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Yesteryear: Looking back at stories that captured headlines in Oswego, Montgomery

Compiled by Roger Matile and John Etheredge from the files the Oswego Ledger, Kendall Count Record, Fox Valley Sentinel and Ledger-Sentinel.

October 2002

From a Ledger-Sentinel article: “Just how bad is the traffic on Montgomery Road in Montgomery? Worse than the traffic on U.S. Route 34 through downtown Oswego, according to figures presented to the Montgomery Village Board. Kane County’s Department of Transportation (KDOT) conducted a traffic count on Montgomery Road and found approximately 16,000 vehicles traveling the county road each day, Anne Marie Gaura, village manager, told the board. That figure is 1,900 vehicles more than the 14,100 vehicles counted on U.S. Route 34 through downtown Oswego last spring.”

October 1997

An Oswego Village Board committee endorsed the installation of traffic signals at 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.

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.

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.

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 1982

Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary in the Nixon Administration Earl Butz addressed a small but receptive audience in Yorkville. Butz described the upcoming Nov. 2 election as one “the most crucial” in the nation’s history. “Are we going to keep America productive or look to the great white uncle?” Butz asked.

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 1972

The Ledger noted that a change in state law required school boards throughout the state to uphold or reject decisions made by principals on student disciplinary cases. Noting the increasing number of such cases considered by the Oswego School Board, the Ledger editorialized, “If the present trend continues, the school board will find themselves doing nothing much else but hearing drug infraction cases.”

The Oswego Police Department had recently started a nightly foot patrol in the village. “…it is felt this is a great deterrent to burglars,” the Ledger reported.

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.”

October 1952

The Ledger reported: The Oswego (High School) Band, under the direction of Mr. Reeve Thompson, is going to put on a political rally demonstration Friday night during halftime of the Oswego-Plainfield football game. New formations planned by the band include “Adlai” and “Ike” dressed in their best duds.

“Where were the people?” Ledger Editor Ford Lippold wondered. “Barely a hundred people showed up at the open forum meeting held in the high school gym last week to discuss the problems existing in the community in connection with adequate housing for school pupils. This doesn’t speak well for our community. Perhaps the indication by one of those persons present that the community is guilty of slothfulness is not without merit. Certainly a situation that involves the future of Oswego’s children and also the possible expenditure of a sizeable sum of money should receive a respectful degree of consideration by the public. An increase from 600 to 900 pupils in 10 years is a nice problem.”

October 1947

The Record reported two separate, serious accidents along Route 25 between Montgomery and Oswego. In one of the wrecks, an Oswego family escaped serious injury after their vehicle drove off the highway. “A spark from a cigarette caught in a baby’s blanket, and in trying to brush it off, the driver lost control of the auto and it struck a culvert guard and was thrown off the highway,” the Record reported. In the other wreck, the Record reported a 30 year-old Oswego woman was killed instantly when her vehicle left the highway and struck a culvert and tree. The woman’s three year-old daughter was seriously injured. “No one saw the accident and it is not definitely known what caused it,” the Record reported.

October 1942

On Oct. 1, 1942, Illinois celebrated the first anniversary of its aid to dependent children program. During the first year of its operation in Kendall County, payments to 24 different families aggregated $9,318, according to the Record.

October 1932

This story appeared in the Record under the headline “Bandits Take $1,500 from Oswego Bank”: “Bank bandits halted in Oswego Friday morning, stopping long enough to rob the local bank of about $1,500 in currency [$24,800 in 2011 dollars]. The whole process took only a few minutes and happened without the knowledge of any of the store keepers or other downtown business people of the community.”

The Record offered this editorial comment on the presidential election: “In his address on Oct. 4 at Des Moines, Ia., President Hoover said he has laid the foundation for recovery. He knows the way to complete the structure and has the necessary measures either at work or planned to complete it. To stop the construction at this point would be a fatal mistake, for we can’t rely on the plans of Governor Roosevelt. Gov. Roosevelt has no plan and we doubt if he could formulate one. The safest thing for the American people to do is to re-elect Herbert Hoover to the Presidency.”

October 1922

Kendall County law enforcement officers were working to enforce the national prohibition on the sale of all alcoholic beverages. A report from the Record: “Sheriff Hextell and two “dry” agents arrested J. Busby Friday night on the charge of selling and manufacturing beer and liquor. The evidence required the capacity of two truckloads and was one of the largest plants picked up in the country districts for a long time. The two agents who have been working on the case found that Busby had been manufacturing and selling the contraband stuff all summer and that his plant was complete. When Sheriff Hextell served the search warrant he and his assistants found 24 different varieties of ‘booze,’ ranging from ‘home brew’ to cherry cordial.”

October 1917

“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 1877

Close observers of things must have noticed within a week or two, the different effects of the consumption of whisky has on different classes; while it seldom disturbs the amiability of us in town, those from the country have their fighting propensities roused whenever the consumption has been excessive. The other day, a young Mr. Reed, while surcharged, assaulted a young Mr. Kellogg; afterwards at the Magistrate’s office, Reed paid $5 and costs.

October 1872

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

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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