O'Fallon Progress

1898: O’Fallon store gave away free lunch ahead of Christmas

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

In 1898, the Bunsen & McGeehon grocery and general merchandise store in downtown O’Fallon decided to throw a “Grand Coffee Lunch and Sociable” on Dec. 17 and took out a full-page ad in the Progress to announce it. Everyone was welcome.

You’d get free coffee made by an “expert” and “to make the matter more interesting to you and impress the ‘inner man’ as well as your memory, we will serve you with choice sandwiches of both ham and cheese.” No mention of inner woman, though.

No purchase necessary, but of course, they hoped you would. They advertised nuts, toys, hats, caps, shoes, mixed taffy, cream candies and Christmas turkeys, hams and geese as well as “oranges by the thousands.”

The store also had a naughty list. They warned, in the same ad, that some owed on past-due accounts and needed to pay up. Credit was “not expected to last forever.” A lump of coal for them.

75 years ago Dec. 10, 1942

The Independent Engineering Co. last week closed a deal in which they leased Community Hall in Community Park from the O’Fallon Home-Coming Association. The concern which has already taken possession, will use both the spacious hall and basement for storage purposes to conserve space for production at their two plants in this city and at the former Eureka stove factory. (The hall is now the Katy Cavins Community Center. This was before the city owned the hall and the park.)

50 years ago Dec. 7, 1967

Members of the O’Fallon City Council, the rural fire department board of trustees and heads of the fire department are to meet Monday night to discuss the possibility of building a second fire station building south of the B&O tracks. They have been concerned for some time about the need for additional fire protection on the south side because of the increasingly long and frequent trains on the tracks. (A second station became a reality in 1974.)