Yesteryear : 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; Kendall County Record, 1864-present; and historical information provided by the Village of Montgomery.
10 years ago this month...
A ceremony attended by over 100 area officials, residents and students was held at the site of the new Oswego East High School as contractors installed the cornerstone for the $65 million building. As a bright fall sun set to the west of the school site off Harvey Road in Oswego, masons John Stokes and Ed Mucha lifted and set the cornerstone in place. The masons secured the cornerstone with brown mortar, assisted by Dr. David Behlow, school district superintendent, using a ceremonial trowel.
Oswego Village Board members said they were willing to negotiate a sales tax incentive agreement to secure the development of a proposed 510,000 square foot Meijer-anchored shopping center on a 50 acre parcel at the southeast corner of U.S. Route 34 and Douglas Road in the village. Initially, Meijer officials had announced plans to construct the store in neighboring Montgomery.
The Village of Montgomery's home building boom showed no sign of slowing. Tim Brophy, village building commissioner, said the pace of new home construction was close to the record level set the year before (2002) when the village issued building permits for a total of 664 residential units.
15 years ago this month...
The Montgomery Village Board voted unanimously to obtain contractor bids for the proposed construction of a new section of Fifth Street, extending north from U.S. Route 30 adjoining the proposed site of a Blain's Farm & Fleet store.
A consulting firm's plan for the re-development of Oswego's downtown business district was the topic for a public meeting held at the Columbus Club in the village. Among the plan's provisions were recommendations for a series of 'streetscape' improvements such as the installation of new sidewalks with brick pavers, decorative light fixtures, and landscaping. Some of the more than 100 people in attendance questioned how the village would be able to finance the proposed improvements.
20 years ago this month...
Due to an increasing number of accidents, the Oswego Village Board voted to install temporary traffic signals at the intersection of Douglas and Fernwood roads in the village.
The Montgomery Village Board voted to approve a financial incentive package worth an estimated $48,000 in an effort to entice a developer to construct a Holiday Inn Express hotel on a site just west of Douglas Road (near the current site of the village post office).
25 years ago this month...
As a small group of concerned nearby property owners looked on at Oswego Village Hall, village board members chose to table action on an annexation and rezoning request for the proposed Fox Chase Subdivision at the corner of Ill. Route 31 and Mill Road. Board member Mary Distler told an attorney for the developers the village needed more time to study the feasibility of extending municipal water service to the site.
The Oswegoland Park District announced it was inviting interested area residents to attend an organizational meeting for a new annual community festival. Park district officials had earlier announced they would organize the event after the Oswego Chamber of Commerce dropped its sponsorship of the old 'Oswego Days' festival. There was no community festival in Oswego in 1988.
30 years ago this month...
Due to a large number of complaints they had received about cable television service in Boulder Hill, the Boulder Hill Civic Association invited a representative of Centel Cable TV and all interested Hill residents to attend the association's monthly meeting at the Oswegoland Civic Center. But when the meeting was held only two Boulder Hill residents were in attendance to question the Centel representative. Ironically, a civic association member speculated that residents may have chosen to stay home to watch the World Series on TV.
Citing a lack of space for municipal offices and the police department, the Oswego Village Board voted 5-1 to hire a local architectural firm to prepare designs for the remodeling and expansion of village hall. Board member Lyle Johnson noted he expected municipal offices to remain at the expanded building for the foreseeable future, but said the village might one day have to consider building a separate building for the police department.
The Oswego Public Library District purchased its first two computers--Apples--for use by library patrons.
35 years ago this month...
The Oswego Village Board passed an advisory recommendation in support of a plan to construct a KinderCare Daycare Center just south of U.S. Route 30, east of Douglas Road.
The Oswego Ledger reported Oct. 5 that the newly constructed Bank of Boulder Hill at the Boulder Hill Market had received its charter. The bank joined Grimm's Pharmacy and Boulder Hill Foods as the major tenants at the shopping center which opened in 1965.
The Village of Montgomery received bids for road salt for the upcoming winter driving season. The low, legal bid submitted was from International Salt at a cost of $21.60 per ton.
40 years ago this month...
Following a public hearing, the Montgomery Village Board voted unanimously to reject plans for the Timber Crest Subdivision proposed for a vacant, 31 acre parcel between Montgomery Road and Sherman Avenue. Several nearby homeowners had voiced objection to the project during a public hearing.
Oswego's Jacqueline Shop at Main and Jackson streets held a grand opening for its newly expanded building.
45 years ago this month...
The Oswego Woman's Civic Club announced plans to send copies of the Oswego Ledger to all local servicemen serving in Vietnam.
Oswego High School was the recipient of a new brick sign for its front lawn, courtesy of the Doris Thompson Memorial Fund. The Ledger reported the sign was designed by the building's architect, Ken Unteed, and "it is hoped that the sign will be an everlasting memorial to one of Oswego High School's outstanding teachers, Mrs. Doris Thompson."
50 years ago this month...
The Montgomery Village Board authorized their engineering firm to prepare plans for the installation of traffic signals at the intersection of Ill. Route 25 (South East River Road) and Mill Street in the village. Board members acted after learning the state had approved the village's request to use Motor Fuel Tax revenues to pay for the project.
The Ledger reported most of the original playground equipment installed in Boulder Hill's SuzanJohn Park had been vandalized beyond repair.
Illinois Bell hosted a "Telephone Community Night" at Oswego High School. The event featured displays of past, present and future telephone equipment.
Father Jofke spoke on "The Father's Role in the Catholic Family" at St. Anne's Catholic Church on Washington Street in Oswego.
The Ledger reported that in a letter to the Oswego Village Board, Oswego Fire Chief Forrest Woolley recommended, that with a new library under construction, the existing Oswego Library building at 64 Main Street in downtown Oswego "be torn down or that extensive improvements be made." Lorenzo Rank had built the structure in the 1870s as a post office. Upon Rank's death, he deeded the building to the village for use as a library. The Nineteenth Century Club had operated a lending library in the building for many years. The building is today the home of the Ledger-Sentinel.
55 years ago this month...
The Oswego Volunteer Fire Department hosted a community open house at its station on Main Street to mark National Fire Prevention Week. Fire Chief Al Shuler also urged local residents to conduct a basement-to-attic check of their homes for potential fire hazards.
The Ledger reported that more than 350 Oswego area residents had signed petitions seeking the consolidation of the local high school and elementary school districts into a single unit school district.
From the Oct. 23 Ledger: "Another new school bus arrives this week in Oswego, a 70-passenger job that will replace an obsolete 1950 model. The districts now operate a total of nine school buses with one extra on an emergency basis. Three of the buses are making two trips each morning and evening for a total of 12 loads coming and 12 loads going each day. At the present time, 694 pupils are riding Oswego school buses daily out of a total school population of 1,044 students. In other words, just about two-thirds of Oswegoland pupils ride buses."
"Scoring 39 points in the first quarter and adding at least one marker in each of the last three periods, Oswego's Panthers rolled to an 85-0 victory over Plano here Sept. 26 to accomplish the highest valley scoring total in years," the Ledger reported Oct. 2. Nine Panthers made touchdowns as Coach Ken Pickerill cleared his bench by the end of the game. John Neminich, Wilson Smith, Bob Fennell and Norman Aug each scored two touchdowns. Tom Jarman, Wesley Foster, Ed Wolf, Bob Plaskas, and Jarman Wolf accounted for single ones.
60 years ago this month...
From the Oct. 29, 1953 Ledger: "Oswego will be a deserted village Friday night if the weatherman cooperates as all the rabid Panther grid fans will be in Plainfield for the Fox Valley grid classic of the year. The championship of the conference will hinge on the outcome of the game." (The weatherman did cooperate, but the Nov. 5 Ledger reported that Plainfield defeated Oswego 25-6.)
From a Ledger editorial: "Several folks have mentioned of late that they have noticed a lack of applause when the band finishes its marching and playing both before and during halftimes at the football games. Members of the band and its director work pretty hard to whip up the marching formations and numbers with which to entertain spectators and handclapping is little enough to get in return. When there is a lack of even that, well, heaven forbid.
Really now, don't you think that the band deserves a hand? Well, give it to them Friday night."
65 years ago this month...
Featured at the Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In theater near Montgomery was the "Green Grass of Wyoming" starring Charles Coburn and Burl Ives, according to an advertisement in the Kendall County Record. The same ad invited movie-goers to "Come early and hear your favorite records through your car speaker."
Kendall County Republicans were urging local party members to vote a straight GOP ticket in the November election. Topping the ticket was New York Governor Thomas Dewey who was heavily favored to defeat incumbent Democratic President Harry Truman.
70 years ago this month...
The Record reported that "over 700 men and women have gone from Kendall County to take their place among the country's armed forces now scattered over the entire globe."
The Record reported from Oswego: "The Home Economics House is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for the use of the Red Cross." The Home Economics House, located at the southeast corner of Monroe and Washington streets, a block from the Red Brick School, was used for high school home economics classes. After the "new" high school was finished (now the Oswego 308 Center), the home was sold to T. Lloyd Traughber, the school superintendent, for use as a private residence.
Another Record report: "With the Kendall County Rat campaign planned for Friday, Oct. 29, rats will need to be on their guard if they are going to prevent a wholesale funeral. Red Squirrel Rat Bait already prepared through the Extension Service will be available on Friday at the following places: Oswego, W.F. Denney Store; Bristol Station, Coomses Grocery; Plano, Stupa Grocery; Millbrook, Farmers Elevator; Newark, Farmers Elevator; Lisbon, Shurden Brewe Grocery; Plattville, Frank Brown Barber Shop; and Yorkville, Farm Bureau office."
80 years ago this month...
The Record offered this editorial comment on an emerging technology: "And now we see that the radio is going to become a real newscasting outfit and broadcast news direct from the scene. The main trouble with the radio as a news agency is that announcers have to keep talking to hold the interest of the listeners, and sometimes they say things that the impassionate newspaper reporter would never think of putting in a story."
The Record reported that Kendall County farmer Harry Schlapp "lost one of his best cows when it was killed by lightning during the lightning storm Saturday."
From the Record's police reports: "Schultz's store (in Oswego) was robbed one day last week--local talent."
85 years ago this month...
Republican candidates for county offices didn't have to worry about competition in their election campaigns from local Democrats or independents candidates. In his weekly column just prior to the November election, Record Publisher H.R. Marshall offered this assessment of the local political landscape: "As usual Kendall County has none but Republican candidates and, as usual, these candidates are of a class which prevent competition."
Another item from the Record: "The Record is pleased to include with this issue an excellent picture of Herbert Hoover suitable for hanging in your home. It is a picture which bears out all the pleasing things we hear of the candidate--a business head combined with a touch of human nature and little of the sordid."
In local sports, the Record reported: "The strong Oswego High School football team ran rough shod over the Waterman High School team last Friday on the latter's field. Although the game was slowed up due to a very muddy field, the Oswego boys were successful in piling up a 60-0 score."
90 years ago this month...
"Joseph Plaska, of the Oswego Floral Company, donated the flower arrangements for the recent meeting of the Nineteenth Century Club," the Record reported from Oswego on Oct. 3 1928.
100 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "Nicholas Adams of Aurora was shot by Albert Randall near Oswego Saturday afternoon while the former was gathering nuts on the property rented by Randall. Adams and Henry Myers were spending the afternoon in the country and at the Knickerbocker Ice Co.'s land near Oswego they stopped to gather nuts. Randall and his brother, who have rented the property saw them and ordered them off. After some argument in which it is said that Randall became abusive, he shot Adams with a shotgun, painfully wounding him. Adams was taken to his home in Aurora where he is recovering. Randall was placed under arrest and Justice George Tuttle bound him over to the grand jury on the charge of assault with a deadly weapon. He is out on a bond of $300."
An editorial comment from the Record: "A North Carolina judge has been making very sweeping accusations against the telephone.
He declares that it is helping to break down the morality of young womanhood, as 'boys and girls say things to each other over the phone that they would not say if they had to speak face-to-face.'
The use of the telephone, Judge Carter said, caused people thoughtlessly to order things from merchants that they would not otherwise purchase, and thus increase their bills. Private extravagance, he said, 'finds expression in the purchase of automobiles by people who couldn't buy shoes were their honest debts paid, and private extravagance which threatens to bankrupt the country.' He said that much of the crime today can be traced directly to extravagant living."
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "It was something of a surprise to many when the news became public last week that H.S. Richards, for a dozen years postmaster at Oswego, was short some $2,900 in his account with the department. There were some who opposed Mr. Richards as the postmaster who think the surprise is not a wonder. Harley Richards had many friends in the county and they can hardly account for his delinquency. He was a master carpenter and builder and was much in demand as a contractor. But the public office seemed to have dulled his appreciation for working at his trade and he drifted into a bad habit--some people say. It is published in a neighboring newspaper that when the post office inspectors called to examine his accounts, his clerk in the post office sent out to have him come in and 'he was found in a saloon playing cards.' That's what gets men--the saloon and its associations."
110 years ago this month...
Newfangled transportation arrived in Oswego on Oct. 28, 1903, according to the Record. The paper's Oswego correspondent reported that "Oswego has an automobile. A.P Weaver bought some of the parts, the rest he made himself and he has it now in successful running order."
115 years ago this month...
A headline and article from the Record: "Farmer Shot Down by a Strange Bicyclist, Chris Henne loses his life while driving toward his home." Thursday evening about 6 o'clock, Chris Henne, a tenant farmer living on the Curtis Beecher on Section 18, in the town of Bristol, was driving home from the village of Oswego and when somewhat below the farm of Charles Roberts just entering the timber at the top of the hill, he met a man riding on a bicycle who shot him and the result was the death of Mr. Henne about 9 o'clock Friday forenoon. Henne had apparently been drinking in Oswego and was on his way home to the farm he was renting in Bristol Township. While underway, he ran the driver of the local ice delivery wagon off the road, and then apparently did the same to the 'wheelman,' who climbed back on his high wheel cycle, sped past Henne and then shot him."
An editorial comment from the Record: "At the election next month women are entitled to a vote for a part of the ticket. If they want to exercise that right they should get their names on the register next week. As none had registered heretofore, the swearing in of their votes would cause them too much botheration. It would seem that women ought either be allowed to vote at all elections and the whole ticket or not at all, as that would put them on an equality with the men, or else let them know that they cannot vote simply because they are women. As it now is, it is virtually saying: 'you are well enough advanced in regard to certain school matters, but aside from that you are not competent to vote.' As to general intelligence, women are fully up with the men; as to ethics, refinement and sagacity, they are way ahead of us."
120 years ago this month...
The Record, via the Aurora News, reported that Oswego was "all agog" over a domestic situation. The paper reported:
"A bride of scarcely two months, jealous of her husband's attentions to another woman, waylaid her rival Tuesday night and administered a severe thrashing with a stout cane for which offense she this morning cheerfully paid a fine of three dollars and costs. And all parties are among Oswego's leading people. Dr. Lester of Oswego, a widower past 60 years of age, was wed less than two months ago to Miss Anna Brown, a maiden lady of 40 summers or over. Miss Brown had lived much of the time in Oswego but of late years had been a school teacher at Sandwich. For a few weeks after the honeymoon, all was apparently lovely in the relations of Dr. Lester and his bride. But lately observing people have noticed a slight change.
"Mrs. Lester became convinced that Mrs. D.M. Haight, wife of one of the leading merchants of the town and her husband, were getting altogether too familiar. The sheep's eyes that Mrs. H. cast at the doctor were simply unbearable and there was talk, too, that made the matter all the worse. Tuesday night, matters came to a climax.
"Mrs. Lester waited in the shadow of her husband's office and when her rival came along for the usual evening chat with the doctor, the enraged wife fell upon her with a heavy cane, which she plied with such vigorous effect that Mrs. Haight still bears the bruises.
"This morning, Mrs. Haight swore out a warrant for Mrs. Lester's arrest and 'Squire Lockwood assessed a fine of three dollars and costs. All is quiet now, but the natives are breathlessly awaiting for the next."
125 years ago this month...
Politics were in the news in 1888. On Oct. 18 the Record reported from Oswego that "The fore part of last Wednesday night was the first time in many years that the Democrats of Oswego were in the majority in the village-all of the Republicans had gone to Aurora for a rally."
Then the next week, Oct. 24, the Record reported: "It was Republican Day in Oswego last Saturday and preparations were made to entertain an enthusiastic crowd at night. Business houses and residences, shops and offices, were decorated in red, white, and blue with pictures of candidates dotting the windows. Hon. Irus Coy was the main speaker. By 7:00 the town was alive with people and Main Street was thronged. All the stores were brilliantly lighted. There were marching clubs from Yorkville and Plano. The Aurora contingent, with about 300 marching men, came on a special eight-car train. A large supper was served following the speaking."