O'Fallon Progress

First train rolled through O’Fallon in 1854

Brian Keller
Brian Keller

There’s nothing quite like the sound of a train to attract attention. That was certainly the case in January 1854 when trains through here were a new thing.

The Ohio & Mississippi Railroad (present day CSX) had just finished the part of the line from East St. Louis to Lebanon. A young Mary Rader was attending the original Oak Hill school, which was located near the east end of present day Borchers Lane and was close to the railroad as it tracked back then. The students heard a westbound train coming, and ran to the tracks to see. Not only did the train stop, but the conductor took Mary and some of her classmates on board. They got the ride of their lives — going all the way to where O’Fallon Depot would soon be built. There they got off and walked back with a lot to talk about along the way.

75 years ago May 7, 1942

Adhering to the pay-as-you-go plan and with conservative management, the city administration completed another year on the right side of the ledger as it pertains to O’Fallon’s finances. According to the annual reports presented at the final meeting of the council, the city ended the fiscal year with a cash balance of $8,289.94 in the general fund and $15,086.29 in the water department fund.

50 years ago May 4, 1967

Chief of Police James Tiley told the City Council some bingo games were run in past weeks here and that he received reports that there have been requests for “pay-offs” to someone to let them operate. He turned his back on the situation, because they were for a good cause, but added that if there are payoffs, he will close the games. Mayor Edgar Brockhahn said he would not tolerate the situation but would like to see bingo games at the five or six picnics in Community Park, where they are major money makers. “There will be no more bingo in town, except for picnics.”