August 18, 2022
Columns | Kendall County Now

Yesteryear for July 31, 2022: Looking back at August stories that captured headlines in the Ledger

Crossing Guard Ed Donnelly guides students across Madison Street (Route 34) at Jackson Street in downtown Oswego in 1957. (Photo provided by the Little White School Museum)

Compiled by Roger Matile and John Etheredge from articles published in the Ledger-Sentinel, Fox Valley Sentinel, Oswego Ledger and Kendall County Record.

August 2002

The Oswego Village Board moved a step closer to establishing commuter bus service for a proposed Metra Park-N-Ride facility on the village’s far west side. In a unanimous ballot, board members approved a resolution authorizing a service agreement with the Suburban Bus Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). Under terms of the agreement, the RTA would schedule a PACE bus to transport area Metra riders between the village’s Park-N-Ride facility at the northwest corner of Orchard and Mill roads to the downtown Aurora Transportation Center.

Montgomery Village Manager Anne Marie Gaura presented village board members with a revised “Top Projects 2002″ list. Among the many projects listed for the board’s consideration were: commercial business attraction, industrial business attraction, Metra station/Park-N-Ride, Orchard Road corridor study, Settlers Landing shopping center rehabilitation and village hall renovation.

August 1997

In an effort to improve pedestrian safety, the Illinois Department of Transportation installed signs on Washington Street (U.S. Route 34) near Main Street in downtown Oswego. The yellow signs warned motorists of pedestrians attempting to cross the four lanes of traffic on Washington Street. The signs were installed at the request of village officials. IDOT had widened the highway from two to four lanes a year earlier.

Blain’s Farm & Fleet announced it would construct a 134,000 square foot retail store on the north side of Route 30 in Montgomery.

Contractors for Lucent Technologies began tearing down the old Western Electric plant located along the west bank of the Fox River in Montgomery. During its peak of operation in the late 1970s, the massive plant had been the workplace for nearly 4,000 area residents.

Oswego officials met with representatives of Metra concerning the possible establishment of a commuter rail station in the village. The Metra representatives recommended the village petition the agency to have a feasibility study completed to determine the need and potential costs for the service.

August 1987

The City of Aurora’s growth plans were a matter of concern for Oswego School District Board members. City officials announced they had targeted more than 2,000 acres of undeveloped land east of Route 34 in the school district for future residential development. The announcement prompted school board members to agree to send a representative to the city’s plan commission meetings in an effort to better track the city’s growth.

The village of Montgomery became the first community in the lower Fox Valley area to launch a solid waste recycling program. The village board acted to implement the voluntary ‘blue bag’ program at the urging of a local citizens’ group, Montgomery Advocates for Reduction and Recycling (MAR).

Oswego School Board members were advised to prepare for an enrollment boom. School Superintendent Dr. Terry Tamblyn said the district’s enrollment by the year 2000 would likely range between two scenarios, one that projected an enrollment of 9,081 and another that predicted an enrollment of 11,859. A more modest growth scenario contained in the study projected enrollment to reach 8,457 by 2000.

August 1982

The Oswego Village Board was positioning itself to take on Pac Man, if necessary. The board voted to approve an ordinance that limited the number of video games in local businesses to 15. The board acted after receiving reports that a video parlor might open on Main Street.

August 1977

The Montgomery Village Board was studying the possible establishment of cable television service in the village. Ray Kozloski, a board member, said he believed cable could be offered in the village if Oswego and the Boulder Hill subdivision also signed up for the service.

August 1972

Kendall County Young Republicans were doing their part to help re-elect President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew. The organization staged a “Target ‘72 Campaign Blitz” of the Boulder Hill Subdivision Aug. 19.

August 1962

“The first partial results of the Federal Fallout Shelter Survey show that 182 shelter spaces may be available in the larger buildings of Oswego and NaAuSay townships,” Clyde Phillips, director of the Kendall County Civil Defense Agency told the Ledger. As part of the survey, local civil defense officials had gone door-to-door in the two townships seeking out buildings which might offer protection from radiation fallout from a nuclear blast.

August 1957

The Ledger reported Aug. 8: “The most recent special census taken in the village of Oswego showed a population of 1,381, up from the 1950 count of 1,220 residents. The door-to-door census counted everyone living in Oswego as of July 30, 1957.”

August 1952

The Ledger reported the Oswego Village Board voted to install a manually-operated flasher-type school traffic signal light at the corner of Madison (Route 34) and Jackson streets to allow students to safely cross the street.

August 1942

The Chicago’s Burlington and Quincy Railroad’s famous “Denver Zephyr,” made a rare trip down the CB&Q’s Fox River branch line through Kendall County. The Record reported: “The Denver Zephyer, really a stranger on the Fox River branch of the Burlington, made an unexpected call last Wednesday evening. The cause was a derailment of a ditching machine on the Burlington’s main line.”

A headline in the Record read: “BLACKOUT WARNING” The story under the headline read: “The United States Army has ordered a test blackout to be held Aug. 12, 1942 from 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Central War Time, covering all northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and Michigan. No person shall be upon the streets except those on duty and wearing the badge of Civilian Defense. All others remain indoors. No telephones are to be used during the blackout.”

August 1932

As the Great Depression continued, many financially struggling Kendall County families were looking to the county and township government for assistance. The Record reported from Yorkville: “The county board of supervisors has made a formal request to the Illinois Emergency Relief commission for a minimum of $2,000 to carry on necessary relief in Kendall county, and particularly Little Rock township (Plano) during the months of August and September.”

August 1922

Record Publisher H.R. Marshall commented: “We wonder if you were as much surprised as we were when the Hon. Ira C. Copley of Aurora, the president of the Western United Gas & Electric Company, in a public statement acknowledged that the Fox River was being polluted by the refuse which he was permitting his company to dump into the stream. The announcement of the gas company will bring joy to the lovers of fishing and swimming and Mr. Copley will be acclaimed a champion, even through it took him a long time to get his harness on. But this company is not the only one which is a menace. All the way up the river there are cities, the refuse and sewage from which are being dumped indiscriminately into the Fox and adding filth to the once pretty river.”

August 1887

“The town was subjected to a double dose of street music one forenoon last week,” the Record’s Oswego correspondent wrote on Aug. 3, 1887. “One band being a combine of a bag-pipe and some other kind of pipes; the other a hand organ with a monkey for the treasurer. The monkey performed his business very cute; the followers of Darwin have no cause to blush.”

August 1867

The Record reported this incident in Oswego Aug. 1: “Last Friday a team and wagon load of coal backed off the Oswego bridge and one of the horses was killed and the other badly injured. The wagon was broken to pieces. The driver had driven up to the approach of the bridge and the horses were just on the bank when he stopped them for some purpose. The horse could not hold the load and went over the abutment.”

John Etheredge

John Etheredge

Editor of the Record Newspapers and, John's career as a journalist in Kendall County began in 1981. Over the years his news beats have included county government, municipal government, school boards, police and more. He also writes editorials on local issues and the weekly Kendall County Government Newsletter.