Volume Twenty

No. 3


Batavia Township Historical Society

P. O. Box 15, Batavia, 11. 60510



Announcement of Regular Meeting - Welcome



3:00 P.M., Sunday, September 23, 1979



The Batavia Depot Museum Business Meeting  

Walter Kauth, co-president



Dedication of the U.S. Wind Engine Windmill


An Introduction to "The Tale of a Windmill"            

Jeff Schielke, Vice-Pres. Batavia Historical Society


"Our Own Batavia Windmill - from Whence It Blew"

Harold Patterson, Past President, Batavia Historical Society


"The Place Where Our Windmill Blows"       

Rich Mays, Director Batavia Park District


"An Introduction to Batavia - Our Windmill in Color"

Carla Hill and the Rev. David Berg


Social Hour


Statement of Cash Position as of August 31, 1979


Checking Account

Petty Cash

Building Account

Certificate of Deposit

#1Certificate of Deposit

#2 Total

$ 319.17           

$ 24.51           

$ 2,667.23           

$ 2,152.48           

$ 2.000.00

$ 7,163.39


Respectfully submitted, Dave Sawitoski, Treasurer    


We Thank . . . William Wood, for his quiet service and projects in the interest of the Batavia Township Historical Society and our community. His most recent activity was another bus trip for the residents of Holmstadt which netted over $38.00 in personal contributions. Probably no one in the community knows more than he about our historic structures and the land on which they are built. Many of us, museum volunteers and others, would appreciate going on a trip under his guidance.

Elida Swan (Mrs. Dewey), who is presently preparing to move to Holmstadt and is making varied and valuable donations to the Society. They include numerous pictures of groups . . . school, social, work . . . which her brother had framed. There is a Nordens Soner badge and numerous insignia of World-War I to match the Civil War items now on display. There is an old wooden handmade chest containing Dewey's World War I uniform complete with hard hat and canteen and whatnot. She is likewise presenting as a long-time loan a handmade spinning wheel from Sweden (1800) brought here in about 1880. Georgene Schramer, Lydia Stafney, Sadie Lundberg and Ray Patzer for “manning the table “ at the Art Show. We sold around $35.00 worth of materials.  Sales on train banks are slow but members could consider them for birthday and Christmas gifts . . . also, volunteers are reminded of their 20% discount on all items sold at the Museum!

Batavia Woman's Club Conservation Department for donating, planting and tending the geraniums in the stone planter overlooking the river. This has been a bright spot for the past several years with the special help of the Robert Kalinas. We are also grateful to Mr. Carmichael for the donation of the Challenge water tank to our Historical Society, and to the Park District for storing it for us until such time as we can properly display it.

Blow, Winds, Blow


The City's Windmill Festival Days were a grand success. A happy crowd circulated up and own the streets, hunting for bargains, inspecting hand-crafts, gossiping with friends, and visiting the Museum. About two hundred of those milling through the building signed the guest book. any admired the fine windmill display. They were pleased, too, with the multiple display unit with its photographs of different architectural structures in Batavia as well as the industrial display. The Society is indebted to those who purchased luminaria for this unit . . . it doubles our display space . . . and, of course, especially to the Luminaria Committee that contributed the cash realized from this project.

We Learn and Eat


Carla Hill (Mrs. Michael), Museum Curator; presented an excellent seminar September 7 from 10 A.M. to 1 P.M. for the Museum volunteers at the Museum.


Museum procedures:  A listing of eleven successive tasks for the guides to accomplish. 

What's coming up 


Timing of displays.

Cataloging  Dorothy Hansen (Mrs. James), an experienced librarian, explained the system of filing that is being used.  It was determined some years ago that the Dewey system would be employed.



The hours for the Museum to be open should be from 2 - 4 P.M. every day as of October 1 and not changed to others for Saturday and Sunday.


Historical Society  

Georgene Kauth announced that the Board had voted to grant a 20% discount on purchase of goods as a small appreciation to volunteers for their service to the Society.

A tasty buffet luncheon was served after the seminar, financed by the Park Board Museum fund.


Again, a thank you to the volunteers.


We Weep


Since writing the last newsletter, two valuable members of the Batavia Historical Society have died, Alice Gustafson and Ruth Northrup.  


Both were members of long standing . . .Alice was a life member. Both shared their considerable talents to the success of the Society, Alice principally in the developing and preservation of valuable documentary materials and artifacts, Ruth as photographer and speaker.  The Society will miss them, as will the community.  Both were teachers; Alice taught in both the old McWayne and Louise White schools, later becoming principal in the latter.  (As a tribute to her role as an educator, an elementary school was named in her honor).  


Ruth Northrup was Domestic Science teacher in the high school.  She was a member of the United Methodist Church, acting as their historian.  Alice was an active contributing member of the Congregational Church of Batavia for seventy-seven years.  She taught Sunday School for sixty consecutive years. Your Society sent a beautiful arrangement at the time of Alice Gustafson's funeral.  A memorial fund has been established to the Batavia Township Historical Society in Ruth Northrup's name.


And Rejoice


Jean Conde has been very ill but now is recovering nicely at her home under the T.L.C. of her daughter, Barbara Hopkind of Vancouver.  Apparently St. Luke's-Presbyterian, after some additions and subtractions that they perpetrated, came up with the right sum!  By the way, Barbara is our only "foreign" member.




Way back in 1961 the Batavia Historical Society was organized in Eunice Shumway's home.  That was important to the development of the spirit and character of Batavia.  It is our privilege to express appreciation to some of those who are now restricted in their activities.  We wish them well.


Cornelia Brown Snow


(Mrs. Barton) has moved to Holmstadt where she is enjoying comfortable arrangements.  Cornelia has donated innumerable documents from her family history and the T. W. Snow Construction Company. The Snow home was the Greek Revival limestone house just north of the west side cemetery. Eunice Shumway, after extended hospitalization, is again in her beloved home, vastly improved. One of her chief contributions to the Society was probably her excellent organizational ability and her dedication to every detail of the Society.  


Batavia Past and Present


All worthy projects need artists.  Elaine Cannon (Mrs. Carl) and her sister, Mary Williams (now deceased) lent their talents to such activities as the historic displays at The Frame, a Batavia Avenue storefront.  Elaine's specialties have been wheat-seed dome dolls, hickory nut figures and many exquisite miniature rooms for collectors.  She is known as one of the leading miniaturists in the United States. John Gustafson has been confined to his home for some years now.  


Strange as it may seem, the accident in 1946 that limited his physical abilities released time, energy and talents that made possible the writing of Historic Batavia and the contribution of local history articles to the Batavia Herald and-other publications.  His enthusiasm for the Society and the town has been an inspiration to many a (Three little girls knocked at the Gustafson home door the other day wanting to see John, the man who wrote the book they studied in school).




These are but five whose contributions we respect. A number of you may want to write them brief notes or pay them brief visits. (Be sure to phone first to see if it is convenient).  And be sure to remember Augie Mier with his vast knowledge of local Indians.


Goodbye and Best Wishes


I fear this is more of a “Society” letter than it is an historical epistle. We hope to see you September 23.  


We had hoped Rod Ross could be with us on that date. As an archivist he is involved with some very interesting documents.


Lucile Gustafson, Historian