How do you properly christen a coal mine?
On Aug. 12, 1903, a Wednesday afternoon, nearly 100 people came to find out when it was done for St. Ellen Mine on the site of present day St. Ellen Mine Park in western O’Fallon. Rev. Greenlee Calvert of the O’Fallon Methodist Episcopal Church conducted the proceedings which included several short speeches.
Then, Mary Taylor, wife of mine owner Joseph “Uncle Joe” Taylor, took a spade full of earth and pitched it outside the lines marking the place where the new mine shaft would be sunk, followed by everyone else who wanted to do the same. With “pure water” Rev. Calvert christened the mine “St. Ellen” followed by singing and a final blessing.
Why St. Ellen? That was the name of both Uncle Joe’s mother and mother-in-law.
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He certainly had his bases covered.
75 years ago, Sep. 2, 1943.
With the close of the summer season, O’Fallon’s Township High and grade schools reopened Wednesday with an enrollment of 511 students. Of this number 221 were registered in Township High and 290 in the grades. The high school faculty includes R.H. Braun (superintendent), George Davis, Lester Sample, Marguerite Campbell, Bernetta Joseph, Fern Compton, Annice Willard, Ellen Montgomery, Margaret Elam, Mary Abernathy and Marie Stanley. Grade school teachers include Flora Schneider, Estelle Kampmeyer, Clara Shumaker, Mary Crouse, Mary Zinkgraf, Lillie Scott, Arline Schneider, Frances Eckert, Anna Fischer and Marie Schaefer.
50 years ago, Sep. 5, 1968.
One of the two buses purchased by the O’Fallon Township High School for use in its field trips and athletic teams has been delivered. The new Ford bus was used for the first time last Thursday to transport Central and Shiloh pupils to the freshman orientation meeting. Drivers employed on a part-time basis are Jerry Horn and Wayne Dressel.