O'Fallon Progress

Our Town: Look back at Darrow from OHS Class of 1918

This week the spotlight on the O’Fallon High School class of 1918 turns to Mary Irene “Dietz” Darrow.

“Irene is another of the Jolly Four and contributes her due share of jolliness. She is ever to be found in consultation with one of them concerning the latest ‘feed’ or social function. Her wrist watch has almost become a stationary fixture in the O.H.S. and the Senior Class, which is soon to take its leave, thinks that it would be a good plan for the Juniors to have this necessary article of accommodation for the ensuing year.”

Interestingly, she was only one of two in that class to not list their birthdate in the yearbook. The other was Raymond Scott. (Cont. next week.)


75 years ago, March 21, 1940. With an important deal consummated last week-end O’Fallon lost one of its modern motion picture houses—the O’Fallon Theatre, operated by Garland de Lohr for the past two years. A syndicate headed by Charles Goldman, of St. Louis acquired the interests of the O’Fallon Theatre and at the same time those of the $20,000 State Theatre, erected two years ago and operated since by Leroy Hiles. At the conclusion of the deal the O’Fallon Theatre, formerly the Taylor Opera House, was closed after the Thursday night performance. All seats and equipment were moved to another city after the show, closing one of the largest and most elaborate show houses in this section, erected by the late Uncle Joe Taylor back in 1908. This for many years played high-class road shows. Later it went to vaudeville and still later it became a movie theater. On Sunday Lohr took over management of the State Theatre which will operate every night of the week with a Sunday matinee which will run continuously beginning at 2 o’clock. (The State was at 122 E. State and the O’Fallon was at 220 E. State. Both buildings still stand. That week also marked the passing of the first boy born in O’Fallon. James Willard “Paddy” Distler was born Aug. 24, 1855, in the new railroad town called O’Fallon and died at his home at 108 W. Sixth in that same town on March 17, 1940.)

50 years ago, March 25, 1965. (From an ad.) Our Easter candy selection is now complete. Easter candies from 1c to $1.79. Wood’s Sundries, 2 S. Lincoln, O’Fallon; 10232 Lincoln Trail, Fairview.