September Yesteryear : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|September Yesteryear |
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...
For the first time in the Oswego School District's history, enrollment increased by more than 1,000 students in a single year. Assistant Superintendent Joel Murphy told the school district board members the district's current enrollment had reached 9,770 students, 1,050 or 12 percent more than the previous year.
Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, the lone statewide Republican winner in the fall 2002 election and the state party's chairman, told a receptive gathering of Oswego business and government leaders the state party would reunite and rebound at the polls in 2004. Topinka described the 2002 election which saw the GOP lose both the State House and Senate as a "singular loss" that also provided the party with a needed wake-up call. "We had gotten soft and sloppy," she said.
Construction was set to begin on the 59 room AmericInn hotel off Douglas Road in Oswego's Mason Square shopping center.
15 years ago this month...
Oswego School District enrollment on the sixth day of classes for the 1998-99 school year was 5,739, an increase of 292 over the 5,447 students enrolled on the sixth day of classes one year earlier, school board members learned. In a related matter, school district officials were preparing plans to seek passage of a $47.5 million referendum in November to finance expansion projects at the district's existing schools and for two new elementary schools and junior highs.
Oswego Fire Station No. 2 located on Wiesbrook Drive at Fifth Street in Oswego became operational.
Oswegoland Park District officials confirmed they expected the Illinois Department of Transportation would award a contract in early 1999 season for a proposed extension of the Fox River Trail. As planned, the trail would extend from Montgomery south along the east bank of the river to Violet Patch Park.
20 years ago this month...
Oswegoland Park District officials officially dedicated Briarcliff Woods Park in Montgomery's Seasons Ridge Subdivision. A large crowd of subdivision residents attended the event.
The first concrete I-beams were installed on the piers for the new four lane U.S. Route 34 bridge spanning the Fox River in downtown Oswego.
Gov. Jim Edgar's decision to scrap plans for the proposed Fox Valley Expressway drew a mixed reaction from local public officials. The controversial north-south expressway would have been built in an area near Ill. Route 59. Oswego Village President Richard Saletri said the decision to scrap the expressway would not have a significant impact on the village. "The village right now is targeted for all the growth we can stand," Saletri said. But Montgomery Village Administrator John DuRocher expressed disappointment. He noted village officials had supported construction of the expressway in the vicinity of Hill Avenue through the village's far east side.
Caterpillar, Inc. marked its 35th year of operation at its Oswego Township plant off Ill. Route 31 near Montgomery.
25 years ago this month...
In a 4-1 ballot the Oswego Village Board approved final plans for the construction of the Townes Crossing shopping center at the southeast corner of U.S. Route 30 and Douglas Road. Casting the lone negative ballot on the motion was board member Mary McKittrick who objected to the traffic plan for the center. The plan called for the center's primary access drive to be located on the east side of Douglas Road between Fernwood Road and U.S. Route 30. Also publicly objecting to the center's traffic plan were members of Boulder Hill Civic Association. The association contended that without traffic signals at Fernwood Road it would become even more difficult for Boulder Hill residents to turn left onto Douglas Road from Fernwood Road.
Oswego officials were considering constructing a new police station building in Hastert Park, a 3.84 acre parcel located on U.S. Route 34, across from the Fox Bend Golf Course. A representative of a local land planning firm told village officials the site would be large enough not only to accommodate a new police station building but also a new fire station for the Oswego Fire Protection District.
The Illinois Department of Transportation activated the new traffic signals at the intersection of U.S. Route 34 and Douglas Road. The intersection had been the scene of frequent accidents prior to the installation of the signals.
30 years ago this month...
Oswego School District Board members learned that recent passage of property tax exemption laws by the Illinois General Assembly would reduce the financially struggling school district's revenues by about $60,000 for the coming year.
35 years ago this month...
Montgomery Village President Wayne Wells and Paul Schuch, the village's engineer, attended a Regional Council of Mayors meeting in St. Charles. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss funding for proposed improvements to Douglas Road through Aurora, Montgomery and Oswego.
In an effort to reduce traffic accidents on Ill. Route 71 in Oswego, the Illinois Department of Transportation lowered the speed limit on the highway from 45 mph to 35 mph.
The Oswego School District Board approved funding for the construction of a greenhouse at Oswego High School.
40 years ago this month...
In her 'Public I' column in the Oswego Ledger, staff reporter Betty Grimshaw described drug abuse as the biggest problem facing the Oswego School District. Referring to the drug problem, Grimshaw wrote, "It's bad. It's very bad. And what makes it worse is that there isn't a heck of a lot either you or I or the administrators can do."
Montgomery Village Board members learned that an emergency service connection linking the village's water system with neighboring Oswego had been completed. In other business, the village board appointed Glenn Wolff as police chief at an annual salary of $14,000.
45 years ago this month...
Oswegoland Park District Board President Ralph Wheeler announced that construction of the new civic center building at 5 Ashlawn Avenue in Boulder Hill was progressing on schedule. The park district had already received a number of requests from area civic groups seeking to use the building as a meeting place.
Mick's Standard gas station at Ill. Route 25 and Mill Street in Montgomery was offering 100 gallons of gas free to customers who purchased a set of Amoco 120 tires.
The Boulder Hill Civic Association was making plans to mark its tenth anniversary. Among the projects the association was considering was the installation of a flag pole at one of the entrances to the unincorporated subdivision.
50 years ago this month...
The Oswego Ledger reported a total of 2,203 students were enrolled in Oswego School District schools for the 1963-64 school year. Elementary students totaled 1,361; junior high, 310; and high school, 532. The enrollment was 11.7 percent higher than enrollment on the first day of school in 1962, 1,971 students.
Officials with the Boulder Hill Republican Club reported brisk sales for tickets to a testimonial dinner for Illinois Sen. Everett Dirksen at Yorkville High School on Sept. 14.
Contracts were awarded by the Oswego School District Board for the new Oswego High School, proposed along Ill. Route 71, across the highway from East View Elementary School. Base bids for the building totaled $1,215,845. Completion was scheduled for Aug. 15, 1964. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on the site Sept. 14.
In a lengthy letter published in the Oswego Ledger, former Kendall County State's Attorney Robert Ohse of Yorkville reviewed the feasibility of either incorporating the Boulder Hill Subdivision or annexing it to either Montgomery or Oswego. Ohse noted in his letter that he was attempting to answer some of the questions raised by residents during a meeting of the Boulder Hill Civic Association almost a year earlier.
Construction was expected to begin on the new Oswego Public Library building on Jefferson Street at Main Street in the village.
Oswego officials warned village residents to use water only when absolutely necessary because their newest well was out off service as was one standby well. The water shortage was expected to last about a week until repairs could be made, according to the Oswego Ledger.
55 years ago this month...
Western Electric notified the Village of Montgomery that it would be ready to receive village water at its new plant just south of U.S. Route 30 in the village effective Sept. 1.
There were a total of 954 students enrolled in Oswego School District schools for the start of the 1958-59 school year, a new record, the Ledger reported. Enrollment had increased by 163 students over the previous school year.
Civic groups had a busy month in the rapidly developing Boulder Hill Subdivision. The Boulder Hill Welcome Wagon held its first fashion show at the Boulder Hill Playhouse (now the site of the Reserve section of the Seasons Ridge Subdivision). The event was a "complete success," according to a report in the Oswego Ledger. Meanwhile, the Boulder Hill Sports Club hosted a community barbecue.
60 years ago this month...
"Oswego Nine League Champions" was the page one headline in the Sept. 10, 1953 edition of the Oswego Ledger. By defeating Aurora's Romanian Royals in a 3-2 11 inning contest, the Oswego baseball team claimed the Aurora-Fox Valley League title. The Ledger reported a large crowd of Oswego baseball fans were among those witnessing the championship game at Labor Temple Field in Aurora. "The story of the game was the fine pitching by Oswego's Chuck Potoroff, a long home run blow by Wes Christian in the first half of the 11th inning and good fielding by the local club," the Ledger reported.
During their monthly meeting, members of the Montgomery Village Board delayed action on a request "to park a lunch trailer at the service station to serve coffee and lunches" until their next meeting in October.
Denney's Supermart in downtown Oswego was celebrating their 10th anniversary in business. "Everything is on special sale this weekend," Denney's ad in the Oswego Ledger stated. "Every purchase from 10 cents to the full amount of your purchase, 10 percent off."
65 years ago this month...
On Sept. 8, 1948, the Kendall County Record reported from Oswego that "Mr. and Mrs. Everett McKeon have purchased the large residence on the corner of Madison and Tyler and expect to be located there by October for home and business (the McKeown, now McKeown-Dunn, Funeral Home)." The McKeowns purchased the former George Croushorn Funeral Home in 1938 when it was located in the old Hebert House at 155 S. Madison. The Hebert House was destroyed by fire in February 1994.
During the period from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4, the Kendall County Selective Service board has registered 298 men, and of these 29 are single non-veterans. The balance are either veterans or married men, according to the Record.
The Record reported from Oswego: "Free movies featuring the popular Hollywood comedy hit, 'Topper Returns,' and including a 15-minute short subject in color on Illinois government, will be presented at Oswego Friday, Sept. 17, beginning at 7:45 p.m. The show is sponsored by the women's division of the Republican State Central committee. The feature picture is another in the famous 'Topper' series staring Roland Young and Joan Blondell, with Billie Burke, Carol Landis, and Jack Benny's Rochester in the supporting cast. It is presented in its original full-length form."
70 years ago this month...
"The well-known grocery firm of Biesmier and Hettrick has changed hands. Wayne Denney purchased the business. Biesmier and Hettrick have been in the grocery business and meat business for 24 years, succeeding H. B. Read," the Record reported from Oswego on Sept. 8, 1943. Read's, later Denney's, store was at 70 Main Street on the east side of Main between Jackson and Washington.
On Sept. 22, the Record noted in its Oswego news column that, "The Weber house from Main Street has been moved to the corner of Tyler and Monroe, facing Monroe. Dr. Weishew bought the lot next to his office on which the house stood and will landscape it."
From Yorkville the Record reported: "Sheriff William A. Maier was badly hurt last Wednesday when he was set upon by one of his youthful escape artists, Nelson Jeffries, 16, who with his brother, Joseph, had been returned to their cells at Yorkville after making a sensational escape early in August, being picked up in Pensacola, Fla. and returned to Yorkville only the Sunday before the attack on the Sheriff.
"Bill entered the second floor of the jail where the older boy was locked up early Wednesday evening. Nelson blew pepper in his face and while Bill was temporarily blinded leaped upon him, wielding a pocket knife with a blade some three inches long, repeatedly stabbing Bill about the head, body, and legs, while the tussle for the knife went on, Bill finally succeeded in securing it from his assailant.
"Help in the shape of Deputy Sheriff E.E. Hasemeyer, Nels Walker, and Louis Thurrow arrived on the scene in the nick of time, for when they arrived, the youth was beating the Sheriff with a club fashioned from a chair leg.
"Bill, bleeding badly, was hurried to Dr. F.M. Groner, who dressed the wounds and later took him to the hospital in Aurora. Bill returned from the hospital on Tuesday evening. The community was quite upset about the affair and little sympathy was accorded the young thugs who engineered the escape and attack. What the future holds for such crime-ridden youngsters of 14 and 16 years is a question that time will answer; surely they should not be permitted at large for some time, if ever."
75 years ago this month...
The Record reported, "Perhaps no other radio broadcast has ever been listened to by more people with such intense interest as that of Adolph Hitler's speech Monday."
80 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported Sept. 27: "The Oswego centennial, held from Sept. 12 to 17 was a huge success. Everyone said so. Scott Cutter said it was a success and anyway it put Oswego on the map. Other merchants said if the weather had been as good all the week as it was on Saturday their trade would have been very good. Each merchant devoted one window of his store or shop to the exhibit of old time relics and heirlooms and it was a grand display.
"Joe Sierp of Aurora, formerly an Oswego boy, took a great deal of interest in the centennial. He brought his hand-carved exhibit of old time ox teams and carts, plows, and covered wagons, a replica of the old stage coach with the six horses and two drivers was used to travel from Ottawa through Oswego to Naperville and Chicago. The floor space in the Klomhaus Chevrolet showroom was filled with his exhibit, old documents, old clocks, and pictures of old Oswego people and buildings. Mr. Sierp hopes that some day Kendall County will have a museum and says if anyone will donate pictures, he will put them under glass.
"The evening entertainments drew large crowds. The Ferris wheel and merry-go-round in the carnival were popular places for the younger folks. A community church service was held on Sunday at the Federated Church including a choir made up of members of three area churches.
"The American Legion, who sponsored the centennial, not only made a social success of it, but a financial success as well as the community put it over with $100 to spare."
90 years ago this month...
The Record re-printed this editorial comment from the Geneva Republican: "Those who have failed to realize that the Lincoln Highway is carrying an immense traffic across Illinois should consider the figures resulting from a careful traffic check taken at the Chicago North Western R.R. crossing on the Lincoln Way near DeKalb. For a period of 36 hours recently, two men stationed at this crossing with mechanical counters checked the passing motor cars. The total during this time was 13,907 automobiles across the tracks. Estimating four persons to the car, this is a total of 55,628 and is an excellent argument for the elimination of the grade crossing at this point."
100 years ago this month...
The Record reported from Yorkville: "At the adjourned meeting of the board of supervisors on Monday, Sept. 15, plans for the proposed 'State Roads' were laid as follows: The first road goes from Oswego south to the Grundy county road. Another from Yorkville south to the German church, then east and meets first road at the Union church to Wynne's corner and east to Caton Farm road and goes to the Will county line to join the main road to Joliet. The third road starts north of Oswego at the Kane county line to the Oswego bridge south of the river to Yorkville. Fourth road starts at Kane county line through Bristol Station to Plano, west to Sandwich. A spur is planned to be put in from the road south of Yorkville north across Yorkville bridge. Another from Yorkville through Millington and Millbrook to Newark."
110 years ago this month...
The Record published an obituary of Charles Henry Shoger. A portion of the obituary read: "The grave was provided with one of the new patent water and air-tight cement vaults. He was 29 years of age and born in Livingston County and is mourned by a wife, father and mother, five brothers and three sisters."
120 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent offered these observations on the community: "In some respects, Oswego at present is as prosperous as ever before. Two handsome and of modern style new residences are nearing completion and improvements are being made on some of the old. Business is as good as usual at this season of the year; her merchants are having a fair trade but they report collections a little slow. Trade was especially brisk Saturday evening when every place was full, the street in the business part blocked once in awhile and the sidewalks flooded with humanity. The school has entered on a new term under very favorable conditions. The health of the place is excellent; its doctors are having a vacation. But there are also things which ought not to be, such as drunks, loafing, etc., and other things that are lacking. A place without a hotel can never be of much consequence."
125 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported on Sept. 5, 1888, that "H. B. Read has commenced moving in the new store."
130 years ago this month...
Another editorial comment from the Record's Oswego correspondent: "There is probably not another body of men in this world or any other so considerate as our corporation board of trustees. The tax for the sidewalks is paid by those that drink the whisky and the beer, so their convenience should first be taken into consideration and this the board is doing admirably by the construction now of sidewalks with railings so that when these taxpayers are under locomotion on the broad gauge, they cannot reel off the sidewalks-a most laudable improvement and yet there are men so lost to all goodness as to call these walks hog chutes."
The Oswego correspondent of the Aurora Herald says: "Considerable excitement has prevailed on the street during the last week on account of an altercation between C.G. Smith and Charles Knapp, which resulted in the arrest of both parties. Smith was tried for assault and discharged. Knapp was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and required to give bonds."