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Columns

Yesteryear: August in Oswego/Montgomery-area history

Kids and adults enjoyed the asphalt surface at SuzanJohn Park in Boulder Hill on July 4, 1962. The park was the first park owned and maintained by the Oswegoland Park District.
Kids and adults enjoyed the asphalt surface at SuzanJohn Park in Boulder Hill on July 4, 1962. The park was the first park owned and maintained by the Oswegoland Park District.

August 2003

Oswego School District officials reported that first-day enrollment in the district’s schools was up 920 students from the first-day enrollment figures reported in 2002. The district’s total enrollment was estimated at 9,640.

Oswego officials questioned Illinois Department of Transportation plans to widen Ill. Route 71 from two to four lanes between U.S. Route 34 and Orchard Road in the village. Village President Craig Weber, however, told the village board that the earliest IDOT would begin construction on the project would be 2006.

August 1998

Oswego Police Chief Robert Wunsch announced the village police department would start a bicycle patrol in the spring of 1999. Wunsch said bicycle patrol officers would cruise the village’s streets and the community’s expanding network of trails.

Oswegoland Park District officials were pleased to learn they had been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to help pay for a 1.3-mile extension of the Fox River Trail from Montgomery along Route 25 to Violet Patch Park near Oswego.

The Montgomery Village Board voted to award a contract totaling $79,000 to Robinette Demolition Inc. of Oak Brook Terrace to tear down nine flood-damaged homes in the Parkview Estates subdivision. All of the homes had been damaged in a July 1996 flood. The homes had been built in the early 1970s within the Waubonsie Creek flood plain.

August 1993

A simmering dispute over the leadership of the Kendall County Historical Society took a major step towards resolution when the society’s two factions agreed to conduct a new election to determine its board of directors. When the initial balloting was held in April, a shouting match erupted among society members and police were called to restore order. One of the factions later filed a lawsuit challenging the results of the first election, which led to the two parties agreeing in August to schedule another vote. News of police being summoned to quell a dispute at a historical society meeting attracted the attention of local as well as Chicago media.

Oswego School District officials announced they expected to experience the largest single-year increase in enrollment in nearly two decades. An additional 300 students were anticipated to show up for class on the first day of the 1993-94 school year, according to the Ledger-Sentinel.

Oswego police officer Mary Kay Zimmerman was assigned to serve as the police department’s first liaison officer at Oswego High School.

August 1988

Montgomery was growing rapidly into Kendall County and Oswego Township. Village Building Commissioner Don Harker told the Ledger-Sentinel his department had issued a total of 63 building permits for new single-family homes in the village’s Seasons Ridge subdivision during the first six months of 1988.

August 1978

The Armor-Dial plant on Aucutt Road in Montgomery was temporarily shut down for the installation of $4 million in new anti-pollution equipment. “My feeling as plant manager is that the community is watching us," said plant manager Andy Patti.

Average prices for all grades of gasoline in Illinois increased to record highs. In downstate Illinois, the average price of regular gasoline increased three-tenths of a cent to 68.2, premium jumped two-tenths of a cent to 73.7, and unleaded increased one-tenth of a cent to 71.7.

A “flasher,” said to be in his 40s, was chased around the Guilford Road area of Boulder Hill to no avail, the Kendall County Sheriff's Office reported.

The Oswegoland Park District was in the process of developing a perennial flower garden at the Little White School in Oswego.

August 1973

Ledger editor Ann Krahn reported a concerned resident contacted the paper regarding the number of bike riders and pedestrians using Ill. Route 25 to reach the pool at the Oswegoland Civic Center. “This is really a problem since the highway is so narrow and because of the heavy summer traffic of kids going to and from the pool,” Krahn wrote, adding, “Any suggestion from any of you [readers] about how and where we could get a bike path?”

August 1968

Construction on the new Oswegoland Civic Center building and pool at Ashlawn Avenue and Circle Drive West was progressing on schedule, Oswegoland Park District Board members learned during their monthly meeting.

In his weekly column in the Ledger, State Sen. Robert Mitchler, R-Oswego, deplored the rioting that had marred the Democratic Party’s convention in Chicago. “The United States cannot stand four more years of the present administration in our federal government. The people know this and will rally on election day to support a new administration – a Nixon-Agnew administration,” Mitchler wrote.

August 1963

Three representatives of Montgomery’s water department, Stanley Pillatsch, Bill Curry and George Schramer, attended the monthly meeting of the Boulder Hill Civic Association to present information concerning water shut-off problems in the rapidly growing unincorporated subdivision. “The talks covered such subjects as size of pipe supplying the Hill, adequate water supply, water rates, new wells, contracts, moral obligations, etc.” according to the Ledger.

The fourth annual Oswego Days festival was held Aug. 2 and 3 in the village’s downtown business district. Events included a parade, water fights at the Red Brick School, a square dance performance, and Main Street dance with music provided by the Hi-Fi’s.

Kendall County Republicans were selling tickets to a “Salute to [U.S. Sen. Everett] Dirksen" dinner set for Sept. 14 at Yorkville High School.

August 1958

Plans were well underway for "Oswegorama," a community-wide celebration held to mark the 125th anniversary of the village’s founding. The cast of the Oswegorama pageant, “Old Calico and New Pace,” was being chosen by Gene Montefiore, described by the Ledger as “a professional producer, director fresh off Broadway in New York.” As the Ledger put it: “The whole spectacle is about ready to roll into high gear.” Fay Brill was chairman of the pageant, and the set was being constructed on the high school football field by a committee headed by Kenneth Gowran. The Oswegorama parade was being planned by chairman John Cherry and special events chairman Stan Herren. The parade was set for Saturday, Sept. 13.

The Ledger hailed the Aug. 30 opening of the Oswego Community Bank at 25 Main St. in an editorial. (The village had been without a bank since the 1930s.) “A year ago the bank was only an idea in a few people’s minds. Today it is proof that 242 Oswegoland folks have faith in their community and are willing to back up this faith with cold, hard cash,” the editorial read.

August 1953

Oswego’s superintendent of water works reported to the village board that fuel oil had been found and removed from the village’s sewer system. The Ledger reported, “Not only is this [fuel oil] a fire hazard, but the disposal plant cannot handle it. Mr. Shoger requests that everyone refrain from dumping inflammable liquids in the sewer lines.”

August 1933

Many Oswego and Montgomery residents were traveling to Chicago by train and bus to enjoy the Century of Progress World’s Fair exposition in August 1933. Major League Baseball hosted the first-ever All Star game at Comiskey Park in Chicago in conjunction with the fair. New York Yankee slugger Babe Ruth homered in the game before a capacity crowd.

A meeting of the stockholders and depositors of the Oswego State Bank was held at the village hall in Oswego on Aug. 25. The Record’s Oswego correspondent reported, “It is understood that the State Auditor’s office is in accord with this move and will cooperate in every way possible to assist the community of Oswego in having a bank. … Every depositor and stockholder is urged to be present.”

August 1893

It was a sign of the economic hard times throughout the country in 1893 when the Record reported from Oswego on Aug. 13 that, “The bank, a private one run by Levi Hall, was closed up. The bank furniture, the building, and a number of other assets were sold to help bail out some of the depositors.” Hall also served as the local druggist.

August 1883

On Aug. 12, the Record reported that “At the annual old-timer picnic held at [the county fairgrounds in] Yorkville last week, the Oswego Band in full uniform came riding around the track in their band wagon drawn by four horses, conducted by his honor, the mayor of Oswego, W.H. McConnell.”

In business news, the Record reported from Oswego that “G.M. Haight received a carload of old cider from Michigan the other day for his vinegary.” The business was located in the basement of the brick commercial building at the northeast corner of Main and Washington in downtown Oswego.

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