Former missile site near Hecker sells for $227,000

Pictured, from left, Career Center of Southern Illinois Director Mark Stuart, Wayne Keller of Buy-A-Farm auction service and Regional Superintendent of Schools Kelton Davis watch as Mertens signs papers committing him to the purchase. (Alan Dooley photo)

It took about 30 minutes for Ron Mertens of Smithton to lock down the former Nike Missile Site east of Hecker with a high bid of $227,000. 

The 14-acre property was auctioned off Saturday morning at the Hecker Community Center. Mertens did not disclose at this time what he plans to do with the site, which includes three underground bunkers with functioning elevators.

Proceeds from the sale benefit the Career Center of Southern Illinois, formerly known as Beck Area Career Center.

Read more on Saturday’s sale in next week’s Republic-Times newspaper, your local news leader since 1890.

(With reporting from Alan Dooley)


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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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