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...
Oswego Village Board members voted to hire a consulting firm to conduct a traffic study of the Main and Washington Street (U.S. Route 34) intersection in the village's downtown. Village officials were hopeful that the study would find that traffic volume at the intersection would meet state requirements for a traffic signal.
Montgomery Village Board members voiced support for an updated procedure for handling the liquor license requests as prepared by Steven Andersson, village attorney, and Dennis Schmidt, police chief. Board members reviewed the procedure four weeks after they rejected two requests for new liquor licenses April 12. During that same April 12 meeting an attorney for a license applicant suggested that his client had been promised a license from the village for the Riverwalk Inn at 214 North River Street in the village's downtown. But Village President Marilyn Michelini said no such promise was ever made.
15 years ago this month...
Before a large crowd of concerned parents, the Oswego School District Board voted 5-2 to approve the implementation of a controversial 'block scheduling' system at Oswego High School.
Newly-elected Oswego Village President Craig Weber told the Ledger-Sentinel he supported the installation of traffic signals at Washington and Main streets in the village's downtown business district, but not if it would require the removal of 19 parking spaces on Main Street as proposed by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
At issue for the Montgomery Village Board was the amount of impact fees the village would charge to the developer of a proposed 241 acre subdivision located along the south side of U.S. Route 30, west of Orchard Road. (The development was later developed and named Lakewood Creek.)
The Oswego Police Department announced its new bike patrol would go into service in June, while the Montgomery Police Department announced it would step up its enforcement of child passenger safety laws over the Memorial Day weekend.
20 years ago this month...
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) officials announced work would begin in 1995 on the widening of U.S. Route 34 from two to four lanes through downtown Oswego between Ill. Route 71 and U.S. Route 34.
State Sen. Ed Petka, R-Plainfield, was among a small group of state officials who attended the execution by lethal injection of notorious convicted serial killer John Wayne Gacy at the State Correctional Center in Joliet. Petka recalled the execution in this manner for the Ledger-Sentinel, "We went into the small room, the curtain opened, and Gacy had already been strapped down. The warden talked to him and then stepped back. Gacy's shoulder twitched and he coughed which almost sounded like a belch and then it appeared he was sleeping. The whole thing took maybe ten or 15 minutes."
25 years ago this month...
A group of concerned Oswego High School parents pleaded with the school board and the community at-large to help fight drug and alcohol abuse problems among students in local schools.
Contractors began installing structural steel for the field house at Oswego High School.
A survey that showed a majority of Boulder Hill residents wished to retain their Montgomery 60538 mailing address rather than change it to Oswego 60543. Montgomery Village President Ray Kozloski told the Ledger-Sentinel he expected the survey results would help the village's efforts to secure the construction of a new post office building.
30 years ago this month...
In a 4-3 vote the Oswego Village Board agreed to award a contract totaling $68,406 for the remodeling of village hall. The Ledger-Sentinel reported that Village President Milton "Les" Penn cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the project "after board members exchanged verbal barbs." Board members disagreed over the cost of the project and the remodeling plans.
Oswego School District Board members learned that it could cost more than $150,000 to remove asbestos materials from East View and Long Beach elementary schools.
35 years ago this month...
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) notified the Village of Oswego it would have traffic signals installed at the U.S. Route 34-Ill. Route 71 intersection by Jan. 1, 1980.
40 years ago this month...
The Village of Montgomery hired a planning consultant to assist the village in the re-numbering the addresses of homes and businesses west of Ill. Route 31 north of U.S. Route 30 in the village.
45 years ago this month...
Oswego School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Boggs announced that school district officials had no intention of starting a sex education program. The issue-a subject of nationwide debate-had been a topic for discussion between school board members and concerned local residents.
A citizens' group calling itself the Kendall County Movement to Restore Decency invited local residents to a screening of a 30 minute film which outlined the prevalence of drug abuse across the country and what could be done to combat it.
Illinois Bell began construction on building at Ill. Route 71 and Washington Street in Oswego that was described in the Ledger as a "revolutionary electronic telephone switching system" which "promises faster, more reliable, more versatile telephone calling" by 1971. The article added: "By the year 2000, Oswego area residents may be using the telephone to do a lot of things besides talk. The next quarter of a century could see housewives ordering their groceries, paying family bills, reading the news, or cooking dinner with the help of television-equipped phones. Oswego school students may be calling computers instead of listening to teachers, and hobby buffs will be enjoying the best of information and exhibits from the comforts of living room easy chairs."
Scotty's Restaurant at U.S. Route 34 and Ill. Route 71 in Oswego was advertising steak, eggs, potatoes, toast and coffee, served at any hour, for $1.39.
50 years ago this month...
The Montgomery Village Board received proposals from local developers to construct 10 apartment units off Montgomery Road just east of Ill. Route 25, and another apartment proposal for property situated near Keck Avenue at Route 25.
Boulder Hill resident Greg Sellers was named valedictorian of the Oswego High School Class of 1964. Salutatorian was Paul Baumann of Oswego. The Class of '64 was the first class to graduate from OHS with more than 100 members and was the last class to graduate from the old high school (now the Oswego 308 Center).
The cornerstone of the new Oswego Public Library in downtown Oswego, on the bluff overlooking Waubonsie Creek, was laid Saturday, May 16.
Denney's Supermarket in downtown Oswego advertised pot roast for 29 cents a pound and fresh sliced bologna at 39 cents a pound.
Boulder Hill Civic Association members advocated building a new paved road linking the subdivision with Douglas Road. The only roads entering Boulder Hill were off U.S. Route 30 and Ill. Route 25.
The Oswego Village Board appointed L. Frederick Johnson to serve as the village thistle commissioner.
Oswego residents were urged to approve a $100,000 bond issue set to come before voters in June to renovate the village's sanitary sewer plant on Harrison Street, under orders from the State of Illinois.
The Boulder Hill Sports and Social Club sponsored their annual Memorial Day Celebration, including pony rides, games and free refreshments.
55 years ago this month...
Construction was proceeding on the U.S. Route 30 Bypass bridge spanning the Fox River in Montgomery. Completion was anticipated by July.
Plans to improve the playground outside Oswego's White School at Jackson and Polk streets were finalized. According to a report in the Ledger, the Oswego Woman's Civic Club had agreed to spend $300 to purchase new play equipment, including a new jungle gym. The Oswego Grade School Board and the Oswego Park District Board had also agreed to help fund additional improvements.
60 years ago this month...
The new St. Anne's Catholic Church on Washington Street in Oswego was formally dedicated May 9, by Bishop Martin D. McNamara of the Diocese of Joliet.
"The building rate in Oswego continues at an accelerated pace with building permits for nine new houses taken out in the year dating from April 1, 1953 to April 1, 1954," the Ledger reported.
In local sports news, the Ledger reported that a local Pony Baseball League would be in operation during the summer.
Oswego resident Herbert Lantz won an outdoor grill in a drawing held at Zentmyer Ford Sales at Main and Jackson streets in downtown Oswego, according to an advertisement in the Ledger.
65 years ago this month...
"The abundant April showers continued into May. Most of the oat and grass seeding is finished but some farmers are still trying to get into their fields after May 1," the Record's Oswego correspondent reported.
The Record also reported: "Mr. and Mrs. George Hafenrichter had a real celebration on Mother's Day. Their son, Sgt. Leonard Hafenrichter from Indiantown Gap, Penn., was home on a 10-day furlough and early Sunday morning another son, Ensign Carl Hafenrichter and wife from Whiting Field, Milton, Fla. surprised them by coming home on a leave. The third son, Lee and wife and small son, Barry Lee and the Misses Lizzie and Eva Hafenrichter, of Aurora, were also dinner guests."
Another item from the Record: "A 'V-Mail' letter from Dr. Saxon, formerly of Oswego, coming through from 'somewhere in Italy' in just a week tells his Oswego friends that he is very busy and lonesome and wishes that his friends would write to him."
Members of the Oswego High School Class of 1944 as reported in the Record were: Mary Bauman, Audrey Besch, Marian Buker, Robert Chada, Marjorie Cooper, William Denney, George Devereaux, Virginia Hettrich, Gerald Holzhueter, Ethel Kahoun, John Lauder, Glenn Lippy, Lois McMicken, Eleanor Orr, Donald Palmer, Margaret Paterman, Jane Patterson, Betty Robinson, Robert Rogerson, Bette Schmidt, Eugene Staffeldt, Robert Walper, Barbara Weis, LaVerne Wells, Joseph Wirth, Margaret Young and Nina Zimmerman.
75 years ago this month...
Stanley Young, 16, of the Oswego High School Safety Patrol, was selected in May, 1939 to represent Kendall County at the Eighth Annual National Patrol Conference in Washington, D.C.
Kendall County Republicans were rallying behind Alfred W. Landon as a candidate that could beat President Franklin Roosevelt.
At the end of May, a number of country schools finished the year with picnics and other festivities, including Squires School at Douglas Road and U.S. Route 34 in Oswego.
The Record reported that it "has definitely been decided that Route 65 [now U.S. Route 34] at Eyre's crossing, will be constructed over the E.J. & E. railroad and under Route 22 [now U.S. Route 30]. Hundreds of trucks of freight, many from Iowa, pass over this route each week."
80 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported, "The town board passed a daylight saving ordinance for Oswego last Saturday night, which was to take effect immediately. What the farmers say about it need not be repeated, but why cater to the farmers anyway?"
Mr. and Mrs. John L. Clayton [superintendent of Oswego schools] motored to Ames, Iowa May 9 hoping to secure a new teacher from the Iowa state college.
The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (CB&Q) Railroad's stainless steel Zephyr set a new world's record for passenger train travel by racing the 1,017 miles from Denver to Chicago's Century of Progress fair in 13 hours and five minutes. Thousands of people lined the CB&Q's mainline tracks-including in Kendall County-to view the train. The Record commented: "A non-stop trip of 1,017 miles in 13 hours and 5 minutes on land is a marvel of speed and the record will doubtless stand for a long time. Another amazing feature of the trip is the fact that the fuel cost was slightly over $16. Some 400 gallons of furnace oil were used at a cost of four cents a gallon. One can hardly drive an automobile as cheaply as that."
85 years ago this month...
From the Record May 8: "Work has begun on the Oswego sewer system. A large group of men are at work laying and covering the sewer pipe. Work is progressing nicely."
90 years ago this month...
Another report from the Record:_"Grading will begin at once on a road from the [Red Brick] school house to the end of the concrete road on the east side of the river. When this road is finished Oswego will be sitting on top of the world in so far as good roads can make it."
95 years ago this month...
The Record published this editorial comment concerning world affairs in the wake of the conclusion of World War I: "It will have been six months Sunday since the armistice was signed. The world is but little nearer peace than it was then."
A report from the Record: "Col. John D. Russell and several other Kendall county men attended a meeting of Kane county road commissioners at Aurora Friday evening. They went in the interest of the cement connection in the road between Aurora and Kendall County. At present there is a cement road from Oswego to the county line (in Montgomery). The Kane County people have decided that since this is the first county to hook up with them that they will do their best to complete the job. County Superintendent Russell is always on the out look for the benefit of Kendall county and it is through his efforts that many improvements are made."
100 years ago this month...
From the Record: "The saloons will close on Thursday night and Yorkville will join the ranks of the 'dry' towns. Plano and Oswego are also in dry territory and Kendall County will be without saloons. There was an election contest filed from Plano with Judge Williams, but owning to the fact that the Supreme Court did not pass on the suffrage question, the trial was continued. Yorkville and Oswego were content to close without a fight. The nearest wet towns to Yorkville are now Aurora, Morris, and Ottawa."
Another news item: "A young wolf has been caught at the Leo Seidelman farm. A hunting party failed to find any more whelps Monday night."
The Record published this obituary: "Emily Murdock Van Deventer, the wife of Dr. Abraham E. Van Deventer, died May 3, 1914 and was buried in Montgomery's Riverside Cemetery. Mrs. Van Deventer was an accomplished author of mystery novels, writing under the name of Lawrence L. Lynch, which was the name of her first husband. She was born in Oswego on Jan. 16, 1853."
John R. Marshall, founder of the Kendall County Record, announced his son, Hugh H. Marshall, would take over operation of the paper. The elder Marshall, a veteran of the Civil War, started the paper in Yorkville in 1864.
125 years ago this month...
"The black walnut trees are all going and Oswego has become a great point for shipment of logs," the Record's Oswego correspondent reported on May 8, 1889.
The Oswego chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union spoke at the May village board meeting requesting no further saloon licenses be granted, and the village board agreed, the Record reported.
At the (Oswego) village board's second May meeting, the town constable was given the extra duty of lighting the village's street lamps and keeping them in good working order. The board appropriated $100 for the purchase of 10 lamps and to keep them operating for a year, according to the Record.
130 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported the Testin saloon had received new flooring and village officials were planning "to build a new council hall and calaboose combined; that the site of it will be on the south side of Washington street, above the railroad track."
135 years ago this month...
"From May 1, 1878 to May 1, 1879, there were 177,000 pounds of butter made at the creamery and 354,000 pounds of cheese," the Record reported from Oswego on May 29, 1879.
140 years ago this month...
The Record's Oswego correspondent reported from the village May 14: "Nothing of any importance occurred the past week; all the lightning rodders are out; the farmers are busy and spend little time in town; the mechanics, especially those engaged in building, have more work than they can attend to. The ladies are cleaning house, preparing flower gardens or studying the spring fashions; the boys are down the river fishing, so with the exception of a little playing ball and pitching quoits towards evening, the streets are very quiet."
An editorial comment from the Record: "The financial measures before Congress are frequently alluded to, but the subject is too little understood for man to take a decided stand upon it. All, however, are in favor of that which will give the greatest prosperity, if we only knew what that was."
On May 26, 1874, the Record's Oswego correspondent reported that "Business is quite brisk in town today; a firm of traveling scissors grinders is in town; also an umbrella mender."
A correction from the Record: "The wedding of Miss Katie Rowan should have been mentioned last week. She was married to an Aurora gentleman by the name of Santry, I believe."
145 years ago this month...
Oswego residents found they really could fight city hall. On May 20, 1869 the Record reported "The Great Cow Rebellion-The great sensation of Oswego last week was the cow rebellion. It happened this way: The corporation powers ordained that all cattle should be prohibited from running at large in the village streets. A lot of cows soon were in the pound. Cow owners were filled with indignation, denouncing it as a piece of highhanded legislation, a crushing down of the poor, etc. The government backed down. The cows are now enjoying the liberty of the streets."
The Record reported May 6 from Oswego: "The other night a couple of dogs went across the river and killed about 15 of Roberts' sheep and more or less wounded about as many more; which act has not improved the reputation of dogs."
The Record also reported: "White Feather did not secure a large audience. His lecture and performance were however quite interesting. Tomorrow evening a blind man is to lecture on temperance."
150 years ago this month...
The Record reported May 12: "Monday afternoon we rode up to Oswego with our friend the Supervisor from Kendall to attend the special meeting. We were pleased with our visit. The gentlemen about the court-house treated us right cordially, and we have a splendid opinion of the supervisors of Kendall county and our county officers." The meeting was called to appropriate funds for bounties to be paid to volunteers for the Civil War. "On motion, it was voted that a bounty of $25 be paid to volunteers, bonifide residents of Kendall County, who may enlist for the hundred days' service."