O'Fallon Progress

Scott Field got its first newspaper in 1918

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

In honor of the centennial of Scott Field (a.k.a., Scott Air Force Base) this year, let’s look back at its first official newspaper which lasted less than a year, from 1918 to 1919.

The idea of a paper came about during the brief tenure of Lt. Col. Augustine Warner Robins, Scott’s commander. Robins AFB in Georgia is named after him. Here’s the newspaper’s story in the words of those who ran it: “It was during the regime of Colonel Robins that the idea of a Camp paper was conceived and carried out. After a survey of a vocational index of the Field, he selected Lt. Don C. Campbell to handle the problem of financing the project and Lt. Ernest E. Hoffman to edit it. Cadet Edward J. Butterfield was selected for Advertising Manager and Cadet V.M. Andrews was elected to manage the circulation.” (To be continued next week.)

75 years ago, Jan. 15, 1942

Stanley S. Beedle, 32, of O’Fallon and widely known in bowling circles, died after being struck by a car while trying to walk across Highway 40, one mile west of Collinsville, Sunday morning. Last Thursday morning, William Gross, 41, employed in St. Ellen mine, suffered severe head and face injuries when he was caught under a fall of coal while at work. Motorman William Meinkoth received injuries to his hip while rushing to the scene to help. And on Monday afternoon, Don Bevirt, 78-year old retired farmer, suffered a fracture of the right hip when he stepped into the path of a slow-moving light delivery truck at Lincoln and First street.

50 years ago, Jan. 12, 1967

Joseph Biszaha Jr., 17, of O’Fallon escaped with head injuries Saturday when the station wagon he was driving was struck by a B&O freight train at the Lincoln crossing. His car was thrown into the downtown parking lot against two other cars owned by Frank Causey, owner of Causey’s Jewelry store and James H. Thompson of East St. Louis.