Yesteryear for August : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Yesteryear for August |
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...
The Oswego Village Board moved a step closer to establishing commuter bus service for a proposed Metra Park-N-Ride facility on the village's far west side. In a unanimous ballot, board members approved a resolution authorizing a service agreement with the Suburban Bus Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). Under terms of the agreement, the RTA would schedule a PACE bus to transport area Metra riders between the village's Park-N-Ride facility at the northwest corner of Orchard and Mill Roads to the downtown Aurora Transportation Center. Village administrator Carrie Hansen said the annual cost to the village for providing a single bus to serve the local Park-N-Ride would be $89,927. However, Hansen said the cost could be offset by either user fees or grant funds.
Anne Marie Gaura, Montgomery village manager, presented village board members with a revised "Top Projects 2002" list. Gaura asked the board to review the two page list, add any additional projects they would like to see included, and then check mark 10 projects they consider the village's top 10 short-term projects. She also asked them to check mark 10 top long-term projects. Among the many projects listed for the board's consideration were: Yorkville boundary agreement, commercial business attraction, impact fee analysis and revision, industrial business attraction, Metra station/Park-N-Ride, Orchard Road corridor study, Settlers Landing shopping center rehabilitation and village hall renovation.
15 years ago this month...
In an effort to improve pedestrian safety, the Illinois Department of Transportation installed signs on Washington Street (U.S. Route 34) near Main Street in downtown Oswego. The yellow signs warned motorists of pedestrians attempting to cross the four lanes of traffic on Washington Street. The signs were installed at the request of village officials. IDOT had widened the highway from two to four lanes a year earlier.
Blain's Farm & Fleet announced it would construct a 134,000 square foot retail store on the north side of U.S. Route 30 in Montgomery.
Contractors for Lucent Technologies began tearing down the old Western Electric plant located along the west bank of the Fox River in Montgomery. During its peak of operation in the late 1970s, the massive plant had been the workplace for nearly 4,000 area residents.
Oswego officials met with representatives of Metra concerning the possible establishment of a commuter rail station in the village. The Metra representatives recommended the village petition the agency to have a feasibility study completed to determine the need and potential costs for the service.
20 years ago this month...
Contractors for the Fox Valley Park District installed a new section of the Fox River Trail on park property along the east bank of the river on either side of the Mill Street bridge in Montgomery. In a related matter, Richard Young, Kendall County Forest Preserve District president, announced the county agency was interested in having the trail extended further south along Ill. Route 25 to at least Violet Patch Park in Oswego.
The City of Aurora's growth plans were a matter of concern for Oswego School District Board members. City officials announced they had targeted more than 2,000 acres of undeveloped land east of U.S. Route 34 in the school district for future residential development. The announcement prompted school board members to agree to send a representative to the city's plan commission meetings in an effort to better track the city's growth.
By a wide margin, most Oswego residents supported a village policy permitting leaf burning, a survey conducted by the village determined.
At issue for the Oswego Public Library District Board and staff was whether to construct an addition to the agency's land-locked downtown Oswego facility or construct a new library on a different site.
The Village of Montgomery became the first community in the lower Fox Valley area to launch a solid waste recycling program. The village board acted to implement the voluntary 'blue bag' program at the urging of a local citizens' group, Montgomery Advocates for Reduction and Recycling (MAR).
25 years ago this month...
Oswego School Board members were advised to prepare for an enrollment boom. School Superintendent Dr. Terry Tamblyn presented the results of a demographic study that contained various enrollment growth scenarios. Tamblyn said the district's enrollment by the year 2000 would likely range between two scenarios, one that projected an enrollment of 9,081 and another that predicted an enrollment of 11,859. A more modest growth scenario contained in the study projected enrollment to reach 8,457 by 2000.
The Montgomery Village Board approved plans for the second unit of new homes in the village's Seasons Ridge Subdivision. An official with Primus Corporation, project developers, told the Ledger-Sentinel the 207 acre project's second unit would consist of 130 single family homes. A total of 37 of the 53 new homes in the subdivision's first unit had already been sold, the official said.
30 years ago this month...
The Oswego Village Board was positioning itself to take on Pac Man, if necessary. The board voted to approve an ordinance that limited the number of video games in local businesses to 15. The board acted after receiving reports that a video parlor might open on Main Street.
35 years ago this month...
The Montgomery Village Board was studying the possible establishment of cable television service in the village. Ray Kozloski, a board member, said he believed cable could be offered in the village if Oswego and the Boulder Hill Subdivision also signed up for the service.
Wayne Wells, Montgomery village president, told the village board that U.S. Rep. Tom Corcoran had read a statement concerting the village's position on energy conservation into the Congressional Record. "We are beginning to dent the bureaucracy in Washington," Wells said.
40 years ago this month...
Kendall County Young Republicans were doing their part to help re-elect President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew. The organization staged a "Target '72 Campaign Blitz" of the Boulder Hill Subdivision Aug. 19.
The Aug. 24 Ledger included a feature article on Montgomery resident Franklin Stark and his ongoing construction of a "castle" at the intersection of Montgomery Road and South Broadway Avenue. According to the article, Stark, 65, was building his massive new home out of 50 tons of Bedford stone and 6,000 concrete blocks.
45 years ago this month...
The Oswego Plan Commission approved a resolution in opposition to an Illinois Department of Transportation's plan to develop a highway rest area on U.S. Route 34 across from Fox Bend Golf Course. The commission noted that more than 400 homes were planned on the adjoining undeveloped properties and the project also conflicted with land use recommendations contained in the village's comprehensive plan. (Editor's note: In spite of the village's objections, the rest area was built in 1968 but was closed by IDOT in 1981 due to lack of use and repeated vandalism. The property is now the site of the village police department building).
A group of Oswego businessmen contacted a private consulting firm to complete a market survey as the first step towards a major re-development project for the village's downtown, according to a report in the Ledger. The survey was expected to cost $5,000.
50 years ago this month...
"The first partial results of the Federal Fallout Shelter Survey show that 182 shelter spaces may be available in the larger buildings of Oswego and NaAuSay townships," Clyde Phillips, director of the Kendall County Civil Defense Agency told the Ledger. As part of the survey, local civil defense officials had gone door-to-door in the two townships seeking out buildings which might offer protection from radiation fallout from a nuclear blast. According to the 1960 U.S. Census, there were 4,993 people living in Oswego Township and 557 in NaAuSay Township.
The Kendall County Board voted in August to collect a one-half percent sales tax on items sold in unincorporated areas of the county. The board suggested the sales tax revenues would off-set any proposed increases in real estate taxes.
The baseball season was over for the summer in Oswego and the local Pony and Little Leagues were asking their players to turn in their uniforms either at Carr's Department Store on Main Street or at Mrs. Jeannette Bramley's home on Greenbriar Road in Boulder Hill.
55 years ago this month...
"Oswego schools open Friday p.m." a headline in the Aug. 29 Ledger reported, adding "New East View is not ready." According to the story, the new East View School, opening as an intermediate building for grades 4-6, would not be ready for occupancy until Sept. 15. As a result, students in the three grades were being sent to classrooms in the junior high addition to Oswego High School [formerly Traughber Junior High, now the Oswego 308 Center], in the gym and second floor classrooms at the old Red Brick School.
Through the courtesy of Aurora Mayor Paul Egan Aurora, Oswego's downtown merchants were given free tickets to Riverview Park in Chicago. The tickets were good for free admission and for six rides, according to the Ledger.
The Ledger reported Aug. 8: "The most recent special census taken in the Village of Oswego showed a population of 1,381, up from the 1950 count of 1,220 residents. The door-to-door census counted everyone living in Oswego as of July 30, 1957."
New water rates for Oswego were approved by the village board at $4 for the first 700 cubit feet and 40 cents for each additional 100 cubic feet. Water bills were also to be sent out quarterly instead of semi-annually, the Ledger reported.
Oswego officials also decided to have two more foggings for mosquito control before the end of summer.
60 years ago this month...
The Ledger reported that the Oswego Village Board voted to install a manually-operated flasher-type school traffic signal light at the corner of Madison (U.S. Route 34) and Jackson streets to allow students to safely cross the street. The Red Brick School was located at the northeast corner of the intersection.
The Oswego Park District Board of Commissioners passed an appropriations ordinance authorizing $3,950 in spending.
The University of Illinois College of Pharmacy reported Oswegoan Ann Shuler had earned one of the highest scores ever recorded on a series of pharmacy background tests given to all candidates for admission to the college.
Pvt. Kenneth Bohn was reported as being stationed at Ladd Field in Fairbanks, Alaska. Bohn served with the 57th Engineer Construction Company.
65 years ago this month...
The Kendall County Record's Oswego correspondent reported that the village "was now on the map," thanks to the selection of the Melvin Parkhurst family of Oswego as the 'Typical Farm Family of Illinois' in a statewide contest. "The community rejoices in the honor shown the Parkhursts," the correspondent wrote.
The Record report at the end of August: "On Tuesday, Sept. 2, the Oswego Community high school and the Oswego Community Consolidated school will start their fall term. On the first day, students will be dismissed so they may return home by noon.
Earl Zentmyer and Les Morse will again provide bus transportation. The schools have been put in excellent condition during the summer. Rooms redecorated include the commercial room, study hall, library, social science room, main hall in the high school on the first floor, halls at the primary school, the third grade room and gymnasium. The junior high school has been re-lighted. All floors have been renovated.
70 years ago this month...
The Chicago's Burlington and Quincy Railroad's famous "Denver Zephyr," made a rare trip down the CB&Q's Fox River branch line through Kendall county. The Record reported: "The Denver Zephyer, really a stranger on the Fox River branch of the Burlington, made an unexpected call last Wednesday evening. The cause was a derailment of a ditching machine on the Burlington's main line.
The Zephyr sneaked through here at about 40 miles an hour, giving the residents a thrill that might not be repeated."
A headline in the Record read: "BLACKOUT WARNING" The story under the headline read: "The United States Army has ordered a test blackout to be held Aug. 12, 1942 from 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Central War Time, covering all northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and Michigan. No person shall be upon the streets except those on duty and wearing the badge of Civilian Defense. All others remain indoors. No telephones are to be used during the blackout.
Control centers will operate under full emergency conditions for the purpose of staff training and to receive reports from Air Raid Wardens, Fire Watchers, or others, concerning accidents and blackout violations. Medical Detachment units should be on duty, equipped, and ready to function in case of actual need. The blackout will start with a steady sounding of the siren for 1-1/2 minutes. The "all clear" or end of the blackout will be known by siren sounding 1/2 minute."
75 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent report Aug. 4: "In the downtown district of Oswego every Saturday night is held one of the best little amateur shows to be seen hereabouts. Another bigger and better show is being planned for this Saturday night. These shows are given in front of Schultz's store starting at about 8:30 DST (Daylight Savings Time). Winners are selected by the applause of the crowd. After the amateur show, $5 in cash is given away as a prize.
"Wednesday night is another gala night in the little town on the Fox river. This is the night of the free talking pictures presented in the vacant lot north of the library on the Main street downtown. An invitation is extended to everyone to go to Oswego and enjoy these evenings.
"These two nights of entertainments are sponsored and financed by the Oswego Business Men's association."
80 years ago this month...
As the Great Depression continued, many financially struggling Kendall County families were looking to the county and township government for assistance. The Record reported from Yorkville: "The county board of supervisors has made a formal request to the Illinois Emergency Relief commission for a minimum of $2,000 to carry on necessary relief in Kendall county, and particularly Little Rock township (Plano) during the months of August and September.
"The resolution reviews the unemployment condition in Little Rock township as follows: Eighty-one families have received aid during the past year, the total mounting to $6,684. Of this amount, $727 was paid for rent, $4,541 for food, $466 for medical services, $548 for fuel, and $401 for clothing. The resolution estimates the amount of unpaid rent of unemployed families to be in excess of $3,000.
The number of families which have to be helped necessarily mounts with the progress of winter. The $2,000 requested in the present resolution would be available for expenditure in the next 10 or 15 days and would be used to provide for 50 families now definitely in need of aid. A family of five is regularly allotted $4 a week.
"The needy are of several classes. First, there is the man with a family who has been shifted out of work by the pure force of economic conditions. The man who has been a renter on a farm for many years but must give place to his landlord who, because of the reduced farm prices, finds it impossible to live on rents along and has to go back to working his farm himself. These families have had hard going for three or four years and at last are unable to sustain themselves further unaided.
"There is the man who worked in the factory before it closed or laid off men. After a year of living on savings, he and his family find it inescapable that they should ask relief. They are back six months or a year on their rent.
"There is the ex-service man. Probably most of the families who apply to organized relief committees for aid are large, with five, six, or more children."
85 years ago this month...
In his weekly column in the Record, publisher H.R. Marshall noted the coming end of the baseball season and took the opportunity to lament the growing corruption in baseball and other sports caused by money and "sports politicians." Marshall added, "Colleges are commercializing athletes to a startling degree. Football offers great financial advantage to the mercenary youth. The outright purchase of players has permitted this winning of many games in all fields of sport."
90 years ago this month...
Record Publisher H.R. Marshall commented: "We wonder if you were as much surprised as we were when the Hon. Ira C. Copley of Aurora, the president of the Western United Gas & Electric Company, in a public statement acknowledged that the Fox River was being polluted by the refuse which he was permitting his company to dump into the stream. The announcement of the gas company will bring joy to the lovers of fishing and swimming and Mr. Copley will be acclaimed a champion, even through it took him a long time to get his harness on. But this company is not the only one which is a menace. All the way up the river there are cities, the refuse and sewage from which are being dumped indiscriminately into the Fox and adding filth to the once pretty river. The farther north you go along the stream the more beautiful it is and the purer the water is.
"The rivers and waterways of this great nation are a part of its wonderful wealth and beauty. To permit them to be used as open sewers is but to endanger life and invite pestilence. It is not too late for an organized effort to be made which will enforce the care of the poisons from cities being dumped into a stream in their original dangerous condition.
The Record's Oswego correspondent filed this report: "Oswego nearly overflowed into Fox River Wednesday evening when the Masonic Band of Aurora gave a concert on Main Street. Early in the evening the choice parking space along the street was filled and before the concert was over the thoroughfares of the village were crowded."
Record Publisher H.R. Marshall suggested in an editorial comment that better signs were needed along Kendall County roads. Marshall wrote: "We make this statement without fear of contradiction--Kendall County roads are the barest of marks as to the destination to which roads will take a driver of any in Northern Illinois. This statement is not made with any pride. Routes should be clearly marked so that a person seeking a town can find it without going to farm houses and seeking directions. Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana are well marked. One can select a route to a certain place and follow that route without even a hesitancy."
95 years ago this month...
Record publisher H.R. Marshall noted on Aug. 12, 1917 that "The hot weather is causing much discomfort but the corn is growing in proportion...A little rain would be acceptable but we should not grumble. Take the heat and watch the corn grow."
Oswego area residents accepted in the second draft call for World War I included Dr. Lewis Weishew, R.R. Robinson, Alvin Sorg, Fred Schwartz, Russell Boyle, Robert Ammons, Arthur Schark, Henry Hathaway, William Foss, Leon Harshbarger, and Claire Willis.
100 years ago this month...
The Record reported from Oswego: "A burglary is again in evidence in Oswego. M. Beck, proprietor of the saloon, is the victim. Last Friday afternoon between 3 and 5 someone made bold to get away with cash to the amount of about $140, which was in a receptacle beneath the cash register.
A deceased Oswego resident apparently had not been paying anywhere near his fair share of property taxes. The Record reported: "The board of review of Kendall county is working on an interesting case of alleged failure to list property that may mean several thousand dollars to the county. A year ago when the assessment was made, Charles Knapp of Oswego, since deceased, listed $4,900 personal property. An inventory of his estate has been taken and personal property to the amount of $68,000 it was found. It is reported that in and about Oswego that Mr. Knapp had considerable money and a few years ago, it is said, he had notes to the amount of $88,000 in his possession. This is evidently a clear case of evasion of taxes. It is thought that the board will go back a number of years and make an effort to collect back taxes from the estate, which if the circumstance as state here are true, will mean at least $5,000 to the county."
110 years ago this month...
The male population of Oswego was evidently fascinated by the game of base ball. The Record's village correspondent reported: "Base ball talk is carried on for hours by a bunch of men without getting anyways near the end. One had no idea there was so much technique and science about the game."
The Record editorialized: "We have in our government a department of war, of the navy, of state, of the treasury, the post office, the interior, of law and of agriculture--one of commerce is much talked of--each regulating at all times the affairs under its charge. Labor, which not only has to create the means for the support for all these, but to which is due all material wealth, never received any governmental recognition. A department of labor is now urgently demanded. Which political party will first move in the matter?"
115 years ago this month...
On Aug. 25 the Record reported from Oswego: "Fire! Fire! was the cry early Friday morning; it was at the residence of R.R. Smith, where the boy undertook to help make the fire in the kitchen stove burn by pouring kerosene on it, followed by the usual explosion of the can. By the cries the boy, whose clothes were on fire, Smith, who had one out doors returned and took the boy out and put him into the creek which runs by the house. A portion of the firemen were promptly on hand and quick to work and soon had the fire extinguished--some of those not there didn't like it that they were not waked up and a chance given in having a hand of putting out the first fire of the company's regime. The boy was considerably burned about the legs, the building more or less damaged and some of the furniture destroyed, which, however, was replaced by other given to the family by neighbors."
120 years ago this month...
In the Aug. 3 Record, the paper's Oswego correspondent reported that: "John Waldbilling discovered a large white bird swimming in the river last week, which, at a distance he took for a swan. He went and got Will Leigh who, with a gun, accompanied John to the place and shot the bird. It proved to be a pelican which they took to Aurora and sold it for $7."
"The practice of the boys-both old and young-of engaging in the exercise of throwing and catching ball on the main business part of the street is to be stopped now," the Record's Oswego correspondent reported on Aug. 3. "It occurs generally towards evening, and Monday one of those swift flying and curving balls hit Esquire Haight on the nose, causing it to bleed profusely, and this morning the Esquire looks as if he had been through a prize fight mill and got the worst of it."
"In the afternoon [of Aug. 29] Prof. Davidson, for about an hour performed on a rope stretched across [Main] street from over the [roller] rink and the three-story building of Funk," the Record reported form Oswego. "The Professor is a very clever actor, and performs his work with consummate skill."
125 years ago this month...
"The town was subjected to a double dose of street music one forenoon last week," the Record's Oswego correspondent wrote on Aug. 3, 1887. "One band being a combine of a bag-pipe and some other kind of pipes; the other a hand organ with a monkey for the treasurer. The monkey performed his business very cute; the followers of Darwin have no cause to blush."
On Aug. 24, well before OSHA safety guidelines, an alarming accident was reported from Oswego: "N. Larkin collapsed in the bottom of Willis' well; he was hauled up by one leg with a rope, and then showered with water. It took an hour to bring him to."
130 years ago this month...
In the Aug. 17, 1882 Kendall County Record, columnist Lorenzo Rank, writing as "U.R. Strooley," poked some fun at himself: "L. Rank came onto a 5 ft. rattlesnake up near the woods [where the Oswego Township Cemetery on Main Street is located today] Sunday afternoon; the snake didn't bite him and he didn't kill it; they were afraid of each other."
135 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported Aug. 17: "A week ago Saturday a Yorkville base ball club came up and played our boys, when Yorkville got badly waxed, they making 21 to Oswego's 61. Last Saturday our boys went to Yorkville and played with the same club there, they returned with all due respect for the Yorkville boys, but with less tender regard for their feelings. The game was said to have stood 18 to 17; the one score in favor of Yorkville was made by the playing off of a tie game.
140 years ago this month...
A report from the Record: "Those boys who disport themselves in the river on mules' backs near Bristol bridge should wear a small fig-leaf. A large thistle on the posterior would be appropriate."
From the Record's Oswego correspondent: "The temperance law didn't work worth a cent last Saturday night, at least as far as the prevention of getting drunk and making noise is concerned."
From the Aug. 29 Record: "How are your sick folks? is an expression heard at present quite frequently. There is an unusually large number of people sick in the town and surrounding country and the doctors and apothecaries are now the most looked for personages. This town is reputed for its general healthfulness; let everybody try to maintain this reputation by keeping from getting sick, and if sick, to get well as soon as possible."
Another item from the Record: "An Aurora base ball club of children exhibited themselves down here the other day in uniform."
145 years ago this month...
In response to an article in the Tama Union that took Record Editor Marshall to task for including "three full columns" of baseball reports, Marshall replied on Aug. 22, 1867: "That's 'sarcasm' Brother Ingham. We fill our paper with matter that is interesting to our readers, and not to self-glorification and extended puffs of the New Covenant and Manford's Magazine."
Kendall County residents were warned to keep their weeds cut. A state law passed Feb. 9, 1867 requiring all persons to keep Canada thistles cut was reprinted on the Record's front page.
The Record reported this incident in Oswego Aug. 1: "Last Friday a team and wagon load of coal backed off the Oswego bridge and one of the horses was killed and the other badly injured. The wagon was broken to pieces. The driver had driven up to the approach of the bridge and the horses were just on the bank when he stopped them for some purpose. The horse could not hold the load and went over the abutment."