Looking Back

Looking Back: Aug. 29, 2012

Looking northwest from Elm Street and Route 30 in Waterman. Date unknown. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Looking northwest from Elm Street and Route 30 in Waterman. Date unknown. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

125 YEARS AGO

August 31, 1887
At a church social and hugging bee in Nebraska, a withered remnant of a man aching for a smack of sweet 16 or thereabouts paid 15 cents and was blindfolded. The managers handed him his wife, and the squeeze he gave her made her back ache. When the blindfold was removed and he discovered the trick, he howled like a madman, smote the manager on the jaw and choked the treasurer until he refunded the money.

In Hebron Township a few days ago, during a severe storm, a house was so filled with electricity that an invalid was cured by it.

It has been computed that the death rate of the world is about 67 a minute while the birth rate is 70 a minute.

Cole Younger, serving a life sentence in a penitentiary in Minnesota, is running a small local newspaper in that institution.

The wide liberties granted American youth too often result in trouble.

A bulletin from San Antonio, Texas, reports the death in Vera Cruz, Mexico, of Jesus Valdonado, a farmer and rancher of considerable possessions. The man’s age at the time of his death was indisputably 154 years. The pallbearers at the funeral were his sons, aged 140, 120 and 109 years, respectively. They are white-haired, but strong and hearty.

Information regarding the Indian troubles in Colorado make it appear the Indians are not and have not been on the warpath, but that they have been the victims of unprovoked ill treatment by the cowboys and state authorities.

Referring to being a candidate for the presidency, Robert Lincoln said, “I have seen enough of the inside of Washington official life to have lost all desire for it.”

100 YEARS AGO

August 31, 1912
Rockford’s Good Roads Booster Run will travel through Sycamore Sept. 11. From 50 to 100 automobiles will be in line. A band or quartet will accompany the party and furnish entertainment at each stop.

A hold-up is reported from the peaceable neighborhood of South Main Street in Sycamore. About $6 was abstracted.

Caroline Beers, 40, was arrested by Pittsburgh detectives at the Southern Hotel, while waiting for President Taft. Two long knives were found concealed in her clothing. The woman said she was the wife of the president and was going to punish him. She is believed to be insane.

The post office will be closed on Sundays, starting next Sunday, and no mail of any kind will be delivered except letters with special delivery stamps. A boy will be sent out with special delivery letters, as in the past.

Among the improvements in Sycamore this summer is the remodeling of the Larson sanitarium. Its name will be changed to the Red Granite Hospital, appropriate because of the appearance of the material of which it will be constructed.

While the increased use of automobiles and motor trucks is everywhere evident, they have not reduced the demand for horses.

75 YEARS AGO

September 1, 1937
It’s time for every self-respecting husband to write his congressman or something. The latest thing wrong with civilization is that ladies are taking up, as a cultural activity, the hurling of rolling pins. It was one of the chief events at the annual picnic of the DeKalb County Farm Bureau.

A California man was arrested by Waterman authorities for driving while intoxicated and the theft of a passenger car. He had boarded a taxi cab in DeKalb. When the driver left to get time tables from the depot, the drunk man slid behind the wheel and drove away.

More people live within an hour’s train trip of Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal than in the entire dominion of Canada.

Directors of the Sycamore Community Center decided the only hope of keeping the center open and continuing its recreational program is to raise money through the sale of activity books.

50 YEARS AGO

August 31, 1962
An adult education director in Virginia started a class for parents to learn the new ways of teaching junior high mathematics, so they would be able to give homework help. He expected a limited response, but to his astonishment, the rush to enroll almost beat the door down.

Two men were assessed heavy fines and a third faces a court hearing after a wild escapade with two Sandwich girls. The men are alleged to have sprayed the girls with spray gun fumes after the girls refused to submit to taking liberties.

Because foxes and baby turkeys are not what you might call playmates, the killing of foxes is a financial success on a Waterman turkey ranch. The county pays a $4 bounty for each fox killed, and Mr. Kauffman pays his employees an additional $10 for each fox killed on his ranch land. When one can mix sports with one’s work, life can be a joy.
– Sycamore True Republican

25 YEARS AGO

September 2, 1987
For years, Ora Astling has drunk 30 cups of coffee a day loaded with sugar. At age 84, it obviously is the secret to her long life and the vitality that has kept her behind a desk for 69 years.

The DeKalb post office is now open on Saturday mornings.

Arguing that NIU has long been chronically underfunded by the state, university president John La Tourette announced a long-range plan to downsize Northern’s on-campus enrollment to reduce staffing and space problems.

The DeKalb Bank is now offering as much as 8 percent on a five-year CD.

The administrator of the Sycamore Hospital has announced the opening of the Sycamore Clinic.
– The MidWeek

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