Old Post Cards Reveal Wheaton Illinois at Turn-of-the-Century.

The Schlicks and Daleidens spent time in the City of Wheaton Illinois. I located two post cards several years ago at the Midwest Book Hunters Book Fair.

Driving Park Road is show in red above running north and south in the subdivision built by Jay Stream (Founder of Carol Stream, Illinois) and his Durable Contstruction Co. in the 1950s. Note the quaint names of the roads connecting N. Washington Street on the Northside of Wheaton Illinois: Bridle, Turf, Countryside and Ranch. I lived on Turf Lane raising my two daughters in the ninties.

The photo an current map shown above is of the “Driving Park” race track at the Wheaton Fair in 1908. This was formerly located on the north side of Wheaton, Illlinois just south of Geneva Road and east of Main Street near the Wheaton Eye Clinic. There is a lot to take in looking at this photo. There are four people harness racing coming out of a turn. A judge’s stand to the right. Spectator stands to the left and on the inside of the track.

In 1844 Vermonter Daniel Kelley purchased 1,400 acres and settled at “Tall Trees” with his wife to raise Spanish Merino sheep. The Kelleys and their 11 children all became actively involved in Wheaton’s political and business life. Daniel Kelley donated land for the Chicago Great Western Railway, and the area around the railroad stop became known as Gretna after 1887. Gretna was settled by German farm families, largely Roman Catholics from Southern Germany.

In 1853, St. Stephen Catholic Church was built in Gretna and later closed in 1867. When St. Michael Church was opened in Wheaton in 1872, the St. Stephen parishioners were transferred to that parish. The church building was dismantled sometime in the late 19th century. St. Stephen Cemetery, last used for burial in 1910, was located adjacent to the church building. The St. Stephen Cemetery (located north of the Great Western Trail behind Meyer Material Company on St. Charles Road) was rededicated 100 years later on September 12, 2010. (Source: City of Carol Stream website: https://www.carolstream.org/about/history.).

Postcard view of Wheaton Illinois in 1906. This photo was taken “North Railroad [Now Front] Street looking east from Hale.” There is much to observe in this photo: The raised sidewalks, the fountain in the intersection, the DuPage Court House steeple, the horse and buggy, the overhead utility lines, the dirt street, etc. The verso of the postcard (shown below) is addressed to a “Miss Clara Bosma Union Grove, Wis.”. There are two postmarks: Wheaton, Ill April 6 9 am and a second postmark stamped Union Grove, Wis. received April 6 2 pm. Miss Bosma writes on the front around the edges of the photo: “Rec’s you dear postal Clare thanks ever so much. I am not very well but will try and be ready apr. 8 with love E.L” the date of April 5, 1906 is written in the upper left-hand corner. This is truly a snapshot of the past.

Due to the fact that I like “going down rabbit holes”, I searched Clara Bosma’s name for the 1900 Census for Union Grove Wisconsin in Racine County. Clara in 1900 was born in 1891 and was six years old. In 1906 she was nine and one of three children of Mr and Mrs. John and Annie Bosma Clara’s sister were Emma (16) and Ida (13). Clara’s father and paternal grandparents were born in Holland. Perhaps the person writing the note was he mother or a friend visiting relatives or friends in Wheaton.

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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