O'Fallon Progress

Band tried to drum up business with afternoon parades

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

A. Simon’s Star Comedy Company’s one-week visit to O’Fallon in the fall of 1877 dominated the social scene of our small town.

As far as entertainment went, there wasn’t much else going on to compete with it. When the actors and Silver Cornet Band members weren’t performing at night, they “lived a rather quite and unobtrusive life” at Charles Fischer’s hotel, the “O’Fallon House,” at the corner of First and Lincoln, where Steven Mueller Florist is today.

In the afternoon, however, the band could be found parading through town playing various tunes on a makeshift band wagon, otherwise used to transport coal. Some days, they would also make the trip out to Alma, the coal mining village near the present day Venita Drive overpass. (To be continued next week.)

75 years ago Feb. 25, 1943

Inaugurated as a further safety measure to prevent motor accidents, the city has just completed the installation of boulevard “stop” signs at the more congested street intersections, located at the curb instead of the center of the street. The latter have been found to be impractical. The new markers were erected at the intersection of State Street and Lincoln Avenue; First and South Lincoln and Second and South Lincoln. With the erection of the new signs, the police department has been instructed to arrest all motorists who fail to make a complete boulevard stop at the intersections.

50 years ago Feb. 22, 1968

Louis E. Obernuefemann, 46, of 1012 Leininger Drive in the Fairview Heights area, was shot to death, and his 15-year old son, also Louis E. Oberneufemann, a sophomore at O’Fallon Township High School, was wounded by two men, apparent prowlers, who were hidden in evergreens at their home Sunday night. The elder Oberneufemann, a mechanic at Meyer Pontiac in Belleville, was Scoutmaster of Troop 586 at Pontiac School, and his son is an Eagle Scout.