Historical Society Scholarship Available

Do you know a Warrenville senior heading off to college in the fall?  The Warrenville Historical Society is happy to continue to offer a $500 scholarship to a 2014 graduate from either Wheaton Warrenville South or St. Francis High Schools. The senior must have also graduated from Bower, Johnson or St. Irene’s elementary schools and be a current Warrenville resident to apply. Please see our website http://www.warrenvillehistorical.org/kids/scholarship.html for more information and to download the scholarship application. Applications can also be picked up from the Museum, located at 3S530 Second Street, on Sundays from 1-4pm. Students can also receive an application from their school’s guidance counselor’s office. We strongly encourage all students who qualify to  apply.  The application deadline is March 15, 2014.  Please contact the Historical Society at info@warrenvillehistorical.org or (630)393-4215 with any questions.

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Hiram E. Leonard Diary, February 24 – March 2, 1864

24th Wednesday  A fine pleasant day & evening. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

25th Thursday A fine pleasant day for Feb or April I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

26th Friday  rather a cloudy day but not bad till near night & began to rain in the evening was a rainey night. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick. Capt Graves came from Nashville by way of Springfield & got home.

27th Saturday  A damp cloudy morning & misty day grew more cool at night & froze hard during the night. I did my choars was at the office all day came home about 7 ½ by Hoyts got home & went to bed about 8 ½ nearly sick & home sick—-.

28th Sunday  A cold cloudy morning & day but grew more pleasant I did my choars was at home a choaring round the most of the day went to the office towards night & came back by Hoyts home about 7 ½ & went to bed before 9 nearly sick & lonesome.

29th Monday  rather fine weather for winter. I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

March 1st Tuesday  fine weather for March. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

2nd Wednesday  fine weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.”

Those Were the Days: The Warrenville Firehouse

Warrenville Fire District No. 1 1944

As the Fire Protection District celebrates its 75th year in existence, the Historical Society is helping commemorate the anniversary. In honor of the formation of this vital community institution, the following, taken from Leone Schmidt’s In and Around Historic Warrenville, details one of two fires in the mid-1930s which pushed the people of Warrenville to form the district. The second event will be detailed in our spring newsletter and in an upcoming blog entry.  For more information about the District’s anniversary visit their website http://www.warrenvillefire.com or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/warrenvillefire75.

Warrenville’s Firehouse rose out of the ashes of the Baptist Church left smouldering on the ground of 3S472 Batavia Road in 1935.

The Baptists had been worshiping at the site since 1842—in the structure now devastated since 1857. Its walls had echoed to stirring rallies during the Civil War…listened to the deliberations of the Fox River Baptist Association’s 25th anniversary convention in 1860. During all those years the   historic landmark had in some way touched the lives of almost everyone in town. And when it was all over they had   nothing left but the copper box from the cornerstone and poignant memories.

The disaster struck in the cold of winter, and was thought to have been related to the recently installed heating plant. The story was recounted in detail on the front page of the Wheaton Daily Journal the same day, Thursday, December 19, 1935.

“The fire was discovered simultaneously by citizens in the Petit store and in Behr’s garage. Smoke was noticed coming from the building and the resulting investigation revealed that the interior was filled with smoke. Those who first arrived at the church said that the flames were coming from near the roof.

“The Wheaton fire department was called and responded at once, although its efforts were unavailing in saving the church building. Firemen from Winfield and Naperville also answered the alarm. No other structure was affected, however, and the firemen poured water into the blazing debris after it had fallen into the basement. The roof fell in with a crash and a shower of sparks, to be followed at intervals by sections of the walls…

“The roofs of some nearby buildings smoked at times, but water was thrown on them and no damage resulted…”

As the tears flowed and the  people talked and lamented their loss in this latest of fire catastrophes, the conclusion was born as of one mind: Warrenville must have its own fire-fighting force for protection.

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, February 17 – 23, 1864

17th Wednesday rather fine weather for winter but a cold air. I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick. The Steamboat Orient struck a snag near Dogtooth Bend about 20 miles above Cairo, downward bound & sunk in 20 minutes. J.R. Grant was reported drowned.

18th Thursday  A fine day & not quite as cold. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick.

19th Friday  A fine pleasant day & evening & more mild I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home by Hoyts about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ about sick.

20th Saturday  A fine pleasant day & evening for winter. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening & came home about 12 or 11 & went to bed tiard & nearly sick, from Col Warren & others & myself stayed at store & had a chat.

21st Sunday  I got up about 7 did my choars eat breckfust, went to the office about 10, came back by Hoyts, got home before 11, wrote some choared round & went to bed before 9 sick. Mrs. Potter & Charles went to Meeting at Baptist, & Mrs Potter came home sick & soon went to bed with the sick headache.

22nd Monday rather a fine day for the season. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick. Elizabeth was sick.

23rd Tuesday  rather fine weather for Feb. the roads are getting pretty good. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, February 10 – 16, 1864

10th Wednesday  rather fine weather for the season. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home by Hoyts 8 ½ & went to bed 9 ½ sick with a  cold. Frank Wellman started from Michigan to come here.

11th Thursday  rather a fine day for Feb. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ by Hoyts & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick, Griffeth got home with Sams Corpse at about noon.

12th Friday A fine pleasant sunshiney day looks more like April than Feb. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ by Hoyts & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick. Sam Griffeth was buried this afternoon, Elder Bicknell came from Michigan & left Frank Wellman at Winfield over night.

13th Saturday  A fine pleasant sunshiney day, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 by Hoyts & went to bed about 9 nearly sick. Caroline was down & Mrs Potter & Charles went home with her about dusk walked. Frank Wellman came today noon, took dinner at Noonens & eat supper at my house & came about 12 & stayed at my house called before supper at Brookses, he & Julia went & foddered the horses at the barn & he done Julias choars: Brooks was sick.

14th Sunday  A fine pleasant day more like April than Feb. I did my choars was round home all day choaring & making vinager went to office towards night, went to bed about 9 nearly sick. Frank went to Winfield with Tom Watson. Mrs Potter got home dark.

15th Monday  A fine day for winter but pretty cold, about 20 degrees below zero in morning. I did my choars was at the office all day & in evening came home & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick.

16th Tuesday  A fine cold day & evening. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick with a cold.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, February 3 – 9, 1864

3rd Wednesday  rather fine winter weather but some cloudy & muddy. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ about sick with a cold.

4th Thursday  rather fine weather for winter but warm & muddy I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening, came home about 8 ½ by Hoyts & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick. Samuel Griffeth died at Camp Butler this morning.

5th Friday  rather fine weather for winter but muddy. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ and went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick with a  cold—-.

6th Saturday  rather a fine day for the season but warm & muddy. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick, R Griffeth got a telegraphic dispatch from Springfield that Sam Griffeth was ded he died at Camp Butler on the 4th of Feb.

7th Sunday A fine warm day for Feb. but some cloudy & muddy, more pleasant towards night, I did my choars cleaned out the hovels called at Mr Hoyts a few minutes in forenoon was round home the most of the day & evening went to the office towards night came back wrote some & went to bed about 9.

8th Monday  A fine pleasant day for winter & a getting to be pretty good going. I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick with a cold [in margin] John Grant left for Memphis.

9th Tuesday  rather fine weather for winter, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ and went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick with a cold. Wm Griffeth started for Springfield to Camp Butler to get Sam Griffeths boddy who died last Thursday.”