Volume One

No. 2

Batavia, Illinois

March, 1960  

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana

NOTE - No, we are not going to issue THE HISTORIAN every month, but we thought you would like to have a record of your officers and committee chairmen.
Here they are:


Vice President




Trustee for Two Years

Trustee for Two Years

Trustee for One Year

Trustee for One Year  

Miss Eunice Shumway

Mrs. Clare Kruger

Mrs. Carl W. Johnson

Raymond Patzer

John A. Gustafson

Malcolm R. Derby

Philip Carlson

Miss Viola McDowell

Carl N. More  

                                                                                   COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN




Historical Research




Mr. Amos Hartman

Mrs. Elaine Cannon

Robert T. Glidden

Mrs. Oliver B. Simon

Miss Alice Storer

Mrs. Walter H. Wood

Mrs. Clare Kruger and

Mrs. Carl W. Johnson


If one of the chairmen calls you for assistance, please be willing to do whatever you can. Every bit will help.

Our society has joined the Illinois State Historical Society, and is now in the process of being incorporated as a non-profit organization.

We had a splendid attendance of over one hundred at our meeting at the First Baptist Church on February 28th.  John Gustafson gave a brief history of our host church.

After the election of officers, John Gustafson was made an honorary life member.

Mrs. Barton Snow gave the history of the Snow house and property. In 1841 the property which consisted of 160 acres was purchased from the government by Mr. J. W. Churchill for $200. In that same year Mr. E. S. Town acquired six acres of the property and built the house between then and 1859 when he sold it to Judge Lockwood.  

In 1871 it was acquired by his daughter, Mary, wife of Mr. William Coffin, and in 1906 purchased by Mr. T. W. Snow from the Coffin estate.
Mr. J. Harold Blair traced the early music organizations, mentioning the Rock City Band; the Swedish Band, the Batavia Concert Band and the Fox Valley Church Society.
On March 9th several members of our society attended the meeting of the Fox Valley Camera Club when Mrs. Betty Hulett of the Chicago Camera Club told of the project Chicagoland in Pictures  and shared some of the pictures which have been taken. We are most grateful to the local club for the interest in carrying that project to this area. Watch for the articles by our historian which will appear in the Batavia Herald from time to time. Be sure to save Sunday afternoon, May 1st, for our next meeting.
A fine program is being planned.

The revolver carried by Mr. Porter in protecting the first bank in Batavia, located on the T. W. Snow property, from Mrs. Mary Williams.
Book “Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Kane County,” from Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Rogers.
Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Levi taken on their Golden Wedding Anniversary from Miss Lillian C. Sweet.
Magazine "Holiday" for March 1950 showing a picture in colors of a Batavia windmill, from Ralph Larson.
Check list of soldiers listed on the Newton Civil War Memorial Monument from Mrs. Fred Nelson.
Following books from Mrs. Frances Moran from the estate of Mr. Albert Snow:
Municipal Code of Batavia, Illinois for 1931.
Kane County Directory, 1924-25.
Evans Rural Directory of Kane County, 1911.
Booklet, “Batavia, its Advantages, Resources and Opportunities."

Charter membership will be held open until January, 1961.
Annual dues are $1.00.  



Please invite your friends to join.  Life Membership is $25.

Anderson, Mr. J. Edward

Anderson, Mrs. Fern

Anderson, Mrs. Herbert

Andrews, Mrs. Roy C.

Barkdoll, Mrs. Orman

Baker, Miss Mary Amy

Baker, Miss Ednah

Blewett, Mr. Quentin H.

Blewett, Mrs. Quentin H.

Brown, Mrs. M. E.

Buchanan, Mrs. Katherine

Burnham, Mr. Joseph A.

Burnham, Mrs. Joseph A.

Carlson, Mr. Philip B.

Carlson, Mrs. Walter C.

Challman, Miss Ruth

Conde, Mr. Guy H.

Conde, Mr. Neal J.

Conde, Mr. Neal J. Jr.

Cowan, Mr. R. W.

Cowan, Mrs. R. W.

Derby, Mrs. Malcolm R.

Downing, Mr. Hicks Jr.

Downing, Mrs. Hicks Jr.

Elfstrom, Mr. Phillip R.

Elfstrom, Mrs. Phillip R.

Favoright, Mr. T. L.

Favoright, Mrs. T. L.

Goers, Mr. Martin J.

Goers, Mrs. Martin J.

Graham, Mrs. Florence Benson

Hartman, Mr. Amos W.

Hartman, Mrs. Amos W.

Hettinger, Mrs. Elma

Hunter, Mrs. H. T.

James, Mr. Evan D.

James, Mrs. Evan D.

Jeffery, Miss Erma H.

Judd, Mrs. Earl L.  

217 N. Harrison St.

1206 S. Batavia Ave.

R. 2, Box 8502 West Chicago

102 Anderson Blvd., Geneva

590 Julian St., Naperville

Western Ave., Geneva

Western Ave., Geneva

239 E. Wilson St.

239 E. Wilson St.

240 N. Jefferson St.

5620 Dolphin Place, La Jolla Calif.

433 Main St

433 Main St.

710 E. Wilson St.

123 Franklin St.

205 N. Jackson St.

210 N. Washington Ave.

431 N. Prairie St.

27 W. 370 Geneva Rd., West Chicago

226 N. Van Buren St.

226 N. Van Buren St.

420 S. Batavia Ave.

N. Kirk Rd., Geneva

N. Kirk Rd., Geneva

239 N. Batavia Ave.

239 N. Batavia Ave.

610 N. Batavia Ave.

610 N. Batavia Ave.

211 Main St.

211 Main St.

1705 N. Lake St., Aurora

734 E. Wilson St.

734 E. Wilson St.

116 N. Van Buren St.

339 Cerrito Ave., Redwood City, Calif.

R. 1, Main St. Rd.

R. 1, Main St. Rd.

203 N. Washington Ave.

450 Cleveland Ave.

Larson, Miss Marie

Logan, Mrs. Ruth Shaw

Maves, Mr. Harold A.

McDaniels, Mr Ray E.

Moore, Mr. Ralph

Moore, Mrs. Ralph

More, Mr. Carl N.

More, Mrs. Carl N.

Nelson, Mr. J. B.

Nelson, Mrs. Frank W.

Northrup, Miss Ruth

Payne, Mrs. Frank B.

Peckworth, Mr. Howard F.

Peckworth. Mrs. Howard F.

Peterson, Mr. J. Edward

Peterson, Mrs. J. Edward

Saum Mr. J. Herbert

Saum Mrs. J. Herbert

Schielke, Mr. Donald

Schielke, Mrs. Donald

Schomig, Mrs. Michael G.

Stafney, Mr. E. D.

Stafney, Miss Lydia

Stone, Mr. Walter

Swan, Mrs. Dewey

Urch, Mrs. Emma

West, Dr. John C.

Witt, Mrs. Fay

Wood, Mr. Walter H.

Wynn, Mrs. E. W.

Zoda, Mrs. John

524 Morton St.

119 N. Washington Ave.

430 N. Washington Ave.

324 Franklin St.

720 S. Sixth St., St. Charles

720 S. Sixth St., St. Charles

113 N. Batavia Ave.

113 N. Batavia Ave.

353 N. Jefferson St.

242 S. Batavia Ave.

328 Union Ave.

1220 S. Batavia Ave.

114·N. Washington Ave.

114. N Washington Ave.

403 North Ave.

403 North Ave.

304 N. Washington St.

304 N. Washington St.

203 N. Washington Ave.

203 N. Washington Ave.

30 S. Jackson St.

437 Elm St.

437 Elm St.

343 E. York Ave., West Chicago

739 Houston St.

424 N. Prairie St.

429 First St.

727 E. Wilson St.

702 Walnut St.

618 Walnut St.

1004 Woodland Ave.

Dr. J. C. West Reminisces


Notes on his talk at the Batavia Historical society, May 1, 1960
Dr. West showed us at theis meeting, that, although 84 years old, he remembers as brilliantlyu as one only half that age. He talked without notes for nearly forty-five minutes. All of the audience of 200, who had come to do him honor, heard him without difficulty. Following are a few notes made as he talked.


He graduated from medical college in 1902. At that time there were thirteen such schools in Chicago, only three of which were in the accredited class. The graduates from teh four year course that his license number was only 1376 shows that he was one of the early licentiates. Many doctors in Chicago were poorly educated. He practiced in Chicago at first but because of the poor repute of many of the doctors, didn't boast of his profession.


About theat time he had a coronary attack and a doctor told him if he didn't get away from the confining work in Chicago he wouldn't live to be forty. A doctor friend told him that Batavia needed a physician and to go there. He definitely didn't want to leave his practice in Chicago but about that time a brother of his was sick in Elgin and his wife went to visit him and afterwards came through to Batavia. He liked the place and before going back to Chicago, he rented a house. That was March 30, 1910.


He moved to Batavia immediately. He fell in love with the countryside, the weather was beautiful, until April 21st, when we had a severe frost that froze everything freezable.


At that time Dr. O. P. McNair had just left. Dr. Augustine was retired. Mr. Fitts was semi-retired. The active doctors were Drs. Anna Spencer, Bothwell and Johnson. One of his first jobs was to call on these physicians to become acqainted with them.


Later he said for a while, there was a recular "epidemic" of new doctors. He mentioned Drs. Howard, Simon, Whitten and others. Dr. Whitten bought the Bothwell house and converted it into a hospital for three or four years. Dr. Mostrom, from Geneva, had helped him and, about the time of WW1, came to Batavia to go into partnership with him. Drs. DuFour and Elliot followed. Dr. Elliot was not successful in his association with Dr. West. Later Drs. Habegger, Baxter, Shirer and Grieg entered partnership with him in the clinic. All of these are here at present except Dr. Habegger, who became a specialist and therefore needed a larger clientele than he had in Batavia.


Dr. West related many of the vast improvements made in medicine since he began his practice. He said that now medicine was not an art, but a science. They had cocaine and antitoxin when he started, but they were afraid to use the later in large enough quantities to do much good.


He said about 1915 diphtheria became prevalent in Batavia. There were 67 cases in Batavia of this disease in one week. He examined all of the school children, found many of them carriers, and sent them home for a week. Now diphtheria is nearly a forgotten illness. Also since the day of antibiotics, pneumonia and appendicitis are controllable, so is sypylis with the drug salversan. In the early days, there wasn't much diabetes. Although more prevalent now, insulin has come to its rescue.


In the Spanish-American War, Typhoid fever was the big scourge - killing more soldiers than bullets. but there was no typhoid fever in our army in our chase of Villa in Mexico and in WW1, because the soldiers were imunized against it. In all of the time he was in Batavia, he only treated two cases of this fever. The same was true of malaria.


He said he once heard Dr. Osler, a famous physician, say that all of man's ills could be laid at the doors of four gods or goddesses - Baachus, too much excess, Vulcan, too much work, Venus, too much  women, and Mars, too much war. These four exacted tribute from us.


Obstetrics have made a great advance in his lifetime. He got women to come to him for periodic examinations. In his early days, babies were delivered in the home, now almost always in a hospital. This is entirely to the good.


He concluded his talk with showing the audience a set of surgical instruments used at the time of the Civil War and nowowned by Dr. A. G. Baxter. He rpoved his point, made at the beginning of his talk, that history is a story and that a story follows progress.