O'Fallon Progress

1928: Police chief determined to make O’Fallon a ‘hard city’ for vagrants

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

In the summer of 1928, O’Fallon Police Chief John Tiley was having a problem with vagrants who used to gather in a “hobo camp” that once existed near the railroad just east of the Seven Hills Road Bridge.

One was even arrested for “accosting women” and annoying residents but was just told to leave the city when no one would testify against him.

Here’s what the Progress wrote back then: “Since the warm weather, the local police department has been kept busy in keeping Weary Willies on the move, an unusual number drifting into O’Fallon this year. In most cases, they make a canvass of back doors, and when turned down, become abusive. The police have learned that the tramps gather at the camp east of here and take turns about in begging for food, going from door to door until they have a good-sized load. The next day another member of the gang comes into the city and repeats the game. Officer Tiley is determined in breaking up this mode of getting a living without working, and quite a number of tramps are already marking O’Fallon as a hard city.”

75 years ago July 16, 1942

With the objective of closer cooperation and to coordinate the various necessary agencies in the community during these critical war times, an organization to be known as the O’Fallon Civilian Defense Council was formed at a meeting, called by Mayor Ridge Smith, in City Hall Tuesday night.

50 years ago July 13, 1967

Charles “Chuck” Dial, principal of O’Fallon Township High School the past five years, announced that he has submitted his resignation. He said he will become general manager of the O’Fallon Motor Co., Chevrolet dealership at 510 S. Lincoln. Dial has been here since the 1957-58 school year, first as head basketball and track coach and biology teacher. He gave up coaching when he became principal. (He was succeeded by Robert H. Bellina.)