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100 years ago, Jan. 4, 1918

MATTOON -- The pension department of the Illinois Central Railroad has inaugurated a change, according to a bulletin posted by Superintendent Roth of the Indiana Division here. The minimum monthly pension for retired men will be $20. If a retired man had 40 years with the company, and if he received an average of $50 monthly during the last 10 years of his service, his pension will be 40 percent of $50, or $20 a month. Retired men state that the change in the pension regulations benefits them materially... MATTOON -- The thrift stamp campaign was continued to the rural schools of the west side of the county. Schools visited by the delegation of Mattoon men were those in Lafayette, Paradise, Pleasant Grove and Mattoon townships. Pupils of the various schools greeted the visitors enthusiastically and after the matter of buying thrift stamps so their country might carry on the war against German autocracy had been carefully presented to them, both boys and girls promised to lay aside every penny they could get hold of so the little thrift stamp could be bought and the money given to the federal government as their bit toward winning the great war.

50 years ago, 1968

MATTOON -- Drawings and a scale model of the buildings proposed for the campus of Lake Land College were unveiled last night. Forrest Phillips, partner in the architectural firm of Phillips, Swager and Associates of Peoria, drawings of four classroom buildings, a physical education building, a resource center and two shop buildings. The buildings, grounds and parking areas will encompass an estimated 50 acres of the 150-acre site southeast of the Interstate 57 and U.S. Route 45-Illinois 121 intersection. The plan is laid out in roughly circular dimensions... MATTOON -- Visiting patients at Mattoon Memorial Hospital has been closed to everyone except relatives of critically ill patients. The curtailment of visitations was announced today by Dr. Robert Swengel, chief of the hospital medical staff, and by William Hurlburt, administrator. They said the action was taken to minimize the risk of patients contracting the flu which is currently widespread in the area... MATTOON -- Michael Ramage of Mattoon, who is serving in Vietnam, had a recent experience that comes to few people. Ramage twice got to shake hands with President Johnson while the president was at Cam Ranh Bay on his recent tour.

25 years ago, 1993

MATTOON -- The three children whose parents were killed in an accident Saturday have been transferred from Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. The three, a 12-year-old girl and two brothers, ages 9 and 14, were transferred to a hospital in LaGrange, Ill., to be closer to relatives. Their parents were two of four people killed when a car crossed the median and smashed into the family van on Interstate 57 near the U.S. Route 45 exit near Lake Land College… MATTOON -- Sometime early Saturday, someone broke into Spanky’s tavern, 1920 Oak Ave., and took an undetermined number of items. The burglary was reported Saturday morning. Police said the north door had been forced open… CHARLESTON – The Charleston Food Pantry recently received a couple sizable donations. The Volunteer Firefighters Association of the Lincoln Fire Protection District donated $500 to V. Carolyn Smith, chairwoman of the Food Pantry. Members of the Eastern Illinois University Botany Club donated $800 to the Charleston Food Pantry. The Botany Club raised the money through the sale of cookbooks containing recipes from EIU staff and students. The food pantry served 1,741 families in 1992.

100 years ago, Jan. 5, 1918

CHARLESTON -- Dale Portlock, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Portlock of Charleston, has suddenly disappeared again, and it is thought that he has gone to Jefferson Barracks at St. Louis, again to join the Army. A short time ago the young man disappeared from Charleston and his father trailed him to Omaha, Neb., where he was found preparing to enlist in the Army. His father brought him home to his prostrated mother and told the boy he wanted him to finish the school year and then he might join Uncle Sam's ranks. The son seemed willing to abide with this agreement, until Thursday morning when he disappeared again... MATTOON -- In local Big Four Railroad happenings, Carlton Schlicher, a clerk in the office of Car Foreman J.P. Earner, has been promoted to piece work inspector, succeeding W.C. Buckler, who enlisted for service in the quartermaster corps of the U.S. Army. The office force of yardmaster Baker has adopted a stray cat which is making itself feel at home, especially at lunch time. The cat was untied from the tail of a dog, which had dragged it almost the full length of the railroad yards.

50 years ago, 1968

MATTOON -- The doors of Mattoon High School are locked today and only exterminators walk its halls after the building was found to be "saturated" with Brown Recluse spiders. The extermination of the poisonous spiders, found by the hundreds, if not by the thousands, in the building this week, forced the closing of the school today.John Wargo, superintendent of schools, said that, tentatively, the high school also would be closed on Monday. The remainder of the district schools also will be inspected for presence of the spider. David Murphy, a biology teacher at MHS, found one of the spiders in a cabinet drawer in his room... OAKLAND -- The largest single shipment of corn ever to leave a rural elevator in Illinois will leave the Miller Grain Co. elevators here today. The shipment, totaling 143,500 bushels of shelled corn, will fill 42 Norfolk and Western Railroad cars. The railroad will take the corn to Norfolk, Va., and then overseas. The corn, consigned to Cargill and Continental Grain Elevator at Norfolk, is valued at $167,840. Miller Grain Co. is operated by Fred and Max Miller. Reese Kite is the elevator manager.

25 years ago, 1993

MATTOON -- Coles County is getting what may be its first congressional office in what generally is considered a “politically correct” location. U.S. Rep. Glenn Poshard, D-Marion, is renting space at Coles County Memorial Airport to serve constituents in five counties. Coles County is a logical place for an office in the new 19th District, which goes from Decatur to the southernmost areas of Illinois, Poshard said. Finding space available at the airport helped pick the location. Officials in both Mattoon and Charleston “had petitioned us” to locate his congressional office in their communities, Poshard said. The congressman said he was not familiar with any rivalry between the two Coles County communities… CHARLESTON -- John Kilgore, formerly a member of the English department at Eastern Illinois University, has completed training as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Information Agency and has been assigned to the American Embassy in Seoul, Korea. Kilgore taught at EIU from 1979 to 1992, earning tenure in 1984 and promotion to full professor in 1988. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Korea in 1984 and in the Philippines 1988-89. Following further training, he will be director of the American Cultural Center in Taegu, Korea.

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