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Yesteryear: Looking back at stories that captured headlines in the Ledger

Compiled by Roger Matile and John Etheredge from articles published previously in the Ledger-Sentinel, Fox Valley Sentinel, Oswego Ledger and Kendall County Record.

July 2002

In a unanimous ballot, Oswego SD308 Board of Education members authorized entering into a contract with Batavia-based Kluber, Skahan and Associates, Inc. (KS&A) for architectural and engineering services to design and build a second high school in the district. The new school would join the existing Oswego High School to create a two high school district.

The Village of Montgomery’s plan to develop a civic center campus that would include a new police station on the village’s far west side gained the support of the village’s plan commission. In series of unanimous ballots, commission members endorsed a master concept plan for the entire 29 acre site, a preliminary site plan and special use zoning permit for the police station.

July 1997

Oswego School District Superintendent Dr. Karl Plank reported to school board members the district ended the 1996-97 school year with a total enrollment of 5,204. That number was down slightly from the 5,239 students recorded as being enrolled in district schools in February. A breakdown by school showed these figures as of early June: Boulder Hill School, 680; East View School, 1,112; Long Beach School, 753; Traughber Junior High, 640; Thompson Junior High, 540; and Oswego High School, 1,443.

An era in local business ended when Jim Detzler sold Detzler Pontiac to William McSkimming, the owner of Riverfront Chrysler-Plymouth at the North Aurora Auto Mall. Detzler had operated the dealership for the previous 27 years, first in downtown Oswego and then later in Boulder Hill at Boulder Hill Pass and Ill. Route 25.

July 1992

Copley Memorial Hospital officials were working to finalize the purchase of a 95 acre site for a proposed new hospital campus on U.S. Route 34 in Aurora, just north of the Kendall-Kane county line.

The cost for “expanded” basic cable television service had nearly tripled in Montgomery and Oswego from $8 per month in 1984 to $22.45 in 1992, the Ledger-Sentinel reported.

July 1987

Oswego Fire Protection District Commissioners voted to hire Paramedic Services of Illinois to provide paramedics for the district’s new round-the-clock paramedic service.

Construction was nearly complete on the village of Oswego’s new water tower located along the west side of Route 34, just south of Route 30 in the village. The tower was the first new water storage facility constructed in the village since 1958. The village used a grant from the state’s “Build Illinois” public works program to finance the project.

July 1982

The Boulder Hill Civic Association and the Oswego Business Association jointly sponsored the first community Independence Day fireworks display from the grounds at Oswego High School. BHCA President Mary Distler reported the display cost $3,950 and was well received by a large crowd.

Would it be another Woodstock? Kendall County Board members expressed concern over a proposal to stage a rock musical festival on a farm in unincorporated Fox Township, south of Plano. Promoters told the board that the “Illinois Music Festival” could attract up to 70,000 people to the three-day event in September.

July 1977

Plans to construct a Burger King at the corner of Douglas and Montgomery roads in Montgomery were approved by the village board. The board conditioned its approval of the restaurant to the developer’s agreeing to relocate a sign on the site and a review of a landscaping plan. The Burger King was the first commercial business to locate on Douglas Road, south of Montgomery Road.

Contractors for the Oswego School District were finishing up work on the new Thompson Junior High School located off Boulder Hill Pass in Oswego. The school board scheduled an open house at the new school for Aug. 14.

July 1972

The Boulder Hill Civic Association appointed a committee to study the possible organization of a fire department to serve the unincorporated subdivision between Oswego and Montgomery.

July 1967

As part of its annual youth summer playground program, the Oswegoland Park District announced it had scheduled a “Hippie Happening.”

Preliminary plans for the proposed Oswegoland Civic Center building and pool, planned for a 9.3 acre site on Ashlawn Avenue at Circle Drive West in Boulder Hill, were reviewed by a park district advisory committee.

July 1962

Dutch elm disease was decimating the elm tree population in Oswego, Montgomery and throughout the Fox River Valley. The Oswego Ledger reported that more than 100 trees were dead or dying in Oswego, including 26 along Franklin Street near Oswego High School (now the Oswego 308 Center). Biologists have been unable to come up with a cure for the disease.

July 1957

It was a busy month for the Montgomery Village Board. Over the course of three meetings, the board authorized the sale of $240,000 in bonds to finance improvements to the municipal water system; announced the village would not issue any more building permits for residences on Parker Avenue until toilets and septic tanks were installed in the area; received a request from Father Hillmeyer of Sacred Heart Parish in Aurora concerning the parish’s request to expand its cemetery on property owned by the Fox Valley Park District off Route 25; approved the purchase of a red light for the village’s new squad car; and reviewed an agreement to provide water to the new Western Electric plant upon the firm’s installation of a well and water mains on the plant site.

July 1952

The Ledger reported July 10: “An example of how much it costs to run a municipality the size of Oswego–the recent rehabilitation of the sewer disposal plant cost over $1,800.”

Commenting on the Republican National Convention held in Chicago, Ledger editor Ford Lippold noted that a reporter conducted an informal survey of delegates’ feelings on the party’s Civil Rights platform plank. “Forty percent of the delegates questioned replied that they had not read the platform. Twenty percent had no opinion. These were the people who were entrusted to nominate a presidential candidate,” Lippold wrote.

July 1942

The Kendall County Record reported: “A civilian defense meeting will be held at the Plano theatre Thursday, July 23. The public is urged to attend the meeting and thereby gain a better understanding of the civil protection division of civilian defense. Two films, entitled ‘Ready on the Home Front’ and ‘Fighting the Incendiary Bomb,’ will round out the evening’s instruction.”

July 1937

The Kendall County Record reported on July 7, 1937 that construction work on a new bridge across the Fox River at Oswego had started. “The old Oswego bridge is being rapidly dismantled and the construction of a new bridge will start now. There will be no temporary bridge built.” Instead of a temporary bridge, motorists were expected to use the old ford across the river located near the mouth of Waubonsie Creek until the new bridge was completed.

July 1922

The Record included this editorial comment: “Not long ago, we read an article about the excellent work that is being done with systems for cooling and washing air prior to its use in buildings. The work is now at the stage where systems are being contemplated for use in private homes. Theaters and large public buildings already are using cooling systems. Anyhow, we read the article and didn’t think much about it at the time, but during the scorching nights last week when we couldn’t sleep on account of the heat, we lay in bed and wished with all our might that we had such a cooling apparatus in our house. Another case of born 30 years too soon, evidently.”

The banks of the Fox River were a popular summer retreat for Chicago area residents in the early years of the 20th century. The Record reported: “The summer colony of Oak Park residents are now fully settled in the cottages along the north bank of the Fox river just east of Yorkville.”

July 1907

Kendall County Record Editor H.R. Marshall described neighboring Aurora in this fashion in his weekly column July 11: “Aurora is having a great time with the wide open town. Loose hotels, women on the streets, chop suey restaurants as covers for vicious practices, wine rooms in saloons and gambling flourishing are things which now trouble the administration of Mayor Harley.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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