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100 years ago, March 14, 1919

MATTOON -- Agent Lucas at the Illinois Central Railroad passenger station is still having trouble in keeping the walls of the men's toilet room clean. He reports there is someone who persists in drawing a vulgar picture. So far, the station force has been unable to catch the vandal. School children are causing considerable trouble at the passenger station also. They are making a practice of running through the station, across the tracks and up the steel stairway connecting with the Big Four bridge, thus endangering their lives. Lately the agent has been ordering doors leading to the station platforms closed... SPRINGFIELD -- Expenses of the five state normal schools in Illinois for the biennium beginning July 1, is estimated in the budget proposed by the finance department at $1,552,830, an increase of $87,787 over the preceding two years. The budget asks increased appropriations for each of the normals except the Western Illinois Normal at Macomb, for which the amount is $17,606 less than for the 1917-18 biennium due to completion of building projects. Eastern Illinois Normal at Charleston has the largest increase in comparison with others because plans are on foot there to spend approximately $20,000 there the next two years for building repairs. For the current biennium, Eastern has received $216,541. In the coming biennium, the budget provides $273,192, an increase of $56,651 for 1919-20. Salary increases at Eastern amount to $15,115.

50 years ago, 1969

MATTOON -- Estimates of damage in two house fires in less than a week climbed to $39,000 today with estimates of damage to the Darrel T. Akers’ residence on South 16th Street. Fire struck the home about 3 p.m. yesterday, some five days after fire did an estimated $19,000 damage to the Gene S. Creek residence on South 36th Street Sunday. Fire Chief Lawrence Metzelaars said the estimate at the Akers’ home included $14,000 to the two-story frame residence and $6,000 to the contents. The blaze is believed to have started in the kitchen. An exact cause has not yet been determined… SHELBYVILLE – Army Spec. 4 Robert Stanley Gregg, 20, of Shelbyville was killed Sunday in Vietnam during a combat operation. He was a 1966 graduate of Findlay High School. He had been in Vietnam since August. He was the son of Leon and Masine Fishel Gregg. He married Patricia Goodwin on May 24, 1968. She survives… SPRINGFIELD -- John Edwards Jr., 45, of Mattoon, who is serving a series of concurrent prison terms imposed in three counties, has been denied executive clemency. Gov. Richard Ogilvie denied the petition yesterday. Edwards is serving several terms imposed in Coles, Vermilion, Piatt and Macon counties. The prison sentences, for burglary, attempted burglary and weapons charges, range from 5 to 12 years. All are being served concurrently. Edwards, the reputed leader of the so-called Edwards Gang of Mattoon, will make his first appearance before the board of paroles and pardons sometime in 1971.

25 years ago, 1994

CHARLESTON -- There will soon be new signs at the city’s entrances to go with “Home of Gov. Jim Edgar” and “Visit Eastern Illinois University.” They’ll say: “Tree City USA.” The National Arbor Day Foundation recently granted Charleston the designation following the city’s application about a year ago. Melody Allison, who heads the city’s tree commission, credited her fellow commissioners for helping Charleston achieve the designation. Brian Nordin, director of the locally based Illinois chapter of the National Tree Society and a tree commission adviser, will go to Springfield tomorrow. Allison and Herb Bartling, another local tree commission member, also will attend the formal presentation of the Tree City USA designation… MATTOON --The sixth annual Grocers Fight Cancer Day will be held March 26 at Wilb Walker’s Super Foods stores in Mattoon and Charleston. Five percent of gross sales will be given to the American Cancer Society. The day will feature a number of celebrity baggers with any tips they receive also going to the ACS. Celebrity baggers in Mattoon include Bob Murray, WAND-TV weatherman, plus Wanda Ferguson, Mike Weaver, Jim Kimball, Harry Reynolds, Dan Marvin, Dan Cunningham, Preston Smith, Jim Bain, Dr. Jerry Hastings, Dr. Ned Hoppin, Bernie deBuhr Sr. and Jr., Joan Record, Ernest Smith and all Mattoon City Council members. Charleston celebrity baggers are Rick Samuels, Bob Spoo, Linda Nugent, Toni Trumper, Eli Sidwell, Martha Drake, Bob Taylor, Joe Ethridge and First Mid-Illinois Bank officials.

100 years ago, March 15, 1919

MATTOON -- "Jim" and "Jack," the horses at Mattoon Fire Department headquarters, and their harness sold at public auction this afternoon at City Hall to E.R. Sayler, superintendent of the Odd Fellows Old Folks Home, for $255. The hose wagon of Company No. 2, stripped of its brass and equipment, sold to R.A. Gabbert for $26. One of the horses is 10 years old, the other 11. They cost the city a few years ago $325. The hose wagon, together with its equipment and brass, was bought by the city several years ago at a cost of $400... CHARLESTON -- A deal has just been closed between Keith Bros., local bakers and former residents of Mattoon, and C.B. Mitchell. The Keiths become owners of the two brick buildings occupied by the bakery at present and by the Loving Furniture Store for storage. The back wall between the two buildings is to be torn out and the two rear rooms will be combined into one big baking room... ARCOLA -- Mrs. Thomas Monahan was burned about the arms and face Thursday evening when her clothing caught fire while lighting a gas stove. The stove had been lighted, but the blaze went out so she struck a match to relight it. The pressure was stronger than anticipated and the flames leaped up, setting fire to her dress and burning off one sleeve before she could smother them out. One arm and her hands were painfully burned, and her face, eyebrows and hair scorched.

50 years ago, 1969

MATTOON -- Mattoon High School has won its first berth in the state’s “Sweet 16” of high school basketball and has the hardware to prove it. The gleaming trophy was presented to the Green Wave last night for winning the Olney Sectional Tournament. Coach Bob Miller’s team beat favored Lawrenceville 54-50 in the championship game after earlier knocking off Effingham St. Anthony in triple overtime. It was a memorable 300th career coaching victory for Miller. At a homecoming celebration late last night at the Central Junior High School gym, Superintendent John Wargo reminded the crowd that three weeks ago 700 high schools were in the state tournament series and after last night, just 16 remain – one of them Mattoon… MATTOON -- Elyn Bowen was crowned queen of the 34th annual Mattoon High School ROTC Military Ball last night. Miss Bowen’s attendants were Verna Voigt, Kathi Kesler, Beckie Gill and Julie Trueblood. Lori Shores was flower girl and Douglas Davis was crown bearer.

25 years ago, 1994

CHARLESTON -- Two bar owners will lose their liquor licenses for seven days after pleading guilty to serving an underage police informant for the second time in 12 months. In addition, six Eastern Illinois University students were in Coles County court yesterday to face charges of operating a phony driver’s license ring. One student, who has an attorney, has an April 4 preliminary hearing. The other five do not yet have attorneys. The two bars facing one-week suspension of their licenses are Stix Restaurant Bar & Banquet Facility as well as Panther Lounge… TUSCOLA -- The owners of the Four Seasons clothing store, which has served central Illinois for 34 years, have decided to close the business. Four Seasons, located on U.S. Route 36 on Tuscola’s east side, will be closing because the new Tuscola Mills Outlet Mall will soon be opening down the street. Four Seasons owners Dan and Theresa Couch, said they are closing because their suppliers also would be suppliers to the outlet mall and because the city chose to subsidize the outlet mall… CHARLESTON – Going 1-for-4 yesterday dropped Stan Royer’s spring training batting average to .391. Before the game, Royer was hitting .421 for the St. Louis Cardinals. Apparently primed to start the season in the majors for the first time, Royer leads the Cardinals with nine runs batted in.

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