Volume Thirty-Seven

No. 2


April, 1996

Batavia and The Civil War

by Eric Nelson


From the bombardment of Fort Sumter in April 1861 to Lee's Surrender to Grant in 1865, approximately 600,000 people lost their lives in the Civil War. Among that number are 32 Batavians. The census of 1860 shows the population of Batavia was 1,621, and yet, throughout the war, Batavia provided 309 soldiers for the Union Army.


Even more amazing was just how far those soldiers spread out during the war. Other than the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861, there is virtually no major battle of the war that did not have at least one Batavian present. My interest in military history and the Civil War, in particular, has been a life long fascination.


7.jpgIt was early in 1990 that I first started looking at the Batavia Civil War veterans. Initially my goal was to pinpoint where they had served. After a small amount of research, I was amazed to discover just how much of the war Batavians had seen.


I had expected to find Batavians in the Western Theater at battles such as Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Atlanta. I was surprised to find Batavia soldiers 'ighting at Antietam, Gettysburg and 'Petersburg. My goal then became to identify the name, rank, service date, unit and places served of all the Batavia Civil War veterans.


I started my journey with a copy of the names on the Newton Civil War Monument (see "The Newton Memorials" in this issue) in the West Batavia cemetery. At that time I was living in Austin, Texas, which is the home of the University of Texas, as well as the Texas State Archives.


These two sources helped me compile a list with some of the basic information on the veterans. I also found veterans whose names were not included on the New-ton Monument. Two trips to Springfield and the Illinois State Archives, as well as the Illinois State Historical Library added information in my search. Telephone calls to the Maryland, Wis-consin and New York State Archives aided in the search for veterans who served in regiments from other states.


While I was home on Christmas leave in 1991, Bill Wood gave me access to the records in the Depot Museum. Following a stop to the National Archives in the fall of 1993, I felt the list of 309 names was virtually complete. I say virtually because there are still twelve soldiers included on the list for whom I have not positively confirmed Batavia citizenship.


I limited the list to include only those soldiers who lived in Batavia prior to their service in the Union Army. Although all twelve soldiers' names are on the Newton Monument, I have not yet been able to prove they lived in Batavia prior to their time in service. The results of my research have been very interesting.


Batavians served in 29 different regiments. Most were Illinois infantry regiments. Batavia men served in three Illinois cavalry regiments, most notably the 8th Illinois Calvary Regiment which trained at Camp Kane in St. Charles and served in the eastern battlefields throughout the war. Batavians serving with the artillery, with one exception, served in Battery B, 1st Illinois Light Artillery. Theodore Wood was commissioned a lieutenant near the end of the war with the 5th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery.


Batavians fought in the ranks of the 29th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment during the Battle of Petersburg. Two Batavians served in other states' regiments. Franklin Crandon was with the 1 st Maryland Cavalry Regiment,-while William Brown fought as a member of the 123rd New York Infantry Regiment. Batavians served in every rank from private to colonel.


Dentist Edgar Swain was the highest ranking Batavian. He finished the war as a colonel and commander of the 42nd Illinois Infantry Regiment. The 46 year old surveyor Adin Mann was the only lieutenant colonel from Batavia. Two men served as majors, while six made captain and eight were lieutenants. Charles Bucher, served first in the ranks of the 124th Illinois and then became a surgeon with the 72nd Illinois Infantry Regiment, where he saw service at the battles of Nashville, Spring Hill and Franklin, Tennessee in late 1864. In the enlisted ranks 27 men served as sergeants, 35 were corporals, 13 musicians and the rest served as privates. As was common during the Civil War, men joined the army and served together throughout the war. Company B of the 124th Illinois was organized by Adin Mann and 79 Batavians served in its ranks. Company I, 42nd Illinois had 30 Batavians as well as most of the regimental band members. Company 0, 52nd Illinois had 37 Batavians, while 55 men served with Company B, of the 141 st Illinois. Finally, 22 Batavians served in Company F, 156th Illinois Infantry. This was the final regiment Illinois sent to the Union Army.


Families also joined and fought together. Five Manns were in the army, four Prindles, four Woods, three Wolcotts, three Balls, three Burtons and three Kenyons. The Kenyons, the Manns, the Prindles and the Hammonds all had fathers and sons that served in the same regiments together. Batavia soldiers had about a ten percent mortality rate in the Union Army. As was typical for both armies of the war, most Batavians died from disease rather than battle. Typhoid fever, chronic diarrhea, kidney disease and measles were some of the ailments Batavia soldiers succumbed to that today aren't quite so deadly. Combat deaths did occur as well. Jacob Price and Thomas Andrews were killed at Shiloh. Thirty one year old Oscar Cooley was killed at Vicksburg. Charles Burnell and Clement Bradley were killed at Chickamauga. Jesse Dawson and George Young were killed in action in Mississippi.


John Brown was killed in Virginia in 1862, and James Watts and Jordan Stewart were killed in the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg, Virginia in July 1864. On November 22, 1863 Sidney Barlacorn died in Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. The strangest of the Batavia casualties was Peter Victor who was captured October 16, 1863. The following morning he was found dead in a gully stripped of his clothes. At the time of Victor's death his regiment was in an area surrounded by Confederates. It was thought he wandered too far from his comrades and was picked up and murdered by rebel troops.

Batavia soldiers were typical of Civil War soldiers of both sides in another aspect desertion. Eight Batavians deserted their regiments.


Somehow this fact surprised me when I came across it; however, with 309 soldiers serving it would have been unusual not to have some desertions. Most desertions occurred early in a soldier's military career, probably right after he realized what he had gotten himself into. Interestingly, most of the men who deserted are not included in the list of names on the Newton Civil War Monument. As my research and results pro-gressed, my interest level continued to rise so much - so that the idea of a book about Batavia and the Civil War started to take hold.


The crux of the book is the history of Batavia soldiers who fought in the Civil War. During the winter of 1993 I started chapter one and completed it approximately one year later. The chapter tackles the start of the war and the recruitment of- the troops. Unfortunately my work schedule and graduate school demands of late have not permitted me to finish the second chapter. However, I have not given up and I hope in the not too distant future to complete this project.


In the meantime my research is not complete. I'm still looking for proof of Batavia citizenship or residency prior to military service for the following soldiers:


• Charles Stevens (enlistment Sep-tember 11,1861)

• Franklin S. Hanks (enlistment Au-gust 11, 1862)

• Benjamin Stephens (enlistment July 24,1861)

• William H. Bennett (enlistment Au-gust 15,1861)

• Emory Caskey (enlistment August 15,1862)

• Charles W. Cook (enlistment Au-gust 11, 1862)

• Joseph E. Merrill (enlistment July 29,1862)

• Beverly Hammond (enlistment February 25, 1864)

• Henry Harmon (enlistment August 15,1861)

• Thomas James (enlistment De-cember 17, 1861; a T.R. James voted in the Batavia town meeting on April 5, 1864, and signed to re-ceive Charles James' bounty on February 27, 1865; however I think this may be Thomas' father.)

• George C. Wood (enlistment March 1862)

• Thomas O'Connor (enlistment August 11, 1862)


I'm convinced that in the attics of Batavia there are still old letters from the Civil War. I would like to get copies of any letter written to or by a Batavia soldier, and I. know the Depot Museum would also like to add copies to its archives. I would like to thank two people who have helped me thus far in my research. Dr. Rodney Ross happily loaned me his notes on the 124th Illinois, as well as putting me in touch with key people at the National Archives. I also need to thank Bill Wood, who has always helped me with whatever I have asked, whether it was sending information to me in Texas or Alaska; giving me complete access to the Depot Museum's records and archives; editing chapter one; or taking me to lunch with the rest of the senility club whenever I am back in Batavia.



Editor's Note: The author, a son of Stephen and Anita Nelson of Batavia, is a captain in the Air Force presently stationed in Anchorage, Alaska.










Windmillers Trade Fair Is Just Around the Corner

by Robert Popeck


In less than 70 days the 8th International Windmillers Trade Fair will commence in our fair city. From New Mexico to Canada, several hundred windmill enthusiasts gather each year to swap windmills, information and stories. From farmers and ranchers to business and profes-sional people, both young and old make up the rising number of collectors who get together, with great an-tlcipation, for this annual event. In June of 1995 representatives from the City, Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce and Park District visited the fair in Alberta, Canada, to promote our city and its windmill history.


Our efforts were rewarded: Batavia was selected to host the 8th Wind millers Trade Fair to be held June 2,13,14 and 15,1996. The 1996 show will be highlighted by our shining past. Windmills manu-factured in Batavia played an important role in the settlement and development of civilization on the frontiers of our country. Although we will follow some of the ideas from past trade fairs, we will also honor those in Batavia who built these windmills. Special tours are being arranged for' the visiting windmillers to go inside the walls of the factories where this history took place. To hear the walls talk is not too hard to imagine. We are inViting former employees still living in Batavia to join us in the places they once worked and share their love and labor with our visitors.


To continue on this historic theme the present owners of the home where Daniel Halladay once lived will open it to our guests. Halladay, who received the first U.S. patent on the self-regulating windmill in 1854, moved to Batavia in 1863 to start the U.S. Wind Engine & Pump Co. The committee is planning a special museum within the City Hall dedicated to rare windmill-related artifacts from private collections, loaned both by local residents and by others throughout the country. Our Depot Museum will be open throughout the event, allowing our visitors even more time to learn about our history. Along with our former employees of the windmill era will be the great-nephew of Daniel Halladay. He will be bringing several family heirlooms to share with us.


T. Lindsay Baker from Baylor University in Texas will be present. Dr. Baker has written several books on windmills and the lives of windmillers; one, entitled Blades in the Sky, high-lights the exciting lives of those who put up the windmills for a living. This book features B.H. "Tex" Burdick of EI Paso, Texas, who has accepted our invitation to share his life experiences at the banquet on Friday evening. Mr. Burdick, now 95, and his wife wrote, "To visit the old Challenge factory and meet and shake hands with some of the old boys who designed, assembled and shipped old Model 27 Challenges would be a great pleasure."


How many will be coming and from where is difficult to answer at this time. We have sent out over 500 registration packets, and are still getting requests. We do know that the atten-dance will include representatives from many western states as well as the Midwest and the East Coast. Our friends from Canada will be joining us, and I understand that someone from the Netherlands hopes to attend. To top that, just recently I received a call from a man in Cape Town, South Africa, who is seriously considering coming.


Because of space limitations, the banquet will be by invitation only. There is plenty of space, however, for anyone to join us at the other planned events. For more information, call our Windmillers Hot Line, 879-5916, or contact any committee member: Bob Popeck, president; Francine Popeck, vice-president; Donna Dallesasse, secretary; and Carla Hill, program and events chairperson.


Editor's Note: As we were going to press, Bob Popeck called to say that they certainly will be able to use volunteer help with the fair. You should read "will be able to use volunteer help" to mean "will need volunteer help." Please call him or Carla Hill.


You Are Invited:

Please Come In A Preview of

Batavia's June 15 Housewalk

by Carole Dunn


It is fitting that the housewalk to benefit the Chamber of Commerce Build-out Fund is scheduled for the day that the Windmillers Trade Fair (described in story on this page) ends. We hope that our visitors will take ad-vantage of the opportunity to see the houses on the walk, some of which were lived in by Batavians during the city's windmill building days. Here are some of the homes that will be open.


430 Main Street

When the City of Batavia considered tearing down the old stone house on Main Street, John and Sandra Wilcox came to the rescue, purchasing it in 1983 and spending the next three years in restoration - before selling it to Bob and Kristi Ellis. Kristi is the Wilcoxes' daughter. Built by the year 1855 of native Batavia limestone, this house has many of its original doors, windows and interior brick walls still intact. The own-ership trail begins in 1855 when the property passed hands from DK Town to Addison Wells for $445.


Town, a physician, arrived in Batavia in 1839. He later became one of the incorporators of the West Batavia Cemetery Association, a director of the First Na-tional Bank and one of three owners of a box car manufacturing plant. From Wells, the stone house was sold to Hendrick Miller and in 1887 sold to Charles Adams. Sold again in 1887 to a party by the name of LaVallay, it next went to John and Mary Sheehan whose family maintained ownership until 1983. The current owners would appreciate photographs or information anyone might have about the house.


362 N. Water Street

Where old industrial Batavia gives way to picturesque residential Batavia sits Waterford on the Fox, including the riverfront townhome of Dr. Robert E and Gerri Lee. Just a stone's throw from Batavia's restored Depot Museum and within sight of the skating pond that was the subject of John Falter's Saturday Evening Post magazine cover in 1958, the town homes hug the west bank on a property previously home to factories and forges - to name a few: Gardner Products, T.N.T. Industries, Watlow Batavia, Inc., Rogers Galvanizing Co., C&F Forge and the James Seaverns Co. The Lees have lived in the award-winning town homes since June 1992 - "the first to buy and the first to move in," says Gerri. Their home has been decorated by their son Bill, an interior designer in St. Louis, Missouri.


1255 Woodland Avenue

The ideal empty nester home for Nelson and June McRoberts was found in Batavia at the southern-most end of Woodland Avenue, where this quiet lane blends into the woods. It is near the river and close to a small town. Wood, water, small town - three qualities very important to the McRoberts. This ideal place, built in 1957, follows the Bauhaus school of architecture and was designed by a minor architect under Walter Gropius in the international style. This school of architecture (1919-1933) declared "that the artist and craftsman were inseparable, and craftsmanship was the main source of creative design." June McRoberts, herself an interior designer, has decorated the home with family pieces mixed with objects gathered during their travels. June, the artist, and Nelson, the craftsman, are keeping the tradition alive.


Other Houses and Attractions

Other houses on the housewalk include the home of Janine and Mike Callahan at 1121 Davey Drive and the home of Sue and Don Olson at 348 N. Jefferson. Current women's fashions will be modeled at Ms. Donali in Gammon Corners. Designed by John Mills Van Osdel, famous architect of the Second Presbyterian Church, City Hall and Palmer House in Chicago, this award-winning restoration of a Queen Anne home was built in 1885 and is now owned by Joe and Addie Marconi. Villa Batavia, 1430 S. Batavia Av-enue, will host a garden tea. Richard Palmer and Fran Steiner now operate this beautiful property, probably built between 1841 and 1845, as a bed and breakfast.



The Newton Memorials

by James Hanson


A familiar sight to Batavians is the Newton Monument in the West Batavia Cemetery which honors those from Batavia who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Many, however, may not know how and why it came into existence some 50 years after the war ended. Mary Prindle Newton, the widow of Don Carlos Newton (1832-1893), bequeathed $10,000 for the erection of this memorial when she died in 1913 naming Charles More, Albro Prindle and EH. Wolcott to carry out thls provision In her Will. The memonal was erected in 1918 and formally dedicated on Memorial Day, May 30, 1919. D.C. Newton assisted in raising a company to serve in the Union Army in 1861 and was elected a lieutenant of Co. D, 52nd Regiment, Illinois Infantry.


He was later promoted to captain and served until December, 1864. He participated in many major battles including those at Shiloh, Connth, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and in Sherman's "March to the Sea" and capture of Savannah. Following the war, Batavia had an active GAR. organization in which Mr. Newton was involved. Few Batavians are aware that Mrs. Newton also provided funds for another memorial to her late husband. In 1901 an observatory, named the Newton Observatory, at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA was dedicate? as the result of a gift of $10,000 from Mary Newton. The college had In Its possession a telescope but no appropriate facility for its placement and use until it received this gift. In 1910 she established a $5,000 endowment fund for the maintenance of the observatory which is still in use at the college.


The present Methodist Church on Batavia Ave. was a gift from D.C. Newton and his brother-in-law, Rev. EH. Gammon. They had it built similar to a design of a church that the Newtons had seen in France. The church cost $35,000 and was dedicated in 1888. References are found that indicate Mr. Newton thought of this as a memorial to his father, Levi Newton. An organ which had been given by Mary Newton and Mrs. Gammon to the previous Methodist Church was installed in the new edifice. In her will, Mary Newt.on provided for a trust to be established with $10,000 to we used for maintaining the church building. Mary Newton also was giving money to Dakota Wesleyan University at the time of her death in 1913.


Note: lntormation in this article reqardinq Allegheny College and the Newton Observatory was researched by Tom Mair and given to me several years had received an old, undated newspaper clipping about the gift, which whetted his interest just as his notes caused me to delve into Mary Newton's probate records, old newspapers and the Society's archives for more details about her philanthropy.


What's New at the Museum?

by Carla Hill, Curator


The Museum re-opened on Monday, March 4, for the 1996 season. Chris Winter and I have done a lot of reorganizing upstairs as well as some general cleaning and repairing throughout the museum. We expect this to be an exciting . year with the Windmill Trade Fair, which will take place in June, and the exhibit, "Blades in the Sky," which will arrive from Texas Tech University in April and will stay at the museum until the first of August. This exhibit features the Challenge 27 windmill and Tex Burdick, who installed them in the Southwest. Burdick will be coming to Batavia for the Windmill Trade Fair and will be the featured speaker at the banquet. National Volunteer Week will be April 15-21. We will be honoring our museum volunteers with a thank you and a small gift of appreciation.


9.jpgThe museum is fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers who help in a variety of ways. They are truly appre-ciated. We have received many donations in kind in the last few months, including:


• Many, many items from Batavia's banking history, given by Ray Bristow. Ray has also been responsible for the delivery of many items from Lydia Jean Stafney's home.

• The Millett Family History from Marlene Barnes.

• Eight wonderful glass milk bottles from some of Batavia's dairies, given by the Aurora Historical Society. *

• A stone hammer used in the Barker Stone Quarry by Charles Henze. His great-granddaughter, Alice Wagner Bastian, donated the hammer to the Geneva Historical Society in 1969, before the existence of the Depot Museum. Geneva gave it to us in an exchange that returned old photo-graphs, books, and memorabilia to their Geneva origins.*

• A silver bank from Jane Elwood. This is only a sampling of the arti-facts that we receive. We are always looking for anything that directly relates

Tim Zetang of the Geneva Historical Society reviews exchanged items with Carla Hill of the Depot Museum.

to Batavia, especially photographs. We will be happy to copy photographs and return them to the owners.

Make sure that you get a chance to come down and visit us.


* As part of a cooperative effort, many museums transfer items in their collec-tions that belong in other museums and historical societies.


Spring General Meeting May 19, 1996 - 3:00 p.rn, Batavia Civic Center Bartholomew Room.

All members and friends are cor-dially invited to attend our annual Spring general meeting. With the up-coming Windmillers Trade Fair to be held in June, our presentation will focus on Batavia's historic windmill factories.

Presenting Windmills Past and Present will be our own local historian Marilyn Robinson with contributions by Bob Po peck. We also ask anyone who may have worked in any of the factories to share their memories with us. Refreshments will be served. Hope to see many of you there!

The Historian Needs You!


As you have probably noticed in the last issue and in this one, we are blessed with some extremely able writers -- ones who know Batavia history and love to tell it. They undoubtedly have many more stories to tell, and we expect to continue hearing from them. But we don't want to go to the same wells too often -- and even the deepest ones can go dry.


That's where you, our members and other readers, come in. As we wrote in the last issue, "contributions to the newsletter will be received with open arms. ... We need your help and support if the newsletter is to make the vital contribution that it should." The response to our plea was "underwhelming": we heard from no one!


Maybe we were a little disap-pointed, but we weren't really sur-prised. This is an idea that needs nurturing. You readers are busy. Perhaps some of you think the stories you might tell aren't all that interesting. And maybe you dislike writing -- or feel that your writing skills are not up to par. Please, though, don't let any of those thoughts deter you. Whenever a group of old-time Batavians, and some not so old, get together and begin to reminisce, they tell tales that many people would like to hear.


These reminiscences mustn't be lost. Send them to Bill Hall, 345 N. Batavia Avenue, or call him at 879-2033. If you think your story isn't in good enough form to print, he'll see that it gets edited. And if you don't want to write it down at all, he'll listen or get someone else to, and see that it gets written up.


Let's see that these parts of our history -- big events, little happen-ings, funny stories, even sad re-membrances -- don't get lost. Share them with others.

I Remember Holidays on the Farm (Part 2 of 3)


A couple of issues back, The Batavia Historian published the first installment of Helen Anderson's reminiscences of holidays as she was growing up on the George and Della Bartelt family farm, Warrenville Road, Batavia Township. In that installment, she covered New Year's Day, Ground Hog Day, Valentine's Day, Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays and then got into the preparations for Easter. Now her nar-rative resumes with Easter breakfast.

by Helen Bartelt Anderson


Easter breakfast was also tradi-tional. Each year we had a contest to see who could eat the most soft-boiled eggs. Fred, a slightly retarded man who lived with us and helped with chores, could easily put away a dozen or more. He was the undisputed winner for all time.


Summer vacation usually started on Memorial Day. Some years we had a picnic. It was a time to take off long underwear. A time to take off shoes and stockings and go barefoot. I re-member one year Mama took us to town to see the parade. We lived out-side the Batavia school district, so we were not invited to march in the parade with the other school children. I remember going to an ice cream parlor after the parade for ice cream cones. Ideal Confectionery was owned by Gus Kapinas.


July 4th -- One spring Papa was plowing in a field quite some distance from our house. He turned up a couple of huge rocks. Not saying a word to anyone, he went out to the field before daylight on the 4th, put a stick of dynamite between the two rocks, lit the. fuse and quickly ran out of the way. The blast must have awakened everyone for miles around. That was his way of celebrating. No doubt cultivating corn took up the rest of his day.


Mama celebrated the Fourth by cooking a delicious dinner of ham that had been smoked in the smokehouse, then packed in salt brine in big twenty-thirty gallon crocks. Mama tried to have new potatoes, cooked in their skins, and fresh peas from the garden. Some years, when there was a late spring, the gardens were also late. Cherries were nearly always ripe by the Fourth, so we would have fresh cherry pie. Labor Day was made a national holiday in 1894, so it was still a fairly new holiday when we were growing up. It did not in any way affect farmers. Labor Day was a big day for farm children because it marked the begin-ning of school the following day.


Like most children, I started school with new dresses. Mama's cousin, Oma, would make two gingham dresses for me each year. One dress could be worn for a week or more without laundering because I wore coverall aprons over the dresses. These aprons were made of dark calico, were sleeveless, slipped over the head and tied at the sides.

Roger probably had new clothes, too. Boys were denim bib overalls and high-top shoes. Boys often had trou-sers made from their father's worn ones, especially in winter. When it was really cold, boys wore a pair of made-over pants with their bib overalls over the top.


Halloween was great fun. There was usually a party at school. We bobbed for apples, tried to take a bite out of an apple tied on a string and tried to pin the tail on a black cat while we were blindfolded. Our schoolroom was real spooky with bats, black cats and witches everywhere. We carved pumpkins and learned the poem, "The Goblins'll Get You If You Don't Watch Out." Mama and Papa belonged to the Farmers' Community Club. One year they had a Masquerade party on Hal-loween, at the home of Wilton and Elsie Lehman. As Papa drove our Model T into their driveway a man with blackened face jumped in front of the car, waving his arms and yelling. I screamed and cried louder and longer than anyone. I spent the rest of the evening on Mama's lap. One year Papa made costumes for all four of us of Catalpa leaves. I do not remember if we won a prize. Farmers had fun, too, in spite of long days of very hard work. Life on the farm was and is controlled by seasons and weather.


In the late fall farmers checked the ears of corn to see if they were ripe enough and dry enough to be picked. If there was still moisture in the ears, the picking would have to wait until the corn was ready. Then the husking season would begin. Farmers wore heavy canvas gloves with husking pegs strapped over the mitts to rip open the corn husks. Even though these heavy gloves were worn the farmer's hands would be chapped and sore. Every night they would rub an ointment into them. Each ear of corn was picked and tossed into a box wagon that had bang boards on one side, to prevent the ears from landing in the field. Two faithful horses pulled the wagon, walking slowly up and down the rows. The husker could pretty well keep up with the horses. Thanksgiving Day was the deadline when all husking should be finished. Sometimes weather conditions pre-vented this from happening.


If all went well, Thanksgiving would be celebrated by a traditional dinner, probably at Aunt Kate's and Uncle Mike's in West Chicago. Because Mama lived with them for many years before she married Papa, they were like Grandma and Grandpa to Roger and me. At school we made pictures of corn shocks and pumpkins. We colored and cut out pictures of turkeys although we did not have roast turkey for Thanksgiving because turkeys were not raised on the farm. Our teacher read stories to us about the Pilgrims and the Indians. We learned the poem, "Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandma's House We Go." Editor's Note: In a coming issue, we shall pick up the remainder of Helen Anderson's story as she described the joys of a Midwestern farm Christmas in the earlier days of the 20th century.

News Bits .. Short But Important



The Board approved Landmark Status applications for three houses. The plaque for Jim and Carol Auer's house, 123 S. Jefferson, will bear the date of 1860; that for Paul and Bonnie Petrenko's house (the old Dickinson House) at 404 N. Washington will be dated 1892; and the one for Danny and LuAnn Bombard's house (the former home of Daniel Halladay of windmill fame) at 432 Main will be dated 1858.


• • • The Frame House has offered to sell prints of Bonnie Christensen's rendition of our gazebo. The price of a print is $80, and purchasers who wish to have their prints framed will receive a 10% discount from the normal cost of framing.


• • • Tom and Ann Alexander of Sugar Grove have donated a U.S. Wind En-gine & Pump Co. water tank, and Batavian Harold Maves has donated a 1 DO-plus year old display-sized Chal-lenge water tank and tower. These are being prepared for display and will be featured, with pictures, in a forthcom-ing issue.


• • • C.iting Bill Wood's article in our January 1996 issue, the Chicago Tribune of March 24 described, with some relish, the 1869 shenanigans of some of early Batavians that, in the local news media, overshadowed Mark Twain's visit here.


• • • It may not be Batavia history, but it is about history -- Illinois history -- and it is directed by a Batavian, one of our members. On August 2, 3 and 4, Lee Moorehead will lead his annual Lincoln seminar in Springfield. What may well be the best program yet will include addresses by Dr. Mark E. Neely, Jr., renowned Lincoln scholar, author and professor, and Dr. John Y. Simon, pro-fessor and executive director and managing editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association. For more detailed information, call Lee at 708-879-8441.


• • • At the February' opening of his new Ice House restaurant on North River Street, Kent Shodeen presented the Society with a donation of $1 ,000. The restaurant walls feature many photo-graphs of old-time Batavia that the So-ciety made available.


• • • Marilyn Robinson and other volun-teers have completed an index of pre-1860 through 1960 probate records. Any genealogists or others who wish to examine the index should make an appointment through the museum.

Updating Our Mailing List


We want to make sure that our newsletters and other notices are properly addressed and go to persons with a continuing interest in the activities of the Society. To accomplish this, our mailing list needs updating; it includes 'ie names of persons who have not paid dues or with whom we have had no other contact for several years.


The Board has accordingly adopted a policy of retaining on its mailing list only those persons who have paid dues for the current year or the year immediately past and any other person who indicates that he or she wishes to continue receiving the Society's mailings. If you have not paid dues for 1995 and/or 1996 and wish to remain on the Society's mailing list, you should either --


• Fill in the form on the other side of this page and send in your dues for 1996 (no catch-up for earlier missing years required)




• Complete and mail the form at the bottom of this page. If you do not know the status of your dues, you can call the Treasurer, Bill Hall, at 879-2033 after April 25. Batavia Historical Society P.O. Box 14 Batavia, Illinois 60510 Although I have not paid dues for 1995 and/or 1996 and am not doing so that this time, I wish to have my name kept on the mailing list.


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