Volume Four

No. 3


September, 1963
Published by the Batavia Historical Society

Dedicated men and women, convinced that a people must know its heritage to be strong, fight to preserve America's historic landmarks in the midst of modernization. - Ford Times, June, 1963 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1963 at 3:00 P.M.

Dedication of the School Bell in the little Triangle Park on East Wilson Street. The Grade School Band under the leadership of Mr. Elwood Willey will give a concert, followed by a dedicatory speech. Then the audience will go to the Louise White School where Mr. Sam Rotolo will give a talk on the History of the School. The program will be “MCed” by Neal Conde, Sr. The bronze plaque, made by the Batavia Foundry and Machinery Co., reads as follows: “This bell hung in the Louise White School from 1893 until the belfry was removed in 1961. Batavia Historical Society.”  

The bell was given to the Society by the Batavia Board of Education.  It was cleaned and repaired by the C. W. Shumway and Sons Foundry.  We are indebted to the City of Batavia, Mr. Ronald Rule and his department for the erection of the pedestal and the installation of the plaque. We had a good attendance at our last meeting, May 26th, at Lockwood Hall, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rodney H. Brandon.  They were a gracious host and hostess.  After the meeting we enjoyed a tour through the main floor of this beautiful residence.  It was pleasant to visit with Mrs. Margaret McGee of Oberlin, Ohio and Mrs. W. L. Davidson of Evanston and their families.  They are descendants of Judge Lockwood and William Coffin. Our·ex-president, Miss Eunice Shumway, Chairman of the Finance Committee, has been busy conceiving ways to make money to reach our goal of a museum for our Society.  The immediate need is for a fireproof storage room for our accumulating collection of mementos.  

Her projects include the following: The play “Send Me No Flowers” starring Jack Goring at the Boulder Hill Playhouse on Wednesday evening, August 21st.  Tickets sold numbered 131.  All who went proclaimed it a wonderful show. A series of four programs are planned for this fall and early winter to be given at the Batavia Civic Center.  Mrs. Miriam Johnson and Mrs. Mary Williams headed up this project.  

Here are the programs as planned:
October 19, Saturday  at 7:30 p.m. 
AROUND AFRICA by Eleanor Burgess, illustrated with colored slides.  Mrs. Wallin talked to the PEO recently.  Those who heard her say her talk and slides were outstanding. December 7, Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

AN AUTHOR’S REMINISCENCES by Lillian Budd of Lombard.  Mrs. Budd is well known in Batavia. January 11, Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

READING PLEASURES SHARED by Elizabeth Hall (Mrs. James D.).  She has given many book reviews to Batavia audiences and her talks are always interesting. The price for single admission will be $1.00 and for a season ticket book of four programs, $3.00.  The latter will be very adaptable.  If you wish to take a friend to anyone of the programs, two tickets from the book can be used. The “Then and Now” booklet is progressing nicely.  

Search for photographs of early Batavia is -continuing by Mrs. Horace N. Jones and her committee.  When this collection is completed the pictures will be published as a permanent record of early Batavia homes and business establishments.  
The intention is to have on each page an early view of the edifice and below that the present aspect of the site. Members of Mrs. Jones' committee are: Miss Eunice Shumway, Mrs. Mary Williams, Mrs. M. G. Schomig, Mrs. Pauline Campbell, Mrs. Earl Judd, Phillip Elfstrom, Phillip Carlson, Ray Patzer and John Gustafson. The fourth project is publishing a second edition of 300 of the book "Historic Batavia".  

Our first edition of 1000 was exhausted in three months and we have had more calls for copies of the book since. Many of our members have been interested in obtaining the old brick C&NW depot as a museum for the Society.  It would have to be moved from the present site.  The cost of moving, building a foundation on a new site, doing necessary repairs and installing lights and heat would come to an estimated $8,000 to $10,000 and we just haven't got that money.  However, we are interested in the building and would hate to see it destroyed. Earl Sloggett, because of his health, has had to give up his store.  He has given the Society a fine upright display case for which we are most grateful.
The Society is in receipt recently of mementos from the following donors:
Mrs. James P. Prindle, Mrs. Charles F. MaCurdy, Mrs. Walter McGary, Carl N. More, Elmer Nelson, Pat Flaherty, Berhard S. Lentz and Paul Peebles.  
All of these people have been thanked. Have you paid your 1963 dues? Our Treasurer, Mrs. Quentin Blewett, will be happy to receive your dollar.  Life and Memorial memberships are available for $25.00.
We are happy to report that Bill Benson is doing nicely after his eye operation.

Copyrighted and printed by INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY CO., 127 Gale Street, Aurora. Ill.

By John GustafsonThe first men are the historic men; such a man was Judge Lockwood.  H probably would be ranked as one of the ten men who have contributed most to the advancement of Illinois.He came to Batavia in 1853 to be near the land department of the Illinois Central Railroad in Chicago. In September of 1850the United States had made a grant of nearly 3 million acres of land to the States to secure the construction of the Illinois Central Railroad.  The General Assembly accepted this gift the following spring and passed an act incorporating the railroad.  The group at the head of this company were men from the East with a well established reputation in financial and railroad enterprises.Several important decisions had to be made.  The rights of the State had to be preserved.   The railroad must be built as quickly as possible.  The land granted by the federal government must be made available as security for funds to build the railroad. 

The Illinois Central was ready to accede to these demands but insisted that they must manage their own business affairs.Therefore, William Coffin, a son-in-law of Judge Lockwood, in his biography of him, states that the following plan was adopted: The state would convey in fee to the railroad company, the lands granted by the United States, and the company should at the same time convey all these lands, and all their other property, in trust to three trustees to be held by them, first, to secure the State in all its interests; second, to secure the payment of bonds issued by them to procure the funds needed for the construction of the road and third to protect the rights of all other parties interested.  The success of the plan depended upon the integrity and reputation of the trustees selected. “After much discussion the following men were selected; John Moore, a former state treasurer; Morris Ketchum of New York representing the railroad, and Judge Lockwood.  It was necessary for one of the trustees to live near Chicago. 

Neither of the other two trustees could, so this developed upon the Judge and he came to Batavia to fulfill this duty.  Until his death in 1874, he lived in the stone mansion now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Rodney H. Brandon.  Here he devoted the rest of his life to the details of this new vocation.Because he was resident trustee, he performed most of the work of the Board of Trustees.  They were authorized to sell and convey to the actual purchasers of land and to apply the proceeds to the construction of the railroad.  Judge Lockwood was responsible in seeing that certain restriction were observed as required by the Act of Incorporation.Now just a word about his earlier life.  Born in 1789 in the State of New York, he came to Illinois at the age of twenty-nine as a young lawyer in 1818, the year Illinois became a state.  He and several companions came by way of the Ohio River on a flat boat.  After arriving at Shawneetown, they walked overland to the state capitol, Kaskaskia, 120 miles distance. His rise in public esteem was rapid.  

In 1821 he was State's Attorney, then Secretary of State.  In 1823 he was Receiver of Public Moneys.  In 1824 he was elected an associate judge of the Supreme Court, a position he held until 1848. Besides these offices, he was a charter trustee of the State's institutions for the insane, deaf and dumb and blind, as well as President of the Board of Trustees of Illinois College.  He examined the three men for their licenses as lawyers; Lyman Trumbull, Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. William Coffin closes his biography of the Judge with the following paragraph: "Judge Lockwood was permitted to see the grand enterprises of his early life in a wonderful degree successful and rich in beneficial results - Illinois a free state - educational and benevolent institutions firmly established, and·the whole land most abundantly blessed by the God of our fathers ..."