Yesteryear for May : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Yesteryear for May |
Compiled from articles published in the Ledger-Sentinel, 1980-present; Fox Valley Sentinel, 1974-1980; Oswego Ledger, 1949-1980; Kendall County Record, 1864-present; and historical information provided by the Village of Montgomery.
10 years ago this month...
Village of Montgomery officials were hopeful that Meijer would complete the purchase of a 27 acre site for a new superstore in the village by the end of June 2002. Meijer had proposed constructing a 193,728 square foot retail store and an adjoining gas station/mini mart at the northeast corner of U.S. Route 30 and Fifth Street, immediately east of the Blain's Farm & Fleet store. The village board voted to approve the site plan for the Meijer store in March 2001, but the retailer had yet to complete the purchase of the site from Inland. Village officials remained concerned the store might locate in a neighboring community.
Work resumed on the reconstruction of Main Street and several adjoining streets in Oswego's downtown business district. Included in the project was the installation of new sidewalks and crosswalks with brick pavers and extensive landscaping.
15 years ago this month...
The severe flooding that occurred in Montgomery the previous July prompted two village officials to travel to Springfield this past week.
Montgomery Village President Ellis Van Meter and John DuRocher, village administrator, visited the state capitol to make a personal pitch to local state lawmakers for financial assistance for a program that would allow the village to buy and then demolish the homes of up to 100 flood victims.
The Kendall County Board voted to ban leaf burning in both the unincorporated Boulder Hill and Shore Heights subdivisions. The board's action followed similar bans imposed by the village boards in Montgomery and Oswego.
Preliminary results from a special census indicated Oswego's population may be at or in excess of 10,000, village president Budd Bieber confirmed. Bieber said the census figures showed the village may have gained as many as 5,200 people since the last special census was taken three years earlier. The April 1994 census put the village's population at 5,517, up from just 3,876 in 1990.
"You look at what the increase was from 1990 to 1994 and then now from 1994 to 1997 and you have to wonder what it will be like in 2000," Bieber said.
The Montgomery Village Board approved Village President Ellis Van Meter's appointment of Roger Burrell to a vacant seat on the village board. Burrell became the first resident of the village's Seasons Ridge Subdivision to hold a board seat.
20 years ago this month...
The Metra and the PACE suburban bus service released a joint plan to improve mass transit in the Chicagoland metropolitan area for the coming 21st century. Among the plan's recommendations was to extend Metra commuter rail service along the Burlington Northern main line from downtown Aurora to a new station in Montgomery. The study estimated the cost for the Montgomery project at $7.7 million. A Metra spokesman said the proposed Montgomery station would serve commuters residing in the village and elsewhere in northeast Kendall County. Village Administrator John DuRocher told the Ledger-Sentinel he and other village officials were excited at the prospect of a Metra station being built in the village. DuRocher noted the station was recommended in the comprehensive plan adopted by the village board the previous year.
The Oswego Village Board went on record in support of plans to build a new Copley Memorial Hospital on U.S. Route 34 just west of Montgomery Road in Aurora. The board had opposed a previous hospital plan to locate a new facility near Fox Valley Mall, also in Aurora.
Illinois Department of Transportation officials announced they had budgeted $16.7 million for the proposed widening of U.S. Route 34 between Montgomery Road and Ill. Route 59 in Aurora from two to five lanes. Construction was expected by 1994 or 1995.
25 years ago this month...
Since the late 1970s, only a handful of new homes had been built in Oswego and Montgomery. But with falling mortgage interest rates and an improving economy, the local home building market was starting to pick up. Developers advertised new homes in Montgomery's Seasons Ridge Subdivision "from the $90's," and in Oswego's Windcrest Subdivision starting in the $140,000 range, including lot.
Oswego village officials and their planning consultant supported Kendall County plans to build a bridge across the Fox River as part of its Orchard Road extension project. The county board had voted the previous month to hire an engineering firm for $7,000 to conduct the initial study for the Orchard Road bridge.
A public hearing was held at Oswego Village Hall on a rezoning request for a proposed shopping center at the corner of Ill. Route 71 and Plainfield Road.
30 years ago this month...
A group of Oswego residents upset over the Oswego Village Board's vote to approve a pre-annexation agreement for the proposed Fox Hollow Subdivision (now Mill Race Creek) were contemplating a petition drive for a second advisory referendum on the 211 acre project, according to their attorney, Peter Wilson of Aurora. The residents were concerned over the project's potential negative impact on the community, including increased school enrollment and property taxes.
35 years ago this month...
The Oswego Village Board dissolved its 52-year relationship with the engineering firm of Walter E. Deuchler Associates of Aurora. Village president Milton "Les" Penn announced a new firm would be selected in June.
Dallas Ingemunson resigned, as village attorney, citing a ruling by the Illinois Bar Association that such work, while sitting as the Kendall County State's Attorney, was a conflict of interest.
The OHS Boy's Tennis Team won the Little Seven Conference Championship. OHS track standout Jill Wheeler went to the state meet in the 110 low hurdles.
A Cicero development firm requested Oswego annex property at Douglas Road and U.S. Route 30 for construction of a Kmart and Jewel Food Store.
Teams in the Oswego Men's Softball League opened their new season. One of the league's teams, the Oswego Inn, unveiled new uniforms with short pants. The Ledger noted that the Inn team, led by Bob Prosek, was hoping the new threads would help them improve upon their dismal 1976 record of 1-19.
40 years ago this month...
The Oswego School District Board approved hiring Steve Goers as a teacher and varsity basketball coach at Oswego High School. Goers had spent the previous three years as an assistant coach at downstate Quincy High School.
Mick's Standard at Ill. Route 25 and Mill Street in Montgomery was conducting a contest in which motorists could win 50 gallons of free gas for a week or 1,000 gallons for a year, according to an advertisement in the Ledger.
45 years ago this month...
Zentmyer Ford opened their newly constructed dealership at Boulder Hill Pass and Ill. Route 25. Officials from Ford's corporate headquarters stopped by the new building to present owner Earl Zentmyer with awards in honor of his 50 year career in the local auto sales and service industry. Zentmyer Ford had been located at Main and Jackson streets in downtown Oswego until it was destroyed by fire in June 1965.
During their monthly meeting, the Oswego Village Board approved a request from the Dari Boat (now the Dari Hut) to allow Aurora radio station WKKD to broadcast a two hour music program from the restaurant on Main Street. The board indicated they supported the request "as long as it does not fall into a public nuisance category."
Voters approved a referendum to finance construction of a permanent campus for Waubonsee Community College. Under terms of the referendum, voters pledged to pay 25 percent of the cost to build the new campus, with 75 percent coming from the State of Illinois.
This editorial appeared in the Ledger: "Sen. Robert W. Mitchler has filed a bill in the Senate to expand the current laws prohibiting the University of Illinois from extending the use of its facilities to subversive, seditious, and un-American organizations, to include any state supported institutions of higher learning. It scarcely seems to come within the realm of reality to sanction the use of facilities which you and I support with out tax money, groups intent of the overthrow of our form of government."
Park Place Baptist Church in Montgomery celebrated its 110th anniversary the week of May 6-14, the Ledger reported. To mark the occasion, Wesley Boyd of the Billy Graham Team and his wife, Margaret, will performed as speaker and soloist.
50 years ago this month...
Ground was broken for a new Lutheran church on Pembrooke Road in Boulder Hill. St. Luke's Lutheran Church began holding services at Oswego High School and then moved to East View School. Colley and Borre Architects of Park Ridge designed the new church building. The eight-acre site was donated to the new congregation by St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Aurora. Cost of the new building was estimated at $95,000.
During commencement exercises at Oswego High School, 72 seniors received diplomas.
A benefit dance for the Oswego Library Building Fund was held at the Oswego American Legion Hall. Music was provided by the Dempsey Band. Tickets were $1 each.
The Oswego Lions Club sponsored a safety belt sale for area motorists. An article in the Ledger noted motorists were "at least one-third safer if you drive with safety belts." One set of belts for one person was priced at $7.95. Area service stations cooperated with the club and offered installation at $2 per set.
55 years ago this month...
The Ledger reported: "In answer to many complaints filed at the county courthouse and at Springfield, state police moved into Oswego last Sunday in an effort to curb traffic violations caused by the heavy traffic bound for the drag strip west of town. Over 100 arrest tickets were handed out by the officers, with the majority of the violations being noisy and improper mufflers. Ten of the arrests were for speeding violations and several for improper license plates. Justices Tom Miller and Art Tramblie held court in the Oswego Village Hall during the entire day and assessed the minimum fine of $5 and costs in almost all of the cases. The fine money goes to the county due to the fact that arrests were made by state police. In order for the village to control fine money, arrests must be made by a village officer. The state officers used a radar check system on the cars, radioing ahead to another squad car when they found motorists who were proceeding at too fast a speed."
Kendall County officials were seeking passage of a June 3 referendum to increase the county's corporate fund tax rate. According to the Kendall County Record, county officials had determined additional revenue was needed to allow the county to maintain services for the county's growing population. Between 1950 and 1957 the county's population had increased by 20 percent, according to the newspaper report.
In a page one editorial May 30, Ledger Publisher Ford Lippold wrote: "Voters of Kendall County will have an opportunity to vote on an increase in the county tax rate Monday, June 3. It isn't often that this paper urges persons to vote for or against anything. However, after a great deal of investigation of the subject, it is apparent that it is no longer wise to operate a jet-age county program on a horse and buggy budget. We pour money into Washington like sand into a rat hole with nary a squawk and without knowing where or how it is being spent (or wasted), but here, on a local level of government, we have an opportunity to check on the expenditure of every penny.
The increase being asked for amounts to a maximum of 5.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation or $5.40 on a valuation of $10,000.
We don't think the increase is unreasonable. If we are to have services, we must pay for them."
60 years ago this month...
The Oswego Lions Club distributed house numbers to residents throughout Oswego free of charge. The club said their project was designed to make the village safer, according to an Ledger article.
OHS Class of 1952 Valedictorian Ann Shuler spoke at commencement exercises on May 29. The salutatorian was Carol Christian.
The Ledger reported May 15: "A 16 year-old Michigan youth who stole Ralph Johnson's car from in front of the tavern last Saturday afternoon was apprehended in possession of the car at Kirkwood, Mo. early Sunday morning. The youth, identified as Charles Garrett Paddock of Kalamazoo, Mich., drove off with Johnson's 1949 Buick between 2 and 5 p.m. leaving a 1947 sedan in its stead. The sedan had been taken earlier in the morning from Valparaiso, Ind. According to word received by Johnson, his car is undamaged with the exception of a flat tire."
65 years ago this month...
The annual Oswego High School athletic banquet was held in the gymnasium at the school at Madison at Jackson streets, May 9, the Record reported. Featured speaker was Jack Smiley of the University of Illinois' 'Whiz Kids' basketball team from the early 1940s. Smiley showed the students movies of the Illinois-Wisconsin basketball game.
75 years ago this month...
The Record reported: "Last Sunday morning, Merrill Cherry had such a severe cold he didn't feel up to going to church and was slowly finishing up the chores around the cow barn when he stumbled in the rough cow yard and fell directly toward the bull. The bull charged and trampled him then backed off to make another charge, and Merrill managed to get over a fence and crawled to the barn and laid down on the straw. His wife was in church but his mother, Mrs. Harriet Cherry, becoming alarmed at his absence went to the barn and found him unable to get to the house. A doctor was called and Mr. Cherry was put to bed. He was injured about the legs but it is thought no bones were broken. He was so severely bruised that ice packs were used for his relief. The bull was shipped to Chicago the next morning."
Another article from the Record: "Gov. Horner's highway construction program for 1937 received one more impetus with the award of contracts by the state Division of Highways. In Oswego work will include 1326 mile 20-foot bituminous surface treatment on Washington Street from a point approximately 700 feet south of Franklin street to Grove road, J.W. Stahl Construction Company, Somonauk, $999.18. On Route 65, Section 650B, superstructure on existing piers and abutments for the Fox River bridge on Washington Street in Oswego, E.H. Swanson, Joliet, $47,558.74."
80 years ago this month...
"The golden eagle which was shot Nov. 12 by George Campbell in the chicken yard of his home south of Yorkville while in the process of devouring a duck now rests in all the dignity of its mounting in the window of Bretthauer-Moore's grocery and meat store in Yorkville. The mounting was done by Arthur J. Coleman, a taxidermist, of the Joliet penitentiary," the Record reported.
85 years ago this month...
In his weekly columns in the Record, publisher H.R. Marshall praised Col. Charles Lindbergh for making the first successful solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic and offered some thoughts on the importance of Memorial Day. Concerning the holiday, Marshall wrote: "There is no great objection to making part of the day one of pleasure but, in our humble judgment, there should be a general observance among the business men and citizens...We are fast forgetting the loyalty due the men who saved this county from disruption in the fast gait which we are traveling and the insane desire for pleasure."
95 years ago this month...
From the Record: "State's attorney Burkhart [of Oswego] is after the violators of the automobile laws. He is justified in getting after the ones who have no new license for their cars. It might be well for the local authorities to follow up a few of their own ordinances and make a stop to some of the flagrant cases which have come to the notice of citizens as regards muffler cut-outs and speeding," H.R. Marshall wrote on May 2, 1917."
100 years ago this month...
The Record reported: "There was trouble on the trolley line one afternoon last week. The car left the track above Cowdrey's and the cars due here at four and five did not appear. It took a long time to get the cars running again. Some ladies left Aurora to come home on the four o'clock car. It stopped at Cowdreys and the ladies waited awhile, and got tired of it. They started to walk to Yorkville--nearly three miles--and they did it, getting there soon after six o'clock and the car got here about six minutes after the walkers did. But no matter, they were home and the walk have them an extra appetite for supper. The ladies we recall were Mrs. Oliver Burkhart, Mrs. E.F. Hahnenstein, Miss Kittie Eccles, and Miss Ethel Beldern. They came in smiling and glad to be here, looking just as cool as though they had not walked three miles on a railroad track. They would make splendid "hoboes" so far as the walking goes."
105 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "Owing to the fact that this is the first year when the four-year curriculum has been in vogue in the high school at Oswego, there will be no graduation there this year. The first graduation under the new plan will be held next year when the class of seven, now comprising the highest class of the school, will receive their diplomas."
The growing popularity of the automobile was a concern for the Record. The paper printed this editorial comment: "Exhilarated beyond the limits of discretion by the fascinating sensation of fast riding in automobiles, the 'auto set' of Aurora, containing some of the best known members of society in that city, has been whirled into a condition of fast living that has already disrupted the circle and broken up some of the most prominent homes and threatens to reach other families, according to revelations following the granting of a divorce last Wednesday to Mrs. William H. Holmes. Those involved are principally young married couples. It is a story of wild auto rides to Chicago, of wine and festivities wherein the husband and the wife were not always in the same party."
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "At the regular meeting of the Oswego Village Board Monday J.W. Morrison was re-elected for Marshall, Zeke Davis street commissioner, L.F. Burkhart treasurer and Charles Reed was made the pumper. The indebtedness of the corporation was renewed for another year. A petition of a lot of ladies was presented asking in behalf of beautifying and sanitizing the village that certain eyesores pointed out be obliterated; the spitting and the running of bicycles on the sidewalks be prohibited; that the hens are to be confined; that the dogs be tagged and a string of other abuses be corrected. It was referred to a committee. A petition for a sidewalk, the painting of the water tank, and several other matters were referred."
In local sports, the Record reported, "A game of ball between the high schools of Oswego and East Aurora Thursday was played here and won by the latter, 7-5."
120 years ago this month...
"The Kickapoo Medicine Company has attracted nearly all the attention since their arrival here last week Tuesday," the Record reported from Oswego on May 13, 1892. "Aside from the medicine they are selling, there is nothing Kickapoo about them; the manager is a long bearded Texas Spaniard with an English name and says he can speak and write the German language as well as any other."
"The women of Oswego and the vicinity who are interested in forming a Columbian Exposition club are invited to meet at the residence of Mrs. L.N. Hall Friday afternoon," the Record reported on May 25. That club, known today at the Nineteenth Century Club, is still active in Oswego today.
At the May 9, 1892 Kendall County prohibition convention, no Oswego delegates attended. "As to temperance, or rather the spirit for reform in temperance, it didn't appear well for Oswego be entitled to the lowest number of delegates of any town in the county in the late Prohibition convention, and still worse was it when Oswego appeared unrepresented altogether in said convention. What's the matter with us anyhow?" The Record's Oswego correspondent wondered.
130 years ago this month...
"A good many naughty boys spent Sunday fishing," the Record's Oswego correspondent reported on May 4, 1882. "One of them caught a black bass weighing 4.5 lbs., and another weighing 3 lbs."
The same issue of the Record reported that "Oswego is getting the reputation of producing the best road carts in existence; Hebert and Sons are the manufacturers." Hebert's wagon shop was at the corner of Madison and Van Buren streets.
135 years ago this month...
A tragic railroad accident headlined the Oswego news in the May 31, 1877 Record. According to the Record's Oswego correspondent: Among those in town last Saturday was John McCawley, of Troy, usually called 'The Patch;' his business kept him until 10 o'clock and it was then by urging that he started home. Officer Hagerman accompanied him across the railroad bridge over the Waubonsie (Creek). About an hour after that, Gus, a young German in the employ of the ice firm, was going home on the railroad track and at the crossing, a short distance above the bridge, turned out for the 11:15 train to pass him, and then following after it, coming near the Fox River Creamery, he found a dead man laying on the track. Upon investigation, the remains were found to be those of John McCawley. The substance of the verdict of the coroner's jury was 'that the subject came to his death by a train running over him while he was lying dead drunk on the tracks.'"
140 years ago this month...
The Record announced May 30: "A mush and milk festival is arranged for next Thursday evening at Chapman's Hall for the benefit of the Baptist Church."
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "A conversation between two of our prominent citizens on the sidewalk last evening was not of the most dignified or genteel manner; one would suppose that people well off hadn't ought to make fools of themselves by quarreling with each other. Let us have peace."
Another report from Oswego: "Washington Street is now adorned with the barber pole--perchance the most extensive and magnificent in the United States. The barber shop is kept in the little brown building."
An editorial comment from the Record: "The inquiry was made the other day as to whether or not there was a law against fishing in the river with a seine. Who can tell? If there is, it ought to be more generally known so people might govern themselves accordingly.
Also, whether or not there is an ordinance prohibiting shooting with firearms in the corporation. There are people who becoming aware of the great benefits of the birds would like to see their preservation and increase. Let us incorporate in our creed the idea that birds have some rights which boys must respect."
Religion was in the Oswego news in 1872. According to a May 9 Record article, "At 3:00 o'clock last Sunday quite a number assembled on the bank of the river below Benton St. to witness a baptism by immersion-four persons, an old lady, a middle-age lady, a young lady, and a girl received the sacred ordination."
145 years ago this month...
On May 30, 1867, the Record reported the results of a public meeting held May 25 at Millington to discuss making the Fox River navigable. A survey by the U.S. War Department was to take place during the summer of 1867. The proposal called for installing locks and dams to make the river navigable from the I&M Canal feeder dam at Dayton north to Millington.