O'Fallon Progress

1942: Man walks into O’Fallon farm house and refuses to leave

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

Sometimes guests just don’t know when to leave. It’s even worse when they weren’t guests to begin with.

That’s the problem the Runkwitz family had at their farm on Route 50 between O’Fallon and Lebanon on Nov. 12, 1942. A stranger just walked into their house and refused to leave no matter what anyone said. That soon got old. They called Deputy Sheriff John E. Tiley of the wonderfully named St. Clair County Rural Vigilantes, who also had trouble convincing the man to scram. He claimed that he “was ejected from a bus that carried a cargo of ammunition” and was staying put. Tiley had other plans and took him “to the county hospital for mental observation.” It turns out the man was 41 years old, from Los Angeles and classified as 4F with selective service.

75 years ago Nov. 19, 1942

Mrs. T.E. Dainton, of Carbon, west of this city, is recovering nicely from an injury to the left eye as the result of being struck by a stray lead pellet, while standing in her yard, from a shot gun in the hands of hunters last Thursday afternoon. Two young men were hunting in the vicinity when one fired a shot at a fleeing rabbit about a block distant from the Dainton house. A lead pellet struck Mrs. Dainton on the forehead, penetrated the skin and ranged down along the nose, lodging under the left eye. Hunters are being warned to exercise more care and avoid shooting toward homes or livestock enclosures as there is no telling where stray shot will scatter.

50 years ago Nov. 16, 1967

U.S. Highway 50 from Bunkum road east to the proposed I-64 access at Hartman Lane has been marked for widening into a four-lane highway. The widening would be in phases with the first being from Bunkum road to route 159, which would take about two years. The second phase, in about five years, would take in the remainder of the distance from route 159 to Hartman Lane.