O'Fallon Progress

First O’Fallon Boy Scout meeting was in 1916

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

The history of the Boy Scouts goes back a long way in O’Fallon. But did you know they started here as early as 1916?

The first meeting of the Boy Scouts in O’Fallon was Tuesday, Feb. 22 of that year at City Hall. And a century ago, on May 19, 1917, the Lion Patrol, Troop I, held its first rally at the O’Fallon High School. The purpose “was to explain the functions and benefits of scouting and to illustrate through a short demonstration that was rendered, what a scout learns. “Public sentiment is that the Boy Scout organization is military but this, however, is not the case.”

Lack of interest caused the troop to disband in the 1920s, but scouting was revived in January 1931 and has been here ever since.

75 years ago June 1, 1942

A portion of a prominent old landmark, dating back to Civil War days and which for many years was one of the community’s chief industries, was removed from its moorings last week. It was the smokestack on the old Tiedemann mill, which was taken down by structural steel workers to be taken to St. Ellen mine, where it joined a series of stacks now in operation on the engine room of the shaft. The stack was of heavy boiler plate construction. It was some 30 feet high and rested atop a massive brick chimney some 40 feet in height. A favorite memory is that of many who awaited the arrival of the steeple jacks to periodically apply a new coat of black paint to the stack. Others it reminds of a period of time when some would make weather predictions in accordance to the manner in which smoke emerged from the massive stack.

50 years ago June 4, 1967

The O’Fallon Park Board rescinded its earlier decision to charge out of town residents for use of picnic tables in Community Park. The move was not a popular one. It will, however, hire a special policeman for peak days to help maintain order in the park.