YESTERYEAR FOR JULY : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|YESTERYEAR FOR JULY|
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 the Village of Montgomery.
10 years ago this month...
In a 6-1 ballot, Oswego School District Board members approved a 5 percent compensation increase for Dr. David Behlow, school superintendent. Behlow's salary, including retirement benefits, was set at $167,307.68 for the 2002-03 school year. In addition to salary and benefits, the board also voted in 2001 to give Behlow a matching $5,000 contribution each year to a 403b tax-deferred retirement plan from the school district. In addition to the salary and benefit package, the board also grant Behlow a $500 per month car allowance.
In a unanimous ballot, Oswego School District Board members authorized entering into a contract with Batavia-based Kluber, Skahan and Associates, Inc. (KS&A) for architectural and engineering services to design and build a second high school in the district. The new school would join the existing Oswego High School to create a two high school district. According to the approved contract, KS&A would be paid 5.8 percent of the new building's eventual cost for their architectural and engineering work.
The Village of Montgomery's plan to develop a civic center campus that would include a new police station on the village's far west side gained the support of the village's plan commission. In series of unanimous ballots, commission members endorsed a master concept plan for the entire 29 acre site, a preliminary site plan and special use zoning permit for the police station.
15 years ago this month...
Oswego School District Superintendent Dr. Karl Plank reported to school board members the district ended the 1996-97 school year with a total enrollment of 5,204. That number was down slightly from the 5,239 students recorded as being enrolled in district schools in February. A breakdown by school showed these figures as of early June: Boulder Hill School, 680; East View School, 1,112; Long Beach School, 753; Traughber Junior High, 640; Thompson Junior High, 540; and Oswego High School, 1,443.
Village of Montgomery officials confirmed they were meeting with representatives of a large retail store chain that was interested in locating a store along the north side of U.S. Route 30, just east of the Settlers Landing shopping center.
An era in local business ended when Jim Detzler sold Detzler Pontiac to William McSkimming, the owner of Riverfront Chrysler-Plymouth at the North Aurora Auto Mall. Detzler had operated the dealership for the previous 27 years, first in downtown Oswego and then later in Boulder Hill at Boulder Hill Pass and Ill. Route 25.
Beavers were a problem for some homeowners in Oswego's Herren's Run subdivision. The furry critters had built a dam on a creek adjoining the subdivision and were roaming into backyards seeking landscaping to bolster the dam, William Dunn, the village's public works department director told the village board.
20 years ago this month...
An official with the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a federal agency, objected to being tape recorded during a public meeting of the Oswegoland Park District Board of Commissioners. The official asked Bert Gray, park district executive director, to turn off his tape recorder after noticing it on a table at the meeting. Even though Illinois law permits anyone to tape record a meeting, Gray complied with the request. But moments later an official with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) confiscated Gray's tape recorder. The IDPH official could not be reached for comment following the meeting, but another IDPH official acknowledged that their staffer had no legal right to seize the tape recorder. The official also emphasized the agency was committed to obeying the Illinois Open Meetings Act law, which allows anyone to tape record public meetings if they so desire.
Copley Memorial Hospital officials were working to finalize the purchase of a 95 acre site for a proposed new hospital campus on U.S. Route 34 in Aurora, just north of the Kendall-Kane county line.
Up for review before the Oswego Plan Commission were plans for the proposed Victoria Meadows subdivision at the northwest corner of U.S. Route 34 and Douglas Road.
The cost for "expanded" basic cable television service had nearly tripled in Montgomery and Oswego from $8 per month in 1984 to $22.45 in 1992, the Ledger-Sentinel reported.
25 years ago this month...
Oswego Fire Protection District Commissioners voted to hire Paramedic Services of Illinois to provide paramedics for the district's new round-the-clock paramedic service.
Construction was nearly complete on the Village of Oswego's new water tower located along the west side of U.S. Route 34, just south of U.S. Route 30 in the village. The tower was the first new water storage facility constructed in the village since 1958. The village used a grant from the state's "Build Illinois" public works program to finance the project.
30 years ago this month...
The Boulder Hill Civic Association and the Oswego Business Association jointly sponsored the first community Independence Day fireworks display from the grounds at Oswego High School. BHCA President Mary Distler reported the display cost $3,950 and was well received by a large crowd.
Would it be another Woodstock? Kendall County Board members expressed concern over a proposal to stage a rock musical festival on a farm in unincorporated Fox Township, south of Plano. Promoters told the board that the "Illinois Music Festival" could attract up to 70,000 people to the three-day event in September.
35 years ago this month...
Plans to construct a Burger King at the corner of Douglas and Montgomery roads in Montgomery were approved by the village board. The board conditioned its approval of the restaurant to the developer's agreeing to relocate a sign on the site and a review of a landscaping plan. The Burger King was the first commercial business to locate on Douglas Road, south of Montgomery Road.
The Montgomery Village Board voted to hire Paul Schuch as the village's first full-time engineer. The board set Schuch's annual salary at $20,800. In another personnel move, the board also voted to provide maternity health insurance coverage for employees at a cost of $112 per year for every $1,000 of coverage. The coverage replaced a $400 maternity benefit fund the village had previously established. Board members noted that maternity costs were ranging between $1,200 and $1,400.
With two weeks to go before the deadline, Boulder Hill Civic Association officials announced they had yet to receive a single entry for a contest to design a new Boulder Hill vehicle sticker. The association sold the stickers each year to help pay for its various community service projects, including spraying for mosquitoes throughout the huge subdivision.
Contractors for the Oswego School District were finishing up work on the new Thompson Junior High School located off Boulder Hill Pass in Oswego. The school board scheduled an open house at the new school for Aug. 14.
40 years ago this month...
The Boulder Hill Civic Association appointed a committee to study the possible organization of a fire department to serve the unincorporated subdivision between Oswego and Montgomery.
45 years ago this month...
As part of its annual youth summer playground program, the Oswegoland Park District announced it had scheduled a "Hippie Happening."
Preliminary plans for the proposed Oswegoland Civic Center building and pool, planned for a 9.3 acre site on Ashlawn Avenue at Circle Drive West in Boulder Hill, were reviewed by a park district advisory committee.
50 years ago this month...
Dutch elm disease was decimating the elm tree population in Oswego, Montgomery and throughout the Fox River Valley. The Oswego Ledger reported that more than 100 trees were dead or dying in Oswego, including 26 along Franklin Street near Oswego High School (now the Oswego 308 Center). Biologists have been unable to come up with a cure for the disease.
The Ledger reported: " Several paint jobs are underway in the community including the new green buildings of Alexander Lumber Company and the gray and white "last Chance" on the corner of Main and Jackson.
The Oswego School District was proceeding with construction projects in local schools. The Ledger reported: "Work is underway on the new addition to the high school (now the Oswego 308 Center), which will be used for a shop program and will afford an opportunity for a broader curriculum in this area. Work is also underway in renovating the Little White School for use as a part of the junior high program."
55 years ago this month...
It was a busy month for the Montgomery Village Board. Over the course of three meetings, the board authorized the sale of $240,000 in bonds to finance improvements to the municipal water system; announced the village would not issue any more building permits for residences on Parker Avenue until toilets and septic tanks were installed in the area; received a request from Father Hillmeyer of Sacred Heart Parish in Aurora concerning the parish's request to expand its cemetery on property owned by the Fox Valley Park District off Ill. Route 25; approved the purchase of a red light for the village's new squad car; and reviewed an agreement to provide water to the new Western Electric plant upon the firm's installation of a well and water mains on the plant site.
Behind the one-hit pitching of Bob Tripp, Oswego's entry in Division 1 of the Cornbelt Little League defeated Montgomery by a 7-1 score. Tripp had a no-hitter until the sixth inning when a Montgomery batter connected for a sharp single past the mound. Showing excellent command with his pitches, Tripp finished the game with 14 strikeouts and no walks.
The Oswego Village Board asked that all persons limit their "sprinkling of lawns and excess use of water during the summer months as present pumping machinery is unable to stand heavy demands," the Ledger reported.
A report from the July 18 Ledger: "Employees of the Layne Western Company, Kansas City, Mo., are busy drilling the new well in Madison Street (in Oswego). The new well, which will have a capacity of approximately 500 gallons per minute and the well house and other appurtenances is being financed with a $75,000 bond issue. The combined capacity of the two present wells is approximately 180 gallons per minute. The new well will be between 1,300 and 1,400 feet deep, compared to approximately 620 feet of the present wells. It is estimated that Oswego people now use an average daily gallonage of 104,250 and that with normal population increase, a daily gallonage of 142,000 will be necessary in 1966 and 186,200 gallons daily by 1976."
Oswego Village Collector Al Shuler reported to the village board donations to the village's mosquito abatement fund had now passed the $300 mark. A check on Tuesday, July 16, showed a total of $323 contributed.
60 years ago this month...
The Ledger reported July 10: "An example of how much it costs to run a municipality the size of Oswego--the recent rehabilitation of the sewer disposal plant cost over $1,800."
Commenting on the Republican National Convention held in Chicago, Ledger editor Ford Lippold noted that a reporter conducted an informal survey of delegates' feelings on the party's Civil Rights platform plank. "Forty percent of the delegates questioned replied that they had not read the platform. Twenty percent had no opinion. These were the people who were entrusted to nominate a presidential candidate," Lippold wrote.
Superintendent T. Lloyd Traughber announced the Oswego school system would have 28 teachers on staff for the 1952-53 school year.
The Oswego Village Board hired George Plum as village marshall and authorized him to solicit funds for the purchase of a two-way radio system for the marshall's car. "The reason for asking residents of the community for funds is simply that the village budget does not provide for such an expenditure at this time," the Ledger reported.
In a letter to the editor, an unidentified Oswego resident wrote that she appreciated the recent oiling and re-surfacing of local streets, but asked that workers include more sand or crushed rock in the mixture. "It doesn't make a housewife very happy to have oil tracked in on her rugs or to have her little boy come in with oil splotches on his clothes," the resident wrote.
70 years ago this month...
The Kendall County Record reported: "A civilian defense meeting will be held at the Plano theatre Thursday, July 23. The public is urged to attend the meeting and thereby gain a better understanding of the civil protection division of civilian defense. Two films, entitled 'Ready on the Home Front' and 'Fighting the Incendiary Bomb,' will round out the evening's instructions."
75 years ago this month...
The Kendall County Record reported on July 7, 1937 that construction work on a new bridge across the Fox River at Oswego had started. "The old Oswego bridge is being rapidly dismantled and the construction of a new bridge will start now. There will be no temporary bridge built." Instead of a temporary bridge, motorists were expected to use the old ford across the river located near the mouth of Waubonsie Creek until the new bridge was completed.
80 years ago this month...
The Record included this editorial comment: "Not long ago, we read an article about the excellent work that is being done with systems for cooling and washing air prior to its use in buildings. The work is now at the stage where systems are being contemplated for use in private homes. Theaters and large public buildings already are using cooling systems. Anyhow, we read the article and didn't think much about it at the time, but during the scorching nights last week when we couldn't sleep on account of the heat, we lay in bed and wished with all our might that we had such a cooling apparatus in our house. Another case of born 30 years too soon, evidently."
A report from the July 13 Record: "Mrs. John Brown of Normantown, which is just over the Kendall county line east of Oswego, died Monday morning at the St. Joseph hospital in Aurora from critical burns she sustained when getting breakfast. Mrs. Brown was stoking her cook stove when a tongue of fire shot out and ignited her clothing which was burned from her body. A son, John, who had gone to the well for a pail of water returned find his mother in flames. An ambulance was called and Mrs. Brown was taken to the St Joseph hospital in Aurora in an extremely critical condition. She died Monday morning, and her daughter, Miss Janet, who has been attending the Illinois State Teachers' college at DeKalb and her son John, both members of the Lorraine chapter of Eastern Star at Oswego, being by her bedside."
The banks of the Fox River were a popular summer retreat for Chicago area residents in the early years of the 20th century. The Record reported: "The summer colony of Oak Park residents are now fully settled in the cottages along the north bank of the Fox river just east of Yorkville."
85 years ago this month...
The Record lamented the results of a street car accident that had occurred in Aurora: "The motorman on the street car which ran into a herd of elephants at Aurora recently was guilty of speeding and negligence is the verdict of the coroner's jury. It has evidently become the thing among those in charge of public conveyances to 'Open her wide and let her travel' regardless of the possible results. The one mentioned above caused the death of two men, the injury of others, and the killing of an elephant, and all because he was in a hurry to get his 'circus crowd' home that he might get off sooner."
95 years ago this month...
Kendall County Record Editor H.R. Marshall described neighboring Aurora in this fashion in his weekly column July 11: "Aurora is having a great time with the wide open town. Loose hotels, women on the streets, chop suey restaurants as covers for vicious practices, wine rooms in saloons and gambling flourishing are things which now trouble the administration of Mayor Harley."
Did children need more than just an eighth grade education? That was an issue addressed in this editorial comment from the Record:
"For many years the state has held that the child should have more than an eighth [grade] education and several laws have been enacted to accomplish this purpose. They have been defective in many ways but have aroused an interest in high school work. A few years ago, only a few pupils from the rural districts entered our high schools. Last year, more than 175 pupils from the rural districts, who lived in Kendall County, attended some high school. That is a good showing and speaks well for the interest taking in the education of our children."
100 years ago this month...
The Record reported: "A warrant was issued for the arrest of Charles Reid of Oswego on a serious charge Friday afternoon by Justice Turpin of Plano. Several attempts have been made to serve the papers in vain and Reid has left the community. The case has to do with the associations of Reid and Minnie Schultz, a 15 year-old school girl of Oswego, daughter of a widow, neighbor of the Reid family. These conditions were recently heard of by the brothers of the girl and legal steps were taken. Word from friends gave Reid a chance to get away and though efforts have been made for his apprehension, he has not been caught. Minnie Schultz is the youngest child of a widow living in Oswego and has three brothers and a sister. Reid and his wife have been living in the house adjoining the Schultz household and in this manner the two were acquainted. Reid is about 35 years of age and has been in trouble before."
The Record reported from Yorkville: "A Fox river pearl was sold in Yorkville Tuesday that brought $1,000 and is thought to be one of the finest specimens that has yet been found in the river at any point. The pearl was perfectly round and white and weighed 30 grains, it being an exceptionally large one. The sale was made by A.A. Wallin, who has been in Yorkville for about a month looking for pearls and the purchaser was a traveling buyer. [$1,000 in 1912 would be worth $22,000 in 2009 dollars.]"
125 years ago this month...
Making light of a normally serious subject, the Record's Oswego correspondent reported in July 1887 that "Perhaps there are some now that would like to have their funerals take place right away so as to get first use of the magnificent new hearse received by C.A. Shaver the other day. It is a beauty."
130 years ago this month...
In a story with a "Ripley's Believe it or Not" air to it, the Record's Oswego correspondent reported in July of 1882 that "A hen over at W.E. Wormley's took a new departure; she made a nest up in a willow tree and then hatched a brood of eleven chicks."
In the same issue, it was reported that "A bridge has been built across Bartlett's Run on Tyler Street" in Oswego.
135 years ago this month...
"Of course our readers remember the horses that were stolen in Oswego a few weeks ago, and the consequent reward offered for them. Well the fellow who stole them is now in the Yorkville Jail and he should have a 20 years' term in the Penitentiary. David Carter is his name," the Record reported.
In other crime news the Record reported: "Sunday a lady representing herself as a music teacher hired a horse and buggy of Ed Mann to go to Aurora and back. As she didn't again make her appearance with the rig, the Captain started on Monday morning for investigation. After he had gone a dispatch was received from Geneva stating that the rig was there and the lady that had it was insane. Charley went after it and in the afternoon both returned with the same."
140 years ago this month...
The July 11 Record contained this report: "The town trustees were in session last night, a full board being present. The principal proceedings were in regard to the granting of a saloon license and the passage of an ordinance conferring discretionary powers upon themselves to grant or refuse licenses for selling liquor after a certain date."
The Record's Oswego correspondent noted: "The quietest 4th ever experienced in the annals of Oswego was the one last week; the patriotic drunks were limited down to a very few."
A lawsuit between George Woolley and James M. Chapman was tried before Justice Fowler the other day; the case stood something like this: Defendant owned plaintiff a balance of $2 on pigs bought, which amount he was to leave for plaintiff at a certain store. The defendant averred that such had been done, the merchant had no recollection of it, a verdict obtained in favor of plaintiff. P.G. Hawley and Albert Snook conducted the case.
On July 25, the Record reported: "The long prayed for rain has come; some are already apprehensive of getting too much of it."
145 years ago this month...
Transportation was in the Oswego news in July of 1867. The Record reported from Oswego "The wooden bridge across the Fox River has been condemned due to rotting timbers. A new iron bridge talked of to cost $13,000."
"The old stone machine shop on the west side of the river has been converted to a cheese factory by Roe and Seely from New York state," the Record's Oswego correspondent reported on July 25. He added that "L. N. Hall has a drug store filled up almost as good as in the old place and when he gets in the new store it will be just as good." Hall's store, along with several others plus the National Hotel, was destroyed by fire the previous February.
"A special meeting of the Kendall County Horse Protection Association was held at the Court House on Tuesday [July 23] to consider the claim of Charles Gray of Oswego, who has had a horse stolen," the Record reported from Oswego.
Noted Record publisher John R. Marshall from Oswego on July 25, 1867: "The worthy postmaster, Mr. Lawrence Rank, continues to place us under obligation by getting subscribers for our paper. He will be rewarded, if not here, hereafter."