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Heritage Hall of Honor Past Inductees
2004 Inaugural Heritage Hall of Honor recognizes dedicated supporters
The honorees who were inducted into the inaugural Distinguished Heritage Hall of Honor in June 2004 have several attributes in common: they have enthusiastically supported preserving Naperville's rich and storied history, demonstrated a high level of commitment to Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society's mission of historic preservation and education and have a deep and unwavering respect for the history of Naperville. Through their dedication they have improved the lives of people around them.

Donald L. Acker built the first scale model of Naper Settlement and was instrumental in relocating and restoring the Meeting House.

Grace Fry, a longtime Museum Educator, gave tours and supported educational activities.

Max Harbach, a 27-year member of the restoration crew, has worked to improve virtually every building on the grounds.

Judge Win G. Knoch, a longtime DuPage County judge, convinced Caroline Martin Mitchell to bequeath her family's estate to the City of Naperville.

Caroline Martin Mitchell donated her family's Victorian mansion and 212 acres to the City, stipulating that her home remain a museum in perpetuity.

Naperville Evening Kiwanis members have volunteered at Naper Settlement for 25 years.

John K. "Jack" and Judy Powell, longtime volunteers, planted trees and gardens throughout the grounds.

Lester E. Schrader, was an artist and skilled carpenter, whose paintings are the basis for "Brushstrokes of the Past: Naperville's Story," Naper Settlement's permanent exhibit.

Jane Sindt was the founding president of the Naperville Heritage Society and helped to create Naper Settlement.

John L. and Kay Stephens are charter members of the Naperville Heritage Society and John served as its president.

Duane E. and Frances E. Wilson are founding members of the Naperville Heritage Society. Duane was the first treasurer.

Margaret "Peg" Yonker was president of the Naperville Heritage Society and is a mainstay of Naper Settlement's Speakers Bureau.


2005 Heritage Hall of Honor Recipients
Hannah Ditzler Alspaugh was a 19th century schoolteacher and lifelong resident of Naperville. Her meticulously kept fabric diaries offer an invaluable glimpse into the daily life of Naperville's townspeople.

Tom and Ginny Bursh were early volunteers with the Naperville Heritage Society, painting and wallpapering almost every building at Naper Settlement. Ginny was secretary of the Heritage Society board and Tom served as president from 1982 to 1985. Tom also led the construction of the Pre-Emption House.

Howard and Bonnie Cosyns were founding members of the Naperville Heritage Society. Bonnie's knowledge of antiques was invaluable in the early days of the Heritage Society and the Antiques Show, where Howie was the volunteer auctioneer.

Harold and Isabelle Huth were two of the early costumed volunteers at Naper Settlement, sharing the history of Naperville with hundreds of visitors and schoolchildren.

Boy Scouts of America - Three Fires Council is the organization that sponsors Scouts throughout DuPage County. Boy Scouts have been loyal volunteers at Naper Settlement, coordinating special projects and even picking up the spent bullet shells during Civil War Days.

2006 Heritage Hall of Honor Recipients
Sally and Lou Benton were early members of the Naperville Heritage Society, serving on the board of directors and contributing many volunteer hours. They also chaired the Antiques Show in 1972 and 1973.

Eldon and Madeline Hatch enjoy portraying Joseph and Almeda Naper for school groups. They were also instrumental in planning the 1981 Joe Naper Family Trek from Chicago to Naperville in honor of Naperville's Sesquicentennial.

Pat and Bob Miller contributed countless volunteer hours at Naper Settlement. Pat was a member of the board of directors and devoted her time to public relations, while Bob restored the lighting in Century Memorial Chapel and helped with other restoration projects.

Roz Swanstrom was chairwoman of the Quilt Show for 10 years and has been involved with the Naperville Heritage Society since the first Antiques Show in 1969. She also served on the Heritage Society's board of directors.

Genevieve Towsley was a columnist for close to 40 years for the Naperville Clarion and then the Naperville Sun. Her columns on Naperville's history, based on research from the archival material at the Martin Mitchell Museum, has been invaluable to future researchers.

Naperville Garden Club members have been enthusiastic volunteers at Naper Settlement long before it became an established museum village. Since 1939, they cared for the gardens around the Martin Mitchell Museum. When Naper Settlement was established in 1969, they wholeheartedly embraced its projects, too.

2007 Heritage Hall of Honor Recipients
Mary Barbara "Matie" Egermann was Naperville's longest serving librarian who also loved history. She started the Nichols Library Historical Museum and also collected dolls from around the world that are now in the collection of Naper Settlement.

Carleton and Joanne Nadelhoffer were founding members of the Naperville Heritage Society. Joanne was one of the original "Weed Ladies," whose specialty was finding antique containers for the floral arrangements. Carleton donated countless hours of pro bono legal work for the newly formed not-for-profit organization.

Elizabeth Braham Spencer and Naperville Community Television, Channel 17 are responsible for creating and airing documentaries chronicling the history of Naperville. Collaborating with the Naperville Heritage Society/Naper Settlement, the two groups have made a commitment to preserving fragile media such as videotapes and film.

Helena Zentmyer Wackerlin was a significant benefactor to the Naperville Heritage Society, funding the restoration of the Halfway House and other buildings at Naper Settlement. She is a Heritage Society lifetime member and also helped with the restoration of Century Memorial Chapel, the Copenhagen Schoolhouse and the Pre-Emption House.

The Weed Ladies are a volunteer group of gardeners and floral designers whose creative arrangements are featured during their seasonal sales, which benefit education and preservation programs at Naper Settlement.

2008 Heritage Hall of Honor Recipients
Ted and Norma Cheuvront were longtime volunteers at Naper Settlement. Ted was a member of the Restoration Crew from 1986 to 2007, helping with many projects throughout the village including assembling houses and extensive building renovations. Norma assisted with a variety of office tasks including mailing the monthly members' newsletter.

City of Naperville, the Honorable Mayor A. George Pradel and City Council are being honored for their longtime partnership with the Naperville Heritage Society and Naper Settlement. Since the Society's founding in 1969, the City of Naperville and its mayors have been enthusiastic supporters of Naper Settlement.

Bob and Midge Drebing have lived in Naperville since 1958 and became charter members of the newly-formed Naperville Heritage Society in 1969. Midge's interest in wildflowers spurred the formation of the Weed Ladies, a volunteer floral design group that still holds its popular sales. Bob helped with many of the restoration projects at Naper Settlement.

Al and Ruth Harris both loved to volunteer at Naper Settlement. Al, a longtime member and chairman of the Restoration Crew, was in charge of several house restorations. Ruth was a member of the Quilt Ladies, whose beautiful handiwork was displayed and then raffled off as a fundraiser each year during the annual Naperville Heritage Society Antiques Show.

Kent and Ann Rothrock moved to Naperville in 1971 and developed a keen interest in volunteering at Naper Settlement. Ann joined the Weed Ladies and also chaired the membership committee. Kent computerized the first membership database and helped move Naper Settlement's operations into the computer age.

Harold and Mary Schrader, both lifelong Naperville residents, lived across the street from Naper Settlement for many years and devoted countless hours to volunteering there. Mary, an accomplished seamstress, sewed many of the curtains for the historic buildings. Harold was a skilled woodworker, who also portrayed Barney the Elf, a popular character during Christmas Memories. Both led tours for school groups and visitors at Naper Settlement.

2009 Heritage Hall of Honor Recipients
Donald Burney: In 1983, Donald Burney was among the first group of volunteers to learn how to operate the printing presses in the new Print Shop. For over a decade, he trained and led a team of volunteers, who provided informative and fun presentations about 19th century printing to visitors and schoolchildren.

Cress Creek Garden Club: For 30 years, the Cress Creek Garden Club has lovingly cared for the gardens around the Paw Paw Post Office, Naperville's first post office and the oldest frame house at Naper Settlement. They have donated fruit and shade trees and annually organize volunteers for spring planting, fall cleanup and summertime watering.

Ruth Gamertsfelder: In 1939, the Martin Mitchell Museum opened to the public and Ruth Gamertsfelder was one of the people who regularly welcomed visitors on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons to learn about Naperville's past. When the Naperville Heritage Society started Naper Settlement in 1969, she also volunteered in the various buildings as they were moved on site.

Grace Fredenhagen and Rita Fredenhagen Harvard: Grace Fredenhagen was one of the original members of the Martin Mitchell Museum Board that converted Caroline Martin Mitchell's home into a museum in keeping with Caroline's bequest. Grace is often regarded as one of Naperville's first preservationists, taking on the restoration of the 1830s Bailey Hobson home. Grace's daughter, Rita, followed in her mother's footsteps, becoming a charter member of the Naperville Heritage Society and continuing to be a strong advocate for historic preservation in Naperville. She often volunteered in costume at the Murray House. Rita and her husband, John, continue to be strong supporters of Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society.

Harold and Eva White: Ardent supporters of the Naperville Heritage Society, Harold and Eva White provided behind-the-scenes resources, such as letterhead, note cards, mailings and flyers and placements for the Antiques Show to promote the developing of Naper Settlement. They also provided the funds necessary to create a working print shop at Naper Settlement, complete with printing presses.

2010 Heritage Hall of Honor Recipients
Robert Furhoff: An expert in the restoration field, Robert Furhoff has been the key advisor for interior accuracy for the Paw Paw Post Office, the Halfway House, the Daniels House, the Martin Mitchell Mansion and its Carriage House, among others. He has assisted in the development of furnishing plans and the restoration of several Naper Settlement buildings.

Mary Kay Hyett: Mary Kay Hyett, her husband, Steve, and their four children have been members and active volunteers at Naper Settlement for many years, assisting with events such as the Heritage Ball and Naper Days.

Ann Durkin Keating: Ann Durkin Keating, who is the C. Frederick Toenniges Professor of History at North Central College, has been involved with Naper Settlement since she began teaching at the college 19 years ago. Naper Settlement staff have tapped into her considerable expertise and knowledge when they have developed programs and exhibits.

James Moser: James Moser was a visionary, who was instrumental in establishing Naperville's Riverwalk. He was the owner and CEO of Moser Lumber, who also established Moser Enterprises, Inc. When plans for Naper Settlement's new visitor center, a recreation of the former Pre-Emption House were discussed, Jim donated time, materials and funding to make it happen.

USG Corporation: USG Corporation is a building products manufacturing company headquartered in Chicago with facilities worldwide. When the Pre-Emption House was being built in the 1990s, USG contributed building materials and the use of a distribution center to have the materials delivered to the site. USG continues to be the single largest Heritage Alliance donor and is the Heritage Society's largest corporate donor.

2011 Heritage Hall of Honor Recipients
Mike Garlich: With his love of carpentry and woodworking, Mike spent many weekends on the Restoration Crew, helping maintain the buildings at Naper Settlement. Mike also became an experienced blacksmith, attending classes and then sharing his skills with visitors to the Blacksmith Shop at Naper Settlement. He took his volunteering one step further when he joined the Naperville Heritage Society board of directors, becoming president from 1985 to 1987 and serving on the board for 10 years.

Walter S. Newman: During his tenure as the City of Naperville’s Director of Community Development from 1976 to 1995, Walt helped the City Council create a Historic Preservation Ordinance and Historic District, directed a comprehensive revision of the City's Zoning Ordinance and he undertook the herculean task of developing Naperville’s first Comprehensive Master Plan, which set the tone for development for years to come. Today, Walt is an integral member of the volunteer team that helps archive news articles for the Research Library and Archives.

Hal and Marcia Pendexter: Marcia Pendexter worked on the Naper Settlement staff as a guide from 1988-1993, taking groups on tours. She enjoyed the educational aspect of her job, especially the children’s programs. After she retired from her position, she continued to volunteer. Hal was a member of the Heritage Society’s Resources Committee, developing different fundraisers and giving opportunities in support of Naper Settlement. In 2006, he joined the board of directors and became more involved in the philanthropic efforts and future direction of the museum.

Walt and Connie Schall: Walt and Connie Schall were charter members of the Naperville Heritage Society joining the organization within its first year of existence. Walt served as the volunteer buildings and grounds chairman for 20 years, on the board of directors from 1979 to 1982, as did Connie, who was on the board from 1972 to 1974. While Walt worked on the physical site, Connie helped with fundraising. She was an integral member of the Quilt Ladies, remaining a faithful participant for more than 25 years of quilting.

The Stenger Family: From 1849 to 1893, Stenger Brewery was the main employer in Naperville. Ron is the sixth generation Stenger to live in Naperville. Ron recalled that as a Naperville Central High School student touring the Martin Mitchell Mansion, he saw the traveling trunk used by John Stenger during the Gold Rush. In 2009, Ron funded the restoration of the trunk. The Stenger Brewery carved limestone block, on display in the “Brushstrokes of the Past…Naperville’s Story” exhibit was also conserved by the Stengers.


2012 Heritage Hall of Honor Recipients
Nancy Brown Stoneberg and Thomas Brown grew up at Oak Cottage on the Greene Family Farm on Hobson Road. Nancy became the first secretary of the Naperville Heritage Society, helping to rally the community to save her beloved St. John’s Episcopal Church. Tom, an architect, prepared Naperville’s first Urban Design plan for the downtown area. He worked with the Heritage Society’s first president, Jane Sindt, to draw the master site plan for Naper Settlement, which was approved by the City Council in 1975.

Bob Jansen served on the Naperville Heritage Society board of directors for seven years, as a board member, assistant treasurer and treasurer. He was a member of the Heritage Society’s finance committee for 17 years, until he retired in 2011. A dedicated volunteer for 20 years, he and his wife, Ann, also chaired the popular Antiques Show fundraiser.

Dave Kelsch is a lifelong Naperville resident who joined the Naperville Heritage Society board of directors in 1995. He served as president from 2002-2007, helping the museum achieve its first accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. He continues to serve on the board and has provided exemplary leadership, volunteerism, personal philanthropy and in-kind donations to Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society.

North Central College and the Naperville Heritage Society have had a collaborative, collegial relationship since the first Antiques Show was held at Merner Fieldhouse in 1969. North Central College professors and staff members have served as advisors and provided educational resources for exhibits, programs and the collections.

Don and Pat Shanower
have supported Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society through their volunteerism, life membership, monetary contributions and donations to the Museum Collections, which included a comprehensive record of The Summer Place Theater productions from the years 1967-1991.  

Sullivan’s Steakhouse has been a long-time business partner, generously supporting Naper Settlement through its donations that range from fine dining for Dinner on the Town to the popular Naper Wine and Dine wine dinner, for which they donate all the food and rare bottles of wine for the auction.


2013 Heritage Hall of Honor Recipients
2013 Distinguished Heritage Hall of Honor recognizes dedicated supporters
The honorees who were inducted into the 2013 Distinguished Heritage Hall of Honor have several attributes in common: they have enthusiastically supported preserving Naperville's rich and storied history; demonstrated a high level of commitment to Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society's mission of historic preservation and education; and have a deep and unwavering respect for the history of Naperville. Through their dedication they have improved the lives of people around them.

Century Walk is a public art initiative founded by Naperville attorney W. Brand Bobosky. Horse Market Days, located in front of Naper Settlement, is Century Walk’s 14th sculpture and Brand worked with Naper Settlement to dedicate the 43rd sculpture – a statue of Joseph Naper.

Minuteman Press and its president, Ray Kinney, have donated significant in-kind donations to the Naperville Heritage Society. Ray is a past vice chairman of the Heritage Society board of directors and a longtime volunteer and donor.

Naperville Development Partnership, led by Christine Jeffries, is an advocate for economic development in Naperville. The Naperville Convention and Visitors Bureau, under the umbrella of the NDP, has supported Naper Settlement’s events for over 15 years. Both organizations sponsor several special events.

Naperville Magazine and its publisher, Leah Rippe, have supported Naper Settlement as a sponsor, as a donor. Each month, Naper Settlement’s events are publicized in print and online. Leah is a member of the Naperville Heritage Society board of directors and chair of Dinner on the Town. 

Naperville Woman’s Club donated 100 years of its club’s history to Naper Settlement to be used as a community research resource. The club has held its annual Fine Art Fair on the grounds since 1969.

Positively Naperville publisher Stephanie Penick has promoted Naper Settlement’s events and announcements and is a sponsor for several special events. The monthly publication promotes community events, the arts and locally-owned independent enterprises.


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