Volume Ten

No. 2  


April, 1969



An acquaintance of mine did a very wise thing recently. He spent weeks working up his genealogy. Then he mailed a sealed copy to each of his children, on the outside of which appeared this statement  “All that I ask is that you promise not to throw this away until you are sixty.”


- Clarence B. Randall,

Retired Chairman Inland Steel Company



SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 1969 at 3 PM







Chief Charles Marshall came to Batavia in 1939, so we can count him as a real old-timer.  He joined the Police force in September of 1944 and was made Chief of Police in July of 1961 when Russell Clark resigned.


Maybe? Messrs. Derby, Bunker, Beels & Hampton will have a Social Hour and serve coffee - and a small snack?? (hp)


Our February program consisted of an election of officers, then emphasized our present Post Office operation and our Postmasters.  Postmaster Philip Talbot did a good job on the first part and the writer tried to cover the early history of the Post Office with a little about the lives of our Postmasters.


We thank Eunice Shumway, Joan Kane, Ralph Benson and Carl and Miriam Johnson, our outgoing officers, for much time and thought given to the interests of the Society.


Eunice Shumway, as President for five years, has instituted nearly every feature credited to the Society. These are too numerous to even mention.


Joan Kane has been a conscientious and hard-working Secretary for the same length of time - five years, and Ralph Benson has been Treasurer for three years. Miriam and Carl Johnson have finished their term as members of the Board of Trustees.


The Society has profited much by their ideas and concern over its’ problems.

We are most grateful recipients of the following mementos.  


All have been acknowledged:


The Boy Scouts of Troop 12, Immanuel Lutheran Church, while cleaning out a garage near the church, found a large wall map of the City of Elgin, Illinois, dated 1886.


Mrs. Clifton Hildebrand (Lit Keller) for six items:


1-Magazine "Headlight” 1895

1-Photograph Officers of the 124th Reg. Ill. Vol. Inf.

2-Memorial Day Programs Batavia May 30th, 1919

1-Hand-written Magazine of the Batavia Institute, March 3, 1857

1-Recruiting Poster 124th Reg. Ill. Vol. Inf.


As we write this, we understand that Viola McDowell has had an operation for a cataract. She is coming along nicely.


The big event, following our April 13th meeting, is on Saturday, April 26th, when the Student Historians of the Northeast Region of Illinois will meet here. There will be an estimated 600 of them, meeting in the Batavia Junior High School building, under the chairmanship of Charles Christianson, Junior High teacher.


The school board is taking care of the lunch for the group. We will furnish nine judges, half of the total number required.  There will be three judges in each of three classes - art, handicrafts and models, and dioramas. We will furnish judges for the essay contest also. In the afternoon, the delegation will go by bus to the Fabyan Forest Preserve to view the Dutch Mill and then go over to Cantigny. If you are called on to help, and are able to do so, please do.


We wonder if you know how important the Batavia Historical Society is?  


We are here to be of service and people are increasingly making use of this service.  Following are some of the requests for information; we were able to help in every case.


One lady wanted some stories of the early Swedish settlers here for an article for a shop paper for one of the local factories. Another person came here for information about the history of the First Baptist Church. A lady called for such information as teachers, curriculum, etc. of the Batavia Institute, that was here in the 1850's.  Students of the Junior High School were given assistance in writing essays for the magazine, "Illinois History". We received a call from Fox Hill. A truck had broken through the lawn and it looked as if the break had exposed a tunnel. A man called and was incensed about the possible destruction of the present Court House. He thought the building should be saved and used possibly for an art and culture center. We wrote to the Illinois Art Council for information. Do we get time-and-a-half for overtime?


Go back and read the summary of our accomplishments as a Society for the last nine years in the last Newsletter. It should make you proud. We could do more if our mementos were properly stored, filed and recorded so that they could be located quickly.


What is going to happen to Batavia in the next few years?  


From 1959 to 1968, in nine years, the City increased in area from 1,282 acres to 2,495 acres, nearly doubling, according to the report of John N. Schuler. We were told the other day, that the Chicago Tribune said that Batavia's population might increase to 20,000 by 1971. Think what that will mean. We will need "boldness" and a lot more than boldness.


While I am writing this Newsletter (March 1) trucks are roaring past my window at the rate of one every three and a half minutes, attempting to move the gravel in Bald Mound to Weston, truckload by truckload. This has been going on for weeks. They break pavements, laws and the silence.


The Program Committee met the other day and planned topics and speakers for the entire year. Ruth Northrup is Chairman, Jeff Schielke and the writer are members.


Help our new Officers as much as you can. We can all use your cooperation and we can benefit from your suggestions - so please suggest. If your ancestors were German, English, Scotch, Irish or "what have you", will you please write up your ethnic group as far as you can go.  So far only the Early Swedish Settlers in Batavia have been written up and that was only a partial job.  It’s a big task and should be done NOW by every one of us,'


One advantage, among many others, in having a Historical Society, an organization primarily interested in the history of Batavia, is that people in surrounding towns find out about us and send us items of interest. For instance, Mr. Frank F. Scobey of West Chicago has sent us much Batavia material because he had heard about our society.


Then the other day, we received a letter from Mrs. Waldo Erickson of Western Springs. She had purchased a copy of our book Historic Batavia and in that book had come across the name Joseph W. Churchill. She had been helping with some research of the Churchill Family in America and had discovered some information for which we are most grateful because we had very little about him. Among other things, the article said, he was married in Batavia, September 29, 1829, to Delia S. Wilson, a daughter of Judge Isaac Wilson.


By deduction then, Delia Street, located on the east side and parallel to, and the next street east of N. Prairie, was named in her honor. On Batavia maps as far back as 1860, this street is named Delia, although we do have this note taken from the files of the Batavia Herald:


"May 26, 1895.  A petition to the Council Monday asked that May Street be extended to Church Street, and that the name be changed to Delia Street.” Now who was May? And did the street have two names for a time May and Delia?  Does anyone know?


John G.


We still don't have a Historical Museum in Batavia but hope that something will materialize soon, before our temporary storage bursts at the seams. A new Belson Building would cost $20,000, plus the lot (30-60 ft. bldg.). The Covenant Church would cost $60,000, but much larger, if you have any suggestions give them to the Officers or Directors.


We might cooperate with the Library Board and be part of their new building or their new addition.


Batavia has had a historical past; we should preserve the records and antiques for the future generations. Each generation advances on steps built by the past generation. Support your Historical Society.  Thank you.


P. S. We have been offered a storage room in Fox Hill home.