O'Fallon Progress

Voter apathy is nothing new

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

Sometimes, elections can be uneventful affairs.

Such was the case with the O’Fallon municipal election held April 17, 1923. The Workers’ Party, as they called themselves, fielded a complete slate of candidates. There were persistent rumors of opposition materializing, but none ever did. The Progress reported that interest was low and voting light — only 149 voters bothered to show up. Everyone was elected, including Ralph Kampmeyer to his second term as mayor.

Shiloh had similar results, with George Geiger being returned for another term as village president. No opposition for anyone on the ballot.

Things were even worse for O’Fallon Township, though. Two justices of the peace were due to be elected, but no candidates filed. If you went to vote, you got a blank ballot. Fill in the blank with anybody. Only 23 voters were game for that. Someone ran the numbers and determined that election cost $4 per voter.

75 years ago

May 13, 1943

More than 3 inches of rainfall was recorded here over Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, with almost continuous rains, flooding small streams and creeks. The Township High School had to be dismissed Monday afternoon when a large amount of surface water backed up in the sewer system, flooding the school basement. The water submerged several class rooms with wood floors, the wash rooms and paper storage quarters.

50 years ago

May 9, 1968

Complaints about dust generated by the condition of Second Street at the site of the O’Fallon sewer construction resulted in the City Council’s withholding payment of a bill for $61,297.28 submitted by the general contractor. The dirt from the excavation and rock to be used in resurfacing the street is piled in the street from Smiley to Oak. Mrs. Marion Schmidt appeared at Monday night’s council meeting to complain of the dust, displaying a dirty dust rag.