For her whole life, Rosemary Martin lived inside the house located on Ellsworth Street and North Avenue in downtown Naperville.
It was here that she grew into a well educated and hardworking woman with a passion for philanthropy.
“She was very modest about her own achievements and her own education, active in many civic organizations, well known in the business community she was a banker, she lived here her entire life and her father worked for Kroehler Furniture factory,” said Judy Brodhead, Councilwoman for the City of Naperville.
When Rosemary retired she found more time to become involved in the Naperville League of Women Voters, a group dedicated to promoting active participation in government; a project she excelled at.
After her death in 2004, the women made sure to honor all that Rosemary brought to the group.
“We named an award for her, the ‘Rosemary Democracy in Action Award’ and it was our pleasure to hand that out for several years and we thought a great deal for her,” said Brodhead.
It was that thought that pushed Brodhead to recognize her before council members voted to do away with the old house that once was home to a woman who helped build Naperville’s history.
“The family sold this property and the company that’s going to develop it, bought this plus some adjacent land five or six years ago and it has a new plan now; it is going to be some very attractive condos that are going to be built here, I think they’re going to be 39 units that will span this short block,” said Brodhead.
While the house may be gone, Naper Settlement and the Historic District will help to ensure houses and stories similar to Rosemary’s will not be forgotten.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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