|Birth: ||Dec. 9, 1890|
|Death: ||Feb. 18, 1955|
Euclid Lodge No. 65 A.F. & A.M.
Master 1924, 1925
Euclid Chapter No. 13 R.A.M.
Naperville Mayor 1935 to 1951
Tribute and Obituary reprinted from "The Naperville Clarion", Thursday, February 24, 1955.
A Tribute to Jim Nichols
Jim Nichols will live in the hearts of his friends for their lifetimes.
Last Saturday afternoon hundreds of those friends and neighbors gathered in the Congregational Church to pay their respects to a man who by every measure was a leader.
Jim Nichols was the Mayor of this city for 16 years; he was a noted editor who through the Kroehler News told of the joys and the sorrows too, of working people - people who held high executive jobs and others who helped make a local industry internationally known.
Jim Nichols was more than just a business man. He was a Christian leader and for years was a superintendent of his church's Sunday school. He was a friendly man. Even newcomers felt the warmth of his personality.
Everything that is good about Naperville was encompassed at the funeral of Jim Nichols. There was beautiful and reverent music; the consoling words of a dignified pastor; there was the faint smile of recognition between neighbors. Jim Nichols must have known all about what his town thought about him. James Whitcomb Riley wrote a poem, a line of which closes this tribute, "Well, good-by, Jim: Tak keer of yourse'f!"
James Nichols, 64, who was known here as "Mr. Naperville," mayor of this city from 1935 to 1951, and director of public relations and editor of Kroehler News, died early last Friday morning at the Copley Memorial Hospital in Aurora. He lived here at 401 Highland Ave. The funeral was held last Saturday afternoon in the First Congregational Church with burial in the Naperville Cemetery. The Rev. Robert Chatfield Kemper, pastor, gave the funeral sermon. He paid great tribute to the deceased, calling attention to his many services to his community as a civic, industrial and spiritual leader. The speaker said that many people counted him "Mr. Naperville."
The church auditorium was packed with those who held him in affection. The sermon was augmented by appropriate music beautifully played on the church organ by Mrs. Donald Zaininger. In the audience there were people from every phase of his life. Following the ceremony little groups congregated outside the church, even in the mist of an inclement afternoon, and in hushed tones told of some thoughtful deed performed by the late Mr. Nichols.
The pall bearers were Lee Henson, Donald Zaininger, Paul Boyer, Milton Stauffer, Robert Parcells and Claud Grimes.
He is survived by his widow Julia, two daughters, Mrs. Dean Olson (Nancy), Rockford, Ill., and Mrs. Robert Eby (Juliette), Jackson, Mich.; one son, James Jr., Naperville; seven grandchildren; and two sisters, Mrs. Herbert Matter (Laura), Naperville, and Mrs. D. S. Sawyer (Grace), Jackson, Mich.
Mr. Nichols was a member of Euclid Lodge No. 65 A.F. & A.M., both the American Legion and VFW Posts, the Rotary Club of Naperville, was a Director of the Naperville Building and Loan, and secretary of the First Congregational Church board of trustees.
Mr. Nichols was graduated from the University of Illinois in the class of 1913. He was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity at the U. of I.
Especially was Mr. Nichols interested in the youth of Naperville and he was always helpful in any campaign which would make Naperville a better city in which to live.
He was the son of the late Prof. James L. Nichols, revered Naperville citizen, who was a professor at North Central College. His name lives on the Nichols Library and Nichols Hall in the Merner Fieldhouse.
As editor of Kroehler News, he received national awards and recognition for the News which has been called one of the finest industrial magazines known.
The warmth of his character, understanding and tolerance of his fellow man endeared him to our entire organization. Of him I can honestly say, he was well liked by every one who knew him, without exception. We will all miss Jim and his death is a serious loss to our organization.
Obituary reprinted from "The Naperville Sun", Thursday, February 24, 1955.
Hundreds Attend Services For Ex-Mayor James L. Nichols Saturday Afternoon
The First Congregational Church was filled to capacity last Saturday afternoon as a host of friends attended the funeral of James L. Nichols, former Mayor of Naperville, who served four consecutive terms, from 1935 to 1951. One of Naperville's most prominent and well-known residents, Mr. Nichols died shortly after midnight last Friday morning, at the age of 64, in the Copley hospital. Death was caused by a cerebral hemorrhage which occurred about noon Thursday. He was taken to the hospital in the afternoon, and passed away with all the members of his immediate family about him.
Jim Nichols was born in Naperville on December 9, 1890, and lived here his entire life. He was a World War I veteran, and had served overseas in France. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois in the class of 1913, was a very active member of the Euclid Lodge No. 65, A.F. & A.M., the American Legion, the V.F.W., and the Rotary Club. He had served on the Board of Directors of the Naperville Building and Loan Assn. for the past 14 years.
In 1914 Jim became associated with his father in the J. L. Nichols publishing business here in Naperville. For over a quarter of a century he published a book on business, written by his father.
For 15 years, beginning in 1931, he and his wife published a popular local advertising medium with the colorful title, "The Yellow Sheet." Since 1939 he had been associated with the Kroehler Mfg. Co., his main duty consisting of being editor of that company's large house organ, "The Kroehler News."
Besides his widow Julia, he is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Dean Olson (Nancy) of Rockford, and Mrs. Robert Eby (Juliet) of Jackson, Michigan; one son, James, of Naperville; and seven grandchildren. Also surviving are two sisters, Mrs. Herb Matter Sr. (Laura) of Naperville, and Mrs. Grace Sawyer of Jackson, Michigan.
The Rev. Robert Kemper officiated at the services, Saturday, and burial, with military honors was in the Naperville Cemetery.
James Lawrence Nichols (1851 - 1895)
Elizabeth Barnard Nichols Simpson (1865 - 1946)
Julia Maria Williams Nichols (1896 - 1971)*
James Lawrence Nichols (1922 - 1989)*
Grace Nichols Sawyer (1887 - 1958)*
James Lawrence Nichols (1890 - 1955)
Laura Isabelle Nichols Matter (1894 - 1979)*
Plot: Sec 3 Lot 954 Plot 12
Created by: Timothy Ory
Record added: Apr 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35756194