, officials said.

25 years ago, 1994

ARTHUR -- Firefighters rescued an Amish man and his son earlier this week after the horse-drawn cart they were riding in floated into the flooded Kaskaskia River north of Arthur. Darrell Helmuth and his 10-year-old son, Galen, both of rural Arthur, were treated and released at a Decatur hospital after firefighters pulled them from the river. Firefighters said the Helmuths were riding in a two-wheeled cart when it was swept off the road into the river. Firefighters tied a rope around firefighter Steve Hopkins who waded in the river and swam to rescue the father and son. The two were hanging from tree branches when rescued… SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Senate yesterday easily defeated a proposal for school districts to impose local income taxes by referendum. The measure was sponsored by Sen. Harry “Babe” Woodyard, R-Chrisman, who represents the Mattoon-Charleston area. The Republican-controlled Senate rejected the bill by an 18-34 roll call vote. It needed 30 votes to advance to the House. The measure was similar to a bill sponsored in 1979 by Gov. Jim Edgar when he was a state representative from Charleston. The bill called for at least half of new funds raised to go for property tax relief.

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