Volume Twenty-Nine

No. 3  

October 1988




The Annual Meeting of the Society will be a Christmas Pot Luck Dinner as has been the custom in recent years.  


Mark your calendars!


Date and Time:           Sunday, December 4, 1988 at 5:00 p.m.

Place:                        Bethany Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.

Dinner:                      Bring a dish to pass and your own table service.  

                                 Meat, rolls and coffee will be furnished.




The business meeting will include a presentation and vote on adoption of new By-Laws and the election of officers and trustees for the·coming year. 


The By-Laws Committee composed of Atty. Tom Mair, Trustee Ray Anderson, and Pres. Jim Hanson have prepared the proposed By-Laws to better meet present-day needs and current practices and procedures.


The Board will have reviewed the proposal. Copies to read will be available at the Museum after Nov. 3rd.  Members requiring a copy should write the Society making a request.


Copies will be available at the Dec. 4th meeting.





Slides of the moving of the Gunzenhauser gazebo will be shown followed by a program of Christmas music.

Our Treasurer will be on hand to collect 1989 dues.  


Also, copies of our two books, HISTORIC BATAVIA and BATAVIA: 1833-1983 will be available.  


These make nice Christmas presents and members are being offered a 20% discount on the purchase of these books. See details on the discount on page 7 of this Newsletter.




Nov. 26 and 27        


The Chamber of Commerce's "Home for Christmas” house walk with proceeds to benefit the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry. Watch the newspapers for details.


Feb. 12, 1989          


ACCESS Committee dinner/theater program at the Lincoln Inn starting at 5:00 p.m. The program is entitled, "An Evening with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln."





The second part on neighborhood stores and deliveries in the last issue of the Newsletter was intended to be the end of that topic.  


However, I ran across the following item regarding milk deliveries that I thought merited being shared. It certainly pre-dates my memories of Batavia Dairy's horse-drawn wagons."Abraham Lund lived in a house just south of the West Batavia Cemetery. In fact, he had to drive through the cemetery to get to his house and barn. In this barn he had a cow or two and it was the selling of milk from these cows that sustained him, that gave him what little money he needed. He used to drive around his route in a one horse buggy or wagon with a small milk can full of milk in front of the seat with a long-handled ladle in the can and hooked over the top edge. When he came to the home of a customer, he would ring a small hand bell.


The housewife, or one of the children, would come out of the house bearing a pitcher. Mr. Lund would fill it from the ladle and hand it back to his customer and receive the proper change in payment or a little blue ticket with the words on it, 'Good for one pint (or quart) of milk.' Then he would drive on to the next customer. Sterilized, homogenized? Of course not. Mr. Lund wouldn't have known what those words meant."


In the last article, I mentioned the cards placed in the window to inform the iceman how much ice was needed. Of course, the dairies also had cards on which the orders were marked for the milkman. If you ever run across either of these types of cards far any Batavia companies, a donation of such cards to the Museum would be most welcomed!


Speaking of "cards" to be seen from the street reminds me of one other common one in earlier years. Remember the red "QUARANTINE" signs that were tacked to the front of the house when someone (usually a child) had one of the communicable diseases? The medical discoveries and development of "shots" to protect from most such diseases have made such warnings obsolete today.


That is another type of sign I would like to see discovered and donated to our Museum.



Several of our artifacts are in need of repair. I am pleased to report that Mr. Wiberg is repairing the old spinning wheel and this winter Bob Hawse will repair the two unique model windmills. Tom Mair has taken on the responsibility to raise the funds and contract for fixing the pneumatic clock so it will operate again as it did for years in Batavia High School (now the Junior High)



A 1963 Newsletter listed the placing of a marker on E. Wilson St. opposite the site of the Christopher Payne Cabin as a "project in the offing." Now, 25 years later, the project is underway. Thanks to the cooperation and assistance and donations of the City Council for using the right-of-way, Bob Popeck for securing fill, Frank Saupp, Jr. for clearing the site, Phil Elfstrom for donating a stone, and Terry Carlson of St. Charles Memorial Works for working on the plaque, a marker will be in place this year. 





Those of us living in Batavia were able to read Tom Mair's articles related to the "County Farm" in the September issues of the Windmill News. It housed both the insane and the poor of the county for many years. One such "poor" person in Batavia (and probably a number of others) was not sent to the County Farm.


Instead, most likely due to her young age, she was indentured to a local resident.  Below is a copy of this agreement with only the name of the child changed to protect her identity. This was an answer 125 years ago to present-day "foster homes."




This indenture made and entered into on the first day of March A.D. 1864 by and between Wallace Crawford, Overseer of the Poor of the Town of Batavia in the County of Kane for the year 1864 of the first part and William Cherry of said Town of the second part Witnesseth: Whereas it hath been made to appear to said Overseer of the Poor that Elizabeth Williams is a minor child whose Mother is dead and is disowned by her Father and has become chargeable to the Town as having a lawful residence therein.


Therefore the said Overseer of the Poor by virtue and conformity to the law in such case made and provided hath bound the said Elizabeth Williams who is now the age of one year seven months and twenty days to the said William Cherry to dwell with and serve said William Cherry from the date hereof until the said Elizabeth Williams shall have attained the age of eighteen years which will be on the nineteenth day of July 1880.  


And it is hereby agreed and understood that the said Elizabeth Williams shall faithfully serve the said William Cherry during the said term and shall obey all his lawful and reasonable commands that she will not willingly or suffer to be done any harm or damage to the goods, property or interests of the said master but that she shall in all things during the said term demean and behave herself as a good and faithful child to her said master.  


And that said, William Cherry doth on his part hereby convenant and agree in consideration of the undertaking and binding aforesaid to teach and instruct the said Elizabeth Williams or cause her to be well and sufficiently taught and instructed in some trade or profession by which she may obtain a livelihood, that he will furnish and provide or cause to be furnished and provided unto the said Elizabeth Williams meat, drink, lodging and suitable and proper clothing in sickness and in health and medicine and medical attendance and nursing in sickness during said term.  


And that said, William Cherry further covenants and agrees that he will teach or cause to be taught the said Elizabeth Williams to read and write and the general rules of arithmetic and at the expiration of said term will pay to her the said Elizabeth Williams the sum of Fifty ($50) dollars, a new Bible and two complete suits of new wearing apparel.


In witness whereof the said parties have hereunto set their hands and seals on the day and year first above written.


Wallace Crawford (signed)
Overseer of the Poor of the town of Batavia
William E. Cherry (signed)




In June, the Batavia Police Dept. welcomed its first female officer.  


Officer Colette Jung came to Batavia with experience as an officer in Kirksville, Missouri and as a security officer at St. Louis University.  


She was one of the thirty-two applicants out of 200 who qualified for the eligibility list after taking all of the tests required of an officer.  


Immediately upon appointment she spent 10 weeks of intensive training at the Illinois Police Training Institute and receives additional "on the job" training with department personnel. In April, 1863, Allen Merrill had been elected constable for the "Town of Batavia," a different method of becoming a law enforcement officer compared to that of Officer Jung.  


Below is the oath of office required of Constable Merrill upon assuming his duties. The first paragraph of his oath of office and the oath taken by Officer Jung were no doubt somewhat similar in content, but she would have been as surprised to find a part of her oath to include the second paragraph of Constable Merrill's as the people in 1863 would have been to see a female officer.




State of Illinois Kane County I, Allen N. Merrill, having been elected to the office of Constable in the Town of Batavia in the County of Kane aforesaid, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and of the State of Illinois, and that I will according to the best of my judgment, skill and ability, diligently, faithfully and impartially perform all the duties enjoined on me by the virtue of my said office.


And I do also solemnly swear that I. have not fought a duel, nor sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which might have been the death of either party, nor been a second to either party, nor in any manner aided or assisted in such a duel, nor been knowingly the bearer of such challenge or acceptance, since the adoption of the Constitution, and that I will not be so engaged or concerned, directly or indirectly, in or about any such duel, during my continuance in office, So help me God. Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 14th day of April, 1863.




A. N. Merrill (signature)

C. H. Brown (signature)
Justice of the Peace




1.  Which existing business building originally have a third floor on which there was a hall with a stage and also, at one time, was used for roller skating?


2.  In what year did a Batavia resident first have a "horseless carriage"?


3.  Where was Batavia's first cemetery located?  





Left to right:  


Use unknown.  Previously had been a saloon and became the Andrew Matson saloon in 1910. However, in 1908-1909 Batavia was voted "dry."


John Larson's shoe store. Walter Johnson recalls how narrow it was --- a person could barely get through! Mr. Larson also did shoe repairs.


Sing Lee's laundry.


Korte & Opperman Garage downstairs. Upstairs was the Norden Soner Hall and the Bricklayer's Hall. The garage was operated later by a Mr. Null, a Mr. Foster and Mr. Anderson, Bob Guy. Ray Johnson, and Larry Favoright (a member of the Society.)


Charles Pomp's Blacksmith Shop.


Artlip & Gillikson's Livery. A few years later it changed to Wheelock & Sons Avenue Livery.


Knights of Pythias Building with the meeting hall upstairs. In the same building were Henry Tincknell, tailor; and the Exchange (a second-hand store) operated by Albert Davis. The basement may have had Schneider's bowling alley as it was located there definitely a few years later.


Henry Wenberg's home and his Batavia Greenhouse Company.


With the demolition of the K.P. Building to make way for the Gary-Wheaton Bank's new drive-in facility, the entire block along the east side of Batavia Avenue has now changed. The only building remaining on the entire square block which dates to 1908 and before is the Martin Goers home on the southeast corner, one of Batavia's historic homes.




1. The building which today houses Johnson's Drug Store and Dr. Casillas' foot clinic was known at one time as the Dorn Block and had a meeting hall, and for a time, a roller rink, on a third floor. After a fire, that floor was not replaced.


2. In 1895, Edwin Meredith of Batavia built a "horseless carriage". He planned to enter it in what may have been the first auto race in the country, a race from Chicago to Milwaukee. Unfortunately, he headed for Chicago but the car did not make it.


3. Batavia's first cemetery was located on the N.E. corner of Washington Ave. and Church St. Eventually, when the East Side Cemetery was developed, all the graves were moved and the property sold for building. 


100 YEARS AGO: 1888


The year 1888 was one of church building for Batavia. Both the First Methodist Church and Bethany Lutheran Church were dedicated that year and the cornerstones laid for the First Baptist Church and an original Immanuel Lutheran Church (which was later replaced by the one on Webster St.)


Some items from the "Geneva Patrol" newspaper for that year regarding Batavia included the following:


Jan. 13           

School was closed Thursday afternoon as a token of respect for Mrs. McWayne who died Tuesday night. Two of her daughters have taught for many years in the Batavia public schools.


Feb. 10          

The revival meetings have been most phenomenal and the interest and feeling are unabated.  Batavia has not experienced such an awakening in many years, if indeed at all. There have been upward of 100 conversions.  It has become almost useless for merchants to keep their stores open after 7 o'clock as the streets are deserted and the meetings crowded.


Mar. 2             

Thomas Meredith, whose fight against the ravages of disease for the past weeks and months has been so closely watched by all, yielded the palm to the grim destroyer Tuesday morning.


June 29         

Tuesday evening Ed Highland got into a row in Kinblade's saloon and smashed in several windows and a door, besides attempting, as we understand, to smash Kinblade, whom he attacked after they left the saloon. The marshall burned some powder in attempting to stop Highland, who did not wish to surrender and who made good his escape.


July 13           

The first sale of the Batavia Horse Market Association occurs tomorrow. We believe this will be a great benefit to horse raisers in this part of the country.




Six additional life memberships have been purchased since July 1st making a total of 10 for the year.


New life members include:


Batavia Savings & Loan;


Allen Benson of San Jose, CA;


Old Second National Bank-Batavia Facility;


the Holmstad;


Walter Johnson of Geneva;


and Ray Wolcott of Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  


There have been 30 new Society members this year. We welcome them and trust they will find their membership worthwile.




Dues received after October 31st will be credited toward membership for 1989. Dues for individuals remain the same.  


The Board of Directors recently created a new category for businesses and institutions with annual dues of $10 and life memberships for $100. Prompt payment of your 1989 dues will be appreciated.


It helps with our record keeping and in maintaining an accurate mailing list for the Newsletter.  


See the back page for a form to use when mailing your 1989 dues or for use in giving gift memberships. Dues may also be paid at the annual meeting on Dec. 4th.




The Board of Directors voted to offer all current members of the Society a 20% discount on the purchase of our two books on Batavia's history: HISTORIC BATAVIA by John Gustafson and Jeffrey Schielke and BATAVIA: 1833-1983 by Roberta Campbell.  


These books make excellent Christmas gifts and is an easy way to solve some of your holiday shopping problems! To take advantage of this offer, the books must be purchased between November 1st and December 11th. Take the order form below to the Depot Museum to purchase the books you want.  


Museum hours are 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  


Books will be available also at the Annual Meeting December 4th.


If you cannot get to the Museum, books will be mailed to you upon receipt of the order form and payment, but an additional $1.25 per book will be required to cover postage and handling. As we do not have regular secretarial help, please pick up your orders at the Museum or meeting if at all possible---it will save you money and help us out greatly!


No discounts will be given without use of the order form below which has your mailing label on the back. Be sure to bring (or mail) it when getting books!






Co-Pres.:             Jim and Dot Hanson
Co-Vice Pres.:       Bob and Marilyn Phelps
Treasurer:            Elliott Lundberg
Recording Sect:    May Lundberg
Corres. Sect.:       Georgene Kauth
Trustees:             Ray Anderson
                          Bob Cox
                          Ed LaMorte
                          Bob Popeck
                          Bill Wood

Historian:             Bill Wood