Volume Nine

No. 1       



January, 1968



He held it always as a maxim, that History did not greatly serve . . . to the ordering of a man’s life.  For he counted it as, in certain ways, more effectual than Philosophy, which indeed instructs men with words; but History thrills them with examples and makes them partakers of things and times which are past.  - Gassendi in 'Life of Peiresc'.



SUNDAY, JANUARY 28, 1968 at 3 PM












Miss Northrup will illustrate her talk with her own slides. The Refreshment Committee is Mrs. Florence Joslyn, Miss Alice Storer and Mrs. Eldora Hoover, Miss Northrup is the former librarian of the High School. Her interesting subject covers mills run by wind power and water power.


This program will be preceded by the election of officers. The following slate is proposed by the Nominating Committee:



Vice President



Trustee for Two Years

Trustee for Two Years

Miss Eunice Shumway

Miss Ruth Northrup

Miss Joan Kane

Ralph C. Benson

Mrs. Victor E. Anderson

Harold Patterson





This is the time to review the past year and look ahead to the new one. In retrospect we can say that we have had four excellent programs with many participants. Our membership has increased so we know that there is genuine interest in Batavia’s past as well as the present and future. Our most urgent task is to find a place to store and display all the artifacts which we have, and may receive.


Since this is the Sesquicentennial Year for Illinois, we also must show our pride in this fine State.


In conclusion I personally wish to thank you for the fine spirit of helpfulness, which is an essential factor in our success.

Eunice Shumway

Our December meeting was built around the subject of Bells. The weather was beautiful and this brought out a crowd that filled every chair in the Center. The program included the Bell Ringers from the New England Congregational Church of Aurora directed by Rev. Drexel V. Mollison and a group of high school singers under the guidance of Mr. Elwood Willey. Bob Larson gave recordings of all five church bells of Batavia. Then Miss Erma Jeffery and John Gustafson spelled each other off in talking about the bells here, past and present. Mrs. Agnes Perrow and Wm. B. Benson had displays of old bells in the cases. The Board members served refreshments.


The whole town was shocked to hear of the sudden death of J. Harrold Blair on Monday, December 4th. He was president of our Society in 1965 and initiated the practice of having some form of music on our programs.  Harrold was a prominent soloist and sang the tenor role for years in Handel's Messiah when it was given here.  We will miss him.


We are grateful to our hardworking officers. They have given much time and effort to the organization.


We thank the Furnas Electric Co. for printing, folding and addressing our Newsletters.  


We also thank the Misses Viola McDowell and Harriet Chamberlain for stapling and stamping the same.


Another thank you goes to the Aurora Beacon News and its reporter, Mrs. Marge Holbrook, for publicity and coverage of history items about Batavia.


We are grateful to the following people who have given us mementos recently. They have also been thanked by letter.


Mr. Austin Runde for a map titled, "Chikagouland as the Indians Knew It," also for a copy of the Elgin Courier-News for June 25, 1936, containing the complete edition of the Kane County Centennial Programs.


Mrs. Laurie Carlson, Sr., for twelve old books.


Mr. Philip Talbot for framed portraits of nine former Batavia postmasters.


Mr. Ralph Moore for two photostatic copies of an Abraham Lincoln letter to Mr. T. C. Moore and two copies of the incorporation papers of the Village of Batavia.


Carl W. Johnson for a bridal photograph of his Father and Mother.


Mr. Ralph Schacht for eleven small photographs of buildings recently razed or burned in Batavia.


James Hanson for three silver spoons from the Anna Wagner Estate.


In my last newsletter, I asked you for names of other strawberry growers than those I had mentioned. You were most helpful.  Carl Harold called me and said that he thought Rev. Wm. Minium, a retired Methodist minister, had the largest strawberry patch in Batavia. This was on Church Street. Mrs. Pearl Ellis called and stated that her mother, Mrs. Montgomery, bought strawberries from a brother of the East Batavia School janitor, Claburn Turner.  He had a plot on Park Street.


Later I received a letter from Harry Strain now living in Santa Barbara, California.  When he lived here, he picked strawberries for F. E. Pearsall who lived on Batavia Avenue south of Batavia, north of the Moose building.


Don't forget the book Batavia: Past and Present.  It makes an interesting gift and only costs $1.50.  They are on sale at the Library and at the Batavia Insurance Agency.


We congratulate the Immanuel Lutheran Church on reaching their 85th anniversary.  On October 12th, 1882 the Church was organized.


Dues are due. See our Treasurer, Ralph Benson, or mail him $1.00 for dues.