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Short Posts of Historic Facts and Events in Illinois




Naperville Parks - Recent Names

We are lucky to have a number of neighborhood parks and fields to enjoy. Park names refer to many aspects of the our city’s history. These four parks honor four figures from recent times.

A. George Pradel park was dedicated in 1999 on the south side of town. (The “A” stands for “Arthur,” as  he was named for his father.) Pradel served five terms as mayor, from 1995 until 2015, the longest service in our history.

In addition to mayor, Pradel also served as a Naperville police officer starting in 1966 and was Officer Friendly to many local kids when he became the first Safety Town teacher in 1977. Known now as “Mayor Emeritus,” Pradel is still active in our community.

Harris Fawell park is located near 75th Street and Route 59. It was also dedicated in 1999 to honor Fawell who served in the Illinois Senate from 1963 to 1977 and then in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1984 until 1999.

Fawell graduated from North Central College before pursuing his law degree and today his Congressional papers are held on campus. Now retired, Fawell still calls Naperville home.

The Bill Young athletic fields are on West Street near Central High School and are used for Park District and school athletic programs.

Young is an appropriate namesake since he served both as a Park District Commissioner and as Park District Police Chief. In addition, Young was also a dean and wrestling coach at the nearby high school. Young passed away in 2014 and the park honoring him was dedicated in 2016.

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Categories: Brief History





Naperville Parks - The Burlingtons

Our community is blessed with a number of parks, forest preserves and other green spaces. The names of these parks reflect their attributes or their developers or our local history. Since the significance of a park’s name can be lost as our population grows and ages, over the coming months we’ll highlight a few parks as a reminder. 

There are two parks named for the Burlington Northern Railway Company. As you might imagine, both will be found along the tracks. 

Burlington Square is a small park right in front of the 5th Avenue station. It features a statue of an American “doughboy” from World War I. Through the years since the War to End All Wars, the doughboy got a little beat up and had his rifle stolen, but the Century Walk art group restored him 2003 and placed him in Burlington Square. 

There’s also a Burlington Park between the railway and the DuPage River. Currently, Burlington Park in under the care of the DuPage Forest District — again.

A referendum was passed in 1966 to create the Naperville Park District and in 1969, the Park District took over several Forest Preserve properties,
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Notable Naperville Women - Clarissa Hobson

Clarissa Stewart Hobson was Naperville’s first female European settler. Joseph Naper’s wife, Almeda, long held that title, but as city borders extended to include the Hobson land, Clarissa now claims it. 

A Georgia girl, Clarissa and husband Bailey spent their early married life in Indiana not far from Louisville, Kentucky. She was already a 26 year old mother of five children when they decided that greener — and less rocky — pastures were to be had in Illinois. 

Leaving Clarissa behind with the farm work and the children, Bailey checked out some land in Illinois before returning to pack everything up for the move. They left on September 1, 1830 and were three weeks on the road, camping with their household goods, their kids and their cattle. 

After another three weeks bunking with a friendly family, Bailey had a cabin roughed out in Kendall County. The Hobsons were settled in their new home toward the end of November, but by December, Bailey was already thinking about moving closer to civilization. 




Notable Naperville Women -- Peg Price

Her place in history books and trivia quizzes is forever ensured:  Margaret “Peg” Price was Naperville’s first female mayor. So far, she is also Naperville’s only female mayor, but she probably counts on that record being broken.

Peg Price served two terms as mayor, from 1983 until 1991, which represents only a portion of her time in public office. Over a thirty year career, Price was also a City Council member for two terms, served as city plan commissioner and held positions on boards such as the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference and the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission. 

Rather than a born-and-bred Napervillian, Price arrived in 1967 with husband Charles and two sons as part of the great mid-sixties influx when subdivisions were popping up all around town. 

By 1969 Price was deep into local politics and part of the referendum campaign that brought about our current Council-Manager form of government. Originally with four councilors, in 1984 then-Mayor Price oversaw the number of councilors grow from four to six. 

Other changes during Price’s watch included the planning and building of today’s Municipal Center. City Hall used to be in the stone building on Jefferson Street that now houses La Sorella di Francesca. Although she was instrumental in keeping the Municipal Center downtown, by the time it opened in 1992, Price's term as mayor had ended. 

Another innovation under her leadership is the annual State of the City address. Price gave the first “state” speech in 1991 in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce to associate the objectives of government with those of the business community. Price continues to attend the annual address and you may have seen her with Mayor Chirico and Mayor Emeritus Pradel last spring. 

Another place to see her is on the Community Concert Center door in Central Park. The First National Bank purchased space to depict four m
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Notable Naperville Women -- Jane Sindt

Newer and younger residents of Naperville may not be familiar with Jane Sindt as a person, but if you’ve ever strolled the Riverwalk, attended an event at the Grand Pavilion or gone swimming at the beach, you are probably familiar with her name. The drive there was designated “Honorary Sindt Memorial Court” in 2002.

Older residents with a longer history in Naperville knew Jane as a person, or more precisely, knew her as a tornado of convictions and activity. 

Caroline Martin Mitchell left her family home to the city in 1936 to become Naperville’s historical museum. But it was Jane who first moved buildings onto the property and started the Heritage Society in 1969 to do so. Century Memorial Chapel was the first building to be carefully secured, raised and rolled through the streets to what we now call Naper Settlement.

The venture was not completely popular at the time, but when Jane took on a project, she completed it well and with flair. 

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Using Tech for Book Marketing

Don and Kate Gingold


Kate and husband Don have been building websites since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

As the Internet has evolved, producing books and marketing them has become much more complicated. Whether traditionally-published or self-published, authors today need to know their way around websites, blogging, social media and other online marketing tools.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs, small- to medium-business owners and not-for-profit directors. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Frequently Kate also writes about tips specific to authors, some of which are available here.

Just-for-Authors Website

Author Website

There are so many website options out there today. You can spend $10,000 or build one for free. And it's tough for most folks to figure out how much website they really need. 

Sprocket Websites put together an website package that provides a custom solution for an author's specific needs. We know what's important to successful book marketing so we made it easy to upload book images, summaries, reviews and of course, sales links. There's a calendar and a blog tool as well.

Check out all the details and you'll see why this is the perfect website for author success.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.