Volume Five

No. 1

February, 1964



Never, perhaps, in our history has there existed a greater need for a spirit of loyalty and patriotism . . . that patriotism must begin at home and it must be based upon an understanding of our historic backgrounds.  The story of our development as a nation and the role each community and state has played in this development is a reservoir of inspiration and encouragement capable of toughening our fiber with stern resolve that democracy shall not perish from the earth. - Dr. S. K. Stevens, Penna. State



SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1964 at 3:00 P. M.







Paper read by Robert Phelps. This should be an interesting subject for all of us. What do you remember about Laurelwood, Mill Creek and Glenwood Parks? We had an excellent meeting on December 15, 1963 in the Civic Center. In the absence of our President, Oliver Freedlund, our Vice President, Neal Conde, president.  


The subject of the meeting, "The Story of the Batavia National Bank” was ably and fluently discussed by Earle W. Horton, a director of the bank. It was too bad that our attendance was so poor due to Christmas programs in some of the churches.


Here are your officers elected at this December meeting:


Mrs. Earl L. Judd

Bruce G. Paddock

Miss Joan Kane

Raymond J. Patzer

Mrs. Ben Limbaugh

Ansgar Carlson


Vice President


Treasurer pro tem

Trustee for two years

Trustee for two years



Carry-over Trustees:

Angelo D. Perna                                        

William A, Petit


Our society is saddened by the loss of three of our members recently.  Our sympathy goes out to the families of Mr. Walter Stone, Mr. Emil Benson and Mrs. Amy H. Moulding.


We have received gifts from the following donors since our last report:


Mrs. L. R. Hill, a bound volume of Harper's Weekly for 1864;

Mrs. Frances and Mrs. Margaret Benson, four copies of old Batavia newspapers;

Mrs. Platt, several dresses of the early 1900 vintage. - Mrs. Platt of Pinehurst, N. C. is the daughter of Mrs. Martha Van Nortwick Holbrook, who, in turn, was the daughter of Mrs. J. S. (Bina Totman) Van Nortwick.  Mrs. Strange, a cousin of Mrs. Platt, asked us if we would like them and of course we said most assuredly.  They are beautiful gowns, elaborately designed and all hand-sewn. They should go on display somewhere so that you can all see and admire them. We thank our out-going officers for 1963 for a job well done. A lot of work was accomplished, but there is a lot more to be done.


Won't you volunteer your help?

One thing that you can all do is to pay your 1964 dues now, and, if you are in arrears, to pay these dues too. We need every penny to run our society and to do things that should be done. We are interested in the financial drive of the Geneva Historical Society for their museum. They have now raised $10,000 toward this goal. Our booklet, “Then and Now," is still in the throes of being composed. It is a long job and must be done with infinite care. Pictures must be selected, companion photos must be taken, captions must be written and re-written, size and number of pages must be decided upon, paper quality, etc. must be discussed. Many hours of the committee's time has gone into this project and there is much yet to do. Walter Stone was 88 years old when he died recently.


In his youth he worked for Ed. McGuire in his cooperage north of where B. D. Price is today. Then he was a pilot on the steamboat, "City of Batavia," which used to ply between the W. Wilson Street bridge and Laurelwood Park.  However, he spent most of his life with the Challenge Mill Co. Some time ago we talked with him. Here are some of the things that he told us: "Before the days of electric street lights, the town was lighted with kerosene lamps on posts. A young man, named Charlie Harold, used to light them.  


He had a small mouse-colored pony and a light two-wheeled cart that he used. He would light one lamp and then drive as fast as he could to the next lamp and so on until he had made the circuit. He would fill the lamps and trim the wicks during the day." "George K. Pierce used to meet the trains on the CB&Q RR with a hack when passenger trains used to run from Turner Junction (West Chicago) to Aurora.  Many times theater troops would arrive and stay at the Revere House of the Howell Hotel on the site of the present Walt Supermarket.” It is interesting to note what was happening in the nation and in Batavia 100 years ago.  


It was the fourth year of a long, bloody and cruel war. At the beginning of the year, the South still thought they could win. When the spring campaign opened up, General Grant began his long, slow advance on Richmond and General Sherman started his march to Atlanta and the Sea. This was the year of a bitter presidential campaign. General McClellan, popular with his old soldiers, was running on the Democratic ticket and Abraham Lincoln was running for re-election on the Republican ticket.  Victories in the fall of 1864 gave Lincoln an overwhelming majority. Batavia voted for Lincoln.


In March of 1864, the First National Bank was organized with William Coffin as president and Henry C. Paddock as cashier (he was a relative of our vice president).  



This bank was liquidated in 1879, winding up its business under the U.S. banking law.


The Present First National Bank was organized November 1, 1891.


In October the present Masonic Lodge 404, AF & AM, was organized with Meredith Mallory as the first Worshipful Master.