- Editor’s Note: This article is part of a weekly series on Kane County’s amazing history. Today’s post was written by Chris Winter and Batavia Depot Museum Executive Director Jennifer Putzier.
This is the time of year when the children are back in school, please be extra aware of children crossing the street as you’re driving.
The feature photo for this article (also shown at right), taken in 1956, shows a Patrol Boy helping his classmates across the street at Louise White School in Batavia.
With the rising use of automobiles and concerns for the well-being of students as they walked to school, the Chicago Motor Club pioneered the concept of School Safety Patrols in 1920.
That year, there was a tragic speeding accident that killed several students walking to school in Chicago. Charles M. Hayes, president of the Chicago Motor Club, set up the patrol to prevent further automobile incidents. The junior safety patrol movement took hold in the 1930s under the sponsorship of the American Automobile Association.
The idea spread quickly, and Patrols were set up across the nation, including in Batavia. While the Patrols were originally boys, girls soon joined the cause.
The Patrol Boys, as they were known, were proudly identified by their colorful Sam Browne style belts and shiny metal badges. Patrol Boys did not direct traffic, but were trained to understand when it was safe to cross or move in traffic, and assist their fellow students in doing so.
Today, Louise White School’s crossing guard program is run by adults, but the tradition of roadway safety for Batavia’s children started with children helping children.
About the Batavia Depot Museum
The Batavia Depot Museum opened in 1975 as a partnership between the Batavia Park District and the Batavia Historical Society.
The Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad Depot was the first of its kind built in 1854, and is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside, the city’s past comes alive through exhibits detailing the history of rail transportation, manufacture of windmills, agriculture, banking, commerce and a brief stay by Mary Todd Lincoln at Bellevue Place.
The Depot is open seasonally, March to November. The 2018 season ends Nov.18, 2018, and the hours are 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Please join the staff from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25, for the Batavia Park District’s special Christmas event, Celebration of Lights. The Depot will feature ornament making for kids, story time in the research center from 6:15 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a special lighting of the Gunzenhauser Smith Gazebo at 6 p.m.
Please visit http://www.bataviahistoricalsociety.org/events/ for more information.
Read The Kane County History Series!
- 1850-1925 Geneva — When Penmanship Was Mightier Than The Sword
- St. Charles Museum Site — From Serving Gas To Preserving History
- Elgin Puts 3,500 Priceless Photos Online
- Batavia-Inspired Miniatures Thrilled a Nation
- Aurora’s Maud Powell, World Famous Violinist
- Waxing Nostalgic on Geneva’s WGSB, WFXW
- American Doughboys of WWI — in St. Charles, IL
- Experience High-Tech History at April 21 ‘Open Elgin’ Event
- Batavia, IL — ‘Windmill Capital of The World’
- Meet Andy Aurora, Man About Town
- Celebrating The 50th Anniversary of 9-1-1 in Geneva
- Blue Goose And Evergreen Pub — ‘Shop Local’ 90 Years In The Making
- Elgin Is The Apple of Illinois Bicentennial’s Eye
- Nordens Soner And Batavia’s Swedish Society
- Aurora’s Melting Pot ‘Yearning To Breathe Free’
- Candles, Timing Devices, Phonographs And The ‘Life Cup’ — All Things Made in Geneva
- Hotel Baker, The ‘Masterpiece’ of The Fox Valley
- Elgin Celebrates Our Once-Burgeoning Dairy Business
- Reflections of Batavia’s Quarry Beach Pool
- Aurora’s Mabel O’Donnell, Author of “Alice And Jerry’ Books
- As Alice (Davis) Says, ‘Schools Out For Summer!’
- Elgin Watches, ‘The World’s Standard’
- Aurora Silverplate a Symbol of Good Taste
- Women Leaders Played Huge Roles in Geneva
- Nationally Renowned Summer Camp in St. Charles
- The Harrowing Story of William Lynch, Elgin’s Civil War Brigadier General
- Batavia Powered The Aurora, Elgin & Chicago Railway
- Corsets Doing Big Business in Aurora? Scandalous!
- One Block of Geneva Tells 1,001 Fantastic Stories
- St. Charles’ Evergreen Pub — The ‘Before’ Photos
- 1917-18 — When Elgin Artists Went to War
- Thomas Cleveland — Batavia’s Presidential Connection
- Do Your Wurst — Aurora Meat Markets Are ‘In’ Again
- Geneva Is The Place For Graveyards And Ghosts
- Visit Amelia Anderson At St. Charles’ North Side Cemetery
- Calling All Artists! … For a Cobblestone Reflection in Elgin
- Batavia’s 108-Year-Old Gazebo Still Lights The Way
- The Compelling, Tragic Story of Aurora’s Black WWI Hero Frank Boger
- Geneva History Museum Invites Artists To Celebrate Cultural Heritage
- Elgin’s Anson Clark Soared in The Great War … And Life