Did you know that there used to be a piece of field artillery that stood between what is now the fire station and the District 90 offices on Washington Street?
In February 1935, the American Legion Post decided to acquire a World War I French 75mm, 7,420-pound cannon that was available from the Rock Island Arsenal. The gun itself was free, but packing and shipping charges were $70, which was paid for by donations from O’Fallon residents.
It arrived by truck in April and was placed next the Legion’s log cabin at the northwest corner of Washington and Vine. There it stood as a reminder of the World War. But soon another world war came which brought about the gun’s demise.
Metal was needed for the war effort, and the cannon had lots of it. So, on Aug. 29, 1942, it was sold to a Belleville junk dealer with the proceeds being used to buy war bonds. What happened to the cabin? It was moved to Community Park in 1976 and is still there.
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75 years ago Sept. 3, 1942
There is one family where everyone in the household is enlisted in the armed forces of their country — Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Gilbert of 415 West Fourth street. Mr. Gilbert is now in the radio school at Scott Field. Mrs. Gilbert, the former Norma Joseph, enlisted in the WAAC. So all that was left was the couple’s large dog, Hans King Von Lacaron III, a year-old Doberman Pincer. But not for long for when the government asked for the loan of dogs for use in the Army, the owners decided to let Uncle Sam have Hans for the duration, so as not to leave him behind.
50 years ago Aug. 31, 1967
The 11th Annual Labor Day Picnic will be held Monday, Sept. 4, by the Knights of Columbus Council No. 4239 at O’Fallon Community Park. Featured this year will be an authentic Old Time German Beer Garden with the Waterloo German Band scheduled for the afternoon hours and a dance band in the evening.