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Yesteryear: October in Oswego/Montgomery-area history

The Boulder Hill Neighborhood Church of the Brethren as it appeared when it opened in its current location on Boulder Hill Pass in 1961, adjacent to Boulder Hill Elementary. The church held its first services in a home at 5 S. Bereman Road 60 years ago this month. The church's temporary home was designed to be converted into a home upon the completion of the church building. Boulder Hill developer Don L. Dise donated the land for the church building.
The Boulder Hill Neighborhood Church of the Brethren as it appeared when it opened in its current location on Boulder Hill Pass in 1961, adjacent to Boulder Hill Elementary. The church held its first services in a home at 5 S. Bereman Road 60 years ago this month. The church's temporary home was designed to be converted into a home upon the completion of the church building. Boulder Hill developer Don L. Dise donated the land for the church building.

October 1997

An Oswego Village Board committee endorsed the installation of traffic signals at U.S. Route 34 (Washington Street) and Main Street in the village’s downtown business district. The committee agreed the signals are needed to assure pedestrian safety. “At peak times right now it is almost impossible to cross (Washington Street),” commented Don Dahm, committee chairman.

Demolition work was well underway on the old AT&T/Western Electric plant site in Montgomery. As a small group of media members watched, contractors used a truck and a steel cable to pull down the 150,000 gallon water tower that had stood on the property since the 1940s.

Plans for a 16 acre commercial center at the northwest corner of Ill. Route 31 and Washington Street in Oswego were presented to a village board committee. Developers touted the project as being an extension of the village’s downtown business district. Nearby homeowners, however, objected to the plans, suggested that the businesses that would locate in the center would be eyesores, create traffic problems, lead to further strip-style commercial development along Route 31, ruin the existing residential character of the area, and lower their property values. One resident expressed concern that a White Castle restaurant would locate on one of the outlots.

October 1992

More than half of all Montgomery households were participating in the village’s voluntary solid waste recycling program, village board member Tom Waller told his board colleagues. The village had started the program the previous month. Montgomery’s program was the first offered by a municipality in Kendall County. In a related matter, Oswego village administrator Mary Distler said she expected the village board would vote to start a recycling program within a few weeks.

October 1987

Kendall County officials were considering locating branch offices for the county sheriff’s department and other county agencies in vacant storefronts at the Boulder Hill Market shopping center in Boulder Hill.

Supporters of the Oswego School District were waging a community-wide campaign to secure the passage Nov. 3 of a $14 million property tax hike referendum. The district was seeking the funds to pay for upgrades at most of its schools, including a major expansion at Oswego High School. Proposed at the high school were an auditorium, cafeteria and a field house.

October 1977

While the host Oswego High School football Panthers were beating the Batavia Bulldogs, thieves ransacked the Panthers’ locker room and stole 25 wallets containing $280. According to Oswego Police, the unknown suspects apparently hid in the locker room until the team departed for the field.

October 1967

An Oswegoland Park District referendum to finance the construction of a civic center and swimming pool was approved by local voters, 668 ‘yes’ votes to 560 ‘no’ votes. The Oswego Ledger reported the facility was planned between the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision and upper Cedar Glen on Ashlawn Avenue.

In a full page advertisement in Oct. 12 Ledger, Aurora radio station WKKD touted their new local weather reports broadcast three times daily. The ad read: “Tom Skilling, an eight-year veteran in weather forecasting, presents his candid, interesting reports so that you know when you need a raincoat or a sun bonnet.” (An Aurora resident, Skilling was a sophomore at West Aurora High School at that time.)

October 1962

“A community program to wipe out polio will be launched by the Kendall County Medical Society on Sunday, Oct. 21. Type 1 Oral Polio Vaccine will be given at Oswego High School from 1-7 p.m.,” the Ledger reported that same week. More than half of the county’s population took advantage of the vaccination opportunity, including 3,450 at Oswego, 2,232 at Yorkville, 2,400 at Plano, and 1,594 at Newark.

October 1957

“The Oswego Dragstrip is to be the scene of the season’s championship races on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6,” the Ledger reported Oct. 3, 1957. “Time trials for the expected 300 or more entries will be held on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. Joe Martincic, Cleveland, Ohio, holder of the strip record at 140 mph, will be on hand and expects to exceed that speed. Also in the running will be Al Thompson of North Aurora who traveled 134 mph last week.”

“The first service in the Boulder Hill Neighborhood Church of the Brethern will be held on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 11 a.m. Reverend Kenneth Yingst will give the sermon,” the Ledger reported Oct. 10.

“It’s been a long time since there’s been so much interest in anything in the community as there is in the new Oswego Community Bank and, for a change, the comments are mostly favorable,” Ledger Editor Ford Lippold wrote in an editorial Oct. 10. “Oh, there are a few diehards who say it will never go, but they are the same ones who said the auto would never replace the horse. Back to the easy chairs, boys, lay down and roll over, you’re dead.”

October 1952

Several letters appeared in the Ledger during October 1952 concerning the crowded conditions in the community’s schools. “Nothing has been so encouraging in our community for a long time, as the school discussions that are taking place thru the Oswego Ledger,” wrote one resident to editor Ford Lippold Oct. 2.

More than 100 area residents met in the Oswego High School gym Oct. 1 to discuss the problem of school overcrowding. Dr. M.R. Sumption of the University of Illinois reported demographic studies showed that a possible school enrollment of 900 students “within the next decade...was not impossible.” In fact, it was more than likely. On the first day of school in 1962, total enrollment had jumped to more than 1,970 students.

October 1927

On Friday, Oct. 14, the Oswego High School football team took on Plano, and won 12-0. So far in the 1927 season, the Oswego High School team was undefeated.

October 1917

“The Oswego Unit of the Kendall County Chapter of the American Red Cross gave special honor to the boys of Oswego Township about to be called to Army cantonment,” according to the Oct. 3, 1917 Record. “Mayor John Herren and wife gave a dinner in honor of the boys at their home. At 8 o’clock, the party adjourned to the Red Cross rooms in the Knapp building whence they were received with cheers by the large audience. The meeting was closed by the singing of ‘Illinois’ by the audience and prayer by Rev. Byles.”

“The suffragettes continue to harass the president with their cries for attention and their picketing of the White House,” Record Editor H.R. Marshall complained on Oct. 10. “Their patriotism must be at a low ebb if they cannot permit the administration to concentrate their energies on the questions of the war.”

October 1907

Headline and subheads in the Oct. 16, 1907 Kendall County Record: “Oswego’s Mayor Deserts Family; Abner Updike Leaves Home Mysteriously; Sends Letter Enclosing $20 from Chicago-Says ‘Don’t Look for Me’—Seen in El Paso, Texas, by Sugar Grove Citizen”

According to the Record: “The village of Oswego is the center of interest in one of the most talked-of disappearances that has occurred in Kendall county for many years, owing to the departure last week of Abner Updike, mayor of the town, president of the Citizens’ Club, former president of the Kendall County Fair Association, and at one time a prospective candidate for sheriff of Kendall County, leaving an excellent family-a wife and eight children ranging from nine months to eighteen years of age.” According to the story, it was found that Updike was deeply in debt. Although his letter to his wife was postmarked Chicago, it appeared he had fled to El Paso, where Sugar Grove resident Robert Findley reported meeting him on the street whereupon Updike borrowed $15 from Findley, who was unaware he had fled Oswego.

October 1897

Oct. 20: “Hello! Get ready talking through the telephone; it soon will be here,” the Record’s Oswego correspondent wrote Oct. 20, 1897, adding: “Now that the village authorities are full of the spirit of enterprise and of the desire of elevating the place wherever it can be done, a good thing for them to do would be to engage a competent surveyor for locating the current limits of the blocks, some of which are not definitely known, and also to establish the grades on the several streets so that when people wanting to build may know where they are at.”

October 1892

“The Oswego Reporter, our new paper, is apparently neutral in politics and prospering nicely. Lockwood is the manager of the subscription department,” the Record’s Oswego correspondent reported on Oct. 5, 1892.

In a Record article datelined Oct. 6, Coffeyville, Kansas: “The Dalton band of outlaws, the most notorious in the west, was wiped off the face of the earth here yesterday, but in the battle which resulted in their extermination, three good citizens were killed and two fatally wounded.” Five of the six gang members were killed in the gunfight that began when they attempted two simultaneous bank robberies in Coffeyville.

October 1882

“L.N. Hall received the other day another nice piece of bank furniture, namely a case of ‘safety deposit boxes.’” the Record’s Oswego correspondent marveled on Oct. 12, 1882. “They are calculated for renting to private parties and seldom found in country banks.”

On Oct. 19 the Record reported from Oswego that “There was an election Saturday to fill two vacancies on the board of village trustees and like everything else done here, we overdid it, filled them too much; there are now three that claim to have been chosen to fill them.”

October 1877

“Mr. W.M. Forbes has secured the agency for Hicks’ History of Kendall County for this region and will soon be around calling upon us to subscribe,” The Record reported on Oct. 11, 1877. “It will be an interesting book to all Kendall county people, as it is very complete…I have read the rough form of it in the Millington Enterprise, in which it was published by installments during the past year and was much pleased with it.”

Science was in the news Oct. 18, 1877: “Another reason why Oswego should be laid aside among the relics of the past is the Geological Society, of Aurora, was down the other day investigating the local terrestrial structure; the committee examining the town pronounced it as ‘one of the fossils belonging to the ante-diluvian age.’”

The Record’s Oswego correspondent also ventured to explain the plague of mosquitoes: “Mosquitoes are evolved from protoplasm through the process of heat and moisture; warm weather in the fall will do it as well as in the summer.”

October 1872

“Charles F. Hubbard went last spring in the Teller company to Wisconsin lightningrodding; it appears however that he did not wholly confine his attention to that business, for he came home one day last week with a wife,” the Record’s Oswego correspondent quipped on Oct. 17, 1872.

“Oliver Hebert is erecting a new residence adjoining his old one in which he is exhibiting a good deal of taste and himself a Frenchman, for he departed from the usual style of architecture and it will have quite a foreign look; Mr. VanEvra is the builder; the lower story is of stone and was constructed by Charles Avery,” the Record reported from Oswego

On Oct. 31, the Record reported that “The sixth annual re-union of the brave old 36th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers was held at Newark Friday last.”

October 1867

The Kendall County Agricultural Fair began Tuesday, Oct. 6, 1867 on the fairgrounds in Bristol Township near Bristol. “A fine brass band has been secured, and its music will add a new charm to the Fair,” the Record promised.

An enraged sow attacked Oswego Township farmer Jake Deater when he attempted to shoo the pig out of his corn field. The pig severely injured the farmer before his son arrived and drove the animal off with the help of the family dog.

“Work has commenced on the new bridge at Oswego,” the record reported on Oct. 17. “It will be one of the finest bridges on the river.” The new structure, the first iron bridge across the river at Oswego, cost $17,000.

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