Kaneville event highlights local historical figures

By on June 3, 2012

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—You can’t drive through the middle of Kaneville without noticing a small, white building on the south side of Harter Road. Dr. Hirman T. Hardy’s office is a historic, local feature, and he will be one of two Kaneville figures highlighted at the Kaneville Historical Society’s event on Sunday, June 10. The other is the Dauberman family, after whom Dauberman Road is named.

Kaneville resident Steve Downen will portray Dr. Hardy. A few relics from Dr. Hardy’s practice, including his baby book, will be available for viewing. Hardy’s baby book lists all of the babies he delivered from 1873 to 1909, which likely includes many ancestors of current Kaneville residents.

Hardy was a medic in the Civil War, and attended medical school when the war was over. He came to Kaneville expecting to stay only a short time, but ended up living there most of his life. According to Kaneville Historical Society’s Lynette Werdin, he was universally loved by the entire community for his kindness and his caring, and he gave that back in full measure.

He would travel to Chicago to consult with doctors of various specialties, in order to better treat his patients in Kaneville. He married and had several children, and late in his life, in 1914, moved into Chicago to be near his daughter.

He would still travel out to visit his old neighbors and patients, and he ended up dying in Kaneville in 1919 while on one of those visits. He is buried in the Kaneville Cemetery.

The second family featured during the Historical Society event is the Dauberman family. The Society will open the Benton House, and Dauberman descendants Ted and Narrain Phelps and Susan Lye will provide information about their ancestors.

Johnny Dauberman and his wife, Mary Ravlin Dauberman, owned and operated the general store in town. The store carried family items, quilts, dishes, furniture, hand-ground coffee, flour and sugar measured out from 100-pound. barrels, as well as a cracker barrel and a pickle barrel. In addition, parents were able to purchase their children’s text books there.

George and Clarence Dauberman were enterprising Kaneville farmers from the early 1900’s. Clarence developed the first tractor with a high-compression engine in 1934.

Bertha Dauberman Lye was a skilled musician, and her daughter, Elma Lye, was a 2nd Lt. Army nurse in World War II. Known as the Bird Lady from Kaneville, Elma shared her knowledge of nature with organizations and school children, and could imitate bird calls and whistles.

Several antique tractors will be on view in the yard of the Benton House. Tom Runty will be on-hand with his passion for steam engines, and Karl Kettelkamp will display his latest locally-found Indian artifacts.

The historical society’s event won’t be the only reason to visit Kaneville on June 10, however. The fire department’s annual pancake breakfast, featuring sausage from Ream’s Elburn Market, will take place from 7 a.m. to noon at the Kaneville fire barn, 46W536 Lovell St. The cost of the breakfast is $5 per person; children under 3 years of age will be admitted free of charge.

Proceeds from the Kaneville Fire Department breakfast will go towards the purchase of rescue and training equipment.

Annual Kaneville Fire Department Pancake Breakfast
Sunday, June 10
7 a.m. to noon
Pancakes and Ream’s sausage
Kaneville Fire Barn on Lovell Street
$5 per person;
children under 3 years old are free

Kaneville Historical Society event
8 a.m. to noon
Dr. Hardy’s house on Harter Road
The Benton House on Lovell Street