By Ben Marshall
VANDALIA—New to Main Street by the Vandalia Historical Society one will find six painted windows. But these decorative windows are not some act of vandalism.They were painted by six local teens—Gabry Jacyna, Jordan Garner, Kaylen Culwell, Alayne Bryan, Jennifer Young, and Abigail Hunn.
The six windows represent the six counties that will be highlighted in the upcoming presentation “Struggle for Statehood” in the Missouri State Historical Tour, which is coming to the Vandalia Area Historical Society Sept. 23-Nov. 1.
Jacyna painted the first of the six windows located in front of Angela’s Dance Studio. Her artwork represents Pike County.
Pike County’s county seat is in Bowling Green. This town gets its name from Bowling Green, Ky., which is where many of the original settlers had come from. The county was organized Dec. 14, 1818, and named after one of the settlers, Zebulon Pike.
The next building features three more sets of window art. Garner painted the Callaway County window. Culwell painted the Montgomery County window, and Bryan painted the Ralls County window.
Callaway County has a boarder that is formed by the Missouri River. Callaway is named after Captain James Callaway, who was the grandson of Daniel Boone. It was organized Nov. 25,1820, and has been referred to throughout history as “The Kingdom of Callaway” because of an incident where residents confronted Union troops during the U.S. Civil War.
Montgomery County gets its name from Richard Montgomery. Montgomery was an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 while he was trying to capture Quebec City, Canada.
Ralls County was named for Daniel Ralls. It was formed after a government survey of the area was made in 1818. One of the surveyors, William Jameson claimed land and founded New London in 1819. The county was formed from land taken from Pike County.
The next two windows, on the Dr. Carter building, where one was painted by Young, which represents Monroe County, while the other, painted by Hunn represents Audrain County.
Monroe County was named after James Monroe the fifth U.S. president, and organized Jan. 6, 1831. Monroe County and many others were settled by people mostly from Kentucky and Tennessee and from the upper part of the South.
The sixth window represents Audrain County, named after Missouri legislator James H. Audrain. The area was originally primarily prairie land. Two settlers, James H. Smith, and Rev. Robert C. Mansfield designated the area of Mexico the county seat.