A CELEBRATION OF A VILLAGE - SESQUICENTENNIAL 2005
Part 4 of 14
Beginning with February issue of the ECHO and continuing through April 2005, you are
being offered a look at Elkhart's history.
Families arriving from 1980-89 were many. Of this group, eleven were from old families.
T. Moore, Elias, Ott, Hudson, McClellan, B. Hinds, Rosenfeld, Van Pelt, Firpach, M. Hinds,
Eli, Cunningham, Fuller, Curry, Moughan, Hamm, Ransom, Howard, Faucon and Hubbard.
In 1980 the village celebrated 125 years.
The Silcennential committee chairmen Eleanor Lanterman, Karen Gleason, Betty Hickey,
Helen Tierney, Sandy Buttell, Linda Buttell and Vi Cook all did a fantastic job with all the
sub committees who have volunteered to help. They published an 88 page
commemorative book, hosted a large parade, conducted tours of Elkhart Hill and took
care of all the various activities for the long weekend. Their committees went out and
collected advertising for help on the book. They also helped cook and serve all the
wonderful catfish and chicken dinners with all the goodies. It was another weekend to
remember here in Elkhart. We ran only hope that all of us will pull together and outdo
them in July of 2005!
Business were, North side Cafe owner Nellie Svenson, Town Market w/ Thelma Svenson
and Catherine Poynter, The Lumber Co. w/ Harvey Allen and Roxy Follis, Elkhart Oil Co.
w/ Fenton Craner and Leo Walsh, Davis Straw w/ Louis Davis, Davis Truck Service w/
Delmar Davis and Karl Davis, Welch Agri-business w/ Merl Welch, Follis' Furniture repairs
w/ Delmar Follis, Town Tavern owners Bill and Beulah Hunter, Elkhart True Value
Hardware owned by Jim Davis, Jacob Buttell watchmaker, Elkhart Fertilizer w/ Steve
Urish, three insurance companies, 6 building contractors; Harold Svenson, Harold
Pankey, Mike Murphy, Pat Fry, Lyle Fout and Richard Tierney, Richardson's Repair owner
Bill Cosby, Country Bumpkin ran by Mary Schilling, Beauty Shop of Diana Pickett, Elkhart
Bank, and Folkes Air conditioning, Construction w/ heavy equipment of Stanley Buttell,
the school buses w/ Pete Hinds, lawn maintenance w/ Cliff Hunter, and Auctioneer
In 1980, a group of alumni of ECHS met and made plans for a reunion of the entire
school alumni. The first one was held in July of 1981 at the Holiday Inn in Springfield.
Hundreds of the alumni came and it proved a success. We will have one again in 1985
and thereafter we will celebrate each quinquennial reunion, (every five years).
In 1980 the Elkhart mine, developed by Turris, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company started
construction and completed the job ahead of time with the first delivery of coal to
Springfield's City, Water and Power in November of 1982. They have a 25-year contract
that will provide 32 million tons of coal to CWLP. The life span of the mine is expected to
be about 40 years. The site includes 670 surface miles and there is a total of about
18,000 acres under the surface. The mine is located at the base of the southern slope of
the hill about two and one-half miles southeast of the village.
On July 4th 1981, it rained without stopping until we got over 10 inches and Elkhart had
a flood. We had over 20 homes flooded and over 50% of the basements in town were
flooded. There was over six foot of water with much major damage and what made it
worse was who would have had flood insurance in Elkhart! Almost all of the streets
were too full of water to travel except by boat, in which some residents did!
On New Year's Eve 1982, the Blue Monday, 'four star' dining and lounge opened in the
former Bucks Corner Tavern (where the Blue Moon is now). The building was completely
renovated. In 1982 we also lost a business as the lumberyard closed for good.
On May 3, 1984 a meeting was held for all the ladies in the village and under the
supervision of Susan Green, NAG (Needs and Goals) started. This group of ladies does
some great work in the village with their monetary donations along with many hours of
community support. They also host a plant sale and bake sale throughout the year.
In May of 1986 our Elkhart Newsletter (The Echo) started publication with "Toots" Davis
as our coordinator, who in turn gave the articles to a variety of ladies who did the typing
throughout the years and then to the printer to be published and then delivered to each
home and business free of any charge.
In 1986, discussion came up by the cemetery board about fencing in the cemetery from
money left them in a donation. This was done at the cost of $1,812.00. The fence was
badly needed because of all the deer and other animals that come in from the woods.
In the fall of 1987, Thelma Davis was a contestant on the TV show, Wheel of Fortune.
Way to go, Thelma!
In June of 1988 a large group of residents met and talked of beginning a historical
society in town. Lisa Pasquesi and Gillette Ransom chaired the meeting. On November 4
of that year, the charter was issued with 57 members.
Jack Stahl was born here and in 1952 when he was seventeen and a junior at ECHS, he
made the move to New Mexico because of a life long bout with asthma. In his adulthood,
he became a teacher, and then went into real estate and in 1968 he was elected to the
House of Representatives in New Mexico. He was elected to the Senate in 1980 and was
re-elected in 1983. In 1987 he was elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor of the
State of New Mexico. At the end of his term he retired to real estate and in 1995 went
into the retail furniture business. He is a great friend to the village and comes home
often. Today he is back into the real estate business.
Bob Olson graduated from ECHS in 1948. He started out in public life as a farm manager
for many farms in the area. In 1972 he became an incorporate with the Bank of Elkhart.
In 1986 he was selected to fill the vacancy of House Representative Sam Vinson. He was
later elected to a full term in November of 1986, and re-elected in 88, 90 and 92. His
territory as a representative was part of Logan County. Right before he left office he got
a bill passed to save, resurface and keep old Rte 66 a four-lane highway around the city
of Lincoln. Today he is retired and lives with his wife Norma (Van Fossan) right outside of
Broadwell and comes to Elkhart often.
Bob Leininger graduated from ECHS in 1956 and from college he went to teaching. He
became assistant Illinois State Superintendent of Education in 1976 and in 1979 he was
named executive assistant for the State Superintendent. He was chief of staff from 1986
until 1989, when he assumed the position of State Superintendent. He then resigned to
become a senior vice president of Administration for Magna Group Inc of St Louis in
1994. He is also a friend of the village with many good memories of growing up here.
Today he is retired and living on Lake Barkley in Ky., fishing, golfing and traveling.
On August 8, 1988 we lost two buildings to fire. One was the post office and the other
was the J&K tavern just next door (This is where the Talk of the Town is now). It was
just a little past 1:30 A.M when the call came in but it was almost too late to save
anything. It was an electrical malfunction in the back of the tavern building. No mail was
lost except some that was being held for some residents that were on vacation. A
temporary post office was then set up in the empty building of (where the Blue Stem is
now) for a very short time, after which they used the village hall until the new post office
was finished in October of 1989. The tavern owned by Ken and Julie Delaney was also
out of business, because of too much damage and would have to be rebuilt.
In 1989 our new post office was built and relocated to the corner of Bohan and
Bogardus, one block off the main street.
Also in 1989 a complete new building was built on the same site as the Town Tavern
had been for so many years. Bobby Thompson built it and he called it The Talk of the
Town. Joe Myers and Jody Blissett later bought it in 1995.
In December of 1989 Logan County voted and approved a measure calling for the
formation of a countywide cemetery maintenance district. Elkhart was part of this
Two weeks before Christmas (1989) the Historical Society hosted a beautiful candlelight
musical service in the chapel in the cemetery, and has so continued each year with
guests coming from far and away for the performances.
Businesses that are not mentioned on the last report are The Blue Monday, owned by
Mike Scully on the corner of Gov. Oglesby and Latham, Marathon Station, Shell Station
manager was Bob Mercier, Cook's Accounting with Ronald Cook, the Laundromat owned
by Rick Frey, Looking Glass Beauty Shop owner operator Sharon Davis, Harvey Allen
Woodworking shop, Bob Peters Construction, Irish's Antique Store, Hair Hut Beauty
Shop-owner-operator Terri Hanner and Lacy Hall woodcraft
This month's summary is a little longer than others, but that only means one thing. The
Village and its people did some progressing in the 1980's! No, I am not giving a quiz at
the end of this!!!!
Until next time, Gwen