Volume Twenty-Four

No. 4


November 1983




Date:   Sunday, December 4, 1983


Time:   5:30 Social Hour

           6:00 - 7:00 Dinner

           7:00 - 7:30 Business Meeting


Place:  Holy Cross Hall (parking behind church)


Bring a dish to pass (hot vegetable, salad or dessert) plus your own table service.  

Meat, beverage and rolls will be provided by the Society.

Reservations required.


Please call (by December 1): Helen or Cliff Anderson (879-3273)Georgene or Walter Kauth  (879-5290) We were going to offer a program of holiday music to accompany our dinner, only to discover that the area churches will be combining choirs for a program of Christmas music starting at 4:00 at the Congregational Church So please join us for a festive dinner following the church program.


The most important item of business for the Society is the election of officers for the coming year. The Society is governed by 4 officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer) and 4 Trustees. The officers serve 1-year terms and the trustees serve 2 years.  We need your help. Most of the present board have held board positions for several years and they feel that new leadership (with an expanded committee structure) is vital to the future of our Society.  


Please consider the many rewards and minor frustrations of a board position. Our Society can only be as active as our members.


From your president:


For those of you who notice such things, I've been remiss in getting out a newsletter and scheduling a meeting before now. Our yearly total has been 3 instead of the planned 4. My three excuses are a return to work (part-time) and to school (part-time), coupled with the responsibilities of full-time motherhood (an active 10-year old son and 2 pre-school daughters). I have thoroughly enjoyed being your president. I think our Depot Museum is a real treasure and its potential for enriching our lives is unlimited.  Our plaqueing of 100-year old buildings in Batavia has just really begun.  


Our preservation and cataloging of donated artifacts is an on-going project, and finding storage space will soon be a project in itself. The Batavia Historical Society will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1985 and will have an impressive list of accomplishments to recall at that time. But the story should not end with what we've already done - there is so much more we could do to preserve and promote Batavia's history.


Our Society needs a new president.  In fact, we need several officers (vice-president, secretary, and 2 trustees).  I am appealing to each one of you to consider taking your turn at leadership.  I will be calling many of you within the next week asking you to serve as an officer or trustee.  I will be happy to give you a detailed job description at that time and answer any questions you may have about the Society.  If you want to call me before I call you, the number is 879-7429.  


I hope some of you will say yes so we can elect a full slate of officers at the December meeting.  The Historical Society needs YOU! Penny Tracy


The Society is sad to report the deaths of three members:


Earle Horton

Eunice Shumway

Arnold Gustafson


Eunice Shumway was the Society's first president and founding member.  Earle Horton was a recent vice-president who shared his long association with Mooseheart with us two summers ago.  Mr. Horton and his wife have also been regular Museum volunteers.  Arnold Gustafson was the brother of John and Lucile Gustafson and a long supporter of the Society. They will all be missed by many of their Society friends.  


Three interesting pieces of mail have come to the Society in recent months.  One was a request from the Historical Society of the Fort Hill Country (Mundelein, Illinois) for information on our Depot and the steps involved in turning it into a museum.  Ruth Burnham answered the request for us and forwarded an abundance of material on the "birth" of the Blue Ribbon Committee.  A month later she received a newsletter from the Historical Society of the Fort Hill Country announcing the move of the "Soo Line Depot" to its new location.  The move had been recorded on film and the newsletter announced "It is the climax of many years work and the biggest project our society has ever undertaken. The restoration of the depot will call upon the support and talents of the entire community." Sound familiar? The second piece of mail came from a young man in Holland who directed his request to the Batavia postmaster, who in turn put the letter in our post office box.  The young man had heard of a Dutch windmill near Batavia and wondered if we could send him information.  Darlene Larson, coordinator of the Fabyan Preservation Project, supplied us with the detailed history of the Fabyan Windmill which we have since forwarded to Holland.  


The last letter read,  


"Dear People,


Photo showed a beautiful fall day, two bikes, a woman, and ED LAMORTE In front of the depot.


Kindly forward this photo of the attendant of the Batavia Train Station to that gentleman.  He was s-o-o friendly. You are fortunate to have him. P.S. Your riverside trail bike path is the BEST!"  We think Ed LaMorte is a valuable, charming museum guide, too!  


The following memorials have been given to the Historical Society:


For Eunice Shumway . . . .  . . . from the estate of Eunice Shumway ($1,000)

from Mr. and Mrs. John Shumway, Sr. (Batavia)

from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Ness (Oswego)

from David and Nancy Shumway (Batavia)

from Mrs. Robert Shumway (Batavia)

from Mary S. Anderson (Aurora) In memory of Earl Horton, from Walter and Georgene Kauth In memory of William Rachielles, from Walter and Georgene Kauth In memory of E. Youssi, from Robert and Lillian Brown


The Elaine Cannon Memorial Display Case is now completed and on display at the Depot Museum. There is room for more of her work.  


If  you have any items made by Elaine Cannon and would like to donate them to the Historical Society, please contact Carla Hill (879-1800).

The following items have been donated to the Society for display at the Museum:


From the Yurs Peterson Funeral Home, a radiator (circa 1860) from the dining room of the house built in the early 1850's by Horace Town.  Nancy Newlin Pearce, a former owner of the house, recalls her mother using the "warming oven" feature of the radiator to warm the dinner plates and to keep hot dishes warm between servings.


From Marj Rundle, 2 original watercolors of Batavia done by Drusulla Lamkey.


From Vera Colgrove, shoe horns, bingo game, framed photo of employees of Lindgren Foundry.


From Mr. & Mrs. Charles Ray Anderson, 5 volumes of The New Students' Reference Work, 1901; various school texts from 1912 - 1919 used by Amy Kline Anderson who was a country school teacher and taught in Batavia Township District 99 from 1919.


From Norma Carlson, issues of the Batavia Herald and a program of "Without Discretion" play based on life of Mary T. Lincoln.


From Annabelle Robertson, long colonial-style dress.


From Batavia Jr. High School, 2 large metal plaques, one with Gettysburg Address, one W.W. I memorial to servicemen from Batavia with special memorial to John Mayo Palmer Benson who "made the supreme sacrifice."  Also a framed portrait of Benson.


From Paul & Ruth Hendrickson, Batavia Herald issues, newspaper articles about Fermi Lab, issues of The Village Crier, postcard of interior of Batavia National Bank.


From John & Lucile Gustafson, assorted Boy Scout memorabilia, W.W. I white kid gloves, silk scarves, souvenir handkerchief sent by Arnold Gustafson to his mother, 2 children's books, a school primer McGuffey's Eclectic Third Reader, 1919 issue of "Stars and Stripes", cover of Saturday Evening Post with Batavia Pond picture, certificates of John Lanfa1t.


From Hugh Thompson, assorted documentary materials: Appleton and Challenge Co. brochures, vintage automobile manuals.


From Carol Hendrickson Allen, lists of early members of east and west side Batavia Fire Dept., letter from August Hendrickson, Fire Chief, dated 1918, various materials re: ILL Firemen's Assoc.


From Marian Richards (Aurora), 25 photographs including 3 of the Depot and 1 of Depot Agent (Ralph Richards 1900-1926).  When the Richards family lived at the Depot, their living room was downstairs (west side rear) with dining room and kitchen adjoining to the south.


From Mary Snow, 2 egg crates, 1 egg basket, 2 ball gowns and petticoat and fancy parasol (costume worn by a member of the Van Nortwick family in 1900), "hand fluter" used to iron ruffles, 2 round concrete grave markers, photos and postcards, Large number of items (documentary) from the Challenge Company, numerous pamphlets, brochures, magazines, Evans Rural Route Directory of Kane County 1916, 1924, Tri-City Directory for 1912-1913, 1924-25, 1928-29, 1936-37, several other books.  


Dorothy Hanson attended a fall workshop on paper conservation in Wheaton sponsored by Congress of Illinois Historical Societies and Museums.