In the late 1940’s I was in line for Sunday dinner at Augustana College and began talking to a coed in front of me. She asked me where I was from. I said, “Andover.” She said, “Oh, I have heard about Andover. If you’re from there, you must be famous.” I did not disagree. I wasn’t going to veto a statement like that.
Now, this “queen” from Augustana and I have been married sixty years, and she has been shrinking my wallet ever since! Now I tell her that I must have been charming. “No,” she says, “you were from Andover.” The debates goes on.
Now, let us go to the Jenny Lind Chapel in Andover, which was built in 1850 with a payment from the Swedish Nightingale. I have read about the suffering that these early settlers endured, but they prevailed.
From this little chapel another 2200 churches were built in the Lutheran Augustana Synod. And look at the big Andover church built in 1867. They used 500,000 bricks, which were made on site. Think of the ministry coming from this church and the many pastors who served, as well at Bishops from all over America, and even Sweden, coming to preach from the pulpit here.
After the Korean War the Air National Guard in Peoria asked me to join. Flying over Andover from a few miles away, I could see the church. I call this steeple a Cross of Hope, Cross of Faith, the Cross of Christianity. I would circle the circle and I could see Gene (the postmaster) wave. Then I would fly over and do a vertical climb, like we used to do to show respect to a departed comrade.
In addition to being the most historical of the three towns considered for closing, Andover is larger with 242 post office boxes issued than Lynn Center (50 post office boxes) and Osco (38 post office boxes) and is the most centrally located, so it makes sense to leave it open with rural delivery to Andover, Lynn Center and Osco Townships from that office.
Let’s not sound taps on Andover nor its post office. I am a retired Air Force pilot and a former mayor of Cambridge, which is the county seat of Henry County.
B. Ben Johnson, Cambridge