Published in Kendall County Record, October
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
The record man had an errand in the village of Oswego some days ago and took a walk about the residence part of the town. It was a pleasure to view the improvements made and the comfortable residences of its people. There is an evidence of home-life and domestic comfort displayed as well as business thrift. The village board seems to be alive to modern improvements and are always looking for something to make better.
Oswego is convenient to Aurora, Yorkville and Chicago. It has the Fox River Branch of the Burlington Railroad for freight and passenger purposes and the Aurora, Yorkville and Morris electric line for convenience. These modes of travel put Oswego in an advantageous position for people whom like country homes and do city business. The journey to Chicago is not tedious, and many might avail themselves of rural residence if they knew what nice towns we had along the Fox River.
Oswego has a good system of water-works, which is a great accession to any place. Its walks and streets are good. This was the first village in this section to put in cement walks, curbs and gutters. Its principal business street is as perfect and neat as can be found. There are watering places for horses that are easy of access and make it handy for those who drive.
Oswego has a good school, which has been under the intelligent supervision of Mr. Charles Newman for several years. He has able assistants to keep the school in the front rank. A commodious brick school building situated in a big square of ground, or a park, all nicely kept, makes it a notable place in the village. Then there are some fine residences around this square with pretty yards and well-kept lawns.
Oswego is also well provided with churches, and the societies are growing in usefulness and influence. The German Evangelical Church is a handsome and well-arranged building, with a good congregation every Sunday to listen to a good preacher. The Congregational people have one of the best-appointed churches on Fox River, so far as convenience and comfort is concerned. They have a modern well lighted and heated structure with a strong membership. They have a capable pastor, the Rev. F. W. Long, who is doubtless satisfied with the backing he receives from his people. The Presbyterian Church is having a new lease of life and growing young again. The building which has stood for so many years on the outskirts of the village is to have a new location, almost "down town," and will be fixed up neatly for the new pastor who will do his best to make it a strong church. The Methodists, after some years of quietude are becoming zealous and the old church has been greatly improved. The church has taken a prominent stand in the religious affairs of the town. Stand by the churches and school, ye people of Oswego, and your homes will be more desirable.
To the writer, the favorite street in Oswego is the one along which the electric road runs. Not that this road improves it for residences, but the natural lay of the land has always attracted one driving through town. The pretty homes make it all look pleasant. This street is being improved. The building of a stone wall along a ravine and the new sidewalks thus made possible adds to the looks of the street. The newer residences will attract others, and will rival the pretty places around the Schoolhouse Square.
There is a large business done in Oswego, notwithstanding its proximity to Aurora. The store of Sodt & Morse is a leading place for trade. They have a fine storeroom filled with seasonable and staple goods. The people of the village and the farmers about should do what they can to keep this firm busy. Mr. Croushorn in the furniture store and Mr. Edwards in the hardware business have a fine trade. Mr. Edwards has patented and makes a machine for acetylene gas that is meeting with success. There is a splendid livery barn that is kept in the best condition. Mr. Shoger, the proprietor, also does well in the line of farm machinery. As to grain trade, Mr. William Cliggitt has a good business and Oswego draws the farmer from many miles out. Then there are good grocery stores, good market where you get good meat, a first class barbershop, and wagon and blacksmith shops that are all up to the standard.
A well-appointed drug store is a necessity in very town, and Oswego keeps up with the procession in this direction. Scott Cutter has one of the best-regulated drug stores on Fox River. He keeps a fine line of fancy and staple goods.
Two telephone systems put Oswego in touch with a large territory. The businessman or the housewife can readily have a talk in ordering new goods or about the last meeting of the woman's club. The telephone is a great device. It puts us in touch with each other while the work of the store, the shop, the office or the home is going on.
The rural mail delivery is also a factor. Two routes run out of Oswego. It is a pleasant innovation for the farmer and his family. The daily paper and your letters are delivered at the door, though you are six or eight miles from the post office. Merchants complain some in the different towns that the free mail delivery and the telephone hurt trade somewhat in the villages, but it is a matter that we must accustom ourselves to. The farming community may not be in town so often, but they have to use the same quantity of supplies. If not bought every day, the bill is much larger when they do come to buy. These improvements in the manner of living continue to grow. There will be other innovations in the years to come.
It may be said that to allude to the cemetery is not a pleasant theme, but it is a common lot where we all must meet. When you see a well located, neatly kept place for the last rest of humanity, it is not sad to speak of it. Oswego has a beautiful acre of God on the riverbank. The well kept grounds and handsome monuments are to be commended. It is the resting-place of many of the pioneers. Many memories are revived as you look at the inscriptions on the gravestones. The cemetery should always be kept in good order, as the one at Oswego is.
That Oswego holds a cultured community is in evidence when you read of the doings of the women's clubs. There are two, and both well sustained.
The Nineteenth Century Club is the older and larger one, and it is doing good work. Its meetings are well attended and the talks, discussions, music, and the social side are most attractive. The Saturday Club is the younger organization, and limits its membership in numbers. This club has been most successful in its work. These two intellectual functions in a country village show what kind of people live in Oswego. There is all the enjoyment here one can find in a big city. If one tires of home amusement, they can take the car or the train and attend a matinee or evening performance elsewhere and get home before midnight.
There are worse places than a country village to live in and not many better. The folks who have their homes in Oswego and Yorkville are not the most desolate people in the world.
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