April 20, 2014
Pool lawsuit goes all the way to Supreme Court PDF Print E-mail

AL DICK ET AL VS  ROY ROBERTS ET AL. That was the way it was printed, over and over again, as the law suit progressed.
The Roberts family was led to believe that everyone who lived in the country disliked Roy Roberts. They began to receive letters in the mail: “Why don’t you move to town?” and “How would you like to have your barn burned?” They were unsigned letters of course, but there were a few nights that it wasn’t easy for his wife and he to go to sleep.
The swimming pool case went to court and since the vote was 1,188 for the swimming pool and 627 against the swimming pool, the Park Board voted to represent the majority of the voters and proceed to fight the law suit, with their attorney, Milton McClure, taking care of the legal matters.
After many months, Judge A. Clay Williams approved the Park District’s bond issue and ruled in favor of the Park District.  For an additional fee from each of the farmers involved, Alford Dick appealed the case which then went to the Illinois Supreme Court.
This delayed the lawsuit for another year, and the low interest rates the Park Board had secured for the bonds increased considerably. To keep the low tax rate, the Park Board had promised, it was to be paid off in fifteen years rather than the ten years.
In the meantime, the Dick-Roberts relationship remained cold for almost another eleven years.
Then there was the terrible tragedy that affected the people in the entire area.
While Alford and Lucille Dick were on vacation, traveling through the East, their son James shot and killed his wife and three little children before shooting himself.
It was Roy Roberts, his college-age daughter Ann, and Fannie Mae Logsdon who cleaned up the murder scene and had the rooms repainted before Alford and Lucille returned home from their vacation.
This tragedy is mentioned only because after that funeral, for the young family of five, Alford Dick, grieving tremendously, would walk in the back door of the Roberts home every morning between seven and seven-thirty. He would sit at the breakfast table and have a cup of coffee with Roy and Christine. This continued for well over a year. It took the awful tragedy, but Al Dick and Roy Roberts were friends again.
Back to the Beardstown Swimming Pool....The two-year delay from 1953-1955 was not a pleasant time for the Park Board. With a change of contractors, the swimming pool was dedicated on Memorial Day 1955, and finally opened soon after.      Karl Schmidt was the swimming pool manager; and life guards and pool maintenance employees included Ruth Smith, Tom Starkey, Bill Leistritz, Milton McClure and Bill DeSollar. Gary Buck and Ernie Davis were the basket boys and Juanita Butcher and her daughter, Marilyn, ran the concession stand.