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Columns

Yesteryear

Crossing Guard Ed Donnelly leads students across Madison Street (Route 34) at Jackson Street in downtown Oswego in 1957.
Crossing Guard Ed Donnelly leads students across Madison Street (Route 34) at Jackson Street in downtown Oswego in 1957.

May 2004

Oswego Village Board members voted to hire a consulting firm to conduct a traffic study of the Main and Washington Street (U.S. Route 34) intersection in the village’s downtown. Village officials were hopeful that the study would find that traffic volume at the intersection would meet state requirements for a traffic signal.

May 1999

Before a large crowd of concerned parents, the Oswego School District Board voted 5-2 to approve the implementation of a controversial ‘block scheduling’ system at Oswego High School.

Newly-elected Oswego Village President Craig Weber told the Ledger-Sentinel he supported the installation of traffic signals at Washington and Main streets in the village’s downtown business district, but not if it would require the removal of 19 parking spaces on Main Street as proposed by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

At issue for the Montgomery Village Board was the amount of impact fees the village would charge to the developer of a proposed 241 acre subdivision located along the south side of U.S. Route 30, west of Orchard Road. (The development was later developed and named Lakewood Creek.)

The Oswego Police Department announced its new bike patrol would go into service in June, while the Montgomery Police Department announced it would step up its enforcement of child passenger safety laws over the Memorial Day weekend.

May 1994

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) officials announced work would begin in 1995 on the widening of U.S. Route 34 from two to four lanes through downtown Oswego between Ill. Route 71 and U.S. Route 34.

State Sen. Ed Petka, R-Plainfield, was among a small group of state officials who attended the execution by lethal injection of notorious convicted serial killer John Wayne Gacy at the State Correctional Center in Joliet. Petka recalled the execution in this manner for the Ledger-Sentinel, “We went into the small room, the curtain opened, and Gacy had already been strapped down. The warden talked to him and then stepped back. Gacy’s shoulder twitched and he coughed which almost sounded like a belch and then it appeared he was sleeping. The whole thing took maybe ten or 15 minutes.”

May 1989

A group of concerned Oswego High School parents pleaded with the school board and the community at-large to help fight drug and alcohol abuse problems among students in local schools.

Contractors began installing structural steel for the field house at Oswego High School.

A survey that showed a majority of Boulder Hill residents wished to retain their Montgomery 60538 mailing address rather than change it to Oswego 60543. Montgomery Village President Ray Kozloski told the Ledger-Sentinel he expected the survey results would help the village’s efforts to secure the construction of a new post office building.

May 1984

In a 4-3 vote the Oswego Village Board agreed to award a contract totaling $68,406 for the remodeling of village hall. The Ledger-Sentinel reported that village president Milton “Les” Penn cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the project “after board members exchanged verbal barbs.” Board members disagreed over the cost of the project and the remodeling plans.

Oswego School District Board members learned that it could cost more than $150,000 to remove asbestos materials from East View and Long Beach elementary schools.

May 1979

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) notified the Village of Oswego it would have traffic signals installed at the U.S. Route 34-Ill. Route 71 intersection by Jan. 1, 1980.

May 1974

The Village of Montgomery hired a planning consultant to assist the village in the re-numbering the addresses of homes and businesses west of Ill. Route 31 north of U.S. Route 30 in the village.

May 1969

Oswego School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Boggs announced that school district officials had no intention of starting a sex education program. The issue—a subject of nationwide debate—had been a topic for discussion between school board members and concerned local residents.

A citizens’ group calling itself the Kendall County Movement to Restore Decency invited local residents to a screening of a 30 minute film which outlined the prevalence of drug abuse across the country and what could be done to combat it.

May 1964

Boulder Hill resident Greg Sellers was named valedictorian of the Oswego High School Class of 1964. Salutatorian was Paul Baumann of Oswego. The Class of ’64 was the first class to graduate from OHS with more than 100 members and was the last class to graduate from the old high school (now Traughber Junior High.)

The cornerstone of the new Oswego Public Library in downtown Oswego, on the bluff overlooking Waubonsie Creek, was laid Saturday, May 16.

The Montgomery Village Board received proposals from local developers to construct 10 apartment units off Montgomery Road just east of Ill. Route 25, and another apartment proposal for property situated near Keck Avenue at Route 25.

Denney’s Supermarket in downtown Oswego advertised pot roast for 29 cents a pound and fresh sliced bologna at 39 cents a pound.

Boulder Hill Civic Association members advocated building a new paved road linking the subdivision with Douglas Road. The only roads entering Boulder Hill were off U.S. Route 30 and Ill. Route 25.

The Boulder Hill Sports and Social Club sponsored their annual Memorial Day celebration, including pony rides, games and free refreshments.

May 1959

Construction was proceeding on the Route 30 Bypass bridge spanning the Fox River in Montgomery. Completion was anticipated by July.

Plans to improve the playground outside Oswego’s White School at Jackson and Polk streets were finalized. According to a report in the Ledger, the Oswego Woman’s Civic Club had agreed to spend $300 to purchase new play equipment, including a new jungle gym. The Oswego Grade School Board and the Oswego Park District Board had also agreed to help fund additional improvements.

May 1954

The new St. Anne’s Catholic Church on Washington Street in Oswego was formally dedicated May 9, by Bishop Martin D. McNamara of the Diocese of Joliet.

“The building rate in Oswego continues at an accelerated pace with building permits for nine new houses taken out in the year dating from April 1, 1953 to April 1, 1954, the Ledger reported.

In local sports news, the Ledger reported that a local Pony Baseball League would be in operation during the summer.

Oswego resident Herbert Lantz won an outdoor grill in a drawing held at Zentmyer Ford Sales at Main and Jackson Streets in downtown Oswego, according to an advertisement in the Ledger.

May 1944

The abundant April showers continued into May. Most of the oat and grass seeding is finished but some farmers are still trying to get into their fields after May 1, the Record’s Oswego correspondent reported.

The Record also reported: “Mr. and Mrs. George Hafenrichter had a real celebration on Mother’s Day. Their son, Sgt. Leonard Hafenrichter from Indiantown Gap, Penn., was home on a 10-day furlough and early Sunday morning another son, Ensign Carl Hafenrichter and wife from Whiting Field, Milton, Fla. surprised them by coming home on a leave.”

Another item from the Record: “A “V-Mail” letter from Dr. Saxon, formerly of Oswego, coming through from ‘somewhere in Italy’ in just a week tells his Oswego friends that he is very busy and lonesome and wishes that his friends would write to him.”

May 1939

Stanley Young, 16, of the Oswego High School Safety Patrol was selected in May, 1939 to represent Kendall County at the Eighth Annual National Patrol Conference in Washington, D.C.

Kendall County Republicans were rallying behind Alfred W. Landon as a candidate that could beat President Franklin Roosevelt.

At the end of May, a number of country schools finished the year with picnics and other festivities, including Squires School at Douglas Road and U.S. Route 34 in Oswego.

The Record reported that it “has definitely been decided that Route 65 [now U.S. Route 34] at Eyre’s crossing, will be constructed over the E.J. & E. railroad and under Route 22 [now U.S. Route 30]. Hundreds of trucks of freight, many from Iowa, pass over this route each week.”

The Record’s Oswego correspondent reported, “The town board passed a daylight saving ordinance for Oswego last Saturday night, which was to take effect immediately. What the farmers say about it need not be repeated, but why cater to the farmers anyway?”

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Clayton [superintendent of Oswego schools] motored to Ames, Iowa May 9 hoping to secure a new teacher from the Iowa state college.

May 1914

Emily Murdock Van Deventer, the wife of Dr. Abraham E. Van Deventer, died May 3, 1914 and was buried in Montgomery’s Riverside Cemetery. Mrs. Van Deventer was an accomplished author of mystery novels, writing under the name of Lawrence L. Lynch, which was the name of her first husband. She was born in Oswego on Jan. 16, 1853.

John R. Marshall, founder of the Kendall County Record, announced his son, Hugh H. Marshall, would take over operation of the paper. The elder Marshall, a veteran of the Civil War, started the paper in Yorkville in 1864.

May 1889

“The black walnut trees are all going and Oswego has become a great point for shipment of logs,” the Record’s Oswego correspondent reported on May 8, 1889.

The Oswego chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union spoke at the May village board meeting requesting no further saloon licenses be granted, and the village board agreed, the Record reported.

At the village board’s second May meeting, the town constable was given the extra duty of lighting the village’s street lamps and keeping them in good working order. The board appropriated $100 for the purchase of 10 lamps and to keep them operating for a year.

May 1879

“From May 1, 1878 to May 1, 1879, there were 177,000 pounds of butter made at the creamery and 354,000 pounds of cheese,” the Record reported from Oswego on May 29, 1879.

May 1874

On May 26, 1874, the Record’s Oswego correspondent reported that “Business quite brisk in town today; a firm of traveling scissors grinders is in town; also an umbrella mender.”

May 1869

Oswego residents found they really could fight city hall. On May 20, 1869 the Record reported “The Great Cow Rebellion—The great sensation of Oswego last week was the cow rebellion. It happened this way: The corporation powers that be ordained that all cattle should be prohibited from running at large in the village streets. A lot of cows soon were in the pound. Cow owners were filled with indignation, denouncing it as a piece of highhanded legislation, a crushing down of the poor, etc. The government backed down. The cows are now enjoying the liberty of the streets.”

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