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
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
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
"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
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