March 22, 2023
Columns | Kendall County Now

Yesteryear: Looking back at stories that captured headlines in the Ledger for February 2023

Several thousand homes had already been built in the Boulder Hill subdivision when this photo was taken of a sign promoting the unincorporated development on Route 30 in 1975.

Compiled by Roger Matile and John Etheredge from articles published in the Ledger-Sentinel, Fox Valley Sentinel, Oswego Ledger and the Kendall County Record, 1864 to present; and historical information provided by the village of Montgomery.

February 2003

Oswego School District 308 Board members voted to approve the construction of a 600 student elementary school on a site west of the Fox River in the village of Montgomery.

It took awhile, but Kendall County joined the ranks of government agencies to be operating a website. County Clerk Paul Anderson announced he planned to post voter registration and election results on the site.

Brad Hahn, a spokesman at U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert’s Batavia district office, confirmed a $397.4 billion spending bill passed by Congress included a $5 million local appropriation to Metra to complete a study examining the feasibility of extending commuter rail service into Kendall County.

February 1998

Federal law enforcement authorities arrested an Oswego man on child pornography charges. Kendall County State’s Attorney Tim McCann confirmed the arrest was the third of its kind in the Oswego-Boulder Hill area during the past year. McCann said the three cases were un-related and he was puzzled why there would be so many in such a close geographic area. “... it is just a strange coincidence,” McCann told the Ledger-Sentinel.

A large group of Montgomery residents attended a village board meeting to voice opposition to plans for the proposed Arbor Ridge Subdivision along the north side of Montgomery Road. Residents expressed concern over the project’s impact on stormwater drainage in the vicinity of Sherman Avenue north of the site, and the added burden it would place on local schools.

Kendall County’s new $7 million courthouse in Yorkville opened.

A plan to construct a Walgreens drug store at the corner of Douglas Road and Seasons Ridge Boulevard in Montgomery was endorsed by the village plan commission.

February 1993

A 16-year-old Oswego High School student was taken to Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora after being stabbed in the abdomen by another student in a hallway at the school during a passing period. The incident shocked the community and prompted school officials to conduct a special forum on violence three weeks later.

Seeking to stop a local sports bar from staging lingerie shows, the Oswego Village Board unanimously adopted an ordinance barring such shows, lingerie raffles, and wet t-shirt contests. The ordinance applied only to local businesses that held village liquor licenses. “I know sex sells, but we don’t need it in Oswego,” commented Village President Richard Saletri.

In two split ballots, the Kendall County Board voted to sell $4.5 million in bonds and authorized the construction of a new courthouse building in Yorkville to replace the county’s 129 year-old courthouse. Board members who cast negative ballots on the two motions sought unsuccessfully to first seek the views of county residents on the project through an advisory referendum.

Village of Montgomery officials announced they would seek a federal grant as part of a long-range effort to secure the development of a Metra commuter rail station on the site of the former Moneer stockyards along the east side of Ill. Route 31, north of Webster Street. A long-range study completed by Metra and released several months earlier had identified the property as a potential future station site.

February 1988

The Oswego Village Board passed a resolution urging the Illinois Department of Transportation to take “immediate action” to widen Route 34 between Aurora Road in Naperville to Route 71 in Oswego from two to four lanes. Noting the increasing traffic on the busy highway, Jim Detzler, Oswego village president, predicted driving on the highway would be “miserable” within a few years if the extra lanes weren’t soon constructed.

Kendall County Sheriff Richard Randall reported the county police chief’s association was supportive of a plan to study the possible implementation of a county-wide 911 emergency telephone system.

February 1983

Three men who declined to give their full names told the Boulder Hill Civic Association they were patrolling the unincorporated subdivision at the direction of the Kendall County Sheriff’s Department. The members of the department’s “Citizens’ Radio Patrol” said they would not reveal their last names because they had children in local schools and other family members who might be harassed because of their clandestine law enforcement activities.

February 1973

Chicago Bears’ famed middle linebacker Dick Butkus was the featured guest at the opening of the Mr. Value Food Store at Montgomery and Douglas roads in Montgomery. Bears fans lined up at the store to greet Butkus and get his autograph, the Oswego Ledger reported. The Bears, coached by Abe Gibron, had finished the 1972 season with a record 4-9-1.

February 1968

The Waubonsee Community College Board approved the purchase of the 183.5 acre Huntoon Riding Academy along the east side of Route 47 north of Sugar Grove as the site of the college’s proposed new permanent campus. Purchase price for the property was $330,300, or $1,800 per acre.

February 1963

The Oswego Council of Churches was working with the Aurora Council of Churches to organize a religious census for the purpose of discovering the un-churched and to try to relate them to a church in the community. Census workers were scheduled to make brief calls on residents Feb. 17.

February 1958

In two separate 4-3 votes before an estimated 60 to 70 local residents, the Oswego Grade School District Board of Education defeated a motion to start a kindergarten program in the district for the 1958-59 school year and canceled its interschool sports program effective with the start of the next school year.

The Ledger reported the Boulder Hill Neighborhood Church of the Brethren held a dedication ceremony Feb. 16 for their temporary church at Bereman and Briarcliff roads. The first service was held in the new church on Oct. 13, 1957.

February 1953

In his weekly editorial, Ledger editor Ford Lippold reminded readers that anonymous letters sent to the newspaper would be “treated with a short trip to the wastebasket.” He added, “Letters lambasting the editorial policy of the paper are welcome, but it is doubtful whether any invective, however abusive, will discourage such editorials.”

February 1948

The Record’s Oswego correspondent reported: “At the present time, there is a serious epidemic of measles in the Oswego public schools. Also, there are several cases of chicken pox. Earlier this year, the school had an epidemic of whooping cough.”

February 1938

“Many are ill with mumps, grippe, and bad colds. Below zero weather Monday morning--brrrrr!,” the Record reported.

The Record announced: “The Hot Shot minstrel, produced by the band mothers of Oswego and directed by Gale Thomas of Aurora, will be given in the Oswego gymnasium Friday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m.”

February 1933

Another Record news item: “Work has begun on the new pavement connecting Oswego and Naperville, the workmen starting Monday leveling a hill near the Cob Pearce farm.” (The road is now Ogden Avenue/Route 34)

February 1923

Transportation upgrades were in the news in February 1923. On Feb. 21, the Record reported: “Surveying is being done of the Wormley road for a concrete highway.” The new road would later be designated Route 31.

February 1873

The Record’s Oswego correspondent reported: “Judge Parks of Aurora delivered a forcible speech last Saturday evening at a public meeting of the temperance camp. He took strong grounds against the traffic; he favored the enforcement of temperance and Sunday laws, the instituting of inebriate asylums. He counseled total abstinence. John Chapman and Charles Avery also made short addresses, after which the camp went into executive session with closed doors. Another open meeting will be held next Saturday evening, at which Irus Coy of Bristol is to be the orator.”

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.