As our country honors the 100th Anniversary of the United States entering World War I, the City Museum is honoring those who fought in the Great War, including Robert Bond, remembered here.
Over the next two years, the City Museum will be featuring some of the veterans of World War I on its blog, as well as programming about the historic war that changed humanity. The Museum will be hosting Kathryn Atwood to talk about her book “Women Heroes of World War I” on Sunday, April 23rd at 3:00p.m. at the West Chicago Public Library.
Robert “Bob” Bruce Bond was born on October 12, 1887 in South Dakota. After Bob’s mother’s death, he grew up with relatives in Libertyville, Illinois.
The western frontier of his birth continued to call him though and he eventually became a homesteader in Montana. While staking his own claim of 320 acres in the Montana wilderness, Bob began a Pharmacy apprenticeship in 1906 to pay for the land. In order to keep the claim per homesteading laws, Bob had to stay on the land at least one day a week. He traveled between his Pharmacist job in Circle, Montana, and his land on the open range by horseback.
Bob enlisted in the Army Medical Corps during World War I and spent the majority of the war at Fort Seward, Alaska, working as a hospital pharmacist.
After the war, Bob moved back to the Chicago suburbs and worked in a drug store in Libertyville. A salesman who visited the store told him about a pharmacy that was for sale in West Chicago. In August of 1921 Bob arrived on Main Street, West Chicago. Bob remembered: “I walked through the town to look it over. Then I got to the store and talked to the owner and I bought it in about 30 minutes.” At that time the store was in the Atcherson Building on Washington Street. The store moved to Main Street in 1938.
Bob married Beulah Reed, a lifelong West Chicago resident and the sister of Chauncey Reed, in 1925. She was an elementary school teacher and worked her way up to the principal of the West Chicago High School, a post she held until her marriage in 1925. This was also the last year for the High School to be located in North Side School, also known as Washington School (which was located where the current Fire Department sits).
During his 56 years in the drug store business in West Chicago, Robert Bond’s name was associated with a host of community activities, including the American Legion Post 300, the West Chicago Building & Loan Association,
the West Chicago State Bank, the West Chicago Masonic Lodge and the First Congregational Church.
After working until the age of 91, Bob finally slowed down and retired after working 14 hour days for most of his successful career. Bob lived to be 96 and is buried at Glen Oak Cemetery in West Chicago.