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   Ledger Sentinel - The local NEWS source in Oswego, Montgomery and Boulder Hill for more than half a century.
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Published each Thursday in Oswego, Illinois 60543
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YESTERYTEAR FOR OCTOBER : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois

Compiled from articles published in the Ledger-Sentinel, 1980-present; Fox Valley Sentinel, 1974-1980; Oswego Ledger, 1949-1980; and Kendall County Record, 1864-present.

10 years ago this month...

Northern Illinois University's Center for Governmental Studies was conducting a "customer satisfaction survey" of Oswego residents that was commissioned by the village board.

From a Ledger-Sentinel article: "Just how bad is the traffic on Montgomery Road in Montgomery? Worse than the traffic on U.S. Route 34 through downtown Oswego, according to figures presented to the Montgomery Village Board. Kane County's Department of Transportation (KDOT) conducted a traffic count on Montgomery Road and found approximately 16,000 vehicles traveling the county road each day, Anne Marie Gaura, village manager, told the board. That figure is 1,900 vehicles more than the 14,100 vehicles counted on U.S. Route 34 through downtown Oswego last spring."

The Oswego Village Board went on record in support of the Oswego School District's bid to gain voter approval of a $155 million building bond referendum. In a split, 4-1 ballot board members approved a resolution stating the board's support for the school district's efforts "in bringing forth an educational bond referendum" to local voters and "calling on all citizens of voting age" to cast their ballots Nov. 5. The resolution, however, stopped short of calling on voters to cast "yes" ballots on the measure. In presenting the resolution to board members, village president Craig Weber said it would show the board's support for the school district's referendum.

15 years ago this month...

An Oswego Village Board committee endorsed the installation of traffic signals at U.S. Route 34 (Washington Street) and Main Street in the village's downtown business district. The committee agreed the signals are needed to assure pedestrian safety.

"At peak times right now it is almost impossible to cross (Washington Street)," commented Don Dahm, committee chairman.

Demolition work was well underway on the old AT&T/Western Electric plant site in Montgomery. As a small group of media members watched, contractors used a truck and a steel cable to pull down the 150,000 gallon water tower that had stood on the property since the 1940s.

The Montgomery Village Board voted to authorize village staff members to proceed with planning for a special census. Village administrator John DuRocher said he expected the census would find approximately 5,200 people living in the village, up from the 4,854 found living in the village during a 1994 census.

Plans for a 16 acre commercial center at the northwest corner of Ill. Route 31 and Washington Street in Oswego were presented to a village board committee. Developers touted the project as being an extension of the village's downtown business district. Nearby homeowners, however, objected to the plans, suggested that the businesses that would locate in the center would be eyesores, create traffic problems, lead to further strip-style commercial development along Route 31, ruin the existing residential character of the area, and lower their property values. One resident expressed concern that a White Castle restaurant would locate on one of the outlots.

20 years ago this month...

More than half of all Montgomery households were participating in the village's voluntary solid waste recycling program, village board member Tom Waller told his board colleagues. The village had started the program the previous month. Montgomery's program was the first offered by a municipality in Kendall County. In a related matter, Oswego village administrator Mary Distler said she expected the village board would vote to start a recycling program within a few weeks.

The Oswego School District Board voted to approve a request for 12 "Club Friday" events for the 1992-93 school years in the district's two junior high schools. The open gym events had proven successful on an experimental basis the previous school year.

25 years ago this month...

The Montgomery-Countryside Fire Protection District annexed 12 properties that had previously been served by the Oswego Fire Protection District under terms of an agreement negotiated between the two agencies. The largest of the 12 properties was the 44 acre Western Electric plant site located just south of U.S. Route 30.

Kendall County officials were considering locating branch offices for the county sheriff's department and other county agencies in vacant storefronts at the Boulder Hill Market.

Supporters of the Oswego School District were waging a community-wide campaign to secure the passage Nov. 3 of a $14 million property tax hike referendum. The district was seeking the funds to pay for upgrades at most of its schools, including a major expansion at Oswego High School. Proposed at the high school were an auditorium, cafeteria and a field house.

30 years ago this month...

Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary in the Nixon Administration Earl Butz addressed a small but receptive audience in Yorkville. Butz described the upcoming Nov. 2 election as one "the most crucial" in the nation's history. "Are we going to keep America productive or look to the great white uncle?" Butz asked.

35 years ago this month...

While the host Oswego High School football Panthers were beating the Batavia Bulldogs, thieves ransacked the Panthers' locker room and stole 25 wallets containing $280. According to Oswego Police, the unknown suspects apparently hid in the locker room until the team departed for the field.

40 years ago this month...

The Ledger noted that a change in state law required school boards throughout the state to uphold or reject decisions made by principals on student disciplinary cases. Noting the increasing number of such cases considered by the Oswego School Board, the Ledger editorialized, "If the present trend continues, the school board will find themselves doing nothing much else but hearing drug infraction cases."

The Oswego Police Department had recently started a nightly foot patrol in the village. " is felt this is a great deterrent to burglars," the Ledger reported.

45 years ago this month...

An Oswegoland Park District referendum to finance the construction of a civic center and swimming pool was approved by local voters, 668 'yes' votes to 560 'no' votes. The Oswego Ledger reported the facility was planned between the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision and upper Cedar Glen on Ashlawn Avenue.

In a full page advertisement in Oct. 12 Ledger, Aurora radio station WKKD touted their new local weather reports broadcast three times daily. The ad read: "Tom Skilling, an eight-year veteran in weather forecasting, presents his candid, interesting reports so that you know when you need a raincoat or a sun bonnet." (An Aurora resident, Skilling was a sophomore at West Aurora High School at that time.)

50 years ago this month...

"A community program to wipe out polio will be launched by the Kendall County Medical Society on Sunday, Oct. 21. Type 1 Oral Polio Vaccine will be given at Oswego High School from 1-7 p.m.," the Ledger reported that same week. More than half of the county's population took advantage of the vaccination opportunity, including 3,450 at Oswego, 2,232 at Yorkville, 2,400 at Plano, and 1,594 at Newark.

Oswego High School's annual Homecoming was a success. The Ledger reported that Coach Ken Pickerill's Panthers buried the Plainfield High School Wildcats by a score of 53-13. "One of the best crowds in the history of Oswego Homecomings attended the dance in the gym on Saturday night with a good showing of alumni renewing school day acquaintances," the Ledger added.

55 years ago this month...

"The Oswego Dragstrip is to be the scene of the season's championship races on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6," the Ledger reported Oct. 3, 1957. "Time trials for the expected 300 or more entries will be held on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. Joe Martincic, Cleveland, Ohio, holder of the strip record at 140 mph, will be on hand and expects to exceed that speed. Also in the running will be Al Thompson of North Aurora who traveled 134 mph last week."

"The first service in the Boulder Hill Neighborhood Church of the Brethern will be held on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 11 a.m. Reverend Kenneth Yingst will give the sermon," the Ledger reported Oct. 10.

"It's been a long time since there's been so much interest in anything in the community as there is in the new Oswego Community Bank and, for a change, the comments are mostly favorable," Ledger Editor Ford Lippold wrote in an editorial Oct. 10. "Oh, there are a few diehards who say it will never go, but they are the same ones who said the auto would never replace the horse. Back to the easy chairs, boys, lay down and roll over, you're dead."

60 years ago this month...

The Ledger reported: The Oswego (High School) Band, under the direction of Mr. Reeve Thompson, is going to put on a political rally demonstration Friday night during halftime of the Oswego-Plainfield football game. New formations planned by the band include "Adlai" and "Ike" dressed in their best duds.

More than 100 area residents met in the Oswego High School gym Oct. 1 to discuss the problem of school overcrowding. Dr. M.R. Sumption of the University of Illinois reported demographic studies showed that a possible school enrollment of 900 students "within the next decade...was not impossible." (In fact, it was more than likely. On the first day of school in 1962, total enrollment had jumped to more than 1,970 students.)

"Where were the people?" Ledger Editor Ford Lippold wondered. "Barely a hundred people showed up at the open forum meeting held in the high school gym last week to discuss the problems existing in the community in connection with adequate housing for school pupils. This doesn't speak well for our community.

"Perhaps the indication by one of those persons present that the community is guilty of slothfulness is not without merit. Certainly a situation that involves the future of Oswego's children and also the possible expenditure of a sizeable sum of money should receive a respectful degree of consideration by the public. An increase from 600 to 900 pupils in 10 years is a nice problem."

65 years ago this month...

The Record reported: "According to information we received straight from the feed box, the Oswego American Legion has bought a home in Oswego and will make it their permanent headquarters. Such things cost money and the Legionnaires are requesting that any who care to contribute anything from 50 cents to $1,000 toward the purchase of this home may do so by addressing it to Robert Johnson, Oswego, or by giving the money to any member of the Oswego Legion post."

The Record reported two separate, serious accidents along Ill. Route 25 between Montgomery and Oswego. In one of the wrecks, an Oswego family escaped serious injury after their vehicle drove off the highway. "A spark from a cigarette caught in a baby's blanket, and in trying to brush it off, the driver lost control of the auto and it struck a culvert guard and was thrown off the highway," the Record reported.

In the other wreck, the Record reported a 30 year-old Oswego woman was killed instantly when her vehicle left the highway and struck a culvert and tree. The woman's three year-old daughter was seriously injured. "No one saw the accident and it is not definitely known what caused it," the Record reported.

70 years ago this week...

On Oct. 1, 1942, Illinois celebrated the first anniversary of its aid to dependent children program. During the first year of its operation in Kendall County, payments to 24 different families aggregated $9,318, according to the Record.

80 years ago this month...

This story appeared in the Record under the headline "Bandits Take $1,500 from Oswego Bank": "Bank bandits halted in Oswego Friday morning, stopping long enough to rob the local bank of about $1,500 in currency [$24,800 in 2011 dollars]. The whole process took only a few minutes and happened without the knowledge of any of the store keepers or other downtown business people of the community.

"It was about 10:15 when two men entered the bank without any demonstration, one of them advancing quickly to the cage while the other remained stationed at the door. Low words were spoken by the one at the cage to President Ament, who busy at his desk did not immediately look up at the 'customer.' When he did look up he had no difficulty in understanding what was wanted, since he looked directly into the muzzle of a gun, which protruded from behind the man's coat.

"From that point on things progressed fairly rapidly and without loss of movement. Mr. Ament was commanded to lie on the floor and Miss Ida Wood, cashier, was told to do likewise. Myron Haag, who entered the bank while the robbery was still going on, was prodded with a gun and ushered into the bank private room, the culprit having him in charge trembling 'like a leaf,' Mr. Haag said. Money was scooped from the cash drawer and from the safe, making $1,500 in all.

"A 1932 model Desoto sedan brought the robbers to the scene of their crime, letting them out at a spot some distance up the street and coming down in front of the bank after sufficient time had elapsed so that the work would be finished. They drove off and along the Wolf Crossing Road over which they were seen to pass by LF. Shoger. Mr. Gus Voss also reported seeing the party shortly after the robbery. Collins and Gengler, two Oswego youths, saw the outfit before the robbery was committed, the man in the Desoto yelling at them not to obstruct his free passage past the post office.

"Descriptions of the three men engaged were vague.

As soon after the departure of the bandits as possible, the alarm was spread. President Ament and the others on the scene doing everything possible to pave the way for the robbers' capture. Sheriff Martin N. Hextell of Yorkville was notified immediately. Within an hour after the robbery was reported, the Illinois Bankers' association offered a thousand dollar reward for the capture of the bandits, dead or alive."

The Record offered this editorial comment on the presidential election: "In his address on Oct. 4 at Des Moines, Ia., President Hoover said he has laid the foundation for recovery. He knows the way to complete the structure and has the necessary measures either at work or planned to complete it. To stop the construction at this point would be a fatal mistake, for we can't rely on the plans of Governor Roosevelt. Gov. Roosevelt has no plan and we doubt if he could formulate one. The safest thing for the American people to do is to re-elect Herbert Hoover to the Presidency."

85 years ago this month...

One of the Oswego first and second graders having grade averages of 90 or higher was Forrest Wooley, according to the Oct. 12, 1927 Record. Eighth graders excelling included Ford Lippold, Leonard Hafenrichter, Jewel Patton, Grace Rance, and Harland Collins.

On Friday, Oct. 14, the Oswego High School football team took on Plano, and won 12-0. So far in the 1927 season, the Oswego High School team was undefeated, according to the Record.

90 years ago this month...

Kendall County law enforcement officers were working to enforce the national prohibition on the sale of all alcoholic beverages. A report from the Record: "Sheriff Hextell and two "dry" agents arrested J. Busby Friday night on the charge of selling and manufacturing beer and liquor. The evidence required the capacity of two truckloads and was one of the largest plants picked up in the country districts for a long time.

"The two agents who have been working on the case found that Busby had been manufacturing and selling the contraband stuff all summer and that his plant was complete. When Sheriff Hextell served the search warrant he and his assistants found 24 different varieties of 'booze,' ranging from 'home brew' to cherry cordial.

"The story as told is that Mr. and Mrs. Busby bought a farm just west of the Five Mile Bridge and moved there in the spring. He has been an engineer on the Northwestern Railroad and had taken a furlough while he prepared for the retirement on pension, which was due next year. The farm was to offer a livelihood for the pair in later years. But the engineer was a fast worker and started to make the price of the farm at once. He said his investment was $3 in advertising--three signs which directed the tourist to 'Busby's Camp.' The camp was on the south side of the river at the Millhurst dam and had been admirably equipped for a carouse."

95 years ago this month...

"The Oswego Unit of the Kendall County Chapter of the American Red Cross gave special honor to the boys of Oswego Township about to be called to Army cantonment," according to the Oct. 3, 1917 Record. "Mayor John Herren and wife gave a dinner in honor of the boys at their home. At 8 o'clock, the party adjourned to the Red Cross rooms in the Knapp building whence they were received with cheers by the large audience. The meeting was closed by the singing of 'Illinois' by the audience and prayer by Rev. Byles."

"The suffragettes continue to harass the president with their cries for attention and their picketing of the White House," Record Editor H.R. Marshall complained on Oct. 10. "Their patriotism must be at a low ebb if they cannot permit the administration to concentrate their energies on the questions of the war."

100 years ago this month...

The Record reported: "Several of the Bulgarians working on the Yorkville-Morris railway drew their money from the postal savings at the Yorkville post office and started for the homeland where they will do their part in whipping the Turk. Later news is that all the Bulgarians on this road have quit and Saturday morning came to the post office to draw the balance of the money. The men have quit, says their head man, because of the wet weather, the mud, and the difficulty of the situation."

105 years ago this month...

Headlines in the Oct. 16, 1907 Kendall County Record: "Oswego's Mayor Deserts Family; Abner Updike Leaves Home Mysteriously; Sends Letter Enclosing $20 from Chicago-Says 'Don't Look for Me'-Seen in El Paso, Texas, by Sugar Grove Citizen"

According to the Record: "The village of Oswego is the center of interest in one of the most talked-of disappearances that has occurred in Kendall county for many years, owing to the departure last week of Abner Updike, mayor of the town, president of the Citizens' Club, former president of the Kendall County Fair Association, and at one time a prospective candidate for sheriff of Kendall County, leaving an excellent family-a wife and eight children ranging from nine months to eighteen years of age." According to the story, it was found that Updike was deeply in debt. Although his letter to his wife was postmarked Chicago, it appeared he had fled to El Paso, where Sugar Grove resident Robert Findley reported meeting him on the street whereupon Updike borrowed $15 from Findlay, who was unaware he had fled Oswego.

115 years ago this month...

"Hello! Get ready talking through the telephone; it soon will be here," the Record's Oswego correspondent wrote Oct. 20, 1897, adding: "Now that the village authorities are full of the spirit of enterprise and of the desire of elevating the place wherever it can be done, a good thing for them to do would be to engage a competent surveyor for locating the current limits of the blocks, some of which are not definitely known, and also to establish the grades on the several streets so that when people wanting to build may know where they are at."

120 years ago this month...

"The Oswego Reporter, our new paper, is apparently neutral in politics and prospering nicely. Lockwood is the manager of the subscription department," the Record's Oswego correspondent reported on Oct. 5, 1892.

In a Record article datelined Oct. 6, Coffeyville, Kansas: "The Dalton band of outlaws, the most notorious in the west, was wiped off the face of the earth here yesterday, but in the battle which resulted in their extermination, three good citizens were killed and two fatally wounded." Five of the six gang members were killed in the gunfight that began when they attempted two simultaneous bank robberies in Coffeyville.

125 years ago this month...

From the Record's Oswego correspondent: "The remains of Mrs. Edward Cobel, nee Florence Graham, a native of Oswego, were brought here from Chicago Friday for burial. She was but 19 years of age and left an infant behind of a week old.

"I told you so that a new P.M. (Postmaster) would be one of the best things that could happen to Oswego; go in the post office now and see how slick and clean things being to look."

130 years ago this month...

"L.N. Hall received the other day another nice piece of bank furniture, namely a case of 'safety deposit boxes.'" the Record's Oswego correspondent marveled on Oct. 12, 1882. "They are calculated for renting to private parties and seldom found in country banks."

On Oct. 19 the Record reported from Oswego that "There was an election Saturday to fill two vacancies on the board of village trustees and like everything else done here, we overdid it, filled them too much; there are now three that claim to have been chosen to fill them."

135 years ago this month...

Close observers of things must have noticed within a week or two, the different effects of the consumption of whisky has on different classes; while it seldom disturbs the amiability of us in town, those from the country have their fighting propensities roused whenever the consumption has been excessive. The other day, a young Mr. Reed, while surcharged, assaulted a young Mr. Kellogg; afterwards at the Magistrate's office, Reed paid $5 and costs.

"Mr. W.M. Forbes has secured the agency for Hicks' History of Kendall County for this region and will soon be around calling upon us to subscribe," The Record reported on Oct. 11, 1877. "It will be an interesting book to all Kendall county people, as it is very complete...I have read the rough form of it in the Millington Enterprise, in which it was published by installments during the past year and was much pleased with it."

Science was in the news Oct. 18, 1877: "Another reason why Oswego should be laid aside among the relics of the past is the Geological Society, of Aurora, was down the other day investigating the local terrestrial structure; the committee examining the town pronounced it as 'one of the fossils belonging to the ante-diluvian age.'"

The Record's Oswego correspondent also ventured to explain the plague of mosquitoes: "Mosquitoes are evolved from protoplasm through the process of heat and moisture; warm weather in the fall will do it as well as in the summer."

140 years ago this month...

"Charles F. Hubbard went last spring in the Teller company to Wisconsin lightning-rodding; it appears however that he did not wholly confine his attention to that business, for he came home one day last week with a wife," the Record's Oswego correspondent quipped on Oct. 17, 1872.

"Oliver Hebert is erecting a new residence adjoining his old one in which he is exhibiting a good deal of taste and himself a Frenchman, for he departed from the usual style of architecture and it will have quite a foreign look; Mr. VanEvra is the builder; the lower story is of stone and was constructed by Charles Avery," the Record reported from Oswego

On Oct. 31, the Record reported, "The sixth annual re-union of the brave old 36th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers was held at Newark Friday last."

145 years ago this month...

The Kendall County Agricultural Fair began Tuesday, Oct. 6, 1867 on the fairgrounds in Bristol Township near Bristol. "A fine brass band has been secured, and its music will add a new charm to the Fair," the Record promised.

An enraged sow attacked Oswego Township farmer Jake Deater when he attempted to shoo the pig out of his cornfield. The pig severely injured the farmer before his son arrived and drove the animal off with the help of the family dog, according to the Record.

Another Record report from Oswego: "Tuesday was a very windy day, the dust blowing through the streets in clouds. Everything was full of dust, stores houses, eyes, hair, and victuals. On Monday morning there was a good deal of frost."

"Work has commenced on the new bridge at Oswego," the Record reported on Oct. 17. "It will be one of the finest bridges on the river." The new structure, the first iron bridge across the river at Oswego, cost $17,000."

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