Volume Ninteen

No. 3  


Batavia, Il., P. O. Box 15




Regular Open MeetingTime:              

Sunday, October 1, 1978 - 3:00 - 4:00 P.M. (note change)


Place: United Methodist Church Brief Business Meeting


Brief Business Meeting: Walter Kauth, President



The Business That Was . . . Wagons . . Jeffery Schielke


Military Experiences of Captain Don Carlos Newton

Illustrated Talk  Dave Sawitoski


Don Carlos Newton the Traveling Man  . . . . Charles Ohlesen


Coffee Hour: Adjournment to the Batavia Public Library for a piece of cake honoring a hundredth birthday.  No, not of a person, but of the Victorian home of Don Carlos Newton; the home is an historic structure that now houses the local library.  Friends of the Library will act as docents to guide their guests through the home, describing salient architectural and decorative features of the home.  They will also delineate the life and times of Don Carlos.  All this is under the direction of our gracious and capable librarian, Ms. Sally Bast.  It is in support of the library project that the Batavia Historical Society is directing attention to the Newton family in Batavia and holding its meeting in the United Methodist Church, which was built cooperatively by Don Carlos Newton and E. H. Gammon and donated to the church. Mrs. June Cavins, who lives in the former E. C. Newton home at 509 North Batavia Avenue, has most generously offered to open her home for a tea/tour after the regular meeting at the United Methodist Church. Special guests will be Earl A. Newton of Aurora and his mother.  This open house is for Museum volunteers only.  An invitation will be clipped to the October chart of volunteers.  


Those who happen not to be "working" this month may pick theirs up at the October meeting.  (The volunteers are so trustworthy and faithful that it is good that they are recognized in some special way.  During the summer they had a tour of and brunch at Mc Donald's). The town will be buzzing that first Sunday afternoon in October.  The Museum will be open from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M.  Carla Hill will have a special exhibit related to the Newton family, ranging from a Mrs. E. C. Newton nightgown to a real Newton wagon that the Society bought a few years ago.  Also, Gammon Corner and the Old Church School, now the insurance agency at 355 First Street, will both be open certain hours.  Watch your newspapers and the chart at the end of this newsletter for hours open.  (By the way, I wonder if either Joe Marconi or Dave Mamminga realize that Reverend E. H. Gammon preached in the once "McWayne School Annex"?)




Treasurer's Account as of 9-1-78 Petty Cash.......................................................................................... $ 24.51 Checking Account.............................................................................. 363.04Building Fund.................................................................................. 3,025.72C.D. (4-15-79) 6% .......................................................................... 2,000.00C.D. (2-13-79) 6.5%........................................................................ 2,000.00$7,413.27


Dave Sawitoski, Treasurer Sources of Income: The Historical Society has always had a good quality line of art items at its sales counter, mainly stationery and pictures designed by John Gustafson, Paul Randall and Georgine Schramer.  Two good items have been added that are proving popular.  One is a beautiful colored photograph of the Museum, mainly credited to Dave Sawitoski, and the other is a fine quality greeting card designed by Mary Jane Lisson, donated by Jackie Graver (Mrs. Charles) and used by us courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce.  (Rather complicated? Yes.) Sales, contributions and membership fees help defray operation costs. There have been two days of special sales: Windmill Festival Days and Art Fair Days.  For "manning" the booth, the Society is indebted to Ray Patzer, Sadie Lundberg, Freda Lundberg, Yvonne Autenreith, Madeline Raymond, Ed and Grace LaMorte, Howard and Mary Matteson. (anyone else?) Hidden in the sums are substantial gifts donated by our generous friends: $600.00 from Furnas Foundation that is being reserved for a specific project; $400.00 from the Luminaria Lighters for a multifold portable display standard, a Mary Ann Judd memorial for a table in the Lincoln Room, and other sums set aside for specific purposes, such as printing a history of Batavia.


May the Wind Always Blow Strong!  The windmill with its silver-plated vanes and its head turning gently with the Fox River Valley breezes is really beautiful, isn't it?  It is just one more bit of "class" to our downtown area.  It didn't happen without vision, cooperation and hard work.  Walter Kauth says that the "dream" was Harold Patterson's, who kept a steady prodding through the years.  For years this U.S. windmill did good service on the Schimelpfenig farm.  Came the Fermilab.  Eldon Frydendall and Harold Hall had it moved and stored on Park Board property.  Walter Kauth and Dave Sawitoski got involved.  A couple of men painted the vanes and placed it on a wall in the City chambers for one of the Society's meetings on windmills.  Then came the magic switch from Boo Boo Days to Windmill Festival.  Action!  Walter Kauth and "Bosco" Hall got busy.  Erected the 40-foot tower; John Pitz hauled in his "erector set" and placed the head.  Meanwhile, two eager Eagle Scouts, Tom James and Mike Dallesasse were busy, as free laborers, with the almost endless tasks that had to be completed before erection.  Young heroes, they. But look! Thar she blows!  


Some money is left in the donation box at the Depot door, but mainly by out-of-towners.  But sometimes persons like William Wood picking up a pile of "giveaways" to use on a tour of the town with the local teachers or Bob Ducar at the Museum to work on the semaphore will leave a sizeable tip. 

Other Gifts Received: The most munificent gift presented to the Depot Museum lately has been two articles for the Mary Todd Lincoln Room . . . a white marble-topped walnut table and a clock stand, courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Nelson.  The Historical Society is certainly appreciative of these gifts, as we are of Sally Krueger's generosity in letting us use her Victorian table all these years.  Other interesting artifacts come our way: Valuable old documents from the Knecht family; an antimacassar with Hazen-Davis heritage; a Swedish family Bible from Rose Wagner; a coffeepot given by the Newton Wagon Company to George Barr; office equipment from Eldon Frydendall; a Civil War uniform from Mrs. Gilbert Johnstone; a railway express wagon from Howard Rasmussen.  We feel blessed with such riches!

Gifts Given:  Two long-time members were remembered by the Society at the time of their death.  A ten-dollar bequest was given to the First Baptist Church in honor of Pearl Ellis and a copy of Letters of Mary Todd Lincoln by the Turners was given to the John Gustafson Library in memory of Loretta McKenna.  They both honored us with their constancy and loyalty.


Newly Acquired


Books and Documents:  The Batavia Historical Society has acquired copies of various local histories: Lombard, Warrenville, Geneva, Batavia, St. Charles, Barrington, Sugar Grove, West Chicago.  All of these have been gifts.  We need copies of Wheaton and DuPage County.  In telling their own story, each historian inadvertently informs us in some way of our own story.  The Illinois Historical Society says we need a good United States history, too.


Concerning Windmills:  We undoubtedly have one of the very best collections of documents in re windmills in the country.  One of our all-time great gifts, as you know, is a huge notebook of windmill materials donated by Larson & Becker.  Dr. Lindsey, who found our Museum library so very helpful in writing his forthcoming book concerning windmills, has gifted us with a xeroxed copy of Thomas O. Perry's lengthy study of the efficiency of different types of vanes, tower heights, etc., begun in 1882.  Hired by the U.S. Wind Engine and Pump Company, the local factory, instead of utilizing all this valuable information, "sat on it."  In 1889, Mr. Perry was free to take his study of over a hundred pages to Mr. Noyes of Chicago, who used the information to build the Aermotor windmill, which soon surpassed all others.  (By the way, does anyone know where Mr. Perry lived?) Another very early scientific treatise on "wind wheels," written by Alfred Wulf,


Windmills as a Prime Mover under date of 1885 was purchased with some of the money presented to us by the Rotary.  We are most fortunate to acquire this.  Our newest acquisition in this category is Wind Catchers by Volta Torrey, a discussion of old time windmills of Asia, Europe and the United States, as well as the windmills of tomorrow.  (Some teenagers may well use this as a "project.") Needless to say that we are delighted to note the big play given to Batavia in these books. Speaking of Research Materials: Charles Ohlesen, museum cataloguer, has done a noble job in preparing library materials for future research.  This means not only political and economic development materials, but also the filing of family and individual data, material about schools and churches.  Pictures are in especially good order. In the process, Chuck has accumulated a vast amount of information 

Research Materials  concerning not only individuals and institutions but their relationships.  The grant supporting his continuance here ends October 1. He will be a real loss!  (Conferences have been held with instructors from the local schools, as well as those from Waubonsee Community College, as to the availability of this material.)


Meetings Ahead


October 20 - 22: Illinois State Historical Society's 79th annual meeting at Joliet.  . . . Easy opportunity to attend significant meeting.  Chief concerns – Illinois-Michigan Canal and local history.  The Kauths (879-5290) and Lucile Gustafson (879-1212) have materials.  Also available at next meeting. Watch papers for information.


October 11 - 15: Annual Meeting - National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States   

Excellent opportunity to acquire valuable information. Larry Kelley, a longtime member of our Society, will attend . . . our Society is paying a small part of his expenses.  Call him (879-1185) or Lucile Gustafson (879-1212) for further information.


October 28:                

Regional Meeting of the Landmark Commission at the Government Center in Geneva.  Day meetings with box luncheon.  Topics to be discussed: How to form historic districts; Funds available for preservation and restoration; State and Federal recognition of historic structures.


November 2                

Organizational meeting to form an "umbrella" over the efforts of the Fox Valley communities in order to integrate publicity about our separate small museums to develop tours. (Jerry Musick, West Chicago) to establish historic districts in order to create, through tourist trade, a third source of income (Larry Kelley of Batavia), and thirdly, to have a unified "don't" when an historical structure is unjustly threatened (Eve Johnson).  Steering committee members are Helen Jane Hamlin (Geneva); Jamie Daniels(Geneva); Eve Johnson (Elburn); Geo. Keyser (St. Charles); Dan Hoefler (Batavia); Ed LaMorte (Batavia); Jerry Musick (West Chicago); Larry Kelley.  Two jobs need to be done by our Historical Society; Advertising the beautiful heritage found in Batavia and the compilation of an inventory of heritage structures. In Conclusion (at last) . . .



To Dan Holbrook on his new book. We look forward to acquiring a copy and reading it.


To Batavia with its buoyant spruce look in streets and plantings.  Happy and hopeful. Thank you, City Council and voters . . . and taxpayers.




To Gammon Corner. Queen Anne herself was never decked out more beautifully than this building at the top of the hill.  


To the Wolfe-Mamminga Insurance Co. The old Church School has served the community for years.  The building is beautiful again. Good luck!

More Best Wishes:     


To all those restoring old homes and buildings.  Example: The McIntyres struggling with the old Judge Wilson home. (The library carries the Old House Journal to keep you from making mistakes.)



Open meeting of the Batavia Township Historical Society at the United Methodist Church October 1 at 3:00 P.M.  Yvonne Autenreith, program chairman, is assured you will find the meeting interesting.


Open House -

October 1:        1:00 - 5:00 P.M.         

Batavia District Library 2:00 - 5:00 P.M.       

Batavia Depot Museum 3:00 – 5:00 P.M.        

Sanctuary, Methodist Church4:00 – 5:00 P.M. 


E. C. Newton Home (Invitation only) Afternoon hours . . . .

Gammon Corner 1:00 – 3:00 P.M.        

355 First Street (Old School)

The Society sends best wishes to those living at a distance from Batavia.  

We appreciate your support. Enjoy October . . . it’s a beautiful month! Lucile Gustafson.