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Short Posts of Historic Facts and Events in Illinois

15

Feb

2017

Notable Naperville Women - The Fredenhagens

Fredenhagen and her daughters Rita and Jeanne shared a deep love for Naperville. So with a nod to both Valentines’ Day and the recent movie “The Founder,” here’s a bit of their story:

Grace’s husband, Walter, owned an ice cream plant in Rushville, Illinois called Frozen Gold. School friend Earl Prince served Frozen Gold at his Downers Grove parlor, Prince Castle.

At the onset of the Depression, Walter sold the Frozen Gold plant and with Earl, opened more Prince Castle shops. The Naperville one opened in 1931 with a dairy behind it to make fresh ice cream.

Prince’s signature offering was the One-in-a-Million malt. For only ten cents, you could get a shake with four scoops of ice cream. It was so thick, that that the motors of the Hamilton-Beach blenders kept burning out.

So Hal and Walter developed the multi-mixer with a three-horsepower motor to mix four malts at one time. In addition to using multi-mixers in Prince Castle stores, they also sold them to other restaurants.

One of their salesmen was a guy from Oak Park named Ray Kroc who traveled the country. He sold a couple of mixers to brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, owners of a burger place in San Bernardino, California. Hamilton-Beach came out with their own multi-mixer which decimated Prince’s sales, so Kroc started another business. For more on that story, watch the new Michael Keaton movie!

Prince Castle continued to thrive throughout the 1940’s, but by 1955, Hal and Walter parted ways. The Fredenhagens continued in the ice cream business joined by family members like son Ted and daughter Rita here in Naperville and daughter Jeanne who shipped strawberries for shakes from her farm in Seattle. The shop’s new name became Cock Robin.

Cock Robin is a huge part of Naperville’s collective memory, from the square scoops to the One-in-a-Million Malts to the English toffee during holidays.

Both Grace a Rita have passed on now. In addition to supporting Cock Robin, Grace Fredenhagen served as president of the Naperville Woman’s Club and director of the Chorus.

Rita was also active, serving with the Rotary, on the Fire and Police Board of Commissioners and on the Edward Hospital Institutional Review Board.

The Cock Robin on Washington Street closed in 2000. Today, it is Fredenhagen Park. The park was dedicated in 2004 by Rita and Ted in honor of their parents Grace and Walter.
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18

Jan

2017

Notable Women - Hannah Ditzler

History books record plenty of men’s names because of the traditions of our society, but of course there have been many women who made distinctive contributions to our city. This year we’ll take a look at a few of Naperville’s notable women. 

Hannah Ditzler lived from 1848-1938, spending most of that time in Naperville. She was born in town, but her parents arrived here in 1844 from family homes in Pennsylvania. (“Pennsylvania Dutch” is really “Pennsylvania Deutsch,” which is German for “German.”)

In addition to being a typical daughter and housewife of the time, Hannah also served as a teacher at the Naper Academy and as a librarian at Nichols Library, but her main contribution to Naperville is her extensive diary. 

Throughout the years, Hannah took notes on the goings-on in her community. She talked about the weddings and the funerals she attended. She wrote down juicy little gossip tidbits and personal family stories. She also included newspaper clippings, sketches and fabric swatches from clothes she made. 
It was Hannah who encouraged her sister Libbie to record her arduous wagon train journey to California as a new bride in 1854.

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18

Jan

2017

Notable Naperville Women - Hannah Ditzler




History books record plenty of men’s names because of the traditions of our society, but of course there have been many women who made distinctive contributions to our city. This year we’ll take a look at a few of Naperville’s notable women.

Hannah Ditzler lived from 1848-1938, spending most of that time in Naperville. She was born in town, but her parents arrived here in 1844 from family homes in Pennsylvania. (“Pennsylvania Dutch” is really “Pennsylvania Deutsch,” which is German for “German.”)

In addition to being a typical daughter and housewife of the time, Hannah also served as a teacher at the Naper Academy and as a librarian at Nichols Library, but her main contribution to Naperville is her extensive diary.

Throughout the years, Hannah took notes on the goings-on in her community. She talked about the weddings and the funerals she attended. She wrote down juicy little gossip tidbits and personal family stories. She also included newspaper clippings, sketches and fabric swatches from clothes she made.

It was Hannah who encouraged her sister Libbie to record her arduous wagon train journey to California as a new bride in 1854.

During the Civil War, Hannah kept track of the sons of local families who were serving. She copied into her diary letters sent home by her own “soldier boy.” As it turned out, Hannah was unlucky in love. The “soldier boy” married another and Hannah herself didn’t marry until 1903 when she was 55 years old. The man she married, John Alspaugh, was a widower with children and also her first cousin, which wasn’t legal in Illinois, so they married out of state.

Hannah’s scrapbooks and diaries are part of the Naper Settlement collection and serve as an indispensable touchpoint for our history during the the nineteenth century.

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21

Dec

2016

Random Last Round-Up of 1966

Before we bid farewell to our look at 1966, here are a few random things that happened that year. It was a weird and wonderful time!
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21

Dec

2016

Random Last Round-Up of 1966

Before we bid farewell to our look at 1966, here are a few random things that happened that year. It was a weird and wonderful time!

The National Historic Preservation Act became law when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed off on it in October of 1966. While there were some similar actions taken before this — for instance, Teddy Roosevelt’s commitment to preserving our nation’s natural resources and archeological sites — this law encompassed a wide-range of things to be preserved. It established institutions like the National Register of Historic Places, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the State Historic Preservation Office.


Earlier in the year, Jacqueline Susann released her blockbuster book “Valley of the Dolls.” The movie appeared already by the following year because “Dolls” was such a huge hit. While not very PC by today’s standards, it dished on sensational subjects like fame, drugs and sex that were a revelation to mid-sixties America and still relevant today.

This year Brookfield Zoo celebrated their 50th year of offering Mold-A-Rama figures. If you’re from Chicago, you probably made one in your youth and know that hot, waxy smell. “Miniature plastic factories” really took off at the New York City World’s Fair a few years before, but Chicago has the closest relationship. There are only a few places left that feature these antique machines. Brookfield offered special edition figures throughout the anniversary year, including the 1966 Walrus.

Peppermint Patty also made her debut during the summer of 1966. She was the first female Peanuts character to not wear a dress — a nod to the growing women’s movement. Patty was unconventional in many ways, including having a particular close relationship with her single-parent dad.

2016 comes to a close soon and no one knows what 2017 has in store, let alone what 2066 will be like. It’s amazing the things that seem odd and the things that remain familiar over a fifty y
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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.

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