News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Politics 1885 Style: First We Fire all The Postmen

Nothing lights up Wapella like a political squabble. Old grudges meet new grudges; poison pens, dust-ups, and spiteful accusations and recriminations, the very things that keep politics interesting and agitation humming along. This may seems like a modern phenomena, but history tells us otherwise, like this gem:

Stevenson served as first assistant postmaster general under Grover Cleveland in 1885. During that time he fired over 40,000 Republican workers and replaced them with Democrats from the South. The Republican-controlled U.S. Congress did not forget this: when Stevenson was nominated for a federal judgeship, he was defeated for confirmation by the same people who never forgot his 1885 purge.

Ah, the good old days, when the postman got fired for being in the wrong political party. So where to go to get more information about the charming times of politics past in Central Illinois? I had to look no further than my e-mail inbox for a notice from Sen. Adlai Stevenson III to pass on an invitation for Wapella history and political buffs to the Milner Library:

Who: Adlai Stevenson III, former U.S. senator

What: Speaks on “Democracy Remembered: Abraham Lincoln, Jesse Fell and the
Stevensons,” part of the Illinois State University Spring Speaker Series

When: 2 p.m. Thursday April 9th

Where: ISU’s Milner Library, main floor

More information: Event is free and open to the public; for special
accommodations, call (309) 438-7402. To learn more about the Bloomington
Stevensons, visit and

The event is free. I have a copy of the book and it is very entertaining. You can pick one up here for $29.95. If you go, I recommend asking Sen. Stevenson about Ralph Kiley, who did some oil business with Adlai 2 in his day.


Anonymous said...

I suspect AES will take the "I have no recollection" answer to the Ralph Kiley question.


Jen1991 said...

Congrats to all of those who won!!

Vernon said...

I would like to thank all the people who supported and voted for my recent election to Wapella Village Board Trustee.

Vernon Meadows
Wapella Village Board Trustee

Anonymous said...

Congrats to all who won in the election. The village can now put all the bickering behind them and move forward. the new mayor - David Taylor will be a great mayor and has a great bunch of people on the board now. I am sure we can all expect to see big things ahead for everyone in the village.

EEP said...

If the Tweed Film Festival get green-lighted and rolls forward, it will be happy days in Hog City.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to second EEP's optimistic view of the future of the arts in Hog City and vow to help however I can, assuming I can fight extradition.

Roman Polanski

Anonymous said...

I hope the new board trustees & mayor understand what challenges they will be facing in their 4 year term that lies ahead. As a previous board member, I know how satisfying it can be to pour your heart into a project you hope will encourage more community activities and fellowship. But there will always be those few people in our community that would rather complain than see the beauty in what has been accomplished. It is equally gratifying and frustrating. We have a beautiful park with walking trails, a fantastic well lighted ball field, a wonderful community center, & something we have needed for a long time, a gas station. We need to solve our drainage problems and, I know, in the coming years we will be able to accomplish this. Good luck to the new mayor and board members and thanks to all who came before them. I am proud to have served our community.

Anonymous said...

Very well said. I hope everyone remembers what other board members, the mayor and employees have accomplished with their hard work, dedication and planning. Fantastic things have been put into place for the future of Wapella, it's residents and this county. It wasn't easy to plan and build the park or to renovate the old grade school into a community center. It wasn't easy to build the commercial subdivision or to finally get Casey's to choose Wapella. Working together and respecting everyone's talents is what makes a good village board. Resorting to embarrassing, critizing or belittling fellow neighbors, board members or workers accomplishes nothing. I hope that phase is over. We will see what good leaders this next crew will be and hope they do truly good things for us all. Good luck and be true to all of us and to this community.

Anonymous said...

Nice posts. Thank you to those who have served the community and good luck to the new folks as well. Keep your skin thick and do your best to bring together the community.

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