O'Fallon Progress

90 years ago: St. Louis man killed by train in O’Fallon

Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president.
Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president. rkirsch@bnd.com

Years ago, it was not uncommon for transients to be injured or killed by passing trains. One such tragedy occurred on a Tuesday morning Sept. 28, 1926, just west of the old wooden bridge that once stood on the west side of the present day O’Fallon Township building on State Street.

James Bonihoa, 55, of St. Louis was struck and horribly mangled by an east bound passenger train which couldn’t stop in time. It was thought he couldn’t get off the track because he either got his foot caught or was injured by the previous west-bound mail train.

The engineer thought he was trying to get off the tracks, making the possibility of suicide unlikely. Bonihoa was well-dressed and had $10.50 plus a receipt for $30 kept with a St. Louis merchant for safekeeping. He had no relatives and worked odd jobs in St. Louis. He was buried in a pauper’s grave in Lebanon.

75 years ago, Oct. 2, 1941.

Delores Meinkoth of this city, a sophomore at Southern Illinois Normal University, Carbondale, was one of those selected by the student council to represent the student body on the standing faculty committees for 1941-42. Miss Meinkoth will serve on the entertainment committee. She plans to major in commerce. (Later known as Delores Moye, she would eventually become an O’Fallon grade school teacher. Moye Elementary School is named for her.)

50 years ago, Sept. 29, 1966.

Eleven-year old Martha Bugger, sixth-grader at St. Clare’s School, became the youngest cook to be featured in Lois Bode’s “The Gourmet Corner” column in the Progress. “Martha cooks complete meals and is an excellent pie-baker.” She had been cooking for about two years and received an award from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat Junior Gourmet Club. Her featured recipes were Harlequin Chowder, Quick Cheese Rarebit and Champion Cherry Pie Pastry.