Yesteryear for December : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Yesteryear for December|
Compiled from articles published in the Ledger-Sentinel, 1980-present; Fox Valley Sentinel, 1974 to 1980; Oswego Ledger, 1949-1980; Kendall County Record, 1864-present and historical information provided by the Village of Montgomery.
10 years ago this month...
Traffic volume on the Orchard Road bridge spanning the Fox River just outside Oswego's municipal limits had increased more than 50 percent within the first 10 months after the bridge opened, the Ledger-Sentinel reported. Traffic count figures released by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) showed 8,800 vehicle crossed the two lane bridge on a weekday in June 2002, an increase of 3,000 vehicles or 51 percent more than the 5,800 vehicles counted on the bridge in September 2001 just weeks after the bridge was opened to traffic.
The need for a north-south highway that would be built near the Kendall-Will County line was one of a handful of issues both Oswego and Plainfield officials agreed on during a special joint meeting. But the officials also shared doubts the needed highway would ever be built. Jim Testin, a planner for the Village of Plainfield, said he believed state officials were waiting to see local officials put together a unified, grassroots effort in support of the highway's construction before becoming involved. Charlie Pajor, an Oswego village board member, said he believed the two villages generally agreed on where the highway should be built and needed to make sure development did not occur in the highway's path. "If we don't take the steps now and all get on board with where it needs to be it won't happen," Pajor said.
15 years ago this month...
At the recommendation of John DuRocher, Montgomery village administrator, the village board voted unanimously to hire an independent appraisal firm to prepare appraisals of homes in the village that had been determined eligible for a proposed voluntary flood buyout program. A total of 100 homes that were severely damaged in the July 1996 flood were eligible for the program, which offered homeowners slightly more than 75 percent of the pre-flood fair market value of their homes. The homes were located in sections of the Blackberry Heights, Parkview Estates and Marvray Manor Subdivisions.
The Oswego Village Board endorsed plans for a mixed use, "neo-traditional" business and residential project proposed by the Inland Land Development Corporation of Oak Brook along the west side of Ill. Route 31 at Washington Street.
Officials with Goodrich Quality Theaters, Inc. announced they would open their new Kendall 8 theater in Oswego's Townes Crossing shopping center in January.
Citing differences in management styles with Oswego Village President Budd Bieber, Art Osten, village administrator, resigned. Osten had served in the position for two and one-half years.
20 years ago this month...
Upset at the Oswego Public Library District's plans to expand its downtown Oswego building and the earlier closure of a storefront branch library on Douglas Road, the Montgomery Village Board voted to have its attorney investigate potential legal steps the village could take to de-annex from the library district. Village president Ray Kozloski, however, said he disagreed with the board's action. "It's bad to make the last option the first option," Kozloski said.
The Oswego Village Board approved plans for the final development unit in the village's Lakeview Estates subdivision south of Ill. Route 71.
25 years ago this month...
Oswego School Board members reviewed a proposed construction schedule for a $14 million addition and renovation project at each of the district's six school buildings. Voters had approved funds for the projects in a referendum the previous month. A total of $9 million of the $14 million was proposed to be spent on the construction of an auditorium, field house, learning center and additional classrooms at Oswego High School.
The Oswego Village Board moved to establish its northern boundary with Montgomery and boost the village's sales tax revenues by voting to annex the McDonald's restaurant and the Douglas Square shopping center at the southeast corner of Douglas Road and U.S. Route 30.
30 years ago this month...
In an editorial, the Ledger-Sentinel hailed an Oswego School District Board decision to purchase 30 acres of vacant land adjacent to Oswego High School. The board OK'd the purchase to provide space for the eventual expansion of the high school. The Ledger-Sentinel predicted the school district's enrollment would increase when an ongoing nationwide recession ended and new home construction resumed in the school district.
Timex watches and Russell Stover candies were among the Christmas gift possibilities on sale at Grimm's Drugstore at the Boulder Hill Market in Boulder Hill, according to an advertisement in the Ledger-Sentinel.
35 years ago this month...
A lawsuit filed by former Illinois Governor Dan Walker's law firm was withdrawn, prompting the Kendall County Board to grant final approval for the development of the upscale 217 acre Farm Colony Subdivision south of Oswego. Work on the first of the 60 homes in the development was set to start in 1978. Homes were expected to be priced at more than $100,000, according to a report in the Oswego Ledger. Project developer was Don L. Dise who also developed the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision.
Ledger reporter Betty Grimshaw offered this assessment of the Oswego Village Board after attending their monthly meeting: "Money is short in various areas, manpower is short in the police department, and tempers are being held in check with short reins." Grimshaw added, "The (police department's) list of criminal activity this past month is pretty staggering: thefts, bomb scares, attempted suicide, a streaker in the Lark (restaurant on Main Street), trespass, burglary, auto theft and hit and run."
A plan to develop a shopping center east of Douglas Road and the Boulder Hill Subdivision being considered by the Village of Oswego was a matter of concern for the Boulder Hill Civic Association. An association study questioned the project's impact on property values in Boulder Hill and traffic in the area, and expressed concern it might serve to isolate the unincorporated subdivision.
40 years ago this month...
Oswego School District voters approved a $469,000 bond referendum to finance the construction of an addition to Long Beach Elementary School in Boulder Hill. The Ledger reported, "The positive vote proves once again that the people residing in Oswego Community Unit District 308 are deeply concerned in maintaining our present standards of education for the children."
45 years ago this month...
Oswego Police Chief James Vinson announced 1968 village vehicle stickers would go on sale Dec. 15 at Shuler's Drugstore at Main and Jackson streets in the village. The stickers were priced at $3 each, $5 after April.
Montgomery Village Board members voted unanimously to have a resolution drafted in support of Waubonsee Community College's Dec. 16 referendum. The newly organized college was seeking funds to purchase a site for a campus off Ill. Route 47, just north of Sugar Grove.
Featured entertainment at the December meeting of the Boulder Hill and Long Beach elementary schools' combined PTA were "Mardoni and Louise." The duo put on an entertaining demonstration of ESP, according to the Ledger.
50 years ago this month...
Dr. Curtis Bowman, one of the original investors in the Boulder Hill subdivision, and a Boulder Hill resident donated an extensive rock collection to Boulder Hill School. All of the rocks donated were native to Illinois, according to a report in the Ledger.
The Oswego School District Board opened bids for a four-room addition to East View School on Dec. 10. Low bidder was Coffee and Coffee of Aurora at $37,723, the Ledger reported.
55 years ago this month...
Downtown Oswego merchants hosted a "Stag Night" promotion to encourage men to do their Christmas shopping in their stores. "We suggest that men take advantage of this opportunity to buy the little woman's gift without fear that she will be peeking over his shoulder," according to an article in the Ledger.
During their monthly meeting, the Oswego Village Board authorized their engineering consultant to draw up plans for the installation of 18 street lights in the village's downtown area, increased village police officer Paul Dwyre's monthly salary to $325, agreed to consider an ordinance banning pinball games, and opened bids for a new village police car. Low bidder was N.B. Anderson Motor Sales, Newark, with a bid of $1,938.44.
In an advertisement in the Ledger, Shuler's Drugstore at 68 Main Street, announced it had filled 130,000 prescriptions since it opened Dec. 6, 1937. The first prescription filled was for a Mrs. James Campbell of Oswego. The cost for the 100-tablet prescription was 35 cents, according to the advertisement.
60 years ago this month...
In his weekly editorial in the Oswego Ledger, publisher Ford Lippold noted "many towns throughout the nation are endeavoring to put Christ back into Christmas." Lippold encouraged every business owner and resident of the village to do their part by displaying their own nativity scenes.
Weather was in the news in Oswego in 1952. Lippold warned in another editorial: "Several motorists have reported that they had close calls during the past few days with children coasting on the streets. It is hard for motorists to stop quickly even when moving at a snail's pace on the icy streets of the village."
70 years ago this month...
There were many Christmas parties, many happy family gatherings, and some sad ones in this war year, 1942, the Record reported.
An editorial comment from the Record: "Who among the old-timers can remember more real winter weather before the holidays than we are having in 1942? Day after day the thermometer registers near zero and the Thanksgiving snow still on the ground. There are still many acres of corn and soybeans to be harvested. Several more or less serious accidents caused by slipping on the ice have been reported."
The Record reported: "The Office of Defense Transportation, through its General Order, ODT 21, is requiring all buses to conserve equipment and material, including rubber. Every school bus is required to have a certificate of war necessity fixing the maximum number of miles, authorizing fuel, parts, tires, tubes, etc. The policy requires elimination of unnecessary mileage with transportation only provided for those who would have to walk more than two miles to school, reduction in the number of stops, and studies and preparation of school bus route maps."
An ad in the Record read: "Homeward journey the workers of free America to rest and relax. In Old Style Lager, these soldiers of the home front find a wholesome beverage and renewed enjoyment in the simple old style pleasure of living."
75 years ago this month...
The Record reported the new Oswego bridge was opened to vehicle traffic, just in time for winter.
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "The Cutter drug store business has been sold to A. M. Shuler of Crystal Lake, who will conduct the store to be known as Shuler's drug store."
Also from the Record: "Many boys who are unemployed and in need of employment are making inquires as to the next CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) enrollment. For the benefit of all boys who are interested in enrolling, the officials of the Illinois Emergency Relief commission state that there will be another enrollment in January 1938.
The popular book "Gone with the Wind" was added to the XIX Century club library. The club was operating the public library out of a storefront at 64 Main Street in downtown Oswego. (The building is now the site of the Ledger-Sentinel office.)
80 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "As a result of having a native son in the Army-Navy football game played at Philadelphia on Dec. 3, the Oswego unemployment relief committee will shortly be in receipt of $100 with which to carry on its necessary relief work. Slade Cutter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Watts C. Cutter of Oswego Township, distinguished himself as the Navy's center in the game and is responsible for the donation. Slade said that about 20 communities would receive similar sums for relief purposes, each Army and Navy player being permitted the privilege of securing a like amount for his hometown. Receipts from games for the two years prior to this have gone almost exclusively to charity, Slade explained, but this past year some alterations had been made in the accustomed expenditures."
In local sports news, the Record reported: "The basketeers of Oswego defeated Minooka in two thrilling games at the local court Friday night."
"Harold Tregillus recently made a business trip to New York by plane. He left from Chicago about one in the afternoon and came back the next night. He said it was a fine trip, the air was so clear that up at 10,000 feet those in the 10-passenger plane could easily make out the lights of the cities below. They made the trip to New York in four and one-half hours with a good tail-wind blowing. The return took longer," according to the Record.
85 years ago this month...
A representative of the Traverse City Hydrant & Valve Co. presented a demonstration with a sample valve and hydrant to the Montgomery Village Board. Later during the same meeting, board members voted to make the firm's hydrants and valves standard for the village. In other business, attorney Robert J. Wing of Aurora presented information to the board concerning the cost of the Aurora Sanitary District's proposed treatment plant "and other incidentals." The board then voted to have a petition prepared calling for the village to become part of the sanitary district.
The Record reported on Dec. 14, 1927 that Melvin Parkhurst, a junior at Oswego High School, broke his arm the previous Saturday while cranking his car.
"There will be a municipal Christmas tree located at the bank corner [Main at Washington] and lighted during Christmas week, beginning Wednesday evening, December 21," the Record reported from Oswego. "It is sponsored by the Nineteenth Century Club, the town board, and the business houses of Oswego. Christmas carols will be sung each evening."
On Dec. 21, the Record reported the Kendall County Good Road Boosters Association had been organized the previous Wednesday evening and a big drive started to further the interests of the county to get Route 47 built from the Wisconsin line to Morris in 1928. President of the group was John D. Russell of Oswego.
90 years ago this month...
An editorial from the Record: "DuPage County has passed a bond issue of over $1 million for the improvement of roads in that bailiwick. Seems awful, don't it? Cement roads will be built connecting all the principle towns and the county will be a network of cement highway. But doesn't this immense bond issue threaten the property of the county? Don't it make the taxes approach the confiscatory stage? All this should be considered. The coming generations have some rights."
100 years ago this month...
The Record reported: "Aurora has commenced a campaign to raise $100,000 to build a new city hospital and its friends are canvassing the towns of Kendall county for financial aid to carry out the work. This is commendable as far as it goes, but why should our people pay money to establish hospitals in Aurora or elsewhere when we need one in Kendall county and can afford to have one. We have the physicians here who are competent to work in such an institution. This is the gist of some talk being heard in various circles since this Aurora campaign has commenced."
The Record reported Dec. 11: "The merchants of Oswego will keep their stores open every evening from Monday night, Dec. 16, till after Christmas."
110 years ago this month...
The 'Xmas' fad is nearly played out. Very little was seen of it this season, but another folly, 'Kris Kringle,' was seen once in a while. Its derivation is said to be from the German, which must be from the word "Christkindchen," meaning Christ babe. There is no such thing as Santa Claus--a jolly old fellow with white beard driving reindeer to a sleigh in Germany.
The Record commented: "One of the greatest surprises to football enthusiasts in northern Illinois Thanksgiving day was the defeat of East Aurora by their West side opponents. Everybody felt assured that the East side would win, the members of the West side team themselves only figuring to hold the score down to a low one. East side money was going begging a week before the game and when the score of 22 to 0 in favor of the West side was circulated, it was hardly credited by those who did not see the game."
Another comment: "It was a shock to the editor of The Record about 2 o'clock Friday afternoon when General Welch telephoned this office from Aurora that our long-time friend and brother editor, John H. Hodder, was dead. Ever since this paper was established in 1864, has the Aurora Beacon and The Record been close neighbors and friends. It's senior editor, O.B. Knickerbocker, died in 1885, and Mr. Hodder took up the work alone and his neighborly acts and friendly words or us and the people of Kendall county always gave evidence of his warm and genial heart."
In "A Review of 1902: The most important happenings in all departments of the world's activities briefly noted," The Record reported there had 36 lynchings in the U.S. during the year, most involving Southern white mobs hanging or beating to death blacks.
115 years ago this month...
"The hello racket on the telephone was ushered in last Saturday," the Record's Oswego correspondent reported on Dec. 15, 1897. "The poles have been set all around town. It is much appreciated by some of our people, and quite a few distant colloquies were had by them through it."
"The telephone is much appreciated by some of our people and quite a few distant colloquies were had by them through it on Monday. It was suggested to me that I might more readily phone my report to The Record than the doing it by writing."
120 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "Thursday morning, there was a prize-fight in a barn near Oswego between one J.J. Kenney of Chicago and G. Smith of Aurora. It was a Streator affair, being managed by Alf Kennedy, Billy Meyer's backer, but about 15 Aurora spectators witnessed. Forty were there from Streator and a considerable party from Chicago. Fourteen rounds were fought for $200 a side, resulting in a victory for the Aurora man. The fight was a good one from a fighting view, that is both men displayed considerable science and lots of grit. It was near daybreak when the crowd boarded their special trains for home in high spirits."
The Record's Oswego correspondent poked some fun at another local paper: "How very essential it is that printers should somewhat be acquainted with those of whose names they put in print. Gosh! How the names of this community are murdered by the printers of the Oswego Reporter. The Aurora papers are bad enough in doing so, but the Reporter beats them all out of sight."
125 years ago this month...
"Our corporation has a new and unique way of enforcing their ordinance against leading horses across sidewalks into vacant lots; it is by fencing in the street, so as to keep them from getting to the sidewalks," the Record's Oswego correspondent reported on Dec. 7, 1887.
A news report from the Record: "While on the road to Aurora, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Knapp were run into by a runaway team of Dobbins. They were for some distance taken along by the runaway team and the carriage badly wrecked but themselves sustained no bodily injury."
130 years ago this month...
The Record reported from Oswego Dec. 14: "The coming into existence of a little girl his morning has raised Watts Cutter to the dignity of dad and of course makes him feel proud."
Another Oswego news item from the Record: "A sort of kidnapping case occurred here last week; it was that of little Georgia Pearce whose father and mother don't live together, the latter living in Chicago; Georgia was called out of school and it is said was taken in a carriage to Aurora. The mother, of course, was the abductor, or cause it to be done."
Sad news from Oswego, Dec. 28: "Blanche, three years old, a nice and smart little girl, the youngest of Charles Kimball's children, died last week of diphtheria, a grievous blow to the parents."
135 years ago this month...
"The R.R. company is now constructing a stock yard near the side track north of Jackson street," the Record's Oswego correspondent reported on Dec. 5, 1872. He added that "The observance of Thanksgiving day was not general, I think none of the business establishments were closed; the Post office was shut during divine service, which took place at the Baptist Church."
"Over 400 hogs, making seven carloads, were shipped from here last night," the Record reported from Oswego on Dec. 12. "Six of the loads belonged to Davis of AuSable Grove; and one to Wollenweber and Knapp."
The Record reported on Dec. 26, 1872 that one of Oswego's most historic structures was destroyed by fire. "The residence of Daniel Pearce, about one mile east of town, was burned Sunday morning and proved a very distressing occurrence; most of the family was yet in bed when the fire was discovered and the boys, James and Corbin, rushed out in their bare feet to carry water from the spring; James failed to secure his boots in time, which were in the kitchen, and was compelled to go to his brother's house (Ezekiel, a half mile distance) barefooted, the weather from 16-20 degrees below zero, his feet were badly frozen. There was nothing saved except a couple of trunks. The fire originated, it was supposed, from the ashes which the old lady had taken up and set outdoors." Daniel Pearce and his family were, in 1833, the first settlers of Oswego Township. The house was located on the U.S. Route 34 curve where the Fox Bend pro's house-which was built by Pearce following the fire-is located today.
140 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent filed these reports:
"Very little drunkenness has been shown of late in this town; last night however some boys had a drop too much.
"On account of the extreme cold weather, the attendance at the churches was slim last Sunday. McGregor in the morning waived the sermon he had prepared and took the cold weather for a text, contrasting it with cold hearts, cold dispositions, and cold Christians.
"The shipping of produce from this town is quite extensive; being into Hawley's the other evening, who are one of the principal shippers, I was shown their shipping account since last March which amounted to nearly 34,000 pounds of butter and upwards of 19,000 dozen of eggs."
145 years ago this month...
From the Weekly Aurora: "A route for the Fox River Valley Railroad was surveyed from Montgomery to this place last Thursday coming up the narrow street or alley between River and Lake street and crossing Galena street west of the Huntoon House. We are informed that Chief Engineer Wilson, who had charge of the surveying party, which came here offered to take the contract for constructing the bridge across the river at Montgomery for $14,000.
The Record commented: "We have at last a genuine Oswego advertisement and we earnestly request our readers in that vicinity to give the advertiser, Mr. L.N. Hall, a liberal patronage that his neighbors may see that it is good to advertise and do likewise. Mr. Hall has a splendid new store and is fitting it up at great expense; he's an energetic young man and will fulfill his promises. Call and see him in the new block."
The Record printed this reminder to readers Dec. 25: "According to custom, no paper will be issued from this office next week, as we wish to enjoy the holidays."