Volume Eight

No. 3

 

                                                                                                         

AUGUST, 1967

Published by the BATAVIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Prepared by John A. Gustafson

 


Christian society is like a bundle or sticks laid together whereof one kindles another.  Solitary men have fewest provocations to evil but again fewest incitations to good.  So much as doing good is better than not doing evil will I account Christian good fellowship better than a hermitish and melancholy solitariness.

- Joseph Hall

 

NEXT MEETING

(At the invitation of the Congregational Church)

SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 1967 at 9:30 AM

IN THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF BATAVIA

 

PROGRAM

THE CHURCH OF YESTERYEAR

 

The minister, Rev. Robert Bond, has been invited by the National United Church of Christ to attend a "Centers of Renewal" tour as a leader.  He will tour the countries of England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and France during the month of August.  The Church has granted this request. Therefore the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses has planned August as Anniversary Month.

 

As you will note in the following outline of its history, this Church was founded back in 1835 and was the first church in Kane County, so the Batavia Historical Society thought their members might like to know this and to attend this meeting if possible.

 

There will be a collection of mementos, church-wise and otherwise on display in the ambulatory and class-rooms.  Anyone having anything appropriate to display, please call Mrs. George France, 879-7658.  She will appreciate your helpfulness.

 

 


Our May meeting was well attended, Mr. K. E. Williams of Aurora showed colored slides of wild flowers.  His pictures were excellent and he was well qualified as a speaker on this subject.  He has taken photographs of wild flowers for years as a hobby, and during that period, has taken hundreds of slides.  Refreshments were served following the program.

 

 

Since our last listing in May, we have received mementos from Mrs. Maude Duncan, Mr. Raymond J. Bristow, Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Phillips, and Mr. Bert L. Hyde.  We thank these people for their thoughtfulness.

 

We received a long letter from our member and society photographer, Mrs. Pauline Campbell, telling about her work and describing her home on the island of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Her address is: Mrs. Pauline Campbell Box 866, Frederiksted St. Croix, U. S., V. I. 00840


OUTLINE OF THE HISTORY OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH 

 

Aug. 8 and 9,1835 Organized as the "Church of the Big and Little Woods," Presbyterian in government, in the log cabin of Thompson Paxton, six miles southeast of Batavia.  Fourteen members from five families, under the guidance or two missionaries, Rev. N. C. Clark and Rev. R. W. Gridley, formed the nucleus of the church.
Aug. 1, 1840 "It was considered expedient to have the center of operations at Batavia."  A church, 24 ft. by 32 ft. costing $401.00, was built where Hubbard's Home Furnishings now stands.  This was dedicated on January 29th, 1841.
Mar. 7, 1843 Name of the church was changed to the First Presbyterian Church of Batavia.
Sept. 2, 1843 Church voted to change the government of the church from Presbyterian to Congregational.
Sept. 1, 1856 The church membership kept increasing and soon outgrew the first edifice, and so "it was considered feasible" to build again.  In 1855 and 1856 the present structure was erected and dedicated on September 1st, 1856.
Nov. 26, 1865 Audience room was lighted for the first time with bracket kerosene lamps, and a few years later, with chandeliers.
June 1, 1867 A pipe organ, costing $1100.00, was installed in the gallery.
1871 This pipe organ was sold to an Aurora church and a larger one was purchased for $2400.00.  The church building was thoroughly renovated, the recess at the rear of the ‘pulpit’ was built and the bell was installed.
July, 1877 The steeple fell during a high wind partly destroying Miss Rockwell's home to the south.
Jan. 4, 1881 The first parsonage was purchased.
1891 Electric lights were installed.
1899 The stained glass windows were installed.
June, 1935 The centennial of the church organization was celebrated.
Apr. 24, 1949 The present organ and chancel were dedicated.
October, 1956 The centennia1 of the present church edifice was celebrated.
Jan. 16, 1966 The Educational Unit was dedicated.

 

 


Six months or so before Bill Bowron died, he came out to see me, lamenting that Batavia had no street named for Abraham Lincoln. He was a great admirer of Lincoln and had a keen student of him, saying it was a great shame that we had so slighted the "Greatest American."  So it seems fitting that when one of the "Washingtons" had to be changed for clarity and to avoid confusion, the name Lincoln Street was substituted.

 

 

We are making plans now to celebrate the Illinois Sesquicentennial with a program early in 1968.


 

 

Benefits of membership in the Illinois State Historical Society:

 

A subscription to the Dispatch, the Society's newsletter.

 

Books and pamphlets published from time to time by the Society.

 

Invitations to two meetings each year which include historical programs and tours of historic sites in various areas of the state.

 

The satisfaction of knowing that your dues help to support the program of the only statewide organization dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of our state's dramatic past,

 

Individual member dues $5.00 annually. Mail to Illinois State Historical SocietyCentennial BuildingSpringfield, Illinois 62706.


 

Our member, Mrs. Agnes Perrow of West Chicago, has just completed her teaching career, forty-two years of devoted work in schools in and around West Chicago. Now she will devote her time to a number of activities and some well-earned travel.  We congratulate her on a job well done.

 

What has happened to the old store signs? "The wooden Indians in front of the cigar stores; the clock signs with the hands set at 8:18 over the jewelry stores; the wooden boots over the shoe stores; the apothecary jars in the drug stores; the beautiful white horse, full size as I remember it, that was in Quinn Brothers harness shop?  The only signs left that I can recollect are the striped poles designating the barber shops.  The use of these signs goes way back in history when the barbers acted as doctors and bled their patients for all manner of diseases. Then do you remember the beautiful colored picture of Custer's Last Fight that was in the saloon window on Batavia Avenue? For some reason I liked that picture and used to look at it surreptitiously as I went to and from school. There was a charm about these old fashioned signs that the modern neon signs don't have.

 

This would be an excellent time for someone to write an up-to-date history of Kane County.  The old histories are too big and bulky - what we need is a concise and well written history, like the history of DeKalb County.