Volume Seventeen

No. 1


Batavia, IL, P.O. Box 15

February 1, 1976



Regular Open Meeting

Time: Sunday, February 1, 1976

Place: Grace McWayne School Auditorium





Our Country - Its Heritage and Triumph


Mrs. Charles Wunsch, well-known Aurora philatelist, will present, with the help of film and tape, this program as a tribute to America on its bicentennial celebration. Beginning with the discovery of America, she will follow the history of its development up to the present as expressed in stamps.


Local stamp collectors who have known her urge our attendance and the extension of cordial invitations to our friends. Mrs. Wunsch has won wide honors not only nationally but in international circles: Stockholm, Madrid, Munich, Lima, Mexico City, Hawaii.


There will be a mini-display of stamps of local interest by local people. If you have a few that you would be willing to show, please bring them with you.  

(Example: Arnold Gustafson has a Batavia Bank of Coffin revenue stamp, which may be the only one in existence).



This meeting has received the blessing of the Bicentennial Commission.


Business Meeting:


    1. Old business

    2.  New, especially insurance

    3.  Election of officers.


Refreshments . . . of course.



Irregular Associate Meeting




Sunday, January 25, 1976 - 2:00 - 3:00 P.M.




Batavia Public Library




Landmarks Preservation Council




The Batavia Historical Society was invited to assist in making arrangements for this meeting.  With the cooperation of Mrs. Sally Bast, librarian, and the Library Board, the above arrangements were made.


Half a dozen persons from the Chicago office will present slides, film and discussion. On display will be photographs of Batavia taken by Pauline Campbell. Some of her slides will be among those shown.


The film will be a gold prize-winner, the destruction of Adler and Sullivan's Old Stock Exchange in Chicago. The discussion will concern the problems connected with the preservation of Landmark structures in the Fox Valley and what they as a council might do to help us solve them - evidently advice about grants and such.


All interested persons in neighboring towns are invited to attend but the Batavia residents and Historical Society members are especially urged. Historic structures are our specialty!




Memorials have been started by the Bergeson family to honor Mrs. Hannah Bergeson, recently deceased, and to honor Mr. Elmer Peterson by Mr. and Mrs. David Hauman.


Our sympathy is with Mrs. James Kane and Miss Joanne Kane on the death of Robert Kane.  They are long-time and devoted members of the Batavia Historical Society.



Museum Gossip


The two ice-skating scenes, the oil painting by John Falter and the water color by a Florida artist, have certainly aroused a great deal of admiration.  If you can identify anyone in the Falter painting, would you please do so on the Parkway Press print on the table in the John Gustafson library?


A Mr. William Davidson from Western Springs stopped in Saturday, December 10, to contribute some Coffin family artifacts to the Museum. The old-fashioned parasol and beautiful elaborate costumes were delightful to acquire.  


But even more valuable was the personal contact with the donor. He is the great-great grandson of Judge Samuel Drake Lockwood and the great-grandson of William Coffin, who lived in what was called the "Snow Place." (His wife was Mary Lockwood).  


Just by chance, the delightful picture of the Coffin Bank was on display. And on the library table was a pack of materials about Batavia Institute (pre-Bellevue) including a note relating to the Laconia Literary Society by his great-uncle Lockwood Coffin. I believe Mr. Davidson has more treasures to contribute later. I hope so.


Among our rich collection of documentary materials is one that would delight any local historian. It is the 1850 census complete with the occupants of each house, age, sex, occupation and place from which they migrated.


Mrs. Ann Alexander is still working ahead stoically on the registration of all this material.



Final Remarks


We are happy about the reception of the HISTORIC STRUCTURES calendars issued jointly by the First National Bank and your Historical Society.  The Bank has none left!


We have leads on an original Halladay windmill in Merrimac, Wisconsin. A series of strange associations and events has located the great-great granddaughter of Christopher Payne. She is the granddaughter of Payne's granddaughter who at the age of thirteen was the only survivor after an Indian attack on a cfonvoy of settlers en route to Oregon in 1860.


A professor at Iowa State at Ames has written for information about Batavia's role in the construction of windmills, names of resource persons and data about windmills as a source of energy. We may have more information about these matters at the February 1 meeting.          


Prepare to pay your dues at the next meeting of  the Batavia Historical Society . . .


    $3.00 for singles

    $5.00 for doubles

    Life membership . . . $50.00.


Join . . . because the Society makes a difference in the spirit of Batavia!


Happy 1976! See you February 1 at the McWayne School!

Lucile Gustafson