Volume Ten

No. 3 

                                                                                                  

September, 1969

Published by the BATAVIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 


I think for any American who had the great and priceless privilege of being raised in a small town, there remains always with him nostalgic memories ... And the older he grows the more he senses what he owed to the simple honesty, the neighborliness, the integrity that he saw all around him.

- Dwight H. Eisenhower, To the National Editorial Association, June 22, 1954


 

NEXT MEETING

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1969 at 3 PM

IN THE BARTHOLOMEW CIVIC CENTER

 

PROGRAM

 HISTORY OF THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF BATAVIA  -Mrs. B, S. (Veneta) Lentz
 MUSICAL NUMBERS  -Members of the Church

 

The First Baptist Church of Batavia celebrated the 80th Anniversary of the Church Sanctuary and the 133rd Anniversary of the founding of the church, last March 15 and 16. We thought it appropriate that they tell us the story of the church so that those of us who didn’t hear it then, could hear it now. Mrs. Lentz has compiled a most interesting booklet of the history of the 133rd year old organization. A committee from the church who are also members of our Society, will serve refreshments. There will also be a display of their mementos.

 

The Police Department of Batavia was the topic of our April meeting. Charles R. Marshall, Chief of Police, told us about the history of the department, also their duties and the increasing complexities of their work.

 

It is with deep sorrow that we record the death of F. Oliver Freedlund on April 17 last. He was our President during the year 1963. Our sympathy is extended to his family.

 

Our sincere sympathy to the families of the following people who passed away;

 

Doctor Irwin F. Thomle, Aberdeen, S. D.

Mr. Arvid H. Peterson

Mr. Franklin G. Elwood

March 18, 1969

March 25, 1969

August 6, 1969

 

Not a matter of history, but we want to mention that the North Eastern Illinois Junior Historians met here in the Junior High School, 450 of them, on April 26. It was successfully headed by Charles Christiansen, Host Teacher.  Our students won second place in the contest for historical essays, art work, handicraft, models and dioramas.  Later, Kenzie B. Harris received a certificate from Governor Richard B. Ogilvie on Awards Day, May 22, at Springfield. Kenzie was the author of two articles published during the past school year. We wish him, and all of the other contestants continued success.

 

As a little note of appreciation to the Junior High School teachers and students for the success of the April 26th meeting, the Batavia Historical Society presented the School with a framed copy of the engraving “Bird's Eye View of Batavia in 1869”, showing Batavia just one hundred years ago.


 

SPECIAL MEETING

 

On June 22, President Harold Patterson called a special meeting of the Society to consider action on acceptance or rejection of the gift, of the old Burlington depot for a museum. This had been purchased by twenty Batavia businessmen who donated $50.00 each or a total of $1,000.00. Our part, if we accepted the gift, would be the restoration of the building.

 

At a Board meeting, held May 9th, the President had appointed a committee to inspect the depot and decide what remodeling and repairs were needed. This committee was composed of Herbert Carlson, Raymond Patzer and Mrs. Walter H. Wood.

 

Herbert Carlson, as Chairman of this committee, reported their findings at this special meeting. He also stated that the Society had a present building fund of approximately $3600.00.  After much discussion, the following motion was passed:  

 

That - The Society appoint a committee to get estimates of the cost of renovating the Burlington depot and present these costs to the membership in a letter with a ballot, asking each member to vote as to whether the committee should, or should not proceed with the renovation.

 

The President appointed the following committee:

Herbert Carlson, Chairman,

Miss Mary Snow

and Miss Mary Feldott.

 

Since writing our last newsletter, March 7th, we have received mementos from the following people: John P. Strobel, Geneva; Frederick C. Richter; D. M. Terhune; Mrs. Marguerite Brown; Mrs. Peggy Lou Reedus; Mrs. William Lundeen; Greg Johnson, Geneva; Miss Melba Pierson; Mrs. Barton S. Snow; and Carl W. Johnson.

 

June 11 the Blaine Street Grade School closed its doors. The 4 classroom building has been in use since 1906 and was getting old and obsolete and had to be abandoned for school purposes. The Blaine Street School PTA held their last meeting early in May. That was an occasion for memories. We furnished some history notes about the school to Mrs. Marguerite Brown, a kindergarten teacher in that school, in 1956.

 

On May 1 Mrs. Dudley Pierce, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., requested information about the James Pearl and the Prindle families. We sent her a genealogy of the Prindle family and other data.

 

In March, Miss Eunice Shumway received a letter from Joseph E. King, Urbana, Ill., requesting information about two members of the Wolcott family who had lived in Colorado.  We wrote Mr. King but were not able to help him much. We wrote him again on June 18 when Eunice received a letter from a friend who had a complete genealogy of the Wolcott family.

 

After receiving Vernon Derry's article on “Kane County's Early River Dams”, we wrote him a letter of thanks. This was in “Thrift Corner Yarns” issued by the Aurora Savings & Loan Association. He told me that the view of industrial Batavia was an artist's painting reproduction. I asked him if he knew how many horsepower the old Fox River generated between Carpentersville and Yorkville back in those important “water power” days?  He didn't know. I told him that I understood that the turbine under the machine shop of the now non-existent U. S. Wind Engine & Pump Co., south of First Street developed 100 hp. This part of the U. S. Company was originally part of the Paper Mill.  Batavia also had two wing dams besides the one still existing that at one time served the Challenge Co.

 

On May 26 we had the enjoyable experience of talking to the two 4th grade classes in the Louise White School about the history of Batavia.  Other Society members should be available to do this instructing. It is a rare opportunity for us.

 

The book, Batavia; Past and Present is still on sale at $1.00 per copy. The other book Historic Batavia is out of print.

 

Mrs. Pauline Campbell is back in Batavia, returning from St. Croix, Virgin Islands where she was one of the House Mothers of the Queen Louise Lutheran Home for Girls. However, she will not stay in Batavia for long. She has a job to do in Colorado that sounds most interesting. We wish her well.

 

If we accept the depot for a museum and accept the cost of remodeling, every one of us will have to help both financially and physically as much as possible.  Volunteer now to do more than your share.       

 

John G.

 

Arthur T. McIntosh & Co., Chicago, Illinois will give the windmill which is on the old Wallace farm to the Batavia Historical Society if we move it to a site in Batavia.  Any suggestions?

h. o. p.