Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Naperville100 years ago When the Chamber of Commerce was Founded

The Naperville Association of Commerce was founded in 1913. That means our Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce is celebrating 100 years of business promotion and fellowship! So in the coming months let’s climb into the “way back” machine and take a look at Naperville one hundred years ago.

1913 was a pivotal year for our city’s government. The year started with Mayor Francis Granger overseeing eight alderman who represented four wards. In April, however, newly-elected Mayor Francis Kendall became the leader of the newly-formed commission form of government.

Now 100 years later, Naperville is planning to vote in April 2013 on whether to reconsider the ward system we are currently planning. As they say, “everything old is new again.”

Mayor Granger moved with his family from New York City to DuPage County when he was an infant. He was a successful farmer and later president of the First National Bank of Naperville.

Throughout his life he was very involved in the community, including stints as County Supervisor, Highway Commissioner, and Alderman. Granger also served seven years as President of the West Side School Board and spent 30 years as a School Trustee, so it was a natural choice when Indian Prairie School District 204 named a middle school after him.

Mayor Kendall was also involved in our schools. He attended North Central College when it was still North Western and later served both as Superintendent of Naper Academy and principal of Ellsworth School.

Indian Prairie’s Kendall Elementary School, however, is not named for Francis but for his son Oliver “Judd” Kendall, the World War I hero who in 1918 was captured and killed near Cantigny, France.

The Kendalls built onto an older cottage in Naperville to create a gracious family home that now houses Quigley’s Pub and the Jefferson Hill shops.