McArdle, founder of Pheasant Run, dies

Published: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – Edward McArdle, the man whose vision brought Pheasant Run Resort to St. Charles about 50 years ago, died at home in St. Charles on Monday. He was 88.

McArdle is survived by his wife, Marian, two sons, a daughter and extended family. His funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 2900 E. Main St., St. Charles.

Former St. Charles Mayor Fred Norris was an alderman when McArdle first came to town.

“St. Charles always was known for hotels from its early settlement – the Hotel Baker put it on the map – but this did the same thing in a bigger, grandiose way with an 18-hole golf course and a venue for live theater,” Norris said.

The city extended its water lines to accommodate McArdle’s expansive vision, Norris said.

During Norris’ mayoral tenure, however, McArdle did not want the city’s hotel-motel tax. Norris said McArdle took out a full-page ad in the Kane County Chronicle against Norris and the tax.

“He wanted to disconnect from St. Charles and be in DuPage County,” Norris said. “But he found out DuPage was going to put a hotel-motel tax on regardless, and we were the lesser of two evils.”

McArdle also owned other properties in Illinois, Florida and the Virgin Islands. Norris said McArdle owned the Wagon Wheel in Rockton, Ill., the Royal Orleans in New Orleans and bought the old Dallas airport for a fleet of planes he leased out.

“He was a very unique, special person,” Norris said. “He was not all roses. He had a very strong personality [and] would raise his voice regularly with people he would be negotiating with. He’d pound on the table. He was always wheeling and dealing. It was an experience to know him.”

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