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Columns

Yesteryear: August in Oswego-area history

A fishing derby was part of the Oswegoland Park District's summer playground program when this photo was taken on the grounds of the Red Brick School (now the site of the Oswego post office and Village Green Park in June 1958).
A fishing derby was part of the Oswegoland Park District's summer playground program when this photo was taken on the grounds of the Red Brick School (now the site of the Oswego post office and Village Green Park in June 1958).

August 2002

Montgomery Village Manager Anne Marie Gaura presented village board members with a revised “Top Projects 2002” list. Among the many projects listed for the board’s consideration were: Yorkville boundary agreement, commercial business attraction, impact fee analysis and revision, industrial business attraction, Metra station/Park-N-Ride, Orchard Road corridor study, Settlers Landing shopping center rehabilitation and village hall renovation.

August 1997

In an effort to improve pedestrian safety, the Illinois Department of Transportation installed signs on Washington Street (U.S. Route 34) near Main Street in downtown Oswego. The yellow signs warned motorists of pedestrians attempting to cross the four lanes of traffic on Washington Street. The signs were installed at the request of village officials. IDOT had widened the highway from two to four lanes a year earlier.

Blain’s Farm & Fleet announced it would construct a 134,000-square-foot retail store on the north side of U.S. Route 30 in Montgomery.

Contractors for Lucent Technologies began tearing down the old Western Electric plant located along the west bank of the Fox River in Montgomery. During its peak of operation in the late 1970s, the massive plant had been the workplace for nearly 4,000 area residents.

Oswego officials met with representatives of Metra concerning the possible establishment of a commuter rail station in the village. The Metra representatives recommended the village petition the agency to have a feasibility study completed to determine the need and potential costs for the service.

August 1992

The city of Aurora’s growth plans were a matter of concern for Oswego School District Board members. City officials announced they had targeted more than 2,000 acres of undeveloped land east of U.S. Route 34 in the school district for future residential development. The announcement prompted school board members to agree to send a representative to the city’s plan commission meetings in an effort to better track the city’s growth.

By a wide margin, most Oswego residents supported a village policy permitting leaf burning, a survey conducted by the village determined.

The village of Montgomery became the first community in the lower Fox Valley area to launch a solid waste recycling program. The village board acted to implement the voluntary "blue bag" program at the urging of a local citizens’ group, Montgomery Advocates for Reduction and Recycling.

August 1987

Oswego School Board members were advised to prepare for an enrollment boom. School Superintendent Dr. Terry Tamblyn presented the results of a demographic study that contained various enrollment growth scenarios. Tamblyn said the district’s enrollment by the year 2000 would likely range between two scenarios, one that projected an enrollment of 9,081 and another that predicted an enrollment of 11,859. A more modest growth scenario contained in the study projected enrollment to reach 8,457 by 2000.

The Montgomery Village Board approved plans for the second unit of new homes in the village’s Seasons Ridge subdivision. An official with Primus Corporation, project developers, told the Ledger-Sentinel the 207-acre project’s second unit would consist of 130 single-family homes. A total of 37 of the 53 new homes in the subdivision’s first unit had already been sold, the official said.

August 1982

The Oswego Village Board was positioning itself to take on Pac Man, if necessary. The board voted to approve an ordinance that limited the number of video games in local businesses to 15. The board acted after receiving reports that a video parlor might open on Main Street.

August 1978

The Montgomery Village Board was studying the possible establishment of cable television service in the village. Ray Kozloski, a board member, said he believed cable could be offered in the village if Oswego and the Boulder Hill subdivision also signed up for the service.

Wayne Wells, Montgomery village president, told the village board that U.S. Rep. Tom Corcoran had read a statement concerning the village’s position on energy conservation into the Congressional Record. “We are beginning to dent the bureaucracy in Washington,” Wells said.

August 1972

Kendall County Young Republicans were doing their part to help re-elect President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew. The organization staged a “Target ’72 Campaign Blitz” of the Boulder Hill subdivision Aug. 19.

August 1967

A group of Oswego businessmen contacted a private consulting firm to complete a market survey as the first step towards a major redevelopment project for the village’s downtown, according to a report in the Ledger. The survey was expected to cost $5,000.

August 1962

“The first partial results of the Federal Fallout Shelter Survey show that 182 shelter spaces may be available in the larger buildings of Oswego and NaAuSay townships,” Clyde Phillips, director of the Kendall County Civil Defense Agency, told the Ledger. As part of the survey, local civil defense officials had gone door-to-door in the two townships seeking out buildings which might offer protection from radiation fallout from a nuclear blast. According to the 1960 U.S. Census, there were 4,993 people living in Oswego Township and 557 in NaAuSay Township.

The baseball season was over for the summer in Oswego and the local Pony and Little Leagues were asking their players to turn in their uniforms either at Carr’s Department Store on Main Street or at Mrs. Jeannette Bramley’s home on Greenbriar Road in Boulder Hill.

August 1957

Robert Bereman was elected Montgomery village president in a special election held Aug. 24. He succeeded Chris Stathis, who had served in the position on an interim basis. In other business, the board voted unanimously to have the village attorney, Vance McCoy, send a letter to the CB&Q Railroad informing them that their trains had been blocking railroad crossings in the village for periods longer than the eight minutes permitted under the law.

August 1952

The Ledger reported that the Oswego Village Board voted to install a manually-operated flasher-type school traffic signal light at the corner of Madison (U.S. Route 34) and Jackson streets to allow students to safely cross the street. The Red Brick School was located at the northeast corner of the intersection.

The Oswego Park District Board of Commissioners passed an appropriations ordinance authorizing $3,950 in spending.

August 1947

The Kendall County Record’s Oswego correspondent proudly reported that the village “was now on the map,” thanks to the selection of the Melvin Parkhurst family of Oswego as the "Typical Farm Family of Illinois" in a statewide contest. “The community rejoices in the honor shown the Parkhursts,” the correspondent wrote.

August 1927

In his weekly column in the Record, publisher H.R. Marshall noted the coming end of the baseball season and took the opportunity to lament the growing corruption in baseball and other sports caused by money and “sports politicians.” Marshall added, “Colleges are commercializing athletes to a startling degree. Football offers great financial advantage to the mercenary youth. The outright purchase of players has permitted this winning of many games in all fields of sport.”

August 1917

Record publisher H.R. Marshall noted on Aug. 12, 1917, that “The hot weather is causing much discomfort but the corn is growing in proportion…A little rain would be acceptable but we should not grumble. Take the heat and watch the corn grow.”

August 1892

In the Aug. 3 Record, the paper’s Oswego correspondent reported that: “John Waldbilling discovered a large white bird swimming in the river last week, which, at a distance he took for a swan. He went and got Will Leigh who, with a gun, accompanied John to the place and shot the bird. It proved to be a pelican which they took to Aurora and sold it for $7.”

“The practice of the boys – both old and young – of engaging in the exercise of throwing and catching ball on the main business part of the street is to be stopped now,” the Record’s Oswego correspondent reported on Aug. 3. “It occurs generally towards evening, and Monday one of those swift flying and curving balls hit Esquire Haight on the nose, causing it to bleed profusely, and this morning the Esquire looks as if he had been through a prize fight mill and got the worst of it.”

August 1887

“The town was subjected to a double dose of street music one forenoon last week,” the Record’s Oswego correspondent wrote on Aug. 3, 1887. “One band being a combine of a bag-pipe and some other kind of pipes; the other a hand organ with a monkey for the treasurer. The monkey performed his business very cute; the followers of Darwin have no cause to blush.”

August 1882

In the Aug. 17, 1882, Kendall County Record, columnist Lorenzo Rank, writing as “U.R. Strooley,” poked some fun at himself: “L. Rank came onto a 5 ft. rattlesnake up near the woods [where the Oswego Township Cemetery on Main Street is located today] Sunday afternoon; the snake didn’t bite him and he didn’t kill it; they were afraid of each other.”

August 1867

In response to an article in the Tama Union that took Record Editor Marshall to task for including "three full columns" of baseball, Marshall replied on Aug. 22, 1867: "That's 'sarcasm' Brother Ingham. We fill our paper with matter that is interesting to our readers, and not to self-glorification and extended puffs of the New Covenant and Manford's Magazine."

Kendall County residents were warned to keep their weeds cut. A state law passed Feb. 9, 1867, requiring all persons to keep Canada thistles cut was reprinted on the Record's front page.

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