Volume Twenty

No. 4


Batavia Township Historical Society

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


"In Flanders Field the Poppies Grow"


November 11, 1979,

Remembrance Day




Regular Meeting of the Batavia Township Historical Society

Time:   November 11, 1979- 3 P. M.

Place:   V.F. W. Hall Route, 25 South of Batavia


Business Meeting  


President: Walter Kauth, presiding

Secretary's Report: Dorothy Tierney

Treasurer's Report: Dave Sawitoski


Election and Installation of new officers and trustees


Nominating Committee - David Sawitoski, Howard and Mary Matteson




Jeff Schielke, V.P. Reminiscing of W.W.I - Interested persons W.W.I artifacts in the Batavia Depot Museum - Carla Hill Buffet Dinner 4 P. M NOTESWhen we buy red poppies on "Armistice Day", we honor "those who" to quote Lincoln, “gave the last full measure of devotion".  Let us on this November 11th, honor those who lead long, full useful lives. And so today, we salute the thirty five W.W.I veterans living in this area, or elsewhere, who share the common experience of War service:



Charles Anderson

Elmer Anderson

Max Alexander

Robert Averill

Ernest Barrett

George Benski

Axel Benson

Panna Benson

Erwin Bortner

Lyle Buelter

Ed Carney

Dutch Clarno

Ernest Duckett

Jimmy Dunn

John Gustafson

Claude Hanson

Milton Hoag

Carl D. Johnson

Carl W. Johnson

Stanley A. Johnson

Wa1ter Johnson

Eddie Jones

Dub Leifheit

Roy McGary

Augie Mier

Ernest Nelson

Carl Oleson

Al Schreiner

Walter Stephano

Emily Sykora

Jim Sykora

Victor Swanson

Victor Thelander

Charles Thomas

Brayton Weaver  

All these veterans are cordially invited to be the Events of the Batavia Historical Society at the buffet supper at 4 P.M.  

We are sorry that many veterans are housebound or living elsewhere. All those whom we can reach will receive a congratulatory note and an invitation to attend the meeting-dinner.

(By the way, Stanley Johnson compiled the list and contributed most of the addresses, Arnold and John Gustafson assisting.)

As your Society’s Historian, I plead with you to write on the blank pages of this letter what you remember about W.W. I; sixty years after the grand celebration of the return of the service men.  


Actually few of you participated in the war, but you remember the effigy burning celebration, planting a Victory garden, or recall your parents or grandparents or some other person telling war tales.  


Jot your memories on the blank sheets and mail to Lucile Gustafson, 1117 Main St. at your early convenience or bring to the meeting. Such remembered bits are the stuff of history.




Robert Larson died October 9th. Our sympathy is with Elna and the rest of his family. Do you remember his recording of the Batavia church bells?  When he moved to Wisconsin, he presented the Historical Society with his excellent slide projector.


Dorothy Hoover Borg died October 18th. The Borgs are an old respected family. We mourn with them on the death of Dorothy.


Remember to make reservations for the buffet dinner to be held November 11th.


The cost of this two-meat buffet will be $4.00. Reservations must be in by November 2nd with Georgene Kauth (879-5290), Marion Phelps (879-1924) or the Depot Museum (879-1800)Volunteers, guides, typists, mailers will be treated to a bus trip of Batavia October 29th from 10 A.M. until noon. Bill Wood as "barker.'  Reservation may be made to the Museum by October 25th. Fun!


Remember that your Society needs your talents and time as typists to help Dorothy Hanson, as guides as contributing members. The next time I write to you we shall have experienced the first leg of a mild/cold winter.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Do come to the annual meeting and see the Kaiser's nose. Lucile Gustafson, Historian Excerpts from HISTORIC BATAVIA by John Gustafson: April 6, 1917, war was declared on Germany. Some men volunteered. Some waited to be drafted, but before the war was over, more than three hundred young Batavians were in their country's military service. 


The whole town was in service as far as co-operating with the war effort is concerned. Children in schools bought stamps and bonds, pretending that they were sinking submarines or firing guns. With the signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918, the whole town took a holiday. Fellows around town had an effigy all ready for the occasion. For some time, too, they had been gathering old lumber and branches.  


Early in the morning, on that fall morning, while the bells were ringing crazily and the whistles were shrieking, the effigy was strung up to the cross arm of the street light where it hung until it was brought down by the burning pile beneath it. That was the mood at the end of World War I.