Jefferson County

Newspaper Articles
August 1963

    Submitted By: Mary Zinzilieta The Ina Observer - Ina, Illinois, Thursday, December 26, 1963 The Ina Observer's Last Issue - Due to the breakdown of The Observer's 55-year-old press and due to the fact that the newspaper has been losing money the past few years, this will be the last issue of "The Ina Observer". The Ina Observer was originated in 1908 by the late Frank J. BRUCE, who also doubled as station agent at Ina. After publishing the paper for a few years he sold it to O. T. SHINN, who in 1916 sold it to the COFFMAN brothers, Samuel T. and Edward L. E. L. COFFMAN bought his brother's interest a year or so later and edited and published The Observer until his death, December 31, 1947. Wayne COFFMAN then took charge and has operated the paper since. The Observer was "handset" and was about the only handset paper in the United States. Wayne COFFMAN has set most of the paper's type during the past 40 years. The former editor, Wayne COFFMAN, is now seeking work. The Observer was 55 years and 34 issues old when it finished up.
    FLYING SAUCERS OVER KING CITY "Fireball" Hovers Over Ex-Mt. V. Mayor's Home A fireball as big as a washtub hovered over the home of a former Mt. Vernon mayor last night. More flying saucer reports poured into both the police sta- tion and sheriff's office during the night as numerous people re- ported "strange lighted objects in the sky." Harry L. Bishop, former mayor who lives at the north edge of town on the Centralia Road, said the fireball he saw "coming right down the Centralia Road from the north" was "the brightest red light I have ever seen." "It appeared to be only about 300 or 400 feet high, was oval shaped and was about the size of a washtub," said Bishop. The ex-mayor said his wife saw the fireball first and called him about 10:10 p.m. "I could hardly believe my eyes," he said. "I first saw the lighted object following the route of the Cen- tralia Road," he said. "When it got over my house, it stopped and I could see it very clearly. Although it was bright red it did not light up the neighborhood." Bishop said the fireball then moved westward, went out of sight for a moment "like some- body had turned the light off." He said it then reappeared in the west and seemed to be travel- ing at a high rate of speed. "It seemed to be making a light whirring sound," he said. Called The Neighbors "I thought those people at Fairfield were crazy when I read about the strange things they have been seeing in the sky," said Bishop, "but I've changed my mind after last night. (Many lights in the sky have been reported recently in the Fairfield area.) His first thought, he said, was that he had better call some neighbors to watch the fireball "or everyone would think I was crazy." "I called neighbors and they also watched the strange lighted object," he said. "I noticed a car coming down the Centralia road. It stopped suddenly and the driver jumped out and looked upwards. He saw the object, too, and it startled him to a stop." Bishop estimated that the fire- ball was in sight for from ten to 15 minutes. Many Other Reports Many other Mt. Vernon resi- dents reported seeing a strange light in the western sky and one resident of east Mt. Vernon said, he saw two lights moving across the sky at the same time. REGISTER NEWS August 1963 Submitted By: Janice Staples


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