By Jeanne Schultz Angel of Naper Settlement Somewhat unknown in history, America experienced a “cycling craze” from 1890 to 1900…
Growing up in Naperville, I was exposed to many opportunities to play organized sports. Every brother and sister of mine played either baseball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, or football. In fact, a couple of my sisters played volleyball at the collegiate level. Sports was a natural part of our upbringing and one we did not consider a privilege.
America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries did not afford most women with individual rights…however, things were changing. Those who were strong-willed, opinionated, and determined not to let their gender limit them were beginning to gain strength. Caroline Martin Mitchell was among them. She was the grandchild of Scotch immigrants, a business leader, and a philanthropist, who ultimately determined the placemaking for what is today the fourth largest city in Illinois.
Safely preserved in the collections at Naper Settlement await thousands of artifacts, documents, and photographs ready to tell stories of the past. One such item is the 1836 journal of the proceedings of the Naperville Debating Society, a Lyceum formed in the earliest years of Naperville. In exploring this fascinating piece of history, what relevant lessons can be learned for today?
In 2014, Naper Settlement announced its Never Settle Capital Campaign to build three new buildings on the Naper Settlement campus to help us tell Naperville’s story, share the important history of our agrarian roots, and engage our audience through virtual experiences no matter where they are. We are happy to announce that 2022 will mark an important milestone in bringing these goals to fruition!
It was Arnold “Arnie” Massier’s stories that drew Jennifer Reichert to her neighbor’s front porch as a young girl. From recollections of the “early days” of Naperville to his service during World War II, these stories helped form a bond that would last decades.