William B. Daleiden Postmaster and Store Owner Winfield Illinois.

Willam B. Daleiden was the son of William T. Daleiden. William B.’s grandfather was Christopher Daleiden.

In 1930 per the U.S. Census William was 28 years of age and married to Mary Charlotte ( nee Gudgel). They were living in a house on the corner of what is now known as Liberty and Church Streets in Winfield a few blocks from the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad embankment and depot. This was his grandmother Margaret and Christopher Daleiden’s home. His grandfather Christopher Daleiden had died on 10 July 1910.

According to the Census William was paying his grandmother $25 per month rent to live in the house with his family. The house was located directly north and next door to the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. This house would later be moved and relocated to the corner of Sunnyside and East Street in Winfield. The home is still standing and occupied. I will write more about the house in a future post.

The 1930 U.S. Census also records that William and his wife Mary Charlotte now had a daughter Barbara May born 14 May 1929. Mary and William B. would have two more children: William R. who would be born later in 1930 on 24 November 1930 after the census had been recorded.

Photo of Bluebird Confectionay and Billard Hall – Photo records this as being the Baum Store prior to becoming the Bluebird Winfield Historical Society photo.
This is a photo of Chicago Avenue in Winfield Illinois. This Street runs east and west and runs parallel and just south of the Chicago and Northwestern (now Metra Union Pacific) RR tracks. The store just to the left of the depot and on the opposite side of what was once called Main Street (now Winfield Road)is the Bluebird Confectionary and Billards Parlor. The Store was owned by William B. Daleiden. Winfield Historical Society Photo

William B. was known as being the proprietor of the Bluebird Confectionary Store and Billards Parlor in Winfield. He was one of several merchants serving the residents of Winfield. The store was located intially just south of the railroad tracks on the west side of Main Street (now Winfield Road).

William also served for a term of office on the Winfield Village Board of Trustees from 1928 to 1929 showing his willingness to serve his community and be a leader. Winfield incorporated as a Village in May 1921.

In March 1928 two years prior to the Census being recorded his store experienced a fire. The destruction of his store must have been a devasting blow financially and psychologically to the family. The following item appeared on the front page of the West Chicago Press newspaper dated 15 March 1928:

$ 10,000 LOSS IN FIRE AT WINFIELD TUESDAY MORNING. Bluebird Confectionary Sote and Billard Parlor Completely Demolished by Blaze With Heavy Loss

Winfield was the scene of the most disasterous fire in it history early Tuesday morning when the Bluebird Confectionary Store and Billards Parlor was burned to the ground with a total loss of building and contents estimated at $10,000 [$ 164,000 in 2022]. The store was owned by Wm B. Daleiden of this city.

The cause of the fire, which was discovered at 3:30 Tuesday morning, is unknown. It started in the portion of the building occupied by the billard tables and when discovered was blazing so terrifically that is was impossible to enter the building to save anything.

Winfield has no fire fighting equipment and a call was sent to Wheaton for their fire truck. For some reason Wheaton could not or would not answer the call so a summons was sent to West Chicago. A few of the firemen were gotten together as quickly as possible and hurried to Winfield but the fire had gained such headway . . .

West Chicago Press 15 March 1928. A front page article on the fire that destroyed William B.’s store The Bluebird Confectionary and Billard Parlor. [Note: This is a microfilm copy of the article and due to the microfilming process the later part of the article was rendered un-readable. The Press is available for viewing at the West Chicago Public District Library in West Chicago Illinois ]

William B. Daleiden, was not only a member of the Winfield Board of Trustees and a store merchant but he was also Postmaster for the Village of Winfield Illinois. The Postmaster was a well known member of the community. People had to pickup their mail in person. This was prior to door to door mail delivery was established. Mr. Daleiden would get to know each member of the community due to his role as the postmaster. This is a post that he held from August 1931 through the nineteen forties. William B., per the U.S. Appointments of U.S. Postmasters, 1932-1971 records available from the National Archives and Records Administration and accessed on Ancestry.com, reveal he was confirmed on 5 August 1931, commissioned 24 August 1931, and accepted the “assumed charge” on the 31 August 1931. He was renominated to the post on 10 January 1940, confirmed 19 January 1940, and his commission was signed and mailed on 11 March 1940. He “assumed charge” 1 April 1940.

The store was located across from the Winfield Illinois train depot. What this meant is that many people visiting Winfield may of had time to visit the store to pickup reading material, some snacks and a cigar prior to boarding the train. Also, the Winfield Tuberculosis Sanitarium attracted many people visiting their friends or family members in Winfield. Later, when the Elsen building contained Karwoski’s Bar and Dining Room many of the people would stop by for light snack, lunch or dinner made by Mary Karwoski. This anecdotal story was provided by one of the Karwoski family members during a Winfield Historical Society History Walk during Winfield Good Old Days celebration during the late or mid 2000s.

Exterior view of the main building at the Chicago-Winfield Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Winfield, Illinois. 1910. Source Chicago History Museum Chicago Daily News Photo Collection link: https://images.chicagohistory.org/asset/146385/https://images.chicagohistory.org/asset/146385/

In Librarian and Winfield Historian Louise Spanke’s book on Winfield History titled Winfield’s Good Old Days: A History (1978), Marguerite Roth who worked with William Daleiden ( See her in the photo below) reminisces about “Bill Daleiden” during an interview with Spanke in the late nineteen seventies (page 185):

In the early 1930s “Bills Store and Post Office” in the Elsen Building [better known as John’s Buffet] was the gathering place for the young people of the 350 villagers of Winfield. The man who greeted each customer was Bill Daleiden, a man who wore many hats: Postmaster, Storekeeper, most of all Friend.

The store was where they could get 5 and 10 cent ice cream cones, 5 and 10 cent Cokes, 15 cent malts or sundaes and 15 cent ham sandwiches. It had two tables where they could spend . . . time with their friends. Also the busiest part of the store was the “penny candy” counter where for a few pennies the kids walked out with a sack full.

Bill was for the adults too, [with] papers, magazines, tobacco, cigars, bread, rolls and some canned goods. And don’t forget the 10 cent fruit pies.”

Source of Photo: Spanke, Winfield Good Old Days: A History. Winfield Library Board (1978)
1940 U.S. Census Winfield Winfield Township DuPage County Illinois. This shows the William B. Daleiden family members. Source Family Search.com link: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9MB-74KM?i=2&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AKW4R-GTX

In 1940 William B. and Mary now have a son William R. Daleiden who is nine years old and Barbara is now ten.

William would die on 19 September 1978 in Eugene Oregon where he had relocated and moved to take a job with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

William B Daleiden’s Obituary

About Schlick Daleiden Families - DuPage and Kane Counties of Illinois

Kevin Davis is a retired Public Library Director. He is a Board member of the Winfield (IL) Historical Society. Davis has over 35 years experience working in public libraries. He is deeply interested in local Chicagoland, Dupage, and Kane County History. Davis earned a BA in History and an MA in Library Science from Dominican University. He is a volunteer researcher for the St. James Farm Forest Preserve part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in Illinois. His work includes extensive writing and research on the McCormick family line who were former owners of St. James Farm. He is an avid family historian / genealogist and has done extensive research on the Schlicks and Daleidens of DuPage and Kane County Illinois.
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1 Response to William B. Daleiden Postmaster and Store Owner Winfield Illinois.

  1. Pingback: Christmas and Holiday Candy Recipe from 1890s on Forest Preserve Blog | Schlick Daleiden Family DuPage/Kane Co. Blog

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