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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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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, August 2004...

A proposal to construct a Hooters restaurant in a large shopping center planned for a 57 acre parcel at the southeast corner of U.S. Route 34 and Douglas Road in Oswego would be treated like any other received by the village, Craig Weber, village president announced. Plans for Hooters in other communities across the country had proven controversial. Meanwhile, an unscientific consumer survey conducted by the Oswego Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) in 2002 found support for the opening of a local Hooters. When asked to identify restaurants they would like to locate in the village, 24 percent of the respondents listed Hooters on their survey forms, ahead of numerous other popular eateries, including Krispy Kreme donuts (17 percent), White Castle (five percent) and Colonial restaurant (0.6 percent).

Construction managers for the Oswego School District reported to the village that the new Oswego East High School and Lakewood Creek Elementary School in Montgomery would both be ready to open at the start of the 2004-05 school year.

Oswego Fire Protection District paramedic-firefighters moved into their new station at 2200 Galena Road just east of Orchard Road in Montgomery on Sunday, Aug. 1. The first call for service to the station came Sunday at 5:18 p.m. when paramedic-firefighters were summoned to an auto accident at the nearby intersection of Orchard Road and U.S. Route 30 in Montgomery, according to Rick Neitzer, deputy fire chief.

15 years ago this month, August 1999...

Kendall County Sheriff Richard Randall announced his department had allocated more resources to the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision in the wake of a gang-related drive-by shooting. The Aug. 10 incident started with shots fired at a home on Aldon Road which then led to a two vehicle chase into Oswego. During the chase, occupants of one of the vehicles fired four shots at the other vehicle.

In a split, 4-2 ballot the Oswego Plan Commission endorsed the rezoning of a parcel at U.S. Route 34 and Ill. Route 71 in the village for the proposed construction of a Walgreen's store. Several residents spoke out against the Walgreen's during the three hour commission hearing. Many residents questioned the traffic plan for the center and the proposed access drives onto the two highways.

Approximately 6,100 students showed up for class in Oswego School District schools for the start of the 1999-2000 school year, the Ledger-Sentinel reported.

As the start of the new year and millennium approached, questions had arisen over the ability of NICOR and other utility companies to continue to provide their essential services due to the Y2K computer bug. "Please remember that NICOR provided gas to your homes long before there were computers," a NICOR official told the Montgomery Village Board, adding, "We have manual overrides, we have valves that can be turned on if need be."

20 years ago this month, August 1994...

Montgomery's building department began enforcing a new ordinance regulating the parking of recreational vehicles in residential neighborhoods. The action prompted large numbers of RV owners to attend the two village board meetings held in August. At one of the sessions, some angry RV owners berated and swore at the village board. A disappointed village staffer later described the conduct of some of the residents as a "low point" for the community.

The Kendall County Board approved concept plans for a new courthouse in Yorkville. Board Chairman Don Hausler said he believed the building would be large enough to meet the county's judicial needs for 20 years. Hausler added that if some unfinished "option areas" were included in the plans he was "very confident we will run past that (20 year estimate)." Construction was completed on the courthouse in 1998.

Contractors for the State of Illinois were busy putting the finishing touches on Oswego's newest 'park': the old U.S. Route 34 bridge spanning the Fox River. The two lane bridge was converted by the state for use by cyclists and pedestrians.

25 years ago this month, August 1989...

The Montgomery Village Board voted unanimously to sell $3 million in bonds to finance the construction of a municipal water treatment plant on Knell Road. Board members deemed the plant necessary in part to bring the village into compliance with federal regulations governing the content of naturally occurring radium in municipal water. "It's a big, but necessary project for the village," Ray Kozloski, village president, commented.

Ironworkers installed the frame for the auditorium that was under construction at Oswego High School.

30 years ago this month, August 1984...

Oswego Village Board members voted unanimously to have an independent laboratory test municipal water to determine its content of naturally occurring radium. The village-and numerous other Fox Valley area communities-had been notified three months earlier that the radium level in their water supplies was in excess of federal standards.

Drop-off mailboxes in front of the Oswego Post Office building on U.S. Route 34 were moved around the corner to Jackson Street. Postal service officials moved the boxes for safety reasons. Until the boxes were moved, motorists stopping to drop off mail were slowing traffic on the two-lane highway, creating a hazard.

For the first time in many years, Oswego High School's football Panthers were able to schedule night games due to the installation of lights at the school football field. The lights were paid for with donations from local businesses. In a related matter, school board members were debating a policy that would prohibit school district facilities from being named after individuals. The issue came up after a plan was proposed to name the football field after long-time OHS coach and teacher Ken Pickerill.

40 years ago this month, August 1974...

The Oswego School District Board and the Oswego Education Association (OEA), the school district's teachers' union, narrowly averted the possibility of a strike by coming to terms on a new basic contract just before the opening of school. The Oswego Ledger summed up the situation this way: "The just completed negotiations have been the longest in the Oswego School District's history, stirring up emotions on both sides of the question, bringing unavoidable anger and bitterness."

"Boulder Hill teens set new world's record bouncing ball" was the page one headline in the Ledger's Aug. 8, 1974 edition. The article under the headline told how Veronica Rapp and Shiela Drew set a world's record by keeping a basketball in motion on a Boulder Hill driveway for 51 hours, 41 minutes.

45 years ago this month, August 1969...

During their monthly meeting, Oswego Village Board members heard a complaint from a downtown merchant concerning teenagers hanging out on Jefferson Street in front of Foxy's Burger Bar. The village board agreed to install signs prohibiting parking on the street in front of the fast food establishment between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Preparing for the start of the 1969-70 school year, the Oswego School District Board voted to increase the daily pay for substitute teachers from $21 to $25.

50 years ago this month, August 1964...

Construction on the new Oswego High School building was completed in time for the new school year. School faculty and members of a community planning council conducted a tour of the new building Aug. 27.

Petitions were being circulated in Oswego and Boulder Hill calling for a referendum on a plan to establish a library district. In a related matter, officials at the Oswego Library reported that usage of the new building on Jefferson Street at Main Street was increasing. The total number of books checked out during the month of July was 224, including 67 adult books and 157 for children, the Ledger reported.

Dayton's Service at the intersection of U.S. Route 34 and Ill. Route 31 in Oswego was offering, for just 50 cents and a coupon from the Ledger, a complete lube job, battery cleaning, engine analysis on a scope machine, and a ten pound bag of charcoal.

Oswego school officials were predicting an enrollment of about 2,400 students for the 1964-65 school year. .

The Ledger reported that 50 Oswego Little Leaguers were disappointed when rain forced the cancellation of their trip to Comiskey Park in Chicago to see the first place White Sox. The paper added, "It is suggested that boys who paid in their money get it back from Ford Lippold in Oswego or Mrs. Jeannette Bramley in Boulder Hill."

The Oswego Plan Commission completed a report on parking in the village's downtown and submitted it to the village board for study.

The August meeting of the Boulder Hill Welcome Wagon Club was a theatre party at the Boulder Hill Playhouse, which stood near U.S. Route 30 and Briarcliff Road near what is now the entrance of Montgomery's Seasons Ridge Subdivision.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Oswego Presbyterian Church's new building on Ill. Route 25 north of Oswego was held Aug. 23. Cost of the new building was estimated at $270,000, according to the Ledger.

55 years ago this month, August 1959...

Contractors for Boulder Hill developer Don L. Dise were working on the "apartment-elementary school" on Boulder Hill Pass, approximately one-half mile east of Ill. Route 25. The Oswego School Board had voted to lease a portion of the new apartment building for use as temporary classroom space for grades one through six. In the meantime, school officials were pursuing plans to build an elementary school in Boulder Hill for students residing in the rapidly developing subdivision.

Oswego Public Schools were set to hold classes for the 1959-60 school year in seven different locations throughout the community. The locations were: Church School in Wheatland Township in northwest Will County; the Little White School, the Red Brick School, East View School, the junior high wing at Oswego High School, and Oswego High School, all in Oswego. Church School was the district's last one-room country school, and housed students in grades 1-3 under teacher Eugenia Davis. The district also operated nine busses.

Oswego published its village appropriations ordinance for the coming fiscal year. Village officials planned to spend $30,687.25 in property taxes, according to the ordinance, which was signed by Village President James Zentmyer and Village Clerk John Spang. Total village spending was estimated at $255,101.

Oswego Plan Commissioners approved the preliminary plat of the Bil-Joy Subdivision, located north of Oswego on Ill. Route 25. The subdivision had more than eight proposed building lots and adjoined Bartholomew's Cedar Glen Subdivision and to the north, Boulder Hill Subdivision. Developer was Ray Smith of Aurora. Home prices were to range from $12,000 to $20,000. "The subdividing of this area completes the link between the Village of Oswego and the Kendall and Kane County Line along Rt. 25 as far as residential area is concerned," the Ledger reported.

The Oswego Park District's appropriation ordinance called for spending $14,015 in property tax dollars in its next fiscal year.

Removal and renovation of the sidewalk along the east side of Main Street, from Washington to Jackson Street, in Oswego's downtown was underway. "It is hoped that the shoppers of the area will be patient while the repairs are underway and take into consideration the fact that the improvement program is planned for their convenience and shopping comfort as well as to add to the looks of the downtown area," the Ledger reported. "Remember, all places of business are open during the usual hours."

60 years ago this month, August 1954...

Featured on a triple bill at the Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In Theater near Montgomery was "It Happens Every Spring" starring Ray Milland and Jean Peters. An advertisement in the Kendall County Record touted the film as "Baseball's newest comedy."

The Oswego Village Board authorized sidewalk repairs in downtown Oswego, "particularly on the west side of Main Street in front of the Masonic Hall and Main Café. A cement step will also be made in front of Bohn's Grocery Store. Mark Figgins is the contractor."

Oswego's schools were getting ready to open on Sept. 1. For the first time in several years, the district had enough classroom space to house all students in district-owned buildings. Previously, some elementary classes had been housed at the Oswego Presbyterian Church. First grade students were to attend the Little White School while grades two through five were to attend the Red Brick School. The new junior high addition to Oswego High School was scheduled to house grades six, seven and eight.

In Pony League action, the Ledger reported that: "Bobby Tripp was the winning hurler for the Tigers while Jim Johnson handled mound chores for the Braves. Tripp struck out 12 of the Braves who faced him in five innings." In another report, the Ledger noted that Oswego's Pony League team defeated Somonauk 16-6 behind the four hit pitching of Chuck Shuler.

The Ledger reported the Kendall County Polio Fund was overdrawn for the year, and a special emergency drive was to be conducted. "More was spent last year to fight polio than ever before. Much of the money went for gamma globulin and the Salk vaccine against the disease," the Ledger reported.

The Oswego school cafeteria served a total of 37,393 meals during the 1953-54 school year, according to school officials, with a net profit of $733.67. Mrs. Lillian Schomer was the cafeteria manager with helpers Mrs. Dorothy Friebele, Mrs. Helen Smith, Mrs. Evelyn Penn, Mrs. Hazel Patton, and Mrs. Agnes Schultz. The cafeteria, located in the basement of Oswego High School, drew students from all the district's elementary buildings.

Just in time for the start of school, Carr's Department Store in Oswego was advertising Dickie and Buckaroo western jeans, with double denim knees, at $2.19 to $3.79 a pair.

The Oswego Park Board reported that more than 10,000 hours of supervised recreation was offered during the summer past, with attendance up by 25 percent over the previous year. A total of 415 boys and girls registered at the Red Brick and Little White School playgrounds during the summer.

65 years ago this month, August 1949...

"Can You Eat Tax?" was a headline in the Record. This commentary appeared under the headline: "Kendall County housewives are advised that unless they get busy, along with other housewives in the nation, the bill to repeal the tax on margarine will die in Senate committee without a vote. The tax repeal passed the House of Representatives with a wide margin of votes. Write your Senator Lucas or Senator Douglas and ask that this bill be brought out and voted on. The margarine industry uses many bushels of soybeans in manufacture. Repeal may mean the sale of more margarine. It's a double-barreled advantage to repeal the tax."

70 years ago this month, August 1944...

The Record published this announcement: "Oswego Community High School students will assemble at 8:30 on the morning of Monday, Sept. 4, to register and rent books. Students will be dismissed before noon. School buildings have been getting their annual face lifting. The homemaking house has been painted on the outside and the sewing room repapered. In the main building, rooms have been redecorated and floors refinished. The Oswego grade school will open a day later than the high school on Tuesday, Sept. 5."

An advertisement in the Record read: "The Shuler drug store on Main Street in Oswego has added a full line of Eastman cameras and films, and is prepared to handle your needs in the photographic line."

"Contractors for Illinois Bell re-located seven miles of telephone poles adjacent to the new highway (Ill. Route 71) between Oswego and Yorkville," the Record reported.

75 years ago this month, August 1939...

The Record reported: "The Oswego Fire Protection District has added another truck to its equipment roster to round out the efficiency of their present truck. The new truck consists of an International chassis with a 1,000-gallon tank. A 250-gallon Barton fire pump is also mounted on the unit making it a valuable piece of equipment. Many a fire can be quenched quickly when doused with 1,000 gallons of water. In the past, fires gained some headway over the firemen before they could pump water from the available supply, and with fires, the first five minutes are worth the next half hour."

80 years ago this month, August 1934...

The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "A large increase in the high school enrollment is anticipated during the coming year since a small senior group graduated last June and a large freshman class has already registered. An ever increasing number of pupils living in non-high school territory are taking advantage of the fully accredited course of studies offered by the Oswego high school. Last year, 56 percent of the enrollment was made up of pupils living in non-high school territory. Any pupils who have not selected a school for the coming year are invited to consider the Oswego schools before making a decision."

The Record attempted to look on the bright side of the hot, dry weather: "Practically earless cornfields resulting from the summer's unusual heat and drought need not be considered as a total loss by Kendall county farmers. In fact, such cornfields may have as high or a higher feeding value for livestock than a normal crop, says Farm Adviser Miller. The extremely hot, dry weather that has been so prevalent throughout the county in recent weeks will often blast the pollen of corn plants. This corn, of course, will not produce grain on the ears, but when harvested in the form of silage or fodder it does have a considerable value as feed for livestock."

90 years ago this month, August 1924...

The Record reported that the "interurban (street car) line from the park south of Montgomery to Yorkville will be discontinued as soon as buses are provided to take care of the traffic. This permission comes after a long battle with the commission and a period of wretched service by the street car company at this end of the line. The poor service was doubtless the cause of the lost traffic to the company and was a vehicle through which the losses were developed and shown. One cannot be blamed for seeking other transportation when they got no better than was allotted to Yorkville in recent years. But the street car company must make money in spite of passenger convenience. The road has been in existence for nearly 25 years and for a long time was a pleasant means of getting into and out of town. Of recent years, since the ascendancy of the automobile, traffic has fallen off. The late Upshaw Hoard and the Hon. Henry Evans were instrumental in the laying out and building of the road. The bus service will be started as soon as the vehicles can be procured. Mr. Egolf of the street car company says they will be ordered at once."

100 years ago this month, August 1914...

World War I had broken out in Europe. The Record offered this editorial comment: "The consensus of opinion in the United States is that the European war is the beginning of the end of monarchies and empires. The common people are not as ignorant as they once were and the experiences of their friends in America have told them of the success of this form of government where they would have a hand in the declaring of war themselves. It is not a question of lack of loyalty to their country. But it is the reticence of acting as puppets to the crowned heads that will start the trouble to overthrow the rulers."

Shoger & Burkhart were advertising new Studebaker "4" automobiles at their Oswego dealership in the Record. The ad read: "Full 5 passenger, electrically started and lighted, full floating axle & Timken bearings throughout. Price Complete $985." Scott Cutter's Oswego Ford dealership was advertising Model T touring cars for $480; runabouts for $440; and town cars for $690.

110 years ago this month, August 1904...

"The last of the old ice houses in the Village of Troy, just north of Oswego, burned down. The houses had been abandoned for several years. The ice houses had formerly been the center of a bustling business where up to 75 men worked during the winter to cut and store ice for summer cooling," according to the Record.

At a village board meeting Monday evening, where a representative of the traction company was present, the agreement was made that the company will put up lights on several blocks of Main Street for a short time to show what the electric lights will do, and that if satisfactory to enter into a contract for lighting the whole village for a specified time.

115 years ago this month, August 1899...

The Record offered this report on women's summer fashions: "Notwithstanding the very hot spell of weather the young ladies persist in wrapping up their necks clear up to the ears. They look very uncomfortable, but presumably it being the fashion cannot be helped."

The Mystic Workers of the World, a new fraternal insurance society, was formed at Oswego Aug. 28, 1899, according to the Record. George M. Croushorn was installed as Worthy Master.

Electric service was coming to areas homes and businesses. The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "The new white light is spreading; it is now in all the saloons, in the furniture store, was put up in the Figge barber shop Monday night for trial, and the village board ordered four lamps with which to commence the lighting of the streets. The other business of the board Monday evening consisted in the allowance of many bills, principally for street work; contracting for a piece of concrete sidewalk the length of the new Schickler block; help pay up the Fourth of July celebration expenses, not more than $20 worth; getting a leak stopped in the water tank; the reorganizing of the fire company and to furnish the members with rubber suits."

120 years ago this month, August 1894...

The Record's Oswego correspondent reported Aug. 15: "It is easy to tell which body, the Congress of the United States or the village board of Oswego, underwent the most perplexities during the last four months. Congress merely was perplexed over a tariff bill it undertook to pass, while the Oswego board started out (1) to build water works extending all over the town, with a tank-tower high enough to throw the water over the houses on the most elevated ground. (2) Construct concrete sidewalks in the business part of the village. (3) Brick pave the gutters of the same. (4) Reestablish, increase, and maintain street lamps. (5) Build new sewers and enlarge some of the old ones. (6, 7, and 8) Forgot what they were. No agreement on any of them has been reached yet."

Another comment from the correspondent: "Oswego has no base-ball team, but it is afflicted with a brass band in embryo."

"The Zuni Medicine Company have established their Indian village below town on the flats and are giving musical and comic entertainments evenings," the Record's Oswego correspondent wrote on Aug. 22. "Besides the performances, White Eagle, the doctor, gives a lecture on the remedies they have for sale."

130 years ago this month, August 1884...

The Record's Oswego correspondent reported: "That complaint against a prominent citizen for disorderly conduct mentioned last week was withdrawn. The whole affair was a blunder; there had been no 'shooting off of the mouth' by anybody; it was merely a somewhat animated confab, and by the way Oswego has now taken a new departure; there shall be no more making faces at one another but all will go in for the cultivation of brotherly love."

135 years ago this month, August 1879...

The Record reported the hold-up of an Oswego man near Montgomery this way: "A.J. Ives being in Aurora the other evening started to return about 9 o'clock and just outside the city (east side) near Spring Lake cemetery overtook two men on foot, one of which grabbed the horse by the bit and the other poked a cocked pistol in the face of Ives with the request 'Throw up your hands you ----- ------ -----'; after appropriating his pocketbook containing $12 and a watch and chain. They wanted the ring on his finger, but Ives got mad and declared to submit no further bulldozing even if it had to come to the worst; the robbers expressed admiration for his spunk and let him go; driving about two rods, Ives hallowed the name of a resident near there when the highwaymen fired two shots at him and then put for the woods; they were masked. Ives had left his pistol at home."

The Record reported on Aug. 7, 1879 that the old depot on the CB&Q main line, then about two miles west of Oswego, had burned down. The depot had largely been abandoned when the Fox River Branch of the railroad was completed through Oswego in 1870.

140 years ago this month, August 1874...

The Record's Oswego correspondent reported "The post office has been moved from the corner where it was in operation for about 19 years to the center of the block across the street. The change is not favorably regarded by the public." The correspondent was Oswego Postmaster Lorenzo Rank.

"A menagerie consisting of two men, a bear, and a drum came along the other day and exhibited in the streets," according to the Record, reporting from Oswego on Aug. 13. "The bear was a good upright walker, would dance, shake hands with and kiss the ringmaster, carry a pole, wear a hat, roll over, etc."

145 years ago this month, August 1869...

The Record's Oswego correspondent filed this report in early August: "The early risers of Oswego, on last Wednesday morning, enjoyed the privilege of witnessing (free of charge) an out door performance of a portion of Bailey's Menagerie. About half an hour was given to the elephants to take a bath in the river, which they enjoyed hugely by rolling and flouncing about, squirting water over themselves and ingeniously cleaning their eyes and ears. The camels were also driven in, but they didn't seem inclined to sport in the water and merely took a drink and soaked their feet. The bridge offered a good place to see the performance, which took place right above it. Owing to its being so early in the morning, some of the spectators were uncombed and not in full dress; one of our leading men forgot himself so far as to appear there without a hat."

The correspondent also filed this report: "Railroad accidents are getting quite frequent about our Depot, the last by which six lives were extinguished in less time than a person can (to use a homely phrase) say scat, occurred yesterday morning. George Inman's turkeys went down on the track to pick up some gravel to help digest their breakfast, and while so engaged the train came along and killed six of them."

Social problems were not unknown in Oswego, even 145 years ago. "Crazy Mary, I presume, is a woman's rights woman in favor of enjoying equal privileges with man; at least her conduct yesterday showed that she thought she had a right to have a spree," the Record's Oswego correspondent wrote disapprovingly in August 1869. "Accordingly she managed to get into quite a hilarious condition and did a good deal of talking while promenading up and down Wash. St., at the same time saying what she thought of mankind generally and certain ones in particular, not using the choicest language at all times. Along in the evening she became more restive and sat down in the street entertaining a lot of the boys. Constable Lockwood came along and undertook to make some arrests, which caused Mary to scatter herself and the performance ceased."

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