Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 1992 -- Ft. Sheridan Has the Last Birthday Party

July 24, 1992 – More than a thousand people celebrate the final birthday party for the military garrison at Fort Sheridan.   The Chicago Tribune reports, “For Ft. Sheridan, Friday’s Organization Day was another in a series of lasts.  May saw the closing of the Ft. Sheridan Museum.  June saw the last Flag Day.  July was, of course, the last 4th of July celebration … sadness seemed to be the feeling of the day, even though some were playing softball, volleyball and golf, and kids competed in games and races.” [Chicago Tribune, July 25, 1992] The Post Commander, Colonel Robert Frizzo, says, “It’s depressing to most people knowing there’s not going to be anybody here next year.”  One attendee, John Lawler, who was born at the fort and “sneaked out for rides on officers’ horses,” said, “I’ve been here all my life.  I don’t want to see it close up.”  His wife, Millie, who worked at the base for 19 years, agreed with her husband, saying, “It’s beautiful grounds.  It’s a gorgeous coast.  And what are they going to do with it?  Nobody knows.” 

July 24, 1918 – La Verne W. Noyes, President and founder of the Aermotor Company, announces the gift of $2,500,000 to the University of Chicago “to express his gratitude to those who ventured the supreme sacrifice.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, July 25, 1918]  The gift will be used for the education of veterans of World War I and their children with 20 percent of the sum going toward the salaries of university staff teaching history.  The scholarships are still in effect today.  Noyes started out as a manufacturer of dictionary stands, but things changed in 1883 when he hired Thomas O. Perry, who had conducted over 5,000 experimental tests, searching through for a modern and efficient windmill.  By 1892 the Aermotor Windmill Corporation was selling over 20,000 of the new windmills, and within ten years the company was selling the devices at one-sixth the price of previous competitive prices. [] Ida Noyes Hall at the University of Chicago, designed by Shepley, Routan, and Coolidge as a women's dining hall and natatorium, was another gift of Noyes three years earlier in 1915.  History is interesting.  Exactly one year after he announces the scholarship in 1918, La Verne Noyes dies at the Presbyterian Hospital.  With no immediate family the fortune of Noyes is distributed to 48 different colleges and universities as beneficiaries.  

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