Local News

State genealogical society honors Oswego historian, columnist with service award

The Illinois State Genealogical Society presented their Community Service Award to Oswego resident Roger Matile at their annual meeting Oct. 17.

Matile was nominated for the award by Jean Woolley Kent, a member of the board of the Oswegoland Heritage Association. She also serves on the board of the Fox Valley Genealogical Society and is a member of the Illinois Genealogical Society.

The ISGS’s Community Service Award is given annually to an individual, company, or institution for service or contributions to genealogy. Nominations may be made by local genealogical or historical societies.

The society noted Matile’s accomplishments included:

*Serving as volunteer director at the Little White School Museum since 1994. He helped coordinate first organization of the museum’s collections, wrote the museum’s collections policies and procedures, and created the museum’s archives and artifacts cataloging database.

*He volunteers an average of 50 hours per month at the museum cataloging and accessioning donation of artifacts, archival materials, and photographs. He also assists researchers of all types in using the museum’s collections.

*In 2017, he led the complete renovation of the Little White School Museum’s gallery including writing the content for exhibit labels and scripts for video presentations as part of the museum’s core exhibit.

*He was elected to Oswegoland Heritage Association’s first board of directors in 1976. He served as president for two years and continues to serve on the board of directors.

*Matile is the creator of the “History on the Fox” blog, and edits the Oswegoland Heritage Association’s newsletter, “The Bell Tower.” He also contributes to the Association’s “Occasional Papers in Local History” series, and writes a local history column, “Reflections,” for theOswego Ledger.

*He helped design, and then edited, and co-wrote150 Years Along the Fox: The History of Oswego Township, Illinois, and authoredBy Trace and Trail: the Stagecoach Era in Northern Illinois andOswego Township, a photographic history.

“I really consider this award more a tribute to the Oswegoland Heritage Association’s dedication to preserving local history by providing the Little White School Museum with the resources to help so many people research their family histories,” Matile said. “Nor would it have happened without the strong support of the Oswegoland Park District that has been the heritage association’s faithful partner in preserving the history of the Oswego area since 1976.”

Matile is a lifelong resident of the Oswego area–he and his wife are both 1964 graduates of Oswego High School. He retired in 2008 as editor of Oswego’s Ledger-Sentinel, where he also wrote a weekly local history column, “Reflections,” which continues to appear twice monthly in the Oswego Ledger and the Kendall County, Plano and Sandwich Records.