Wilma Seel (1917-2015)

SeelWilma M. Seel, nee Wilkens, 98, of O’Fallon, IL, passed away on Thursday, December 31, 2015 at her residence.

Wilma was born on December 25, 1917 in East St. Louis, IL. She was a member of St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church, the O’Fallon Senior Citizens Club, several quilters groups, and a lifetime member of the O’Fallon Sportsmen’s Club. Wilma was an avid quilter, loved camping and touring the country with her husband and family, and enjoyed playing cards, especially pinochle.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer Seel; parents, Joseph & Anna Wilkens, nee Breckel; daughter, Virginia Ann Casey; brother, Joseph Wilkens; sister, Virginia Diebert; son-in-law, William “Jere” Casey; daughters-in-law, Sharyn E. Seel, nee Keeley, and Susan M. Seel, nee Dixon; and step-grandson, Vito Renfro.

Wilma is survived by her sons, Paul (Mollie) Seel of Collinsville, IL and Roy (Ava) Seel of Caseyville, IL; sister, Rosalie (Donald) Compton of O’Fallon, IL; brother, William Wilkens of WA; grandchildren, Susan A. (Ed) Priebe, Janet E. Casey, Beth A. (James) Schaft, Michael A. (Amy) Seel, Margaret A. (Matthew) Bay, Kevin A. Seel (fiancée, Sarah Aday), Alex A. (Shannon) Seel, and William Seel; step-grandson, Nicholas J. Renfro (fiancée, Ashely Winchester); great-grandchildren, Tyler S. Martin, Austin P. Priebe, Jordyn A. Priebe, Madisyn A.Priebe; Camden M. Seel, Braden W. Seel, Clare K. Schaft, Abigail Schaft, Eli J. Schaft, and Bryce M. Bay; and dear friend, Susan M. Casey.

Memorials may be made to the O’Fallon Senior Citizens Club. Condolences may be extended to the family at www.schildknechtfh.com.

A visitation will be held on Monday, January 4, 2016 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm at Schildknecht Funeral Home, 301 S. Lincoln Ave. O’Fallon, IL.

A memorial funeral service will be held on Monday, January 4, 2016 at 7:00pm at the funeral home with Fr. Jim Dieters officiating.

Her remains will be buried alongside her husband at O’Fallon City Cemetery, O’Fallon, IL.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Schildknecht Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

A View of the Past

OFallon City Park New Years 1906

A snowy O’Fallon New Year’s greeting from 110 years ago in 1906.  The wintry view is of the old City Park which was located on the north side of East Washington on land now occupied by the fire department’s engine house 1 and the O’Fallon school district 90 offices.  City Park was O’Fallon’s main park until Community Park was developed in the years after 1924.
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society.)

Suydam honored for doing the right thing



O’FALLON – At the December meeting of the District 90 Board of Education, Will Suydam was honored with a local Do the Right Thing Award. Suydam, a student at Marie Schaefer Elementary, was sitting next to another child who was being bullied. According to Superintendent Carrie Hruby, Suydam addressed the bully in a very appropriate way and helped to defuse the situation and end the bullying.  (Submitted Photo)

Dice competing in Parachuting Championships

12195095_10205175044083317_703876468387910902_oO’FALLON – Kevin Dice, a 2014 graduate of OTHS, is competing in the 2015 USPA (United States Parachute Association) Collegiate Parachuting Championships in Lake Wales, Florida, through January 2, 2016. Kevin is a sophomore Computer Science Major at Kansas State University. He is currently vice president of the KSU Sky Diving Club and will be part of a two-man team representing the university. Kevin has completed 43 jumps and has his class A license. (Submitted Photo)

EK School December Character Builders


O’FALLON – Estelle Kampmeyer Elementary School has announced their Character Builder winners for the month of December.  Front row: Ruth Murray, Bella Martin, Matthew Weisenbach, Asher Zupec, Jordanne Summers.  Middle row: Ashlyn Rama, Floyd Council, Olivia Neeley, Michael Summers. Back Row:  Leanna Hartsock, Riah Jones, Hayden Bailey, Noah Hesse, Zanae Wallace, Monica Parker. (Submitted Photo)

Area road closures due to flooding

Below is a list of area road closures as of 6:00pm December 28, 2015.

IL 143 closed between IL-255 & IL-111 in Madison County due to flooding

IL 100 is closed in Grafton between Church & Springfield streets due to flooding

Marine Road from Lake Road to Hunter School Road closed due to flooding.

US-40 closed between Triad Road and Schaeffer Road. Follow marked detour.

Old Alton Edwardsville Road closed between Bender Road and IL-143.

IL-159 NB & SB just North of IL-143, North of Edwardsville is closed due to flooding.

Chain of Rocks Rd between IL-157 & IL-111 in Madison Co. is closed due to flooding.

Brussels Ferry is closed due to flooding of Rt-100. (Brussels-Calhoun Co.)

East Chain of Rocks Rd. at Sand Rd. is closed due to flooding.

IL-3 at the Truck By-Pass in Randolph Co. is closed due to the rising Mississippi River.

IL-3 closed from the Randolph/Jackson County line to Chester, IL due to flooding.

US-50 between Rieder Rd. and Belleville St. is closed due to flooding. (Lebanon – St. Clair Co.)

I-70 EB/WB from mm36-mm46 closed due to flooding.

Old IL-158 from IL-177 to IL-161 is closed due to flooding.

SB I-255 at State Street closed due to flooding.

SB US-67 from Clark Bridge to IL-143 closed due to flooding.

Kaskaskia Street in front of the Menard Prison closed due to flooding.

IL-155 is closed at Prairie Du Rocher due to flooding.

A View of the Past

W State St ice storm Jan 1913

This week’s view is of the south side of West State Street, looking toward Cherry, after an ice storm which struck O’Fallon in 1913 from Sunday Jan. 5 through Tuesday Jan. 7.  By Tuesday tree limbs were breaking and electric and phone lines snapping.  That night, the municipal power plant (O’Fallon still generated its electricty locally back then) shut down over safety concerns and it was reported that half the phones were out.  Streetcar service was way behind, coal miners couldn’t get to work and business in general ground to a halt.  By Wednesday, though, the rain moved out and O’Fallon slowly began to light up and come back to life.
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society.)

A View of the Past

Henry Hesse Wayne McKinley OFallon Centennial 1954

This week’s view is from late August 1954 during one of the several parades celebrating O’Fallon’s Centennial.  Wayne McKinley of O’Fallon Motor Co. is driving Mayor Henry M. Hesse in front of Star Bakery on West First Street, known today as the home of Wood Bakery.  At the time, Hesse was also comptroller for G.S. Suppiger Co. in Collinsville, best known for making Brooks catsup.  The photo was taken by his payroll clerk at Suppiger Co., Miss Norma Maddalino.  Little did she know that she was also photographing her future husband she had yet to meet — Ralph Keller, my father, standing fourth from left.  They married in 1963.
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society.)

A View of the Past

OTHS Assembly Hall 1921-22

This week’s view is of the O’Fallon Township High School assembly hall on the top floor of the old high school building that used to stand at the southwest corner of Fifth and Cherry.  Later generations of students might remember it as the band room of Marie Schaefer Junior High.  The photo was taken during the 1921-22 school year.  The entire faculty back then, seen standing in the rear to the right, consisted of six teachers, including the superintendent.  Erwin H. Runkwitz taught Math, Science and Latin.  Elizabeth A. Albert taught commercial classes.  Jean Frances Bassett taught History and Economics.  Sylvia Neuling taught Domestic Science.  Ruth O. Gronert taught English and Algebra.  J. Emmett Hinchcliffe, a new arrival to OTHS at the time, was superintendent as well as instructor for Botany and Zoology.  He would head O’Fallon schools, grade and high, until 1943.  All the female teachers, by the way, were unmarried.
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society.)

A View of the Past

E State 1954

This week we take another walk back into 1954 O’Fallon — on State Street, just east of Lincoln.  The State Theatre, with the large sign overhanging the sidewalk, is now home to the Masonic Lodge.  Ben Schmidt’s IGA Store is to the left of the theater.  To the right is Chick’s Tavern.  In the next block, crossing Vine Street, is Bill Morton’s photography studio, Vi’s Beauty Shop, the O’Fallon Township office and the O’Fallon (meat) Locker.
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society.)

A View of the Past

West 1st 1954

How things have changed.  This week’s photo was taken early in the summer of 1954 on West First Street in O’Fallon, just west of Lincoln.  To help you get your bearings, Star Bakery in the photo is where Wood Bakery is now.  Here’s a list of the businesses that were operating in that part of the block back then, left to right:  Ben Franklin, Star Bakery, Perschbacher Hardware Store, Quality Cleaners, Walter Meiners Insurance, Beckman’s Barber Shop, Ray’s Radio & Appliance, Ray Schmidt Insurance, Proffitt’s Clover Farm Store, Keck’s Department Store and, on the corner, Western Auto.
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society.)

A View of the Past

State and Lincoln ca 1927

This week’s view is of the north end of the intersection of State and Lincoln in O’Fallon, ca. 1927.  The building on the right was Philip H. Schildknecht’s grocery and general merchandise store.  It’s now a parking lot.  The one on the left was, at the time, J.C. McLanahan’s Ford car dealership and repair shop.  If you look closely, you can even see a vintage gas pump at the curb next to the man in a white shirt.  The building is now home to Gia’s Pizza.
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society.)

A View of the Past

WWI tank in OFallon 1919

Promptly at 2 p.m. on Friday April 25, 1919 a special train arrived at the Baltimore & Ohio Depot in O’Fallon on First Street between Lincoln and Vine.  Greeting it was a crowd that included about 50 World War I veterans plus Poignee’s Band.  They had all come to see the tank — a genuine army tank.  Fred Wilcoxen of the 302d Battalion started the engine and drove it off the flatbed car.  This week’s photo shows the tank as it paraded behind the band through the streets of O’Fallon that day followed by the WW I veterans, Civil War veterans, school children and local residents.  Scott Field even provided multiple flyovers by an airplane.  The parade ended at the Opera House (220 E. State) where inside several of the soldiers who had accompanied the tank on the train told of their experiences during the war.  All were encouraged to buy Victory Loan Bonds which was the main reason for the tank’s visit. After the speeches, the crowd was treated to a demonstration of how the tank worked.  By 6 p.m. it was on its way out of town.
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society.)