Gustafson Research Center
Challenge Company Memo Form
Little Town Display
In the spring of 1998, a long-range planning committee was appointed by the Historical Society’s Board of Directors to investigate space requirements and solutions. The committee recognized that one of the greatest needs was a place in which the large collection of historical documents that the society has collected could be stored and made accessible to researchers.
Funding from the following agencies supported the completion of the addition to house the new research center: Department of Natural Resources Capital Project Grant, Batavia Historical Society, Batavia Park District and the Kane County Victoria Riverboat Fund. The research center was dedicated in June 2000.
The name Gustafson Research Center was chosen to honor John Gustafson and his brothers and sisters who were the first to see the vision of a viable historical society and who began gathering artifacts and cataloging them to preserve Batavia’s heritage.
The mission of the Batavia Depot Museum is to collect, preserve, study, interpret, and exhibit materials which explain and document the history of Batavia and its relationship to state and local history. All items collected should relate to the purpose of increasing and enriching public knowledge and provide leisure and educational opportunities for the community.
The following materials are available for researchers to use to study the history of Batavia or a Batavia family.
The Batavia Historian
The newsletter of the historical society. Issues are available for the years 1960-2000. Indexed
Bethany Lutheran Church Records
(Microfilm) History of Church, Family Information.
Biographical file with over 800 family histories
Books, papers, photographs, and museum displays about Batavia history, including Military, School, Churches, Clubs and Organizations, Businesses and Industries, Bernard Cigrand and Flag Day, Special Events, Athletic Groups, Medical, Miscellaneous Topics
Circuit Court Records for Batavia and Batavia Township 1860-1960. Original. Indexed
Assorted years. Earliest is 1857
Batavia City Directory, 1859-60
Civil War Histories
Books and letters from soldiers Family Diaries and Histories, including Newton genalogy and Papers, and others. Miscellaneous family trees.
Index of 50 scrapbooks.
Miscellaneous newspaper clippings. 1900-1995. Contains many obituaries, wedding announcements, wedding anniversaries, and profiles of servicemen during World War II.
Kane County Directory on CD.
Kane County History, including other county cities
Kane County Census Records
(Federal) -some indexes and all microfilm from 1840 to 1920
Kane County Marriages Indexes 1840-1900
Lincoln, Abraham and Mary Todd assorted materials. Some records of Mary’s stay at Bellevue. Other Bellevue information.
Microfilm of Indexes of Kane County Genealogical Society
These are name indexes of data bases compiled by the KCGS
Microfilm of Illinois Census 1855 and 1865
Probate Records for Batavia and Batavia Township.
1860-1960. Original. Indexed
Books and miscellaneous pamphlets and documents
Structure History Miscellaneous records of business buildings and residences in the city. Some abstracts
Township and City documents Assorted miscellaneous
Telephone Directories City phone directories for various years particularly the 1920s and assorted others
Windmill Herald (Batavia Newspaper)
Microfilm and CD (Indexed) July 1982-August 1998
Windmill History Books, catalogs, advertisements, and miscellaneous information about the big three manufacturers, Appleton Company, Challenge Company, U. S. Wind Engine and Pump Company