Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0403
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Full Text of HR0403  101st General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives wish to congratulate the Kewanee Park District
4on the occasion of its 100th anniversary; and
5    WHEREAS, The Kewanee Park District was founded in 1919 by
6Kewanee resident and industrial magnate Emerit E. Baker; and
7    WHEREAS, Emerit E. Baker was born on April 10, 1855 on a
8rural farm near Aurora; and
9    WHEREAS, At the age of only 15, Emerit E. Baker left home
10and went to work in Chicago for the Anderson Steamer and Heater
11Company as an office boy; and
12    WHEREAS, Emerit E. Baker eventually moved to the
13headquarters of the Anderson Steamer and Heater Company in
14Kewanee and worked his way up, eventually becoming a member of
15the board; and
16    WHEREAS, When the Anderson Steamer and Heater Company sold
17its boiler business to focus on tubing, Emerit E. Baker saw an
18opportunity and purchased the boiler company; and
19    WHEREAS, Emerit E. Baker became the president of the newly



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1created Kewanee Boiler Company, which sold boilers all over the
2world and even installed a Kewanee boiler in the Statue of
3Liberty; and
4    WHEREAS, Emerit E. Baker was a noted leader and
5philanthropist in the community of Kewanee; he helped organize
6the local Rotary Club in 1917 and served as the village
7president and even as a volunteer fire fighter; and
8    WHEREAS, In 1919, Emerit E. Baker announced at a Chamber of
9Commerce meeting that he would donate $50,000 toward a park
10system if the people of Kewanee would pass a referendum to
11establish a park system and match his donation by authorizing a
12matching $50,000 in bonds; and
13    WHEREAS, The bond was approved by the people, and Emerit E.
14Baker was elected the first president of the Kewanee Park
15Board; and
16    WHEREAS, Five parks would ultimately become a part of the
17Kewanee Park District, including Northeast Park, Chautauqua
18Park, Windmont Park, Liberty Park, and Baker Park, named after
19Emerit E. Baker; and
20    WHEREAS, In 1924, Emerit E. Baker established a foundation,
21E.E. Baker Incorporated, and funded it with $400,000 dollars in



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1stocks and bonds in order to fund the Elks Crippled Children's
2Clinic, the Kewanee Public Library, and the Kewanee Park
3District; and
4    WHEREAS, The Kewanee Park District's trust is worth nearly
5$1.3 million today, a legacy of the generosity of Emerit E.
6Baker; and
7    WHEREAS, To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Kewanee
8Park District, the park district will host celebrations during
9the course of the summer that include music and games;
10therefore, be it
13we congratulate the Kewanee Park District on the occasion of
14its 100th anniversary and celebrate the legacy of Emerit E.
15Baker; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
17presented to the Kewanee Park Board of Commissioners as a
18symbol of our respect and esteem.