Winfield Public Library Expansion 1986

The Winfield Public Library was my second home as a young boy. I would particularly spent time there during the summers when school did not occupy my time. I loved reading history (Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt biographies and World War II history).

I recall that the Library had humble beginnings on Church Street in an apartment building across the street from the Winfield Park District’s Gazebo Park. The Library eventually outgrew its space and moved to three relocatable/temporary buildings located on Winfield Elementary School property. The temporarily buildings had been used by the School Distrcit prior to the new Winfield Central Middle School being built on Park Avenue and Beecher Streets.

When I was a very young boy my sister and brother would go to the Winfield Elementary School Library that was open on a very limited basis during the summer. This was how I was able to have access to books when I was young.

In a recent review of old issues of the Wheaton Daily Journal for the year 1986 I ran across the article below concerning the renovation or expansion of the current Library building under the leadership of Linda Slusar. Linda would later become the leader of the College of DuPage Library Technical Assistants Certification program. I would beome an instructor for the program for a short period of time in the nineties while I was working for the Warrenville and Aurora Public Libraries and prior to becoming the Administrator for the Messenger Public Library of North Aurora Illinois.

My mother subscribed to many of the local papers. The Wheaton Journal was one newspaper I recall that was delivered directly to our front doorstep. The Winfield editor for the paper was Alyce Bartlett or as she was known as Alyce “Scoop” Bartlett. My mother knew Alyce via her attendance at Sunday mass at St Johns Church.

Alyce was a resident of Winfield Illinois for 52 years Bartlett (nee Witt), born April 14, 1928, in Chicago, died June 12, 2012, after a brief illness. Alyce was schooled in Chicago and met Bob Bartlett in 1950. They married in 1951. Together they raised six children. In 1967 she began a career in journalism. The Winfield Glimpses was the first newspaper she wrote for. She became an ad setter for the Naperville Sun, moving to the Daily Journal, where she had a column and was a special edition editor. From there she became a columnist for the Daily Herald, West Chicago Press and most recently, The Winfield Press. During her career she had many opportunities to meet presidents, actors and many local people of interest. She was passionate about her work. Many local residents of Winfield still fondly refer to her as “Scoop.” Alyce was survived in 2012 per her obituary by her children, Joan (Kim) Haas of Holcombe Wis., Bob Bartlett of Mounds View, Minn., Ellen Morris of Waukegan Ill., Kathleen (Pete) Henry of Genoa, Ill., Charlie (Donna) Bartlett of Winfield Ill., and Ann (Ken) Weseman of Wheaton Ill.; 16 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brother, Dick (Judy) Witt of Prescott, Ariz.; sister-in-law, Rita Bartlett of Oak Lawn, Ill.; and many nieces and nephews. She was proceeded in death by her parents, Michael Witt, Annette Witt; husband, Bob Bartlett in 1995; sister, Eleanor Hartjen; brother-in-law, Fred Bartlett; sister-in-law, Virginia Baxter; and an infant son, Michael.

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Early Photo View of Church Street in Winfield IL

The below photo looks north along Church Street towards St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (on the right) and the school and rectory on the left. (Photo is courtesy of St Johns Church and the Winfield Historical Society).

This view has changed significantly today. The road is not paved we can see tire ruts in the foreground. Absent in this photo is the St John Catholic School. The new school that my mother Louise Eleanor Schlick Davis attended St John’s School. The new school structure would not be erected until 1940 and was dedicated in 1942 during the Church’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary.

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“Roosevelt Road Dedicated” 1920 Newspaper Account

Roosevelt Road (Illinois State Route 38) runs from Chicago near the shores of Lake Michigan west to the City of Geneva and to points further west. It is one of many commercial transportation routes for the suburbs.

In this 2022 Google Map Illinois Route 38 Roosevelt Road is shown in red.

During my research I ran across the article reprinted below in italics appearing in the Wheaton Illinoian October 8, 1920. This article covers the early history of Roosevelt Road. I loved reading this particular article. It provides the context on the state of roads and the increasing use and acceptiblity of the automobile as a mode of transportation. I found Col. McCormick’s speech during the dedication of the Wheaton stretch of Roosevelt Road to be very prophetic:

[Roosevelt] road dedicated last Saturday would be 100 feet wide instead of the present 18 feet, and that there would be six other concrete trunk highways connecting DuPage county with Chicago, and that in time these roads would be carrying more passengers and freight than the present steam and electric railroads with which this section is wonderfully well supplied.

This particular road would also be used by the Daleiden, Schlick and Davis relatives and family in their travels throughout the area.

The Schlicks of Mack Road, Winfield and St. James Farm would own several Ford automobiles during their lifetime. The use of automobiles is noted in this article.The “Ford” is mentioned within the article. The Ford Model T during this time was so popular Henry Ford once said: “There’s no use trying to pass a Ford, because there’s always another one just ahead.” By the early nineteen twenties more than half of the registered automobiles in the world were Fords. More than 15,000,000 Model T’s were built and sold.

The Ford Motor Co. of Detroit Michigan’s lengendary Model T. “The Ford Model T  . . . was produced by Ford Motor Company from October 1, 1908, to May 26, 1927.[10] It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, which made car travel available to middle-class Americans.” (Source: Wikipedia).


The grand weather of last Saturday made possible the complete access of the dedication of the section of Roosevelt Road from Wheaton to 12th Street, and although the attendance at the ceremonies was far below what was expected and planned for, the program was carried out with just as much pep and earnestness as though there had been a million people present.

Wheaton took the $100 prize for the greatest number of autos in the parade, 64 passing the reviewing stand at the dedication point Governor Lowden was unexpectedly detained, but he send Frank I Bennett as his personal representative, who with W.G. Edens, S.E. Bradt (state supt. of highways), Supervisor Wm Hammerschmidt, Alice Roosevelt Longworth [daughter of Theodore Roosevelt] and others, saw to it that the last connecting link (a spot a foot square at the foot of Baker’s Hill) was properly laid about noon.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt was present during the ceremonies to open the Wheaton Illinois stretch of Roosevelt Road (Illinois Route 38). (Source: Wikipedia).
William Grant (W.G.) Edens was at the dedication ceremony. An early advocate of paved roads the Edens Expressway is named after Mr. Edens. (Source Wikipedia).

Arriving at Wheaton the crowd assembled at the court house grounds for the balance of the program which consisted of short talks by Frank Bennett, the governor’s representative. Senator Medill McCormick and his brother Col. Robert McCormick, S.E. Bradt, Hon E.N. Hurley [Edward Nash Hurley. Hurley’s estate was once located just east of Col McCormick’s Cantigny Estate. Hurley’s property is now part of the Wheaton Park District’s Hurley Gardens Park. Both estates are located off of Roosevelt Road] and others. States Attorney C. W. Hadley presided in his usual efficient way and his prefacing remarks were equally as well received as any of them.

Edward Nash Hurley owner of the Hurley Estate once located on Roosevelt Road in Wheaton, west of Cantigny the home of Col Robert R. McCormick. Hurley was at the dedication ceremony. “In 1907 he became president of the National Bank of Wheaton and then founded the Hurley Machine Company, which produced vacuum cleaners and washing and ironing machines. In 1914 he was named to the Federal Trade Commission and in 1915 he became its chairman. Hurley also served on the Red Cross War Council, the War Trade Board, and as chairman of the U.S. Shipping Board.” (Source Wikipedia).

The Wheaton Band was about an hour late getting on the job, but were the last to leave the grounds. The city firemen act as assistants to Marshall Grange, but their services were scarcely needed, as there was no jam whatever.

Col. Robert Rutherford McCormick, Editor and Publisher of the Chicago Tribune and owner or his grandfathter’s estate Red Oaks Farm, now called Cantigny. (Source: Wikipedia).

Robert McCormick, during the remarks, prophecied that in no distant future the road dedicated last Saturday would be 100 feet wide instead of the present 18 feet, and that there would be six other concrete trunk highways connecting DuPage county with Chicago, and that in time these roads would be carrying more passengers and freight than the present steam and electric railroads with which this section is wonderfully well supplied. We believe he is absolutely sound in his predictions, too. The almost complete motorization of the whole country makes roads of the “Roosevelt” character imperative, and these are bound to greatly cheapen and simplify distribution and travel. Paid for totally by the motorists of the state, we will all have to admit that automobiles, the use of which was looked upon with much skepticism 20 years ago, has been a god-send to the country after all, in supplying highways of the finest type know to the science of today. True, they are few in number, and of exasperating shortness at present, but in the years to come they will be as common as Fords are today, and the questions of distance will never enter in the problems of transportation and travel.

Wheaton, in DuPage county, being the seat of the hard-roads idea in this section, should be, and is, proud of the fact, and mightly glad to be the present terminus of one of the longest strecches of hard in the big state of Illinois.

U.S. Senator Joseph Medill McCormick brother of Colonel Robert Rutherford McCormick (Source Wikipedia).

Senator McCormick took particular pleasure during this talk, in eulogizing the man in whose honor the road is named – Theodore Roosevelt – the daughter of whom, Alice Longworth, sat in the speakers’ stand. Two quarts of water taken from the well at the Roosevelt summer home at Sagamore Hill, were used in mixing the mortar which completed the 25 mile stretch, and even thoouhg it was properly and carefully placed, we missedthe spirit of the great man himself, who was ever an idol of his people.

President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt Road or Illinois Route 38 was named in his honor. (Source: Wikipedia).

The bridge over Salt creek, just finished, came in for special ceremonies, and was dedicated in the name of Robert S. McCormick [Col. McCormick’s father], in memory of his activities for hard roads during his later days.

Robert Saunderson McComick, father of Col Robert Rutherford McCommick.
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German-Style Well in Old St Stephen’s Cemetery Lauds Carol Stream’s Immigrant History

St. Stephen Cemetery well has been recreated near the old St. Stephen Church Pioneer Cemetery in Carol Stream formerly the settlement of Gretna, Illinois. (Photo: Courtesy of Daily Herald 9/22/2022)

The following article was posted and printed in the Daily Herald newspaper on Thursday, September 22, 2022. Kevin Davis and his wife attended this event on August 18 2022.

Thursday, Aug. 18, was a beautiful summer day at St. Stephen Cemetery and Prairie in Carol Stream.
John Monino, representing Milton Township’s Cemetery Authority, dedicated a rebuilt well in the name of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet. The story of how the well came to be refurbished goes back almost a year.

At the annual St. Stephen Family Day and Mass last September, board member Jeff Castle noticed what he thought was dangerous concrete rubble until he further investigated. He realized that the rubble covered a well.

At the time, Castle had the vision to “take something little and make it beautiful.” He thought he could do better than that. So, he started doing some research on German wells, since the settlers of Gretna, the original name of Carol Stream, were primarily of German descent.

He made plans for the well, building up smooth river stones capped by a ledge of stone. He then used white oak for the structure, with fragrant redwood to line the shingled roof. A wooden bucket on a winch completes the authenticity of the well from the late 1800s. Rebuilding the well is to honor the memory of immigrants who built the community.

Accepting the proclamation of dedication document for the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois was Eric Holloway, the diocese’s director of Catholic cemeteries.

Learn more about the history of St. Stephen Cemetery and Prairie or Friends of Pioneer Cemeteries at this link.

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Wheaton Illinoian Newspaper Posts on Winfield Illinois and Christopher Daleiden Purchases Property in Village

I have used newspaper extensively throughout my research. News items posted in neighborhood sections of the newspaper provide a wealth of detailed information that is not available in official primary source government documents including the United States Census. Newspapers provide details on the whereabouts and events of our ancestors. They can also provide information on the growth and changes in communities as we shall see in this post.

The DuPage County Genealogical Society of Illinois (DCGS) provides information on their website to individuals searching for their ancestors with DuPage County Illinois roots. One of the projects they have worked on for years is to publish excerpts from the Wheaton (IL) Illinoian newspaper. Microfilm copies of the paper (1885 to 1939) are available at the Wheaton Public Library during Library open hours.

Here are four (4) items the DCGS volunteer transcribers uncovered in the Wheaton Illinoian related to DuPage and the Winfield Illinois area:

#1 Item from the Wheaton Illinoian: 14 February 1907: The Mary Beecher farm consisting of 315 acres directly south of Winfield had been purchased by Chicago parties and is being subdivided into smaller tracts.

Mary Jerome Beecher was the sister of Col. Julius Warren the founder of the City of Warrenville Illinois. Beecher owned a large tract of land in and surrounding Winfield. Here is more information on the Mary Beecher Farm property, referenced in the above article, excerpted from Louise Spanke’s book Winfield’s Good Old Days: A History.

At the death of the last of Colonel Warren’s sisters, Mrs. Jerome Beecher, the Warren lands went on the market in 1908 as Winfield Farm, and Winfield was finally free to grow. Vandercook and Skidmore, Chicago realitors, handled the sales from an office near the [Winfield Railroad Train] station. Lots were priced from $300 to $1000, or $200 to $600 per acre. They were promoted for poultry farm or market garden, for permanent or summer homes, or for investment. They were sold for all of these uses, and a diverse group of new residents soon ringed the close-knit community. . . . .

To circle back and connect this newspaper excerpt back to the Daleiden family I was able to obtain two Deeds from the Office of the DuPage County Recorder of Deeds showing that Christopher Daleiden purchased land from the “The Mary Beecher Warren Home” a parcel (lot number 3 in section 13) in the Plat of Frederickburg (Village of Winfield). Here is the handwritten “Quit Claim Deed” dated 6 June 1900.

1904 Plat Map of the Village of Winfield – Platted as Fredericksburg.

Christopher Daleiden in June of 1909 purchased additional property within the Winfield Farms subdivision.

Item #2 Wheaton Illinoian: 5 July 1907: Mrs. Marion Ashley had been appointed manager of the Winfield Rest Farm. Miss J.P. Forsythe, the owner, has taken charge of her sister’s rest home in Chicago. The sister having died a few weeks ago.

Item #3 Wheaton Illinoian: 23 August 1907: The new St. Johns church at Winfield was dedicated Sunday with appropriate ceremonies. Archbishop Quigley of Chicago had charge of the services assisted by priests from neighboring parishes. Many people from Wheaton were in attendance.

St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church Winfield Illinois. The original church had burned in August 1906. Bishop Quigley came to town to bless the new building one year later in August 1907. Note this photo and how wide open the property surrounding the Church was at the time.

Item #4 Wheaton Illinoian: 10 July 1908: At 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 30th, the Rev. Peter J. Muldoon came to Winfield where he was met at the depot by a procession formed by the congregation headed by a band. Bishop Muldoon confimed a class of 180 and delivered a sermon which was well received.

Bishop Peter J. Muldoon, the first bishop of the new Diocese of Rockford in Illinois (December 1908 to 1927)

The Church Rev. Bishop Muldoon was visiting in 1908 was St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Winfield. Muldoon was the The Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. The area of Dupage County was still under the control of the Chicago Archdiocses in 1908. Today it is within the control of the Diocese of Joliet. Here is some background on Bishop Muldoon from Wikipedia:

On 25 July, 1901, Pope Leo XIII appointed Muldoon as titular bishop of Tamassus and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He was consecrated on July 25, 1901 by Cardinal Sebastiano Martinelli at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.[5][1] After his ordination, Muldoon was assigned as an assistant pastor at St. Pius Parish in Chicago. After noticing Muldoon’s abilities, Archbishop Patrick Feehan appointed him as his secretary. His appointment raised jealously among many local priests and German priests resentful of Irish clergy. Some of these discontented priests engaged in character defamation against Muldoon – one of them was ultimately excommunicated by Feehan for these actions.[1] Muldoon was appointed as vicar-general of the archdiocese.[6]

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David McCullough Historian July 7, 1933  –  August 7, 2022

I do feel in my heart of hearts that if history isn’t well written, it isn’t going to be read, and if it isn’t read it’s going to die. David McCullough

David McCullough (Photograph by William B. McCullough).

Prizing winning historian David McCullough died on August 7 2022. He was 89. Here is a link to the full obituary at

I had the pleasure to meet Mr. McCullough on several occasions following speaking engagements and during book signings. I have a complete autographed collection of all of his writings. Here is alink to his publisher’s page Simon and Schuster. He was an excellent narrative historian. He made history come alive. McCullough was a devoted family man and husband to his wife Rosalee. She passed away two months ago.

Rosalee and David McCullough (Photo: Greenwich Time Website).

My most prized possession is a letter Mr. McCullough wrote to me in his own hand on his own personal stationary regarding the importance of public libraries to our American way of life.

To read more about David McCullough and his work as a historian visit a previous post on this blog at this link.

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Joseph & Mary Anne Schlick and Weberpal Home For Sale Relisted March 2023

Joseph Schlick’s 1906 home first went up for sale the in August 2022. Joseph was the former Mayor of the Village of Burlington. The home was last occupied by James Weberpal his grandson.

The house was off the market for a while during this past winter. I visited Burlington on Thrusday, March 23 2023. Here is the link to view the NEW home listing.

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Christina Daleiden’s Probate File

One valuable document genealogists/family historians need to find and review are the probate files and Probate Court records for their family members. The DuPage County Clerk’s Office was a rich source of family history information on the Daleiden family. One file in particular was very revealing and un anticipated.

Christina Daleiden lived a very short life. For a previous posting in this blog on Christina and her father see this link. Here is the Wheaton Illinoian’s description of the incident leading to her death.

Wheaton Illinoian covered the tragic death of Christina Daleiden the daughter of William T. and Susan (Elsen) Daleiden’s daughter. Christina was Christopher Daleiden’s grandaughter.

Christina Daleiden in a photo taken during the time of her 1st Communion at St. John’s Church in Winfield Illinois.
Solarine was the cleaning solution used by Christina Daleiden on the day of her death due to burns on her body.

William Daleiden and his family were seeking some closure regarding his daughter’s death. One avenue that was pursued was a claim suit filed against the Solarine Co. Solarine was a metel polish used by Christina that caused her death. The Probate filing of claim (dated May 19, 1910) states:

Due chose an action consisting of a claim for damages against the Solarine Co. a corporation by reason of an explosive or combustion or ignition of a polishing compound prepared by said corporation and which results in the death of the said testatee. Said claim being for the sum of $10,000.

John Prendergast was the Attorney appointed to represent the family in the claim case. On 5 June 1911 one year later a settlement was recorded in DuPage County Court in Wheaton:

That through your petitioner’s said attorney he has been able to procure an offer of settlement from the Solarine Company. That said company offers to pay the sum of Twenty-five Hundred Dollars ($2,500) and has deposited a certified check for that amount in escrow subject to the permission of your Honorable Court to settle said cause of action for this sum.

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Frank Schlick Baby Photo

Francis (Frank) Joseph Schlick was born on August 28, 1910 and died May 15, 1993. If he were alive in August 2022 he would have celebrated his 112th birthday!

One of the photos that I keep in my family archive is an oval shaped photo of my grandfather as an infant. Frank was the father of my mother Louise Eleanor Schlick Davis. The photo was taken around 1911 within a year after his birth. He is most likely dressed in his christening gown when he was baptisted into the Roman Catholic faith at St. John the Baptist Church in Winfield Illinois. This was the same church where his parents (Casper and Susan (Daleiden) Schlick in 1906) and grandparents (Christopher and Margaret (Weidner) Deleiden in 1867) were married.

The oval shaped convex glass that once covered this photo was broken quite some time ago. The original photo was printed on a cardboard stock and is in very poor shape. “Although oval and round picture frames make up less than 5% of all picture frames produced today, this has not always been the case. Over half of the picture frames produced in America by some the largest picture frame factories in the late 1800’s up to about 1940 were oval, round, octagon or other unusually shaped picture frames. Most of these frames were used to display family portraits with convex glass. Many attics and basements are home to these family heirlooms framed in antique frames and often broken convex bubble glass” (Source Accessed August 5, 2022: Over Crest Co.). The gold painted oval wood frame is still in good condition after 111 +/- years. In 1983 I brought the original photograph to Marshall Fields at the Oakbrook Shopping Center Mall in Oakbrook Illinois. My father George Davis worked at Sears at the same mall from the time the Mall opened in1959 until the time of his retirement. At the time Fields was providing a promotion via their downtown flagship store on State Street via their Marshall Fields Photo Studios and offering photo restoration work. For the price of $48.50 I splerged and had the photo reproduced, retouched and restored. Additional details within the photo emerged – his crop of thick black hair in the middle of his head and the design on the pillow for instance.

The Marshall Field Photo Studio restored photograph of Frank Schlick.

Frank grew up and lived all of his life in DuPage County within Winfield Township and in the Village of Winfield and the City of Warrenville in Illinois. Frank and Mae Hodous Schlick never ventured far from their homes. They never took extended vacations. This may be rooted I surmise in their committment to the daily needs and demands of farm life and frugality learned while growing up during the Great Depression. They were honest hardworking and simple people. Frank was the farm manager at St. James Farm from the mid 1950s to the time of his retirement. St James located in Warrenville Illinois was the former dairy and esquestrian estate farm of Brooks McCormick the CEO of International Harvester Co. of Chicago. It is now part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Illinois.

Frank Joseph and Mae (Hodous) Schlick on their wedding day 1932. For more information on their life check out this blog posting from this blog. This photo was taken at the Kohli Photography in Wheaton Illinois.
This is a handdrawn sketch portrait of “The Schlick Home – St. James Farm – Warrenville Illinois”. The artist
is D.S. Castro. This was given to my by my brother Robert Davis as a Christmas present. The Schlicks lived in this home on St. James starting in 1957 until my Grandfather Frank’s retirement in 1985. Unfortunately the home was torn down by the Forest Preserve District of Dupage County in 2008.
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St. James Farm History Revealed: The East Farm of the Bollwegs

The Dupage County Forest Preserve District (Illinois) recently posted a history of the “East Farm” of Brooks McCormick’s St. James Farm. Frank Schlick, my Grandfather, was the Farm Operations Manager for many years. This blog includes a nice aerial photo of the farm during the seventies. In one photo the Schlick home can be seen including Frank’s red colored International Harvester pickup truck that he used when running errands.

Aerial View of St James Farm circa 1970s. The Indoor Arena is show in the center bottom of this photo. Across the street and to the left is the Schlick Home. Grandpa Frank Schlick’s red IH truck is parked in front of and to the left of the house.
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