O'Fallon Progress

80 years ago: Caravan for Franklin D. Roosevelt rolled into O’Fallon

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

Eighty years ago this month, the 1936 election campaign was in full swing. For president, the incumbent Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt was running against Republican Kansas Governor Alf Landon.

Taking nothing for granted, on Tuesday afternoon Oct. 6 the “Roosevelt All-Party Agricultural Committee” caravan rolled into town during a heavy rainstorm — 75 cars accompanied by “a specially designed truck with a loud speaker system.”

Once the rain let up, the truck parked at the corner of West First and Cherry and hosted a series of speakers encouraging O’Fallonites to re-elect Roosevelt and Illinois Gov. Henry Horner. After O’Fallon, it moved on to Shiloh and Belleville.

On Nov. 3 both Roosevelt and Horner won. How did O’Fallon vote? Roosevelt received 978 votes, Landon 775 and Union Party candidate William Lemke 206. For governor, however, O’Fallon preferred Republican C. Wayland Brooks with a total of 931 votes. Horner received 863, and William Hale Thompson (Union Party) got 146.

75 years ago, Oct. 9, 1941

Charles Holliday “Charlie Mac” McFarland, 88, died in Warrensburg, Mo. on Tuesday. He was born about 1853 on a farm three miles southwest of O’Fallon, the fifth child (of nine) of David and Amanda (Beedle) McFarland. During the Civil War, his father was captain of Co. I, 117th Illinois Infantry Volunteers organized in O’Fallon. His brother, Albert, was the company’s drummer boy. Charles married Lucy Begole and later moved to Missouri in the 1880’s. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War and a rural mail carrier in Warrensburg for 25 years.

50 years ago, Oct. 6, 1966

Earl W. Markwardt of Belleville has been unanimously approved by the City Council to be engineer and works manager for the city of O’Fallon and will take over his new duties Nov. 1 at an annual salary of $13,500. Robert Weinel has served as city engineer on a fee basis.