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home : news : north central illinois   July 27, 2015

1/30/2013 5:17:00 PM
Former Ottawa Mayor Forrest Buck dies

Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

Buck served two terms asOttawa’s mayor from 1991-99. Under his watch, the Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum was opened and Buck thus was credited by some for laying the foundation for Ottawa’s subsequent growth in tourism.

“He had a good first and second term and did some good things forOttawa,” said Boyd Palmer, executive director of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “He may have set the stage for what followed.”

A retired teacher at Ottawa Township High School, Buck was remembered as a friendly and outgoing mayor who identified himself to newcomers as “Forrest with two R’s, Buck like the dollar.”

“He was a real nice guy, a good person,” recalled commissioner Wayne Eichelkraut Jr., who served after Buck’s second term but worked closely with him on civic events including Riverfest. “He did a good job as mayor.”

Buck’s successor agreed. Mayor Bob Eschbach credited Buck for creating the city’s first Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, enacting a city historic preservation ordinance and commission (which launched the Lincoln-Douglas Memorial)  and as a “founding father” of the scouting museum.

“Forrest had a sense of humor,” Eschbach said. “He loved to say to me, ‘Bob, you are the best mayor Ottawa has had — since me.”

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Trinity Lutheran Church, Ottawa. Burial will be at Oakwood Memorial Park, Ottawa. 

Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Friday in Mueller Funeral Home inOttawa. 


Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or

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