Volume Sixteen

No. 2


April 1975 

      Batavia, Illinois

Published by the Batavia Historical Society


Regular open meeting -


Time: Sunday, April 6, 1975, 3:00 P.M.

Place: Bartholomew Civic Center




The Depot, How it was, The Museum, where it is

We're all steamed up                   Pat Verderbar

Mary Todd Lincoln slept here         Alice Saum

Last, but not least, the caboose     Dan Holbrook

We dedicate                                Dave Sawitoski


Business Meeting - Announcement of coming projects, etc.


Social Hour: Hostesses - Mrs. Marguerite Brown, Mrs. Irene Kreitzer Members and friends are invited to signup as hosts and hostesses after the meeting.  Those of you who cannot do so may wish to make a contribution to the iron pot.


The Fiscal Situation


The Batavia Historical Society board has the responsibility to the total membership for the financial structure of the association.  We are definitely solvent but the current year is one of great expenditures as we enter a period of increased activity with the opening of the museum.  


The park board has assumed the responsibility of reconstructing the depot, maintaining it, and employing a museum director.  All this has been financed by very generous local contributions and a small tax levy.  They have done a fine job. Most other responsibilities, financial and otherwise, are borne by the Historical Society.  The estimates listed below may be helpful in analyzing the situation:


A.        Financial Obligations (estimates)

Newton wagon                                $ 325

Moving and understructure of bank   1,500

Postage - mailings                            200

Fire-resistant cabinets                       650

Bookcases                                       100

Picture frames                                  200

Fine Arts insurance                             ?

Miscellaneous                                   100

New Dues Structure*

Single membership                         $3.00

Two or more adults at one address     5.00

Junior membership (under 16)           1.00    

Classroom membership                     5.00

Life membership                             50.00

B.        Assets (accumulated since 1960)

Building & Loan                   $   614.43

Batavia Bank, savings               494.32

Batavia Bank, checking              101.80

Book fund                                700.57

U.S. Government notes          4,000.00   

Sources of Income


Sales of mats and stationery  


Square nails    

Wooden nickels         

Other art objects          


* At the recommendation of Howard Matteson, the above schedule was adopted by your board. It was also agreed that a foundation fund with a minimum donation of $500.00 be established.


It is very important that membership and the bases of support of the program of the historical society be broadened. Many newcomers say that they chose to live in Batavia because of our respect for our historic past and our consciousness of ourselves as an entity.  Since 1960, the historical society has worked for such goals.  However, many of the members who through the years have been the mainstay of the society are now on a fixed income and can ill afford increased expenses.  They are still largely untapped sources of information, however.


The Batavia school children are enthusiastic about learning the tales of their town.  Our teachers are doing a fine job of instructing them in local history, and society members speak to hundreds of youngsters every year.  What the society solicits is more membership among the children's parents and more volunteer jobs that suddenly need to be done.  (H'm, quite a lecture.)




The celebration of the opening of the Batavia Depot museum has many facets.  One of the most interesting has to do with the issuance of a cachet, or first day cover, which calls for the cooperation of many persons: general arrangements - Dave Sawitoski, Ray Patzer, and Arnold Gustafson; special cancellation - Phil Talbot; printing of 3,000 envelopes - Phil Elfstrom of Bader Publishing Company; block print of the depot – John A. Gustafson; art work depicting the windmill cancellation and printing of stuffer cards concerning the CB&Q and the museum - Floyd Carlson's high school printing class. Beautiful cooperation!  


But there is more.  Several class reunion committees are sending their notices April 12th in these special envelopes.  The collection of first day covers makes an interesting, profitable hobby for kids to start, as they increase in value but have low initial cost.  Many Batavia residents will be buying them to send greetings to their friends, especially ex-Batavians.


Cachets may be purchased at 35¢ each, or three for a dollar.  Send money plus a #10 self-addressed stamped envelope to "Depot Covers", P.O. Box 433, Batavia, Illinois, 60510, or on April 6th come early to the meeting of the Historical Society with your address book and pen.




Miss Pat Verderbar will acknowledge incoming artifacts, but I can't resist a few comments.  A delightful bedroom around the nucleus of Mrs. Lincoln's bed (donated by Mrs. Randall Evans of Aurora) is being arranged by Ruth Burnham, Alice Saum, and Sally Krueger, using artifacts from Bellevue that has been donated by many persons.


The museum is greatly in need of railroad materials to give authenticity to the recreation of the old ticket office.  Ralph Shacht has donated a beautiful railroad cabinet, and someone else (who?) a ticket holder.  Dan Holbrook says we need: a double desk or just an ordinary old desk, an adding machine or old typewriter, old style rubber stamps, CB&Q telegraph, agent's chair, waste basket, old CB&Q forms, telegraph phone and headset, train order hoop, small safe, pot belly stove.  If you have something to donate, phone 879-1800.  Donations are tax exempt.


Enlist Here


The society has a huge poster, dated 1861 (Civil War) urging young men to enlist in service - not to wait to be drafted, promising a bounty to each. We can promise no bounty but we urge your enlistment Sunday, April 6th, with the following persons:


Museum guides                Pat Verderbar

Donation of artifacts          Louise Borg

Purchasing of cachets        Dave Sawitoski and Ray Patzer

Hosts and hostesses         Mary Matteson and Ione Blair

Concession sales persons  Virginia Kalina


A Note of Sadness


We end this newsletter with expressions of sympathy for the relatives of five of our loyal members, Nell Burkwist (Mrs. Axel), Miss Caroline Nelson, Mrs. Freda Wagner, Mr. Francis Carr of Florida, and Mary Ann Judd (Mrs. Earl).


At the funeral service for Nell, Mr. Kortemeier spoke of her constant role of quiet, unobtrusive service wherever she was needed, and so it was with us. Mrs. Freda Wagner was also a long-time member.  Miss Caroline Nelson and Mr. Francis Carr were both charter members of the society who have supported the association since its inception in 1960.  The past year or so has seen the loss of six charter members.


It is with great reluctance that I speak of the death of Mary Ann Judd.  She was, of course, a charter member.  She was delighted when her husband gave her a life membership as a Christmas gift.  She assumed the chairmanship of this society when she didn't want to do so because no one else would accept it and the society would die.  Oh, Mary Ann!  Members of the Historical Society attended services for all of the deceased.  Such a loss!



Next meeting of the Historical Society - April 6th, at 3:00 P.M.