By John A. Ballentine
10 years ago this month in 2006
• Reopening of a grocery store in Toulon is proposed. Eventually the store becomes a Super Valu operated by Chad Patel, of Wyoming.
• Increment Financing (TIF) is proposed for Toulon and Wyoming. Bradford recently this year received an extension of its TIF.
• Stark County’s Jennifer Smith is crowned Miss World Festival Queen. She is the daughter of Jeff and Laurie Wisnefski, of Wyoming.
• Stark County High School board voted to rename the Wyoming football field, where the Rebels play, to Gary Johnson Field. Johnson was a successful head football coach for many years with the Wyoming High School and later Stark County High School.
25 years ago in 1991
• Toulon celebrated its 150th birthday. A time capsule was buried at the Toulon City Park. (It was unearthed and opened this year for Toulon’s 175th birthday celebration.
• Allen Brothers Big Top Circus presented two shows in Toulon in conjunction with the 150th birthday celebration.
• Toulon’s water supply was removed from a radium warning list after one year on the restriction list.
• The last year of Toulon-LaFayette High School and Wyoming High School commenced with the school year. The next year (1991-92) was the first year of existence for Stark County High School. It is a consolidation of those two high schools.
35 years ago in 1981
• Reunion Days get started in LaFayette August 21. The sixth annual LaFayette reunion celebration was held for three days beginning August 21.
• A proposed addition to the Toulon Grade School and Toulon-LaFayette High School is placed on the November ballot, in spite of school district financial woes. The addition would become a new library and three additional classrooms. The estimated cost equaled $600,000. Closing of the West Jersey Grade School was suggested to help alleviate some of the financial burdens.
• Toulon Grain bought by Japanese firm. Toyomenka (American), Inc. acquired S. C. Bartlett Co., of Peoria, the parent company of Toulon Grain & Feed.
• The Elmira United Presbyterian Church celebrated its first 100 years on August 2.
40 years ago in 1976
• Article describing strip mining states that strip mining in Stark County began in 1959, around the Modena area. With this beginning, a new subdivision was built in Toulon to house the miners and their families.
• James “Big Jim” Thompson, Republican candidate for Illinois governor, visits Toulon along his campaign trail.
• Super Valu, in Wyoming, advertised chuck roast for 79¢/lb., ground beef for 89¢/lb. and watermelons at 5¢/lb.
50 years ago in 1966
• Toulon celebrated its 125th anniversary from August 7 to the 14th. Many events were planned for the weeklong birthday, including a pageant “The Toulon Story.”
• West jersey Harvest Home was set for August 25, with day-long activities planned.
• Jean Olmsted is hired as news editor of The Stark County News. A nine-month subscription for college students costs $3. A one-year regular subscription cost $4 for Illinois residents and $5 for out-of-state subscribers.
• Refurbishing project for the First Baptist Church, in Toulon, is completed on the exterior of the church building.
By John A. Ballentine