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Columns

Yesteryear: March in Oswego-area history

Oswego School High School students board a bus outside the school on Franklin Street in 1957. At the time this photo was taken, Oswego High School District 8 and Grade School District 300 shared in the cost of operating five buses serving the two school districts.
Oswego School High School students board a bus outside the school on Franklin Street in 1957. At the time this photo was taken, Oswego High School District 8 and Grade School District 300 shared in the cost of operating five buses serving the two school districts.

March 1997

Letters critical of Oswego’s unprecedented home building boom published in the Ledger-Sentinel sparked the ire of village president Budd Bieber. Bieber defended the village’s handling of new development proposals and noted that the village had increased its builder transition fees to $5,268 per household two years earlier. Bieber added that the village board approved higher transition fees without the prodding or any encouragement from the Oswego School District which receives $3,000 from each fee paid.

It was a bad month for Kendall County’s old courthouse in Yorkville. First, the vacant 19th-century building was the target for burglars. Then, County State’s Attorney Tim McCann determined that an agreement between Yorkville and the county which would have transferred ownership of the building to the city was invalid. McCann’s determination cast new doubts on the building’s future.

March 1992

A Montgomery Village Board committee was formalizing plans for the village’s first recycling program. The committee was chaired by board member Tom Waller.

The Illinois Department of Transportation hired a consulting firm to prepare engineering plans for the proposed construction of a new U.S. Route 30 bridge spanning the Fox River in Montgomery.

March 1987

Paul Rasmussen, the planning director for the city of Aurora, told members of the Oswego Plan Commission he was uncertain when the city would annex land in Oswego Township. Instead, Rasmussen said the city was concentrating on attracting businesses to properties along the I-88 Tollway corridor in the city. However, Rasmussen also predicted the city’s residential development along U.S. Route 34 in DuPage County would continue westward toward Oswego and Kendall County.

Construction of the first single-family homes in Montgomery’s Seasons Ridge subdivision started. The village board had approved final plans for the 207 acre development the previous December.

The Oswego School Board approved a new contract with the district’s teachers’ union that granted the teachers a 26.7 percent increase in salaries, stipends and benefits over the three-year life of the contract.

Kendall County Highway Commissioner Joseph Gaesser met with state highway officials to discuss potential locations for a new bridge spanning the Fox River west of Oswego that would link Route 71 and U.S. Route 34. Gaesser said the bridge would be built as part of a plan to extend Orchard Road into Kendall County from U.S. Route 30 in Montgomery. Gaesser predicted it would be 10 years before the road would be extended from Route 30 to Route 34.

March 1977

The Kendall County Sheriff’s Department and Montgomery police were investigating an incident in Boulder Hill in which shots were fired at an 18-year-old resident of the unincorporated subdivision on Bereman Road.

Controversy swirled around Montgomery village government as board members and other officials hurled charges. Election judges at Montgomery’s east side polling place presented a petition to the board protesting the polling place’s move to Krug School. Village President Wayne Wells suggested the move might help by “eliminating any chance of electioneering at the polls.” Wells accused the polling judges of not providing adequate policing of the polls in the past.

March 1972

Work on additions to Oswego High School and Oswego Junior High School (now the District 308 Center) in Oswego was progressing. The school board learned that the high school addition was 75 percent complete and scheduled for completion by June 1. In other business, the school board learned that five students had been suspended from class at the high school in February. Four students were suspended for truancy, while the other suspension was for smoking.

March 1967

Oswego School District voters approved a referendum to increase the district’s education fund tax levy rate. The measure passed with 363 voters casting “yes” ballots and 212 voting “no.”

The Montgomery Village Board approved a new five-year contract with Fox Valley Disposal to provide weekly garbage collection for village residents. Under terms of the contract, the cost for the service would increase by one cent per household annually after the contract’s first two years. In other business, the board also approved a building permit requested by Jack Logan for a five-unit apartment building at 1014 Main St.

“The Unique War” was the name of a film on the increasingly controversial Vietnam War shown to members of the Kendall County Republican Women’s Club. The color, 25-minute film was narrated by Glenn Ford, an actor and commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Gromer’s Supermarket at the Boulder Hill Market was celebrating its anniversary. To mark the occasion, the store held a raffle with the top prize a 1967 Ford Fairlane Squire station wagon.

The Oswego Ledger announced Richard Chamberlain of Boulder Hill was the 1,000th area resident to subscribe to the newspaper. Chamberlain received a check for $25 from the Ledger.

Patricia Anne Dillion of Batavia and Susan Miller of Aurora were the co-winners of a contest to name the newly formed community college. Both winners proposed naming the college after Waubonsee, a Potowatomi Indian chief. The Ledger noted, “Waubonsee Community College in the heartland of America has become a reality.”

March 1957

The Illinois Bell telephone company hosted a “Telephone Community Night” at Oswego High School on Franklin Street. A company official said the event was designed to take local phone customers “behind the scenes” to show them how their telephone system works. Among the displays at the event was a “Voice Mirror” machine which allowed users to hear what their own voices sounded like on the telephone.

March 1952

Oswego Village President Andrew M. Pierce signed a proclamation declaring Good Friday as a religious holiday in the village and asked all business in the village to close between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to allow their employees to attend religious services in local churches.

March 1927

The Record reported: “The Bankers Federation of these two counties is completing the Town Guard organization so that every community will be adequately protected. The meeting held Friday evening, Feb. 25, at St. Charles was attended by representatives from the banks in Kane and Kendall counties. Chairman Weiland, of the Protective committee, reported that practically all member banks were enrolled for service under the Town Guard plan. This provides for deputizing trained men in every community who will be provided with high power rifles and sawed-off shotguns, ready to respond instantly in case of need. For the two counties, about 75 men are provided. Not content with these precautionary measures alone, the Bankers Federation has further decided to offer a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any robbers operating within the two counties.”

March 1917

“The cutting of timber on the Fox River is not a thing which meets the approval of most of the citizens nor is it in keeping with the teachings of the national department of forestry,” Record Publisher H.R. Marshall wrote on March 28, 1917. “This time of intensive farming, with its drains and reclaimed sloughs, makes the former necessary protection of the crops unnecessary. Leave enough timber on your farm to make the place habitable, and don’t cut Kendall county as bare as the western plains.”

“The telephone office for the Chicago Telephone Company will be moved to the rooms above the Cutter Drug Store and owned by the same,” the Record reported from Oswego in March of 1907. Cutter’s Drug Store was located at 68 Main St. in Oswego.

March 1877

A spirited spring baseball game, mostly devoid of defense, was reported in the March 8, 1877, Record: “The match game of baseball played between the Oswego nine and the NaAuSay nine in Mrs. Collins’ pasture was considered by all to be a success. At the end of the second inning the score stood 34-14 in favor of Oswego. The NaAuSay boys do not eat buckwheats in vain for the tables were turned by the closing inning with the score being 49-43 in favor of NaAuSay. The Oswego boys were slightly embarrassed by the lobs of one of their number, James Poage, who was rendered unfit for action by receiving a ball in his eye. Among the appreciative spectators were young ladies from Oswego and Aurora.”

March 1867

The Kendall County Board passed an ordinance in March 1867 setting the county circuit court at two terms, one to be held the third Tuesday of January and one on the fourth Tuesday of May. Those were the only two court dates at the courthouse in Yorkville.

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