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Columns

Yesteryear

Oswego High School's varsity baseball team, taken in 1907 at Oswego High School (the Red Brick School). (Little White School Museum collection)
Oswego High School's varsity baseball team, taken in 1907 at Oswego High School (the Red Brick School). (Little White School Museum collection)

Compiled from articles published in the Ledger-Sentinel, 1980-present; Fox Valley Sentinel, 1974-1980; Oswego Ledger, 1949-1980; Kendall County Record, 1864-present; and historical information provided by the Village of Montgomery.

April 2004

Contractors for the Oswego Fire Protection District were proceeding with construction of the agency’s Station No. 3 just east of Orchard Road in Montgomery. Village officials had arranged for a developer to donate the site for the village to the fire district.

Just south of the new fire station in Oswego, workers were finishing work on the Metra Park-n-Ride facility at the northwest corner of Orchard and Mill roads.

April 1999

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) notified the Village of Oswego the agency would seek contractor bids in June for the installation of traffic signals at Main and Washington streets in the village’s downtown.

Craig Weber was elected Oswego Village President, defeating incumbent Budd Bieber by more than a 2-1 margin. In Montgomery, incumbent board members Roger Burrell, Marilyn Michelini and Pete Heinz all retained their board seats.

Kendall County residents finally had their chance to personally congratulate U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Yorkville, on his election as U.S. Speaker of the House four months earlier. Hastert, a 1960 graduate of Oswego High School, was honored at a Yorkville open house. “It was important that his peers in Congress elected him to this role at a time when the country needed someone who would model moral values,” said one of the attendees.

April 1994

With the arrival of spring, contractors resumed work on two major local projects: A new, four lane bridge spanning the Fox River on U.S. Route 34 in downtown Oswego, and the Orchard Road extension, linking Galena Road and Route 34.

Several businesses were planning new stores and restaurants along Douglas Road in Oswego and Montgomery. Oswego officials had received plans for a Boston Market restaurant at the southeast corner of U.S. Route 30 and Douglas Road, while Montgomery officials were reviewing plans for a medical clinic, Powerhouse Gym, and a restaurant near the northwest corner of Douglas Road and Seasons Ridge Boulevard.

April 1989

A survey was underway in the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision to determine if residents wanted to retain their Montgomery 60538 mailing address or change it to Oswego 60543. The U.S. Postal Service agreed to conduct the survey at the request of Oswego officials and the Boulder Hill Civic Association. Village President Jim Detzler said he believed a change to the Oswego address would help to unify the two communities.

April 1984

Two major road construction projects would soon start in the Village of Montgomery, village engineer John Moore told the Ledger-Sentinel. The projects included construction of a new two lane bridge spanning the Fox River on Mill Street, and the widening of a traffic-snarled section of Douglas Road in front of the new Settlers Landing shopping center. Rush hour traffic jams had become daily occurrences on the two lane road in front of the center, which housed a Kmart, Walgreens and Dominick’s store.

Oswego Public Library district Director Georgia Glynn submitted her resignation after serving in the position for two years. In announcing a search for a replacement, library district board members set the starting salary for the new director at $18,000.

April 1979

Kendall County Sheriff Vic Frantz announced the sheriff’s department would open a satellite police station in the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision. “Close to 65 percent of our calls come from Boulder Hill,” Frantz said. “Most of the time they call 911, which is relayed to the Aurora Police Department and then to our office. We hope to eliminate that with this station.”

April 1974

Newly hired police cadet Dennis Schmidt was introduced to the Montgomery Village Board by John Brown, chairman of the board’s police and fire commission. Schmidt was sworn-in to duty by Leila Bradley, village clerk.

The Oswego Police Department’s weekly report included cases involving a vehicle stop that resulted in the arrest of two juveniles—a male and a female, respectively—on charges of possession of cannabis and beer; gas caps stolen from vehicles parked at a Main Street business; a hit and run accident at Oswego High School; and a report of repeated obscene phone calls received by a local resident.

Waubonsee Community College’s men’s baseball team, coached by Oswego resident Bill Prince, played its first game on the team’s new diamond at the college’s Sugar Grove campus. “...the Chiefs have a sports complex that should be seen to be appreciated. You’ve come a long way Waubonsee,” wrote Oswego Ledger sports editor Gary Stutzman.

April 1964

The Boulder Hill Civic Association was seeking increased fire protection service from the Oswego Fire Protection District for the rapidly growing unincorporated subdivision. In a statement published in the Ledger, the association said they believed the Oswego Fire Department, led by Fire Chief Forrest Wooley, was a good one. “We are only asking it (the fire department) to grow in men and equipment along with our growth,” the statement concluded.

To mark the start of the baseball season, Jack Johnson’s Appliance store on Main Street in downtown Oswego was offering Zenith color TVs as part of a “Baseball Special” sale, according to an ad in the Ledger. The ad also listed the store hours along with “or just call us for an appointment.”

April 1959

A special referendum was set for May 9 to ask voters to form a unit district out of Oswego Grade School District 8 and Oswego High School District 300.

Voters in the Village of Oswego elected Milton L. “Les” Penn, Floyd Foss, and Edgar Gilbert to the village board on April 21. James Vinson was elected police magistrate in an uncontested election. A proposal to nearly double the village’s property tax rate was decisively defeated, nearly 3-1.

April 1954

Bohn’s Food store opened in its new building at 60 Main Street in downtown Oswego. To mark the occasion, the Ledger reported, “...among the many opening features will be the violin playing of Jim McGlue all day Friday, the organ music of Loraine Peshia Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and the arrival of Little Oscar and his Weinermobile on Saturday afternoon.”

The Montgomery Village Board voted unanimously to hold a special election to fill the vacant position of police magistrate for the village.

Oswego High School’s baseball team under the direction of coach Ken Pickerill began a 12 game spring schedule April 13 at Yorkville High School. Among those trying out for the team were Bill Figgins, Alvin Wheeler, and Glenn Leifheit.

The Oswego Village Board voted to hold the first-ever community clean-up week April 19-24. Trucks were to be provided to haul trash and rubbish away. The board tabled a request by the Nineteenth Century Club to paint the village-owned building at 64 Main Street in which the club operated a lending library. The plat of a proposed Bartholomew’s First Subdivision was presented to the board for approval. The subdivision was to be located on the east side of Ill. Route 25 extending south from the Bartholomew residents and including seven residential lots along Route 25.

April 1944

World War II was still in progress, but business was in the news in Oswego. According to the Record’s Oswego correspondent in April 1944, “Mrs. Marvin Marquardt has sold her Margo Dress shop to Mrs. Herman Bohn and Mrs. Lester Fechner.”

April 1934

The Record’s Oswego correspondent reported April 11, “Oswego library has a new coat of white paint, the work of the CWA (Civil Works Administration).”

Also from the Record’s Oswego correspondent: “The farmers have begun working in the fields with renewed hope that this year’s crops will at least afford them a living and cash for taxes and interest on their debts. The numerous candidates have returned to their customary work, most of them with hope deferred, after the April primaries.”

April 1929

Herman Young, Oswego village president, was knocked down by a truck driven rapidly through the streets Wednesday evening, April 3. He suffered bruises and scalp wounds, but was able to walk to a doctor’s office for assistance, the Record reported.

A fire at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hull near the Oswego bridge burned a henhouse and brooder with 280 2-weeks old chicks. The Oswego Fire Department responded promptly and saved the adjoining buildings. The sparks flew to the Curry residence [Turtle Rock] and there was considerable excitement for time. The fire was seen by a man from Sandwich across the bridge and he awoke the owners of the burning building, according to the Record.

April 1894

“‘Putt and Huff’ makes a nice looking and nice sounding name for a firm, which is the newly established firm here for undertaking,” the Record’s Oswego correspondent reported on April 11, 1894. “They very efficiently carried out their first service in conducting the funeral of Mrs. Rieger.” Dr. William Putt had joined with a Mr. Huff to form the business.

April 1889

“By someone lighting a cigar and throwing the burning match away Sunday afternoon in the cemetery, the dry grass and leaves were set afire which got out of control of those present,” the Record’s Oswego correspondent reported on April 10, 1889. “From H.C. Cutter’s, the nearest house, help and implements were procured for its extinction, which was not accomplished until it had burned over quite a trace including three picket fences.”

A week later, the correspondent wrote that spring clean-up was underway in Oswego: “The village authorities have caused the removal of the loose stone, old oyster cans, manure, and rubbish generally in the streets so that Oswego now looks quite tidy.”

April 1879

From the Record’s Oswego correspondent: “Thursday evening while George Parker was over in town to witness the canvass of the vote, his son, Willie, about 12 years old, stepped out doors and heard something about the barn; thinking it was his brother he called to him, but receiving no answer he went back in the house got a navy revolver and with it started to the barn and found a fellow just in the act of leading off their best span of horses, but abandoned them when he saw the boy coming; Willie shot at the thief and followed him up, but another one who apparently had been on top of a hay stack put in an appearance and snapped a pistol at Willie close by; Willie then retreated and before he could get reinforcement the fellows had cleared out and no further trace of them could be found.”

This item appeared in the April 24 Record: Madison (Street in Oswego) is now the most tony street in this place and especially that portion of it immediately north of the Baptist church. Mr. Larkin, a new comer, has put down a new sidewalk, constructed a new fence, furnished new blinds to the house and otherwise much improved it by lattice work, etc. The next neighbor, Mr. Shaver, has also caused the construction of a new fence and a change of his front yard by the removal of some of the trees. Next Mr. Mann always keeps his premises in the most stateful shape. On the corners of the opposite block are the two new residences of Supt. Duffy and Eliz. Kennedy all of which is giving that part of Oswego a very aristocratic appearance. There are also many improvements in progress in other parts of the town.

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