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

Metra commuters arrive on the platform from Chicago at Fox River Grove on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

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

June 1998

The Oswegoland Park District found itself in the middle of an ongoing annexation struggle between the villages of Montgomery and Oswego. The park district had received requests from both villages to annex park district-owned land along the east bank of the Fox River. The two villages were seeking to annex the Boulder Hill Market area at Route 25 and Boulder Hill Pass. But both first needed the park district’s consent to annex the river bank property before they could legally annex the Boulder Hill Market.

In other park district news, hundreds of area residents turned out when the new Civic Center Aquatic Park officially opened on Ashlawn Avenue in Oswego. A $2 million renovation had transformed the old pool into an aquatic center.

June 1993

About 30 Montgomery and Boulder Hill residents presented petitions to the Oswego Public Library District Board asking the board to enlarge and offer additional services at the storefront branch library at the Douglas Square shopping center at U.S. Route 30 and Douglas Road in Oswego. The petitions were signed by 1,100 residents of the village and Boulder Hill.

The Oswego Village Board and Oswego SD308 Board of Education approved an agreement creating the full-time position of a police liaison officer at Oswego High School. The agreement was approved as the school district completed what school officials acknowledged was a difficult year for discipline cases at the high school which included a stabbing in February. “It’s not the old Oswego, back when you could call some kid’s dad and he would come and get him. Nowadays, they’ll answer you with another volley of bullets,” said Don Dahm, a village board member.

A long-range plan to develop a Metra commuter rail station along the Burlington Northern main line tracks north of Webster Street in Montgomery was endorsed by the village’s plan commission. A Metra official had told the Ledger-Sentinel two months earlier the agency could begin work on the station between 1995 and 1999. The project, the official said, was a “matter of time and money.”

The Kendall County Forest Preserve District Board voted to hire an engineering firm to design the proposed extension of the Fox River Trail linking Montgomery and Oswego.

June 1988

In a 4-2 vote, the Oswego Village Board approved plans for the construction of the Townes Crossing shopping center at the southeast corner of Route 30 and Douglas Road in the village. Board members Robert Zielke and Mary Distler cast the two negative ballots on the motion citing their concerns over location of the center’s primary entrance drive on Douglas Road just 450 feet south of Route 30. The two officials maintained the entrance should have been located further south, opposite Fernwood Road.

June 1983

The village of Oswego celebrated its sesquicentennial by expanding the annual Oswego Days community celebration to a week-long event.

June 1973

A ministerial student’s request for permission to work as a street preacher in downtown Oswego for the summer months was granted by the Oswego Village Board on a “temporary basis.” The student, who was sponsored by the Oswego Baptist Church, told the board he would not use loudspeakers and would speak from locations that would not interfere with customers entering and leaving downtown stores.

Pedestrian safety on the Mill Street bridge in Montgomery was a concern for village board members. The board received a letter from Illinois Department of Transportation indicating a chain link fence was not necessary on the bridge deck to help protect pedestrians.

June 1968

Attendance for Oswegoland Park District summer playground programs topped 4,700 youths during the program’s first week, a new all-time record, park district officials announced.

In his weekly column in the Ledger, State Sen. Robert Mitchler, R-Oswego, reported the dual issues of rising crime and gun control were, in his opinion, an even greater concern to Illinois residents than the ongoing war in Vietnam. Further fueling the concern over guns, Mitchler wrote, was the assassination of Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy a few days earlier in Los Angeles. “We have a problem and we must find the answer,” Mitchler wrote.

Chuck Shuler, owner of Shuler’s Drugstore in Oswego, announced he expected work would be completed in October on his family’s new, modern store at Main and Jackson streets. The drugstore had been operating since 1937 in a storefront at 68 Main Street.

June 1963

The Montgomery Village Board voted unanimously to authorize the village president and clerk to sign the necessary papers granting the village permanent rights to the water tower at the Armour (Dial) site on the village’s west side.

The Boulder Hill Civic Association issued a reminder in the Ledger to Boulder Hill residents that they were residing in an unincorporated community. “The township and county officials are the ones to whom we in Boulder Hill must look to for our government services and which whom we should cooperate,” the reminder read.

The Ledger also reported Kendall County expected to lose an undetermined amount of state vehicle license fee revenue due to many Boulder Hill residents incorrectly identifying themselves as residents of Kane County on their license application forms.

June 1958

Business was booming in Oswego. The Ledger reported a renovation project was underway at the Alexander Lumber yard, Luis Russ was adding another greenhouse to his business on North Adams Street, and Hank McDowell was almost ready to move his business into a new building on Route 71. A Standard gas station had also recently opened at Route 34 and Route 71.

June 1873

“Because there are so many Oswegos in the U.S. and the mail keeps getting mixed up, U.R. Strooley suggests that the name be changed,” the Record’s Oswego correspondent wrote on June 26, 1873. “‘Oswego,’ pronounced in ordinary conversation, the first two syllables are generally merged into each other. One of our correspondents, who doubtless got the name by merely hearing it spoken, always directs his letter ‘Swego.’ This is the case with other places such as ‘Rora’ instead of Aurora. So he suggested in that issue that the name of the town be changed to Swego. Evidently it did not happen.” U.R. Strooley was the pen name of the Record’s Oswego correspondent, Lorenzo Rank, the Oswego postmaster.