2. At the turn of the century, the main street was a "wide dirt swath bordered by pencil straight wooden businesses and trees that have
Bathroom facilities were outside, the boys at one end of the school and the girls at the other. For the first few decades of the century,
mail came by stagecoach from Chicago. People would gather at the post office waiting to see if they would get any mail, though most
people rarely did. There was no direct mail delibery to Wauconda until after the 1930s. Wauconda was known in this era as "quite a Saturday night town", and lots of folk would come here to dance at places like the Oakland Hotel. According to Harris, the Oakland
"was the big hall of the town. . . . Everything was held there.
3. Parsonage built for the Methodist Church.
4. In this year, the licensing fee for running billiards and pool tables was $10 per table.
early 1900s: 1. By this time Wauconda was a top resort village. Bangs Lake was dredged and sanded to make it suitable for beaches.
2. 18-year-old Harry Geary was working at the Creamery and living on the third floor of the building, in a room he shared with hired
hands in the summer. The Davis family, who managed the factory, lived on the second floor. A steam-driven engine rotated the church and there was a horse barn behind the building which house five horses. Some blacksmithing was done at the cheese factory by Charley Davis (who also served as the rural postmaster on occasion). Years later, Geary remembered the Creamery as "a kind of meeting place for the farm boys around here to talk about politics and crops or just plain settin' and spittin'. And whittlin' was always going on . . . much to the disgust of Davise' wife, who though he should be tending to cheese making."
3. Ice cream socials were popular in the summers; in winter, skating parties and sleigh rides provided recreation.
4. Some of the area's roads were so bad that stretches of them were simply abandoned in the spring. This is one of the reasons that
residents were so keen to get the railroad.
1901: 1. July: Village Board agreed that all dogs found unmuzzled on the streets of the village between 10 July and 15 September were subject to shooting by village authorities.
2. Death of Mary Oaks Cook. The Cook house was purchased by her youngest daughter, Lucy, whose husband, Will Clough, had been
farming it as Mary grew older. The Cloughs maintained their own home elsewhere in town, but Lucy's brother Arthur lived in the Cook
house until his death at 1906.
railroad through the village.
2. 3 November: An ordinance was passed granting the same right to W. D. Ball, Willard T. Block, Charles Lenhart, Frederick D.
McKinnon and Edwin B. Smith.
3. 5 December: death of Thomas Vedder Slocum in the Lincoln Hotel fire, Chicago
1903: (2 June) Village reforestation program established with the purchase by the village of sixty elm trees from Klehm's nursery, at a cost of
1904: (19 March) Volo Church destroyed by tornado
1905: At age 15, Leslie Brooks Paddock began working the printing press at the Wauconda Star.
1906: 1. John Spencer's saw and grist mill at the foot of Mill Street near the lake burned. Many people at the time said it was the worst fire the village had seen. This shelved plans for an electric train-car.
2. Village's first speed limit signs were posted, and some cement sidewalks were to be put in.
3. Death of Arthur Cook
1907: 1. John Brown (of McHenry) and Annie Margreth Stilling (of Johnsburg, McHenry Co.) married at St. John's Church. They rented the
Cook house from Will and Lucy (Cook) Clough and lived there until 1919. Two of their children were born there.
2. The old village hall (now the Citizens' Activity Center) was built by the Brumm brothers. Village president at the time was H. T. Fuller.
3. Arthur Kirwan moved his tavern to 202 S. Main St.
1908: 1. Roller skating on cement sidewalks was banned.
2. The Wauconda Star was purchased by Frank Carr, who renamed it the Leader.3. Graduating class of Wauconda High School in this year consisted of Minnie Meyer, Grace Toynton (later Mrs. George Harris), Bessie
Clough (later Mrs. Rollin Hallock), and Mertie Kuebker (later Mrs. Homer T. Cook)--"all the boys had gotten bored and dropped out."
At this point Wauconda High School was a three-room building at Main St. and Barrington Rd., with eighth grade and high school taught
in the same room by the same teacher..
1909: 1. Emil Dahms became clerk; he served until 1928.
2. The Palatine, Lake Zurich, and Wauconda railway line conceived by Robert Wynn--"the organizer of a not-too-successful trolley company in Waukegan"--as part of a scheme to build a trolley line from Waukegan to Fox Lake and then to Rockford. Wynn planned for a 'T' line which would extend from Fox Lake through Wauconda, Lake Zurich, and Palatine, to terminate in Elgin. Along with Wynn, a Waukegan attorney named Justin K. Orvis "organized the Waukegan, Rockford, and Elgin Traction Company to connect with the Chicago and North-western railway lines." The two men "barnstormed [sic] the area with the virtues of Wauconda as the 'Midwest's Natural Playground'. Due to promotion done by the pair, soon Charles A. Patten, a Palatine became interested in helping out with the railroad's financing. Right of way for the railroad was donated by Wauconda farmers."1910: 1. Population at this time: 368. "[T]he community had achieved some prominence as a vacation spot for blue-collar Chicagoans enjoying
the waters of Bangs Lake. Numerous summer homes ringed the lake and a small commercial center developed." Vacationers would
take the train out to Barrington and then take a coach the rest of the way; Ambrose Bangs drove the coach.
2. Robert Wynn's "failure in Waukegan doomed the Rockford line before it got off the ground," but he found considerable enthusiasm for the proposed T-line." Rand Rd. (Rte. 12), "the old mail route to Janesville . . . remained a muddy or snow-clogged track" and "residents searched for a way to ease travel to Wauconda. . . . As grain prices rose, Wauconda citizens quickly contributed almost $20,000 for the line. Construction began almost immediately from Palatine, but economic and engineering difficulties delayed the entry of the restructured steam line . . . into Wauconda."
3. The Slocum homestead sold by Marietta Slocum, the last of the family to live there. It was purchased by Herman H. Hoelseler for $13,000. Marietta and her second husband, Charles Gardinier, are believed to have moved to California, where she died in 1921. Their only child, Daisy, married a Davis but is not believed to have had any children of her own.
4. Blackburn and Broughton Hardware established by George Blackburn and Lyle Broughton "in a small wooden frame building."
1911: 1. Will Clough, husband of Lucy Cook, hanged himself in the barn. The writer of his obituary, who was a friend, wrote, "We believe that
the loss of few men could be more keenly felt by all of us."
2. P, LZ & W Railroad reached Deer Park.
1912: November: P, LZ & W Railroad reached Lake Zurich.
1913: 1. 4 May: Palatine, Lake Zurich & Wauconda Railroad (aka the Old Maud) finally pulled into Wauconda. This was the occasion of the first Wauconda Day parade. Ambrose Bangs (then 83) drove the train. The railroad hauled agricultural products, delivered the mail, transported local passengers, and brought vacationers and day-trippers out from Chicago--to the town and to "the many picnic groves along the line." However, the "underfunded and poorly constructed line did not help develop Wauconda", which remained a small town. The engines, as well as much of the equipment, were leased: the number one engine, 'Maud', and the number three engine, 'Betsy', were leased from NorthWestern; the number two engine, 'Molly', was on loan from the F, J, & F line. Still, the railroad led to the town's flourishing as a resort, and Wauconda residents depended on it for supplies and for mail.
2. J. H. Patterson built the Wauconda Lumber Yard. The yard was operated by three people, including Velda Bangs, the first bookkeeper
1914: 1. 23 February: Brown & Boehmer Auto opened on Main St. "They started out just repairing horse-and-buggies", according to Steve
2. Public Service Company was granted by ordinance the right to lay and maintain pipes to distribute gas through the village.
3. 19 December: According to Baptist records, the first meeting to discuss possible federation with the Methodists took place on this day. Initially the congregations would maintain their own properties and retain their denominational connections, but one pastor would serve both churches.The men to hold that position would alternate--first a Methodist, then a Baptist.
2. Death of Charles Davlin. He was one of the first Wauconda residents to own a car.
3. Methodist and Baptist congregations united to form the Federated Church. The Methodist church building was used for worship services and Sunday school, and the Baptist building was used as a community center. This worked well until the early 1930s.
4. August: Kuebker purchased 66 acres bordering the lake and fixed it up to serve as Cook's Grove, one of the earliest beaches on Bangs
Lake; admission: 25 cents per car.
5. P, LZ & W was losing money by this year and the idea of extending it to Elgin was abandoned.
6. By this time the school board was renting (for $350 a year) room on the second floor of the village hall for area high-schoolers to go to
class.1916: 1. 20 May: Referendum held on selling $20,000 worth of bonds to finance a new school building. "The records of the exact vote are
missing . . . but evidently the townspeople bought the idea."
2. May: Bids opened for an architectural firm to build the new building. Lewis and Daugherty had the winning bid and Otis Potter was hired as general contractor. The building they erected, at the corner of Slocum Lake Rd. and Maple, still stands; it now houses Wauconda Grade School, "though a modern facade hides the original exterior."
3. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School this year were Ralph Alverson, Winnifred Brown, and Harry Kirwan.1917: 1. Wauconda voted to outlaw the sale of liquor, two years before nationwide Prohibition.
2. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School in this year were Mary Daley, Martha Hughes, Grace Jacobson, Della Kirwan, Mable Matthews, Frances Meyer, Gertrude Schaeffer, and Neva Toynton.
3. Grace Toynton married George Harris, janitor of the local schoolhouse and caretaker of Wauconda's two cemeteries (Wauconda Cemetery and Transfiguration).
4. Beginning of a flu epidemic that lasted until 1918: "Schools, churches and theaters were closed. All public gatherings were forbidden.
1918: 1. "During a snowstorm a train derailed at Putnam's Crossing in Lake Zurich and the rail broke, leaving the engine rolled over and on its
side. Most of the passengers got out of the coach."
2. May: By this month, there were 40 Wauconda men and one local woman serving the country in WWI; Arthur Daley was the first
Wauconda resident to die in the war.
3. 7 June: After several accidents "and [a] coal famine that stranded Old Maud in Wauconda, the line was sold for only $68,000 at a junk sale" to a group of Wauconda businessmen. Apparently it continued to run, however (see 1920, 1921, 1924).
4. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School this year were Edna Gossell, Yvonne Herren, Robert Lung, Marion Matthews, and Ruby Peterson.1919: 1. $1,420 was spent on an addition to the new high school.
2. 2 June: Village's first demolition order approved by the Board; it ordered Al Orrock to remove his building on Mill St. within thirty days following the issuance of a public nuisance order.
3. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School in this year were Harold Brooks, Wilma Farnsworth, Effie Francisco, Marion Johnston, Esther Mickey, Grace Mueller, John Olinger, Martha Peterson, Matilda Ryan, and James Young.
4. Bessie Clough (daughter of Lucy Cook) married Rollin Hallock and set up home in the Cook house.
2. Wauconda had one telephone at this time, housed in the general store. Grace Harris remembers that the store "had china in the front and big kerosene cans in the back for people to fill smaller cans with."
3. 5 July: P, LZ & W conductor Paul Harris, 29, caught his foot while jumping from the coach and was pulled under the wheels and killed.4. Tile factory in town was destroyed by a tornado; it was never rebuilt.
5. An electric 'Wauconda' sign was hung over Main Street. "It was up for several years, but it was just one more thing that had to be kept up."
6. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School in this year were Sarah Eddy, Priscilla Fenton, and Ralph Stroker.
1921: 1. P, LZ & W sold again, to Myron Dietrich, a foundry owner who had a summer house in Wauconda. "He renamed the line the Chicago,
Palatine, and Wauconda because of a feud with Lake Zurich officials."
2. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School in this year were Alvin Case, Harriett Foss, Milo Gilbert, Myron Hughes, Clarence
Jenks, Mildred Jenks, Ralph Meyer, Bessie Mueller, Arthur Stroker, and Eugene Stroker.
1922: 1. Fire-fighting equipment was moved about this time from the engine house, which had burned; it was now kept in the back of the old
complain if we got into the oil because it was hard to get it off our feet before we went to bed.”
3. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School in this year were Robert Blackburn, William Brooks, Arthur Dillon, Edna Hazelton,
Clarence Meyer, Hattie Powers, Kirk Werden, Harold Wheelock, Ralph Whitman.
1923: 1. Sorensen's (now Vicky's Personal Touch) was the most frequented store in this year.
2. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School in this year were Frederick Anders, James Carr, Edith Case, James Dowell, Lois Gilbert, Marvin Hughes, and Marion Kupar.
1924: 1. Cook's Grove inherited by Mertie Cook, daughter of August Kuebker
2. P, LZ & W lost its government mail contract because of its failure to meet timetables. The line had already acquired the nickname "Palatine, Lake Zurich, and Walk-the-rest-of-the-way" because of its unreliability.3. Rand Road completed. The P, LZ & W went into its final decline, the primary reason being that more people had cars and local roads
had been greatly improved. Richard Whitney suggests that the railroad aided in its own demise by carrying supplies for the paving of Old
Rand Rd. "It just wasn't needed anymore, and the town wasn't as isolated." Service terminated on 14 August.
4. About this time, the Creamery was closed down.
1925: 1. Wauconda's Volunteer Fire Department formed (again - this was probably the same group of people, just a new name and by-laws).
Several members of the Wauconda Township Historical Society recall that in the early years of the fire department, volunteers would leave their jobs and customers when the bell rang and go running to the station.
2. Ela High School district formed, enabling children from Ela Township to attend their own school.
3. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School in this year were Berniece Gossell and Clayton Steel of Wauconda; Dorothea Stroker of Evanston; Margaret Roesslein of Chicago; and Vera Basey and Margaret Fink of Champaign.
4. June: Auction held for the sale of lots on the Slocum lakefront in the Williams Park subdivision.[advert, Libertyville Independent, June 19, 1924]
1926: 1. Phil Froehlke, one-time operator of the Boat House, purchased Lucy Clough's lakeside property and opened Phil's Beach, one of the town's finest (Lucy now lived at the Cook house with her daughter and son-in-law). Admission to Phil's Beach: 50 cents. This beach was notable for having lifeguards from the very beginning.
2. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School in this year were Harold Rudinski, Beryl Gilbert, and Irvin Moody of Wauconda; Myrtle Darrell of Crystal Lake; Fern Wilson of Palatine; Elizabeth Fink of Decatur; Warren Powers of Elmhurst; Lawrence Frank of Lake Zurich, and Calvin Prior of Loyal, Wisconsin.1927: 1. Art Boehmer's shop began dealing in automobiles; Boehmer Chevrolet on Liberty Street continued in business until 2013.
2. Graduates of Wauconda Township High School in this year were Chesney Brooks and Arthur Koser of Wauconda; Hazel Anders of
Wilmette; Grace Branding, Helen Frank, and Verna Rudinski of Lake Zurich; Margaret Hughes of Bloomington; Georgia Vasey and Emma
Vogt of DeKalb; Clifford Wilson of Round Lake; and Alice Washo of Chicago.
3. Blackburn & Broughton built a brick building on the same location as their previous building.
4. Cook house is rented by Raymond Lusk, Andrew Cook's great-grandson, from Lucy Clough. Lucy's son-in-law, Rollin Hallock,
becomes the Methodist church's full-time pastor.
5. November: Work began on new building for Homer Lincoln’s barber shop (206 S. Main).
1928: The Oakland Hotel, which had sat empty for several years after being deemed unsafe, was torn down. Lumber from the building was used to build summer cottages.1929: 1. The right-of-way for Route 176 was purchased through Wauconda. This route travels through the center of town and is named locally
2. A group of Wauconda residents (including Ray Paddock, Homer Cook, Dr. Werden and Dennis Putnam) decided, in effect, to colonize the Island Lake area. They purchased land, planning to dam up Mutton Creek and create a lakeside development similar to Wauconda.
early 1930s: 1. To accommodate Rte. 176, the land on which the Methodist Church building stood was needed. Since the two congregations were already federated, it was agreed to add on to the Baptist Church building across the street and mee