Looking Back

Looking Back for July 18, 2018

Cortland interurban sub-station stood until the spring of 1987, looking east. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Cortland interurban sub-station stood until the spring of 1987, looking east. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1918 – 100 YEARS AGO

Saturday night was the occasion of the opening of the new Ford sales and service station at the corner of First and Lincoln highway and the Fordson tractor demonstration which was held there was largely attended during the evening. The Fordson was not exactly demonstrated but was on exhibition at the new garage and attracted no little attention.

A meeting of the directors of the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association was held on Saturday and considerable business of importance attend to during the afternoon. The building on North Fifth Street used by the association will undergo some improvements, such as repairs to the roof, painting, etc., Mr. Eckhardt being given the power to attend to these details.

A traveling man in a flivver showed up at the fire station one day last week and calling one of two of the boys out, began to make a half-inch rope, very securely wound, from binder twine. The machine is something new along this line and attracted considerable attention from the fire boys and many others who chanced to notice the working of the little hand-turned instrument.

A traveling man came into the police station in DeKalb this morning and reported to the officers there that his big Marmon car was in the ditch out near the Greek farm with a broken wheel and that he was waiting for a service truck to come from Chicago to take care of the machine. His visit to the station was to notify them of his whereabouts so they would not be compelled to look up the license number and otherwise put themselves to any inconvenience.

There was another fine band concert, given to a large audience at Huntley Park last evening. The throng comfortably filed the park, while there were several scores of autos parked about the pretty spot.

The DeKalb police department, or rather a member of the department had a little experience yesterday afternoon, all due to the fact that a case of ginger ale was unintentionally left out doors. The kids sneaked down the alley four of them in all, each helping himself to a bottle of said ginger ale. Discovering that Officer Sid Rowe was on their trail they began to run. The officer chased them for some little distance, and then after they had disposed of the goods by hiding, stopped. The officer told them to go get the bottles, take them back here they got them, which they did, and report to the station. The boys were given a severe reprimand.

1943 – 75 YEARS AGO

What is believed to be the work of boys of teen age, was the burglary some time Saturday night or early Sunday morning of the Sawyer Service Station and the antique shop of E. L. Timm on East Lincoln Highway. At Mr. Timm’s antique shop cash to the amount of nearly $45 is known to be missing and an undetermined amount of federal and state tax money, which also was in the register.

Sycamore Sons again met their formidable foes Sunday at the Sycamore Community Park, when the Rockford Moose came for a scheduled game of the Northern Illinois-Southern Wisconsin League. One of the largest crowds of the season witnessed the game, which finally was won by the Sycamore Sons 4-3.

Construction work has started at the new hemp mill to be erected at Kirkland, cement has been poured and surveyors are finishing up their end of the work at this time. It was stated that at the present time there is hemp to the north of Kirkland that is outstanding and is seven feet in height. Any number of acres that are planted to hemp in the north end of the county measure five feet in height.

A soldier on his way west was taken from a bus yesterday afternoon by the DeKalb police and taken to the station and held until he sobered up. The driver of the bus had asked that he be removed.

Workers of the Sycamore Preserve Works from J. W. Thuma, general superintendent down to the extra help hired in the emergency are resting a little easier as most of the pea crop has been harvested. The peas have been prepared, canned and barreled and the plant now is getting ready for the corn pack, which is understood is next on the docket.

Early this afternoon the Charles Bradt car, taken during the night, was recovered about a clock from the home. The gasoline supply was nearly exhausted indicating that those who had taken the car had driven it a considerable distance before deserting it on the nearby street.

Two bright orange lines were marked in the center of the street from the end of State Street to Tenth Street and “no passing” markers were also painted. Complaints of racing and passing going to and from the factories have been received but after the street have been marked arrests will be made for passing on these thoroughfares.

1968 – 50 YEARS AGO

DeKalb needs a new fire station within a mile of the downtown business district. Possible location could be somewhere north of Pine Street between second and seventh street. Other possible sites for a new station could be Seventh Street and Sycamore Road, first street and Sycamore road.

Members of the New Hope Baptist Church of Sycamore broke ground at the site north of Sycamore on Route 23.

The Genoa-Kingston Fire Protection District is another example of how rural communities have banded together for better fire protection for all in recent years. The district, comprising 70 square miles in Genoa, Kingston, Sycamore, and Mayfield Townships, came into being following an election held September 12, 1961, in which 90 percent of the citizens in the area voted for the formation.

A new pumper tanker recently received by the Kirkland Community Fire Protection District has given new life to Kirkland’s firefighting. The Kirkland fire district started out with just one 1939 pumper in 1954 and now boasts six trucks and an emergency vehicle.

1993 – 25 YEARS AGO

DeKalb County’s growing pains are starting to smother the county recorder’s office with paperwork. The influx of documents has forced County Clerk Sharon Holmes, who oversees the recorder’s office, to ask the county board for an additional full-time employee. The number of documents processed by the recorder’s office has more than quadrupled since 1965, increasing from 5,738 in 1965 to 19,222 in 1992.

DeKalb Assistant Fire Chief Pete Polarek and Cortland firefighter Roger VanVierah monitor an old barn on Loves Road to check the progress of a fire intentionally set for firefighter training. The barn was destroyed to make room for the expansion of the DeKalb Municipal Airport.

Shutterbugs will have a chance to capture some native Illinois prairie wildflowers on film Sunday when avid nature photographer Gene St. Louis leads a tour of the Afton Forest Preserve restored prairie. The photo session is part of the monthly Prairie days sponsored by the Friends of Afton Prairie. The volunteer group was formed over a year ago to help save and maintain the last 10 acres of original prairie in DeKalb County at Afton Cemetery on Perry Road.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.

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