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Columns

Yesteryear: September in Oswego/Montgomery-area history

The 1963 groundbreaking for Oswego High School on Route 71, Oswego. Present were students (on left, in back row) John Vanderlinden, sophomore class president; Steve Keierlieber, freshman class president; Bob Nelson, a senior, president of National Honor Society; (front) senior class president John Morley, Reflector Editor Nancy Bell, a senior; freshman class president Marge Schrader; and senior Jill Peterson, president of the OHS Student Council. The three adults next to them are school superintendent T. Loyd Traughber, OHS Principal Howard Smucker, and Oswego Village President Jim Zentmyer. School Board President George Akerlow is holding the shovel.
The 1963 groundbreaking for Oswego High School on Route 71, Oswego. Present were students (on left, in back row) John Vanderlinden, sophomore class president; Steve Keierlieber, freshman class president; Bob Nelson, a senior, president of National Honor Society; (front) senior class president John Morley, Reflector Editor Nancy Bell, a senior; freshman class president Marge Schrader; and senior Jill Peterson, president of the OHS Student Council. The three adults next to them are school superintendent T. Loyd Traughber, OHS Principal Howard Smucker, and Oswego Village President Jim Zentmyer. School Board President George Akerlow is holding the shovel.

September 2003

For the first time in the Oswego School District’s history, enrollment increased by more than 1,000 students in a single year. Assistant Superintendent Joel Murphy told the school district board members the district’s current enrollment had reached 9,770 students, 1,050 or 12 percent more than the previous year.

Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, the lone statewide Republican winner in the fall 2002 election and the state party’s chairman, told a receptive gathering of Oswego business and government leaders the state party would reunite and rebound at the polls in 2004. Topinka described the 2002 election which saw the GOP lose both the State House and Senate as a “singular loss” that also provided the party with a needed wake-up call. “We had gotten soft and sloppy,” she said.

Construction was set to begin on the 59-room AmericInn hotel off Douglas Road in Oswego’s Mason Square shopping center.

September 1998

Oswego School District enrollment on the sixth day of classes for the 1998-99 school year was 5,739, an increase of 292 over the 5,447 students enrolled on the sixth day of classes one year earlier, school board members learned. In a related matter, school district officials were preparing plans to seek passage of a $47.5 million referendum in November to finance expansion projects at the district’s existing schools and for two new elementary schools and junior highs.

Oswego Fire Station No. 2 located on Wiesbrook Drive at Fifth Street in Oswego became operational.

September 1993

Briarcliff Woods Park in Montgomery’s Seasons Ridge subdivision was officially dedicated by Oswegoland Park District officials. A large crowd of subdivision residents attended the event.

The first concrete I-beams were installed on the piers for the new four-lane U.S. Route 34 bridge spanning the Fox River in downtown Oswego.

Gov. Jim Edgar’s decision to scrap plans for the proposed Fox Valley Expressway drew a mixed reaction from local public officials. The controversial north-south expressway would have been built in an area near Ill. Route 59. Oswego Village President Richard Saletri said the decision to scrap the expressway would not have a significant impact on the village. “The village right now is targeted for all the growth we can stand,” Saletri said. But Montgomery Village Administrator John DuRocher expressed disappointment. He noted village officials had supported construction of the expressway in the vicinity of Hill Avenue through the village’s far east side.

Caterpillar Inc. marked its 35th year of operation at its Oswego Township plant off Ill. Route 31 near Montgomery.

September 1988

In a 4-1 ballot, the Oswego Village Board approved final plans for the construction of the Townes Crossing shopping center at the southeast corner of U.S. Route 30 and Douglas Road. Casting the lone negative ballot on the motion was board member Mary McKittrick, who objected to the traffic plan for the center. The plan called for the center’s primary access drive to be located on the east side of Douglas Road between Fernwood Road and U.S. Route 30. Also publicly objecting to the center’s traffic plan were members of Boulder Hill Civic Association. The association contended that without traffic signals at Fernwood Road, it would become even more difficult for Boulder Hill residents to turn left onto Douglas Road from Fernwood Road.

Oswego officials were considering constructing a new police station building in Hastert Park, a 3.84-acre parcel located on U.S. Route 34, across from the Fox Bend Golf Course. A representative of a local land planning firm told village officials the site would be large enough not only to accommodate a new police station building but also a new fire station for the Oswego Fire Protection District.

September 1983

Oswego School District Board members learned that recent passage of property tax exemption laws by the Illinois General Assembly would reduce the financially struggling school district’s revenues by about $60,000 for the coming year.

September 1978

In an effort to reduce traffic accidents on Ill. Route 71 in Oswego, the Illinois Department of Transportation lowered the speed limit on the highway from 45 mph to 35 mph.

The Oswego School Board approved funding for the construction of a greenhouse at Oswego High School.

Montgomery Village President Wayne Wells and Paul Schuch, the village’s engineer, attended a Regional Council of Mayors meeting in St. Charles. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss funding for proposed improvements to Douglas Road through Aurora, Montgomery and Oswego.

September 1973

In her "Public I" column in the Oswego Ledger, staff reporter Betty Grimshaw described drug abuse as the biggest problem facing the Oswego School District. Referring to the drug problem, Grimshaw wrote, “It’s bad. It’s very bad. And what makes it worse is that there isn’t a heck of a lot either you or I or the administrators can do.”

Montgomery Village Board members learned that an emergency service connection linking the village’s water system with neighboring Oswego had been completed. In other business, the village board appointed Glenn Wolff as police chief at an annual salary of $14,000.

September 1968

Oswegoland Park District Board President Ralph Wheeler announced that construction of the new civic center building at 5 Ashlawn Ave. in Boulder Hill was progressing on schedule. The park district had already received a number of requests from area civic groups seeking to use the building.

Mick’s Standard gas station at Ill. Route 25 and Mill Street in Montgomery was offering 100 gallons of gas free to customers who purchased a set of Amoco 120 tires.

The Boulder Hill Civic Association was making plans to mark its 10th anniversary. Among the projects the association was considering was the installation of a flag pole at one of the entrances to the unincorporated subdivision.

September 1963

Officials with the Boulder Hill Republican Club reported brisk sales for tickets to a testimonial dinner for Illinois Sen. Everett Dirksen at Yorkville High School on Sept. 14.

Contracts were awarded by the Oswego School District Board for the new Oswego High School, proposed along Ill. Route 71, across the highway from East View Elementary School. Base bids for the building totaled $1,215,845. Completion was scheduled for Aug. 15, 1964. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on the site Sept. 14.

In a lengthy letter published in the Oswego Ledger, former Kendall County State’s Attorney Robert Ohse of Yorkville reviewed the feasibility of either incorporating the Boulder Hill subdivision or annexing it to either Montgomery or Oswego. Ohse noted in his letter that he was attempting to answer some of the questions raised by residents during a meeting of the Boulder Hill Civic Association almost a year earlier.

Construction was expected to begin soon on the new Oswego Public Library building on Jefferson Street at Main Street in the village.

September 1958

Western Electric notified the village of Montgomery that it would be ready to receive village water at its new plant just south of U.S. Route 30 in the village effective Sept. 1.

There were a total of 954 students enrolled in Oswego schools for the start of the 1958-59 school year, a new record, the Oswego Ledger reported. Enrollment had increased by 163 students over the previous school year.

Civic groups had a busy month in the rapidly developing Boulder Hill subdivision. The Boulder Hill Welcome Wagon held its first fashion show at the Boulder Hill Playhouse. The event was a “complete success,” according to a report in the Oswego Ledger. Meanwhile, the Boulder Hill Sports Club hosted a community barbecue.

September 1953

“Oswego Nine League Champions” was the page-one headline in the Sept. 10, 1953, edition of the Oswego Ledger. By defeating Aurora’s Romanian Royals in a 3-2 11 inning contest, the Oswego baseball team claimed the Aurora-Fox Valley League title. The Ledger reported a large crowd of Oswego baseball fans were among those witnessing the championship game at Labor Temple Field in Aurora. “The story of the game was the fine pitching by Oswego’s Chuck Potoroff, a long home run blow by Wes Christian in the first half of the 11th inning and good fielding by the local club,” the Ledger reported.

During their monthly meeting, members of the Montgomery Village Board delayed action on a request “to park a lunch trailer at the service station to serve coffee and lunches” until their next meeting in October.

September 1948

On Sept. 8, 1948, the Kendall County Record reported from Oswego that “Mr. and Mrs. Everett McKeown have purchased the large residence on the corner of Madison and Tyler and expect to be located there by October for home and business (the McKeown, now McKeown-Dunn, Funeral Home).” The McKeowns purchased the former George Croushorn Funeral Home in 1938 when it was located in the old Hebert House at 155 S. Madison. The Hebert House was destroyed by fire in February 1994.

September 1943

“The well-known grocery firm of Biesmier and Hettrick has changed hands. Wayne Denney purchased the business. Biesmier and Hettrick have been in the grocery business and meat business for 24 years, succeeding H. B. Read,” the Record reported from Oswego on Sept. 8, 1943. Read’s, later Denney’s, store was at 70 Main St. on the east side of Main between Jackson and Washington.

On Sept. 22, the Record noted in its Oswego news column that “The Weber house from Main Street has been moved to the corner of Tyler and Monroe, facing Monroe. Dr. Weishew bought the lot next to his office on which the house stood and will landscape it.”

September 1933

A homecoming celebration wrapped up Oswego’s centennial celebration on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16-17. The celebration included a large parade, the Kendall County Record’s Oswego correspondent reported. The correspondent added, “The store and office windows were filled with Oswego relics and heirlooms, a wonderful exhibit that would fill columns to describe. One of the best was the Klomhaus window, decorated by Joe Sierp. The evening entertainments drew large crowds. The Ferris wheel and merry-go-round in the carnival were popular places for the younger folks. A community church service was held on Sunday at the Federated Church including a choir made up of members of three area churches.”

September 1888

The Kendall County Record’s Oswego correspondent reported on Sept. 5, 1888, that “H. B. Read has commenced moving in the new store.”

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