O'Fallon Progress

Local farmer overwhelmed by generosity

Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president, and writes a weekly column called ‘Our Town’ to give readers insight into the past events, figures and facts of the O’Fallon-Shiloh area.
Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president, and writes a weekly column called ‘Our Town’ to give readers insight into the past events, figures and facts of the O’Fallon-Shiloh area. rkirsch@bnd.com

On Friday Jun. 3, 1966, William Peach, a 62-year old farmer in north O’Fallon, had just returned home from a 3-week hospital stay at St. Elizabeth’s after his third heart attack.

In the meantime, his fields went unplowed and soybean crop unplanted. What to do?

Peach, who often helped others in need, soon had the tables turned on him.

The next day, 11 area farmers descended on the Peach farm with 9 tractors and in one day planted 27 acres of soybeans and plowed a like acreage for the government soil bank.

Peach was overwhelmed at their thoughtfulness.

His only regret, he said, was that he was unable to get out and help them.

75 years ago, Jun. 12, 1941

The new and immense mess hall, under construction at Scott Field for the past several months, was officially opened Monday for the noon meal. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 6000 men of Uncle Sam’s army forces sat down to dinner. This massive hall is 325 feet long by 144 feet wide and has a floor space of 46,962 ½ square feet. It is equipped with five 200-gallon cold drink urns; five 100 gallon urns; 20 large electric griddles; twenty 90-lb. capacity deep fat fryers; 14 double oven oil ranges; four 300-pound capacity steam cookers; five large steam and electric dish washers; 10 steam tables and four oil-burning baking ovens. The kitchen is operated by a staff of 40 cooks, butchers and bakers working in alternate shifts.

50 years ago, Jun. 9, 1966

Two boys, one 12 and the other 14, were apprehended by police when they set fire to two baseball base bags in O’Fallon Community Park. They threw lighter fluid on them. Police reported that their families made restitution to the Jaycees which supplies equipment for the baseball diamonds.

Last week’s (June 2) ‘Our Town’

O’Fallon Township teacher salaries were generally higher in ‘41-42

1941-42 monthly salaries at O’Fallon Township School were generally higher than those of the grade school. J. Emmett Hinchcliffe, OTHS superintendent and principal plus American History teacher, received $161.11.

Hinchcliffe also received a like amount from the grade school district for being their superintendent, too.

Band director Carl Von Brock received about $150, jointly paid by OTHS and the grade school since he was instructor for both.

Here are the rest: Margaret Campbell (Commercial), $179.44; Kathryn Ragsdale (Domestic Science), $168.33; Dan Hertenstein (Math), $172.22; George Davis (Science & Chemistry), $167.22; Clarence Distler (Commercial & Geography), $157.22; Bernetta Joseph (English), $152.22; Annice Willard (History & Economics), $137.22; Fern Compton (English & Design), $137.22 and new teacher Mary Abernathy (English & Latin), $115. Janitor William Whitehead earned $135.

75 years ago, Jun. 5, 1941

One of the busy spots in the community the past several weeks was the Dr. Ed. Trippel Peony Farm, northeast of this city where a total of 37,465 dozen peony buds were harvested for Decoration Day. The immense crop was harvested from 40 acres now under cultivation. At the height of the season just closed a total of 140 local people were employed in gathering the buds, labeling the many varieties and in shipping the crop. The buds were shipped to the large markets in St. Louis, Chicago, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Detroit, Scranton, Pa., and New York City.

50 years ago, Jun. 2, 1966

A record class of 162 will receive diplomas from O’Fallon Township High School.

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