100 years ago, Sept. 5, 1917
MATTOON -- With cheers from friends still ringing in their ears, the six young men who form Mattoon's first contingent to the National Army departed this morning for Charleston, Coles County's mobilization point, on an interurban train. Later, they left with the other six members of the Coles County contingent for Camp Taylor, near Louisville, Ky., to become a part of the Sixth Provisional Training Battalion, along with other young men from Clark, Douglas, Edgar and other counties. "Berlin or Bust" was the motto on the sides of the interurban car that carried the Mattoon boys to Charleston... MATTOON -- Frank A. Geeter, a blacksmith employed at the Big Four Railroad shops, shot himself dead with a revolver he purchased earlier today. Brooding over the war with Germany is said to be the cause, his sympathies having been with that company. Mrs. Geeter said her husband often said that he would leave home to go and fight with the Germans. She said her husband also feared that their son would be called on someday to fight against germany and that worried him so much. Mr. Geeter was born in this country but both his parents were natives of Germany.
50 years ago, 1967
MATTOON -- Rex B. McLaughlin of Kent captured the championship of the Class A Division of the 101 County Checker Association Tournament held at the U.S. Grant Motor Inn during the Labor Day weekend. Checkers enthusiasts from all Illinois counties except Cook participated in the event. The Class B champion was Marion Natier of Patoka. The top local finishers were in the Class B competition where Charles Prater of Cowden was sixth and W.H. Walker of Sullivan placed seventh... CHARLESTON -- Two of Mattoon's hottest drag racers met in the feature event at the Coles County Dragstrip Saturday night. Kenny Hampton in the injected Hemi "Kentucky Colonel" of Hampton and Perry outdueled Mike Gaines chauffering "Goldfinger II," a 426-inch injected wedge-type Plymouth. Hampton, who is really finding the groove, turned a scorching 6.46 in the second of three straight wins... CHICAGO -- While it was Labor Day for everyone else, it was Labor Week for the Chicago Cubs. In one of the hardest grinds of the season, the second-place Cubs completed a five-day schedule of one single game followed by four straight doubleheaders. They finished that stretch of nine games in five days with a 6-3 record.
25 years ago, 1992
MATTOON -- Calling it a “very special day,” Consolidated Communications Chairman Richard A. Lumpkin formally dedicated the new administration and sales building for Illinois Consolidated Telephone Co. yesterday. In remodeling the old Masonic Lodge on Broadway Avenue, the telephone company was careful to maintain the building’s historical character by refinishing the original architecture. Lumpkin noted that it was the same date 98 years ago that the Mattoon City Council approved an ordinance granting permission for the Mattoon Telephone Co. to build an exchange in the city… MATTOON -- Almost 40 years covering sports for local newspapers was Jim Kimball’s pleasure. He shared his love of sports and writing the Charleston Courier and Mattoon Journal Gazette readers since 1962. Kimball, sports editor of the Journal Gazette since 1967, announced yesterday that failing health has forced his retirement. Kimball, 56, has battled cancer since December 1989… CHARLESTON -- The Putt & Swing complex officially opens today next to the Rotary Pool off of 18th Street. Golfers will encounter a winding maze of slopes, hills and obstacles as they complete the 19-hole miniature golf course. Bats and helmets also are available to those practicing their swings in the batting cages. With 14 balls for 50 cents, batters can choose from a baseball pitch at 81 miles an hour or one at 50 mph, or a softball at 45 mph.
100 years ago, Sept. 6, 1917
MATTOON -- Bertram E. Thomas, former Mattoon postal clerk, entered a plea of guilty in U.S. Federal Court in Danville today and was sentenced to 15 months in the federal pentitentiary at Fort Leavenworth. Thomas had been employed at the local post office for about 12 years. Thomas was accused of taking money from registered mail... CHARLESTON -- Three children suffered painful injuries this week. Charles Kirk, a 4-year-old boy who makes his home with his sister, Mrs. Ernest Thompson of Charleston, was painfully burned about the legs and body by an exploding railroad torpedo. The boy found the torpedo, and placing the explosive between his legs he began to pound on it when the torpedo suddenly exploded. Ethel Jodrey, 8-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Jodrey, was playing with other children Tuesday evening with an old sulkey. Her left forearm was caught on a protruding screw, which tore the arm severely. A physician was called and eight stitches were needed to close the wound. About noon yesterday, Ruth, 10-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Clayton, was running around the house when she stepped in a hole, which caused her to be thrown to the ground with such force that she fractured both bones in her left forearm... CHARLESTON -- Miss Mary Booth, librarian at the Eastern Illinois State Normal School, has enlisted in the canteen section of the Red Cross, and will leave Sept. 15 for service in France. She served with the canteen section in giving relief at Mattoon and Charleston after the May 26 tornado. Miss Booth graduated from Beloit College in 1900 and since 1904 has been librarian at the normal school in Charleston.
50 years ago, 1967
MATTOON -- Firemen are sifting through the charred interiors of the second and third floors of the Alexander building at 116 S. 17th St. today in the aftermath of an early morning fire. Max Kibler was making his rounds at about 1:45 a.m. for Mac-Ree Security Police Service and was approaching the Illinois Consolidated Telephone Co. offices for a check there when he smelled smoke. When he turned around to find the source of the smoke, he saw flames on the second floor above Jackson's Restaurant and radioed the police. Fire Chief Lawrence Metzelaars said no cause for the fire and no damage estimate were available this morning... MATTOON -- Mattoon is now a city of 22,000 residents, Mayor Morgan F. Phipps stated Tuesday. The mayor noted that the last federal census in 1960 listed Mattoon's population as a little over 19,000. Annexation, subdivision expansion and newcomers to the city were cited by the mayor as reason for the belief that Mattoon's population now tops 22,000... TOLEDO -- Whitney McKinney's grand champion Angus steer sold for $60 per hundred weight at the annual 4-H steer sale at the Cumberland County Fair. This was the highest price ever received for a Cumberland County 4-H steer. The successful bidder was Coburn and Endsley Commission Firm and Indianapolis Stockyards Co. Bob Saddler did the bidding. Coburn and Endsley also bought the reserve grand champion steer, a Hereford owned by Max Woolever, for $37.50.
25 years ago, 1992
Sunday. No paper.