Atlanta man loses life in early morning accident

[MAY 11, 2002]  An Atlanta man lost his life in a single vehicle accident south of Atlanta at 12:15 a.m. Saturday morning. The only occupant, 37 year-old John P. Harmon was driving on Old 66 just south of Lazy Row when his pickup truck left the road and struck a main line utility pole.

Power was out about 3 hours to Latham, McLean and Atlanta as CILCO replaced the pole and transferred a high energy power line.  It was a 34/5 line carrying 34,500 volts. Power was restored just after 7 a.m.

Atlanta Rescue, Atlanta Police, Logan County Sheriffs Department, Illinois State Police and Logan County Deputy Coroner Warren Rogers attended the scene.

The coroner’s office and the state police are investigating. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Quiram Funeral Home in Atlanta.


[Jan Youngquist]

Bomke plan to save $24 million
heads to governor

[MAY 11, 2002]  SPRINGFIELD — Sen. Larry Bomke’s and AFSCME’s plan to save the state more than $24 million needs only the governor’s signature to become law. Senate Bill 1859 is an attempt to free up funds that could save state jobs or keep necessary programs in place during the state’s budget crunch.

"This is one area where we can trim funds without negatively affecting state employees or Illinois residents," said Bomke, R-Springfield. "State employees have asked me about this in the past, so when AFSCME brought me the legislation, I was happy to help. This will address the concerns of state employees with two insurance providers and help close the budget deficit."

Senate Bill 1859 would allow state employees to opt out of the state health insurance plans if they have insurance through another provider. Employees who have insurance through a previous employer, a spouse’s plan or the military are among those who might be interested in the option.

According to AFSCME, similar programs have had great success in the private sector. Their projections show the state could save anywhere from $8 million to $32 million, depending on how many employees participate.


[to top of second column in this article]

Currently, all state employees are automatically covered by one of the state health insurance plans. Under the legislation, opting out would be completely voluntary for state employees. To opt out, they would have to provide proof of alternative health insurance coverage.

If the state employee later loses the alternative coverage, he or she could re-enroll without evidence of insurability and with no limitations within 63 days. Employees could also opt to re-enroll without evidence of insurability during any annual benefit choice period.

Once signed into law, Senate Bill 1859 will take effect immediately.

[News release]

History made with honorary degree recipients

Lincoln College commencement May 11

[MAY 10, 2002]  History will be made at this year’s Lincoln College commencement when Edward Rust Jr., CEO of State Farm Insurance, and Steve Forbes, CEO of Forbes magazine, are awarded honorary degrees from Lincoln College. Nineteen years ago the fathers of Rust Jr. and Forbes received honorary degrees from the college. The 135th annual Lincoln College spring commencement will be Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m. in Davidson-Sheffer Gymnasium.

Along with Forbes and Rust Jr., the well-known economic forecaster Robert J. Eggert Sr. and former state Sen. Robert A. Madigan will receive honorary degrees. In lieu of a commencement speaker, all recipients will speak on their accomplishments.


[Photos provided by Lincoln College]
[Steve Forbes]

Mr. Forbes is CEO of the nation’s leading business magazine, Forbes, as well as a variety of new publications that reach a worldwide audience of nearly five million readers. In both 1996 and 2000, he campaigned for the Republican nomination for the presidency. He is the author of "A New Birth of Freedom" (Regnery, 1999), which outlines bold ideas for the new millennium.


[Edward Rust Jr.]

Rust Jr. is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of State Farm Mutual Insurance Company in Bloomington. He is also president and chief executive officer of State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and of State Farm Life Insurance Company. State Farm is nationally recognized as a leader of the business community’s efforts to improve the quality of education in the United States. Rust is a former co-chairman of the Business Coalition for Excellence in Education and served on President Bush’s Transition Advisory Team committee on education.


[Robert Eggert Sr., Ph.D.]

Robert J. Eggert Sr., Ph.D., is the founder and editor emeritus of the well-known Blue Chip Economic Indicators newsletter. He has been an economic forecaster for over 50 years and managed marketing research for the Ford Motor Company and RCA before founding the economic newsletter. He has been featured on television programs including "Wall Street Week," "Today Show" and "CNN."


[to top of second column in this article]

[Sen. Robert Madigan]

Sen. Robert A. Madigan represented the people of the 45th District of Illinois until June 2001, when Gov. Ryan appointed Madigan to his current position as the commissioner of the Illinois Industrial Commission. During his time as an Illinois senator, he served on multiple committees, including Agriculture and Conservation, Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan, and Insurance and Pensions, of which he was chairman.

Approximately 220 students will receive associates of arts degrees at the Lincoln College commencement ceremony. A reception for the graduates and their families will immediately follow the ceremony.

Students from the area who are participating in the ceremony include Nathan Dieckow, Shadd Gordon, John Hoblit, Janelle Hutchcraft, Rich Lynch and Tiffany Sutton, all of Atlanta; Aaron Gullion of Beason; Tamar Lyons and Lee Ann Schilling of Elkhart; Christina Alexander, Beau Anderson, Troy Bauer, Todd Blaum, Joseph Borbely, Kari Borowiak, Angela Bossingham, Daniel Bryson, Bryson Bunner, Jonathan Cook, Miles Craig, Annalisa Curcuru, Lisa Curcuru, Kevin Curry, Christopher Davenport, Andrew Dexter, Molly Donnelly, Stacey Fillmore, Stephanie Geary, Erica Gokoo, Steven Goodman, Heidi Graff, Brock Guzouskis, Julie Halcomb, Rachel Headrick, Amber Hieronymus, Anthony Hoffert, Jacob Horton, Carlee Hunter, Brooke Huskins, Kelli Jackson, Amy Janet, Trisha Kavelman, Sarah McLaughlin, Jeremy Metelko, Emily Nichols, Elizabeth Pardo, Lyndsey Pickering, Charlene Robb, Jonah Rosenthal, Anna Schmidt, Elizabeth Skelton, Angela Smith, Clinton Smith, Kristina Snyder, Jennifer Story, Jennifer Stout, Erica Tibbs, Joshua Twente, Erin Wind and Kate Winters, all of Lincoln, and Felicia Haak of McLean.

[Lincoln College news release]

Illinois weather

April tornadoes cause two deaths

[MAY 10, 2002]  "The first tornado-related death in the United States during 2002 occurred on April 21 in Wayne County, Ill. While no tornado deaths occurred in Illinois in 2000 and 2001, the state experienced two tornado-related deaths in April 2002," says Jim Angel, state climatologist with the Illinois State Water Survey, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The F3 tornado on April 21 also resulted in 42 injuries and an estimated $4.9 million in damage and recovery costs. A second tornado death and 14 injuries occurred on April 28 when a series of F2 to F3 tornadoes struck Union, Johnson, Pope and Saline counties, says Angel.

Two other less deadly tornadoes occurred in April. No damage or injuries were reported on April 18 when a tornado on the beach of Lake Michigan moved offshore or from a tornado near Equality on April 23.

Numerous reports of hail and wind damage followed severe weather on April 13, 18, 19, 21, 23 and 27. Louisville reported 3.5-inch hail on April 23.

With an average temperature of 53.4 F across Illinois, this was the 28th-warmest April and the warmest November-April period since 1895. DeKalb reported 95 on April 18, the warmest reading for the month. Streamwood reported 17 on April 5, the coolest reading.


[to top of second column in this article]

This was also the 19th-wettest April since 1895, with precipitation statewide averaging 5.18 inches, 136 percent of average. Windsor reported the highest daily precipitation amount, 2.58 inches on April 21, and also the highest monthly total, 8.21 inches. Many stations on the northern side of the Illinois River reported 1-4 inches of snowfall as the result of an April 2 storm. Kewanee reported 5 inches, the most snow for the month from this storm.

"April in Illinois is definitely a transition month in which it is possible to have snow, high temperatures and severe weather all in the same month," says Angel.

[Eva Kingston, editor,
Illinois State Water Survey]

Rawlins named Police Officer of the Year

[MAY 9, 2002]  Officer Robert Rawlins, a member of the Lincoln Police Department since 1982, has been named Police Officer of the Year by the Lincoln/Logan Crime Stoppers. The award was presented Monday evening at the Lincoln City Council meeting by Crime Stopper member Ron Hall.

Police Chief Richard Montcalm cited Rawlins’ many achievements, including an award by the state of Illinois for a heroic act on March 25, 1999, when Rawlins rescued a 3-year-old girl and another child from a burning structure in the 200 block of South Chicago Street.


[Photo by Jan Youngquist]
[Rawlins volunteers at the Citizens' Police Academy.
Here he demonstrates a shield used by the SWAT team.]

Rawlins, a native of Lincoln, graduated from the Police Training Institute in 1982 and has been a member of the Lincoln Police Department since then. He is trained in crime scene protection, arrest and control tactics, DUI law, basic structural rescue, the Reid method of criminal investigation and interrogation, and he has 440 hours training in canine handling.

In 1993, he and his dog confiscated almost $1 million in drug money during a traffic stop of a U-Haul truck. The truck was loaded with furniture and boxes of money, totaling $945,000. The Lincoln Police Department got to keep about $500,000 of the unclaimed money, he said.


[to top of second column in this article]

Rawlins is also a squad leader and an original member of Lincoln’s Emergency Response Team.

"He is well-deserving of this award," Chief Montcalm said. "He is a professional on and off the job and very good at working with people. He is well-liked by his fellow officers, by the state police, the sheriff’s department and by other municipal agencies that he works with.

"He’s also well-respected in the community outside of law enforcement and is a good family man, too," Montcalm added.

Rawlings and his wife, Gail, have two children, Sean, age 19, and Kirstin, 16, a sophomore at Lincoln Community High School. Sean is currently taking classes at Lincoln Land Community College. The Rawlins family raises emus on their farm west of Lincoln and sells them for meat. The fat is sent off to be made into oil, which can be used for skin problems. Rawlins says he uses it to relieve muscle cramps.

He got into raising the emus about seven years ago through his father-in-law, Harold Eimer. "We’re down to nine right now, but at one point we had about 45 of them," he said. Pharmaceutical companies are looking at emu oil as a carrier to get medication deeper into the skin, he reports.

Rawlins has served as the police department’s coordinator for Crime Stoppers for about 15 years. "He keeps us informed and is very knowledgeable," Hall said.

[Joan Crabb]

Mayor announces
committee appointments

[MAY 8, 2002]  Mayor Beth Davis announced new committee assignments for Lincoln aldermen, as well as appointments to city commissions, at Monday evening’s city council meeting, the first meeting of the new fiscal year.

Chairman of the Finance Committee for fiscal 2002-2003 will be Alderman Verl Prather, with Joe Stone as vice chairman and Pat Madigan, Glenn Shelton and Dave Armbrust members.

Alderman Michael Montcalm will head the Fire, Water and ESDA Committee, with Bill Melton vice-chairman and Benny Huskins, Stone, and George Mitchell members.


[Photos by Joan Crabb]
[Returning city department heads were sworn in for another year at the May 6 council meeting.  They are (left to right) Les Last, building and zoning department; Don Osborne, street superintendent; Rich Montcalm, police chief, and Bucky Washam, fire chief.]

The Grounds, Buildings and Local Improvements Committee will be headed by Alderman Stone, with Armbrust vice-chairman and Steve Fuhrer, Prather and Melton members. The Insurance Committee will be headed by Alderman Shelton, with Mitchell vice chairman and Stone, Armbrust and Fuhrer members.

Alderman Fuhrer will be chairman of the Ordinance and Zoning Committee, with Prather vice chairman and Montcalm, Huskins and Melton members.

The Police Committee will be headed by Alderman Madigan, with Shelton vice chair and Stone, Prather and Huskins members. Alderman Armbrust will head the Sanitation Committee, with Madigan vice chair and Fuhrer, Shelton and Montcalm members.


Lincoln City Police Officer Robert Rawlins (left) was named Police Officer of the Year by Crime Stoppers and received a plaque from member Ron Hall (center).  Police Chief Rich Montcalm praised Rawlins’ achievements.]

The Sewerage Treatment Plant and Sewers and Drains Committee will be headed by Alderman Melton, with Huskins vice chair and Madigan, Mitchell and Montcalm members.

The Sidewalks, Forestry and Lighting Committee will be headed by Alderman Mitchell, with Fuhrer vice chair and Prather, Madigan and Shelton members. The Streets and Alleys Committee chairman is Alderman Huskins, with Montcalm vice chair and Mitchell, Melton and Armbrust members.

Alderman Mitchell will be the city council’s representative to the Healthy Community Partnership Committee, the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln Statue Corporation.

Alderman Huskins will be the representative to the Lincoln Planning Commission and a voting member of the Logan County Joint Solid Waste Management Commission.

Alderman Melton will be the representative to the county’s Looking for Lincoln program and also represent the city on the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities, Minorities, Seniors, Veterans and Youth. Alderman Shelton will be the representative to the Main Street Lincoln board.

Alderman Stone will be a representative to the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities, Minorities, Seniors, Veterans and Youth and to the city’s Historic Homes and Buildings Commission.

Alderman Prather will be the representative to the Logan County Board as well as the Logan County Economic Development Council. Alderman Armbrust will serve as the city’s representative to the Tourism Bureau of Logan County and will be a voting member of the Logan County Planning and Zoning Commission. Alderman Fuhrer will be a voting member of the Logan County Economic Development Foundation.



[to top of second column in this article]


Davis also announced the membership of other city committees and commissions. John Sutton is chairman of the Lincoln Zoning Board of Appeals; members include Bob Johnson, Jim Drew, Tom Culnan, Ben Grunder, Linda Aper, Mannie Gaston, City Attorney Bill Bates and Logan County Regional Planner Phil Mahler.


[Several members of the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities, Minorities, Seniors, Veterans and Youth attended the May 6 council meeting to hear Mayor Beth Davis announce new commission members.]

Liquor Commission members are Mayor Davis, Lois Landes and City Treasurer Les Plotner.

The Lincoln Planning Commission chairman is Betty Gehlbach; members are Mayor Davis, Alderman Huskins, Dave Klug, Ron Fox, Don Miller, Leon Martin, Bob Wood, Mike Miller, Scott Cooper and John Guzzardo.

The Civil Service Commission members are Jane Ryan, Julie Geradot and Randy Matson. Fire and Police Commission members are Rex Mallekoote, Nancy Amberg and Jim Levi.

Another Lincoln citizens commission is the Historic Homes and Buildings Commission, with Betty York as chairman. Members are Shirley Bartelmay, Phyllis Bryson, Bill Gosda, Bob Johnson, Anne LaForge, David Lanterman, Charlie Ott, Richard Sumrall and Georgia Vinson.

Officers of the Sesquicentennial Committee include Mayor Davis, president; Paul Beaver, vice-president; Paul Short, treasurer; and Lori Bottrell, secretary. Members include Bobbi Abbott, Wendy Bell, Paul Gleason, Marshall Jacobs, Charlie Ott, Thressia Usherwood, Jean Anderson, Sharon Awe, Shirley Bartelmay, Linda Churchill, Stewart Churchill, Pat Gesky, Dick Hurley, Ron Keller, Dick Logan, Roger Matson, Cindy McLaughlin, Steve Miller, Gus Otto, Greg Pelc, Gillette Ransom, Wallace Reifsteck, Nancy Rollings Saul, Don Vinson and Aldermen Melton, Prather and Shelton.

The Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities, Minorities, Seniors, Veterans and Youth includes Betty Verderber, chairman on disabilities, along with members Fern Pinkley and Bob Shanle; Alderman Glenn Shelton, chairman on minorities; Alderman Joe Stone, chairman on seniors; Alderman Melton, chairman on veterans, along with member Bruce Huskins; and Pat O’Neill, chairman on youth, along with members Alex Dawson, Jason Harlow, Kristi Simpson-Lessen, and Jeremy White.

The Beautification Commission, just established by Mayor Davis, includes Davis, Aldermen Stone and Huskins, City Inspector Les Last, City Engineer Mark Mathon, City Attorney Bill Bates, Street Superintendent Don Osborne, Terry James, Val Henrichsmeyer and Mike Abbott.

The Lincoln Statue Corporation is made up of Larry Steffans, president; the Rev. S.M. Davis, vice-president; Steve Wurth, treasurer; Joyce Board, secretary. Members are Beth Davis, Marshall Jacobs, Phil Montalvo and Alderman Mitchell.

Mayor Davis made no change in department heads for the city for the coming year. Rich Montcalm remains police chief, Bucky Washam is fire chief, Les Last is zoning officer, Don Osborne is street superintendent, and Bill Bates remains city attorney.

[Joan Crabb]

Rural postal service threatened

[MAY 7, 2002]  It is a tough day in America when the most steadfast public service is challenged to slow or halt. Pipe bombs have interfered with the U.S. mail delivery service across the Midwest. The bombs that began appearing in residential rural mailboxes last week and on Monday this week have caused the U.S. Postal Service some disruption of service.

No one has yet died from any of the 17 bombs placed in boxes in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado. Four employees and two customers have been injured. Most bombs have been detected intact.

The bombs have been placed directly in the customer mailboxes by the assailants. The devices have not gone through the post offices.

Lincoln rural postal carriers are taking a little added precaution delivering the mail. Postmaster Jeff Poole says, "Our carriers have been instructed to be cautious. They have been told what to look for and if anything looks suspicious to contact the law enforcement."

He said the U.S. Postal Service has requested residents in affected areas (areas that have had pipe bombs) to leave their mailbox doors open. We are not one of those areas. For now we are just to keep our eyes open and be aware.

For more information, see

[Jan Youngquist]

Ameren to purchase CILCO; representatives address council

[MAY 7, 2002]  Two representatives from Ameren, the company that is purchasing CILCO, the utility that serves Lincoln, attended the Lincoln City Council meeting Monday evening to introduce themselves to city officials.

Jimmy L. Davis, vice president of customer services, and Robert J. Mill, manager of the regulatory services department, spoke briefly to the council.

"Our purpose is to put a face to the company name," Davis told the council. "The process [of buying CILCO] will likely take about a year. We will keep you informed through the process."

Ameren Corporation has agreed to purchase CILCORP for $1.4 billion, which will make Ameren the second-largest electric provider in Illinois. CILCORP is the parent company of Peoria-based Central Illinois Light Company.

CILCO serves Logan and Tazewell counties, western Woodford and Marshall counties and several towns in McLean County. CILCO has approximately 200,000 electric and 200,000 gas customers and has been in business in central Illinois since 1915.

Ameren is a $10 billion-asset company based in St. Louis, and provides energy to 1.5 million electric and 300,000 natural gas customers over a 44,500-square-mile area in Illinois and Missouri.

Its Illinois subsidiary, AmerenCIPS, was formed in 1997 by a merger of Union Electric and Central Illinois Public Service, and currently serves 323,000 electric and 169,000 natural gas customers.

According to the Ameren press release, electric rates will remain frozen at current levels until at least 2004 because of a state freeze on electric rates.

In Missouri, according to Ameren’s corporate fact sheet, electric rates are 14 percent below the national average, and the company has reduced rates three times in the past seven years. In Illinois, AmerenCIPS has not had a retail electric rate increase since March of 1992. In August of 1998 the company reduced residential rates by 5 percent, the fact sheet says.

Although Ameren is a large company, Davis told the council, "We think of ourselves as coming from small-town roots. We serve a lot of small towns."

He said he believed the merger will be a "win-win situation for the area. It will be best for shareholders and best for the customers."

Alderman Benny Huskins asked if the merger would affect the local CILCO employees.

"There will be some duplication, but I don’t believe there will be any meaningful adjustments in Lincoln," Davis said.


[to top of second column in this article]

The representatives also said the new company would be prepared to assist in the economic development of the cities in its service area but did not make any specific commitments.

The Ameren press release said the company plans to increase CILCO’s civic, charitable and social service contributions and continue its low-income energy assistance program. It will also continue to support programs helping youth sports teams and installing energy-efficient lighting in public areas. AmerenCILCO headquarters will remain in Peoria.

In other business, the council agreed to approve Final Plat II of the Austman/Johnson subdivision on Route 10. The plat, which will add two lots to the subdivision, has already been approved by the Planning Commission.

They also heard Fern Pinkley, president of the Logan County Chapter of the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois, announce a new program to assist those with disabilities to own their own homes.

"We want to make sure that people who are disabled and want their own homes can get homes," she said. Those who are interested in the program may call Robin Benson, project manager of the Homeownership Coalition for People with Disabilities at 217-523-2587, Ext. 211 or e-mail her at

At a public hearing before the meeting, Mark Gates spoke to oppose vacating an undeveloped extension of Ophir Street on the west side of North Kickapoo as requested by Richard and Jean Moody.

Moody, who recently purchased the property, is building self-storage units and wants the street to be vacated so he does not have to meet a 35-foot setback requirement and can construct a 30-foot-wide building instead of a 24-foot-wide unit.

Gates said he opposes vacating the 60-foot-wide street for two reasons. He wants to put in a sewer line to property he owns in the area, and he will be running large trucks in and out of a cement plant that operates in the area.

The council tabled the matter until the May 14 committee-of-the-whole meeting.

[Joan Crabb]

ALMH centennial marked with rededication ceremony

[MAY 6, 2002]  "This community has pulled together to care for its own with passion and grace," said chief executive officer Woody Hester as he rededicated Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital at the start of its second hundred years.

A crowd of about 75 gathered outside near the hospital’s Eighth Street entrance at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 5, for the rededication ceremony. Emil Stahlhut, hospital administrator from 1953 to 1983, recalled his years at ALMH: "We may have lacked money at the right time to do what we had to do, but we did not lack the spirit and the zip." It was that spirit, he said, which brought the hospital to its centennial.


[Emil Stahlhut, hospital administrator 1953-1983]

Stahlhut was administrator when the local institution was transformed from Evangelical Deaconess Hospital into Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. Begun in 1902 under the auspices of St. John’s Evangelical Church, the old hospital celebrated its 50th anniversary in June 1952. By that time, however, it was clear that the facilities had become inadequate, and the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital project had begun as an ecumenical movement. In May 1952 ground was broken for the new hospital building, and ALMH was dedicated April 2, 1954. The first patients were transferred a few days later.


[Woody Hester, ALMH president and CEO]

Hester, ALMH president and CEO, referred to Stahlhut’s "gesture of genius" when he threw away the hospital keys at the 1954 dedication ceremony, symbolizing that the hospital would never lock its doors to those in need.

During the rededication Hester recognized four nurses who were trained at the Deaconess Hospital: Margaret Montgomery, Iva Blaum and Margaret Deverman, all of Lincoln, and Marian Buse of New Holland. Deverman, who graduated in 1935, was operating supervisor at the old hospital and helped train the other three, all 1942 graduates. Blaum was director of nursing from 1958 to 1985. Montgomery and Buse are twins.

Extolling past and present "community courage and resourcefulness," Hester expressed his thanks for the support ALMH has received over the years. "May God give us the strength and wisdom to be good stewards of our gifts," he added.

The final speaker was Joe Heidbreder of Lincoln, representing the community’s next generation. He ended the ceremony by proclaiming, "And now let the second hundred years begin." Roger Michalsen, church council president at St. John United Church of Christ, formerly St. John’s Evangelical Church, gave the invocation.


[to top of second column in this article]

Tours showcased the present hospital. Historical displays lined the walls of Conference Room A, tracing the growth of the hospital as a building and an institution.

The first hospital in Lincoln was the Catholic St. Clara’s Hospital, opened in 1884. It served the needs of the community until the typhoid epidemic of 1898 overwhelmed its capacity. At that time the Rev. F.W. Schnathorst of St. John’s Evangelical Church appealed to the Deaconess Hospital in St. Louis, which sent two deaconesses to Lincoln to care for the sick. The work of deaconesses was not new to the church, since Adelheid Schmidt, the wife of the previous pastor, the Rev. Hermann Schmidt, had been a deaconess before her marriage. Evangelical deaconesses took a vow to care for the sick, the poor and the elderly, but they were free to leave the order and to marry.

Many cities in the Midwest have both Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals dating to the typhoid epidemic of the late 19th century, according to Hester. Other communities besides Lincoln had had one hospital before that time but found it insufficient to handle the load. In larger cities the two hospitals continue; in Lincoln one was found to be sufficient, and St. Clara’s closed in 1962. The nursing home St. Clara’s Manor opened in August 1971 in a new building on the same block.

On April 23, 1899, the deaconess hospital society was formed, and the first board was elected on May 14 of that year. Matthew Reinhardt, president of the St. John’s congregation, led the fund drive. From the beginning people from outside the congregation were encouraged to participate, with Capt. David Harts being an early example.

St. John’s Evangelical Home and Hospital was built at the northwest corner of Seventh and Walnut streets. The cornerstone was laid Nov. 4, 1900, and the building was dedicated Jan. 19, 1902. It cost over $37,000, which was $15,000 more than originally estimated, according to the St. John centennial history.

The old hospital had a dirt-floor basement and an unfinished third floor. The word "Home" in its title referred to the fact that the deaconesses also lived there. At first money was so scarce that two women from the church, Mrs. Adam Denger and Mrs. Gustave Briegel, drove a one-horse cart to homes of church members to collect food. The hospital also had its own vegetable garden.

In September 1902 the Rev. Gustav Niebuhr replaced Schnathorst as St. John’s pastor and hospital administrator. Until 1924 the two positions were combined. Stahlhut is the most recent administrator to belong to St. John Church.

According to the church history, the earliest physicians’ group consisted of Dr. Edward Rembe, Dr. H.B. Brown, Dr. F.M. Ewing, surgeon Dr. Cosby and Dr. Katherine Miller, who was particularly interested in this hospital because it accepted maternity patients.

In 1926 the hospital dropped St. John’s from its name and began naming trustees from outside the congregation.


[Nurses trained at Evangelical Deaconess Hospital: (front, from left) Margaret Montgomery and Marian Buse, (back, from left) Iva Blaum and Margaret Deverman]

After World War II, when expansion was needed, government funds were available for new construction but not additions. In November 1947 the vote was taken to build a new hospital, and ground was broken 50 years ago, in May 1952.

The hospital has been added to three times and extensively remodeled.

Since September1994 Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital has been affiliated with Memorial Health System, which includes Memorial Medical Center in Springfield and St. Vincent Memorial Hospital in Taylorville.

[Lynn Shearer Spellman]

Military addresses sought

It is a time like no other. Since Sept. 11 we are a changed nation. Individually, our daily sensitivity toward whom and what we have in our lives has been heightened. We are more conscious and appreciative, first about those we love and see everyday. Next, we have a newfound appreciation for those who risk their lives every day as rescue workers and protectors of life and property in our communities. We also now think more about our military men and women who are committed to serve and protect our country. Many are away engaged in battle, some are in waiting to go, all are ready to lay their lives on the line in defense of our freedom.

Lincoln Daily News is seeking the names and addresses, including e-mail addresses, of friends and relatives who are serving in the armed forces. They need not be from here in Logan County. If you know someone serving, please send the information to A complete list will be made available and kept updated through the site so we might all hold them in our thoughts, prayers and well wishes.

[Click here for names available now.]

Name of person in military:

Branch of service:

Current location of service:

Postal address:

E-mail address:

Relationship to LDN reader sending information (optional):


Are we prepared for terrorism
in Logan County?

It’s on the radio, TV, in all the media. You hear it in the office, on the street and maybe at home — threats of terrorism. America is on high alert. Here in central Illinois, away from any supposed practical target areas, perhaps we feel a little less threatened, but we are still concerned. So how concerned should we be, and how prepared are we for the types of situations that could occur?

Whether the threat is domestic or foreign, violent, biological or chemical, our public health and rescue agencies have been preparing to respond to the situations. Lincoln Daily News has been at meetings where all the agencies gather together as the Logan County Emergency Planning Committee to strategize for just such a time. Our reports have not even provided every detail that every agency has reported; i.e., a number of representatives from differing agencies such as the health and fire departments, CILCO and ESDA went to a bioterrorism and hazmat (hazardous materials) seminar this past August.

Here are some of the articles that LDN has posted pre- and post-Tuesday, Sept. 11. Hopefully you will see in them that WE ARE WELL PREPARED. At least as much as any area can be. Every agency has been planning, training, submitting for grants to buy equipment long before Sept. 11. We can be thankful for all of the dedicated, insightful leaders we have in this community.


[to top of second column in this section]

America strikes back

As promised, the United States led an attack on Afghanistan. The attack began Sunday, Oct. 7. American and British military forces made 30 hits on air defenses, military airfields and terrorist training camps, destroying aircraft and radar systems. The strike was made targeting only terrorists.

More than 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East have pledged their cooperation and support the U.S. initiative.

Online news links

Other countries









Saudi Arabia 


[to top of second column in this section]


United States


New York

Stars and Stripes
(serving the U.S. military community) 

Washington, D.C.


More newspaper links 


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