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100 years ago, Jan. 18, 1918

MATTOON -- Mattoon manufacturers and others affected by the five-day closing order from Federal Fuel Administrator Garfield, with few exceptions, did not resume operations this morning. Others will close tonight. All plants will remain idled throughout Tuesday, Jan. 22. Holidays also will be observed each Monday from Jan. 21 to March 25. The larger concerns affected by the closing order include the Chuse Engine and Manufacturing Co., the Lay Broom Co., Kern Manufacturing, the Decatur Garment Co. and the Andrews Planing Mill... CHARLESTON -- The business of the local draft exemption board as far as the questionnaire blanks are concerned is about at an end. Preparations are now ready for the men to take physical examinations. The examinations will be given on the second floor of the Coles County Courthouse on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Four hundred men have been notified to appear on these days... SHELBYVILLE -- Acting on the suggestion of local fuel dealers and mindful of the danger of a serious coal shortage if the extreme winter weather continues for any length of time, pastors and officials of five Protestant churches in Shelbyville canceled all services for this Sunday. No services were held last Sunday either. The churches are First Methodist, Presbyterian, St. Paul's Lutheran, Christian and Baptist.

50 years ago, 1968

MATTOON -- After three days of relatively accident-free driving in Mattoon, 15 motorists were involved in seven traffic accidents in the past 24 hours. Daytime temperatures in the 40s melted some of the snow and ice only to see any water on pavements freeze up again in overnight temperature drops into the teens... MATTOON -- Five women from Coles County have been included in "Who's Who of American Women," editors of the newly published fifth edition have announced. Newly listed from this area are Neva Arlene Hart of Mattoon, Lois Freesh Fleming of Humboldt, and Gertrude Lynch Neff, Mary Jo Read and Gladys Craig Winkleblack, all of Charleston. The unique biographical publication totals 22,000 names, including 9,650 for the first time.

25 years ago, 1993

CHARLESTON -- Three Charleston High School students got to enjoy the New Year’s holiday in Paris. Lisa Tolin, Julie Justison and Crystal Clark joined a number of other American dancers and cheerleaders in France to participate in the New Year’s Day parade in Paris. The girls left for Paris the day after Christmas and returned on Jan. 2. The girls got to do some sight-seeing as well as march and perform in the parade. Tolin said some French people viewing the parade danced along with them… OAKLAND -- Norman Tracy will become superintendent of the Oakland school district beginning July 1. Tracy, who is currently principal of Oakland High School and Junior High School, has been an administrator in the district since 1986. He will replace current Superintendent Ezra Smithson, who announced his retirement effective at the end of the school year. Smithson has served as Oakland superintendent for seven years.

100 years ago, Jan. 19, 1918

CHARLESTON -- In an attempt to save coal, members of the Charleston Ministerial Association decided to unit all evening services for the remainder of the winter. Sunday School and morning preaching services will remain as before. The meeting this Sunday evening will be held at the Christian Church at 7:30 o'clock, and the Rev. Walter Johnston of the Presbyterian Church will preach. The choir where the service is held will be responsible for the special music. Young people of the churches will unite at the church where the union service is held, the time of the meeting being 6:15 o'clock... MATTOON -- Henry Overweiser, janitor at Washington School, and John Hilgenberg, a farmer living on Rural Route 3, were summoned before Investigator Kerrick for an investigation on reported charges of disloyalty. Overweiser is the "north end" resident whom Judge McIntyre investigated earlier. Overweiser is said to have told his children to take no interest in America's part of the war on the grounds that they are of German descent. He claimed to be a loyal citizen and pointed out that Mrs. Overweiser was among those who solicited subscriptions to the Liberty Loan and the Red Cross. He was released with instructions that it will be better in the end for him to say something occasionally in favor of America. Hilgenberg denied emphatically all the charges. He was warned not to talk against the government and was released... WASHINGTON -- American and allied officials are now convinced the German military, firmly entrenched, proposes to make a western front drive as its main answer to President Wilson's and Lloyd-George's war aims. Experts saw a direct connection between the western front situation and the hurried Garfield coal order. Additions of more allied soldiers are intended to thwart Germany's dream of smashing the western front.

50 years ago, 1968

SULLIVAN -- Judge Harry L. Pate of Tuscola has been assigned to hear eight lawsuits that are apparently outgrowths of the proposed Medical Center of the Kaskaskia. the suits are scheduled to come up in early February. Development of a 2,100-acre Medical Park southwest of Sullivan in expectation of a rapid population increase as a result of the new Shelbyville dam was initiated many months ago. Involving a planned expenditure of $6 million, the project included plans for a geriatrics and rehabilitation hospital and a diagnostic clinic, along with a motel, high-rise apartment building and other facilities. The project never took off and investors decided to dispose of the land which was sold on Dec. 29... MATTOON -- Army Pfc. Gregory F. Homan of Mattoon is reported recovering from shrapnel wounds received when his patrol was ambushed Jan. 5 near Chu Lai, Vietnam. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Burnett Homan. In a letter to his parents, Homan stated that he is now in the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Quin NHon. The Army has awarded Pfc. Homan a Purple Heart. He has served in Vietnam for nine months.

25 years ago, 1993

MATTOON -- David Foster, though new to Coles County, summed things up with a hint of the familiar when discussing economic development. “We’ve got to hang together and make this thing work,” he said. “If you want to be competitive, you have to have an organization like this or you don’t have a chance.” The organization and its countywide approach can be a real strength, he noted. Foster left a similar position in Whitewater, Wis., and takes over Coles Together after a six-month vacancy in the director’s position. One of his goals for the county is to develop a business park… MATTOON -- Robert High, Mattoon High School football standout, announced yesterday that he will attend Indiana State University and is set to win a spot in the defensive secondary. High thus will get his shot at playing against his brother, Willie High, a running back for the Eastern Illinois University Panthers. The younger High is Mattoon’s all-time leading rusher and was a unanimous All-Big 12 Conference selection as both a tailback and a defensive back. An honor student, High plans to major in business.

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