Looking Back

Looking Back: Sept. 26, 2012

The Hopkins Park underpass in DeKalb, circa 1948. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
The Hopkins Park underpass in DeKalb, circa 1948. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.


September 28, 1887
For several days the heavens have been overcast, and rain has bee descending almost constantly. During this whole dry summer and spring nothing has been seen like it.

A strange accident happened to Mr. G.A. Burnham last week. Some powder matches in his watch pocket exploded, setting fire to his clothing and burning his hands and side.

The feasibility of lighting trains by electricity is shortly to be thoroughly tested.

Will Pfanstiel, who a short time ago drew $120 from an accident insurance company for taking a header from his wheel, has been at it again. Friday he was breaking up a barrel and began dancing a jig on it, when one of the staves gave way and William plunged heavily to the ground. Both bones of his left forearm were fractured. his accident policy will bring him $20 a week while the bones are knitting.

American astronomers who went to China to witness the total eclipse of the sun were poorly compensated for the long voyage. Soon after the eclipse began it was doubly eclipsed by dense clouds, and remained so to the end.

A San Francisco judge has ruled that a reporter may not be ordered to reveal the sources of his information.


September 25, 1912
Grocery, drug, fruit and vegetable stores and meat markets in Sycamore have all agreed to close every evening at 6 except on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The secretary of the treasury has decided to issue bank notes one-fifth smaller than current bills. The secretary also believes there should be but one portrait on any bill and the figures showing the denomination should be printed so they can be easily read.

Ten Sycamore bachelors have rented the rooms over George Warren’s jewelry store and will have a club room where they can spend their evenings.

Ambulance service is something Sycamore has needed, and will now be supplied by Emil E. Johnson, who has purchased a handsome ambulance supplied with every convenience to make a comfortable journey for the sick or suffering.

The country has gone mad over aviation, and the state fair this year will give a magnificent demonstration of the capabilities of the newest air machines.

The distinction of being the champion hugger of northern Illinois has got Elwood James into a world of trouble. He was charged by Miss Alice Prescott of Beulah with attempted assault. Witnesses at the hearing said James had approached virtually every unmarried woman in Beulah and had succeeded in hugging and caressing 12 of them. After the trial, sweethearts of two of the girls attacked James. Before he could get his belongings packed to get out of Beulah, his boarding house was surrounded by male relatives of the young women mentioned in the trial, threatening a beating and horsewhipping. James managed to escape in an automobile. Several fall weddings have been called off and a feud has begun in the village, which is evenly divided for and against the hugger.


September 29, 1937
A lapse of five days since the abduction of Charles P. Ross, a wealthy 72-year-old Chicagoan who was kidnapped while enroute home after dining at the Fargo hotel in Sycamore, seems to have yielded no clew of promise.

County Clerk Earle W. Joiner was notified the state department of public welfare has rejected the entire slate of five candidates for the office of county superintendent of public welfare selected by the county board of supervisors.

Machinery and materials for the fine ornamental concrete bridge to span the Kishwaukee River on Route 64 east of Sycamore is being assembled at the site.

Lift your wardrobe out of the ordinary with Glen-O-Plaid, a truly different pattern without a hint of freakishness. Available at Anderson Bros.

A $20,000 grade school bond issue was approved unanimously at an election in Kirkland Saturday. Thirty-seven votes were cast.


September 25, 1962
Fullerton, Calif. police are now seeking the Cornwall brothers of Sycamore to answer charges of alleged forgery and possibly armed robbery. The brothers are also wanted for a flurry of checks in DeKalb County and a forged check in Chicago.

Police and firemen are on the trail of the vandals who turned in a false fire alarm from the alarm box at the corner of State and California streets Wednesday evening.

Gov. Otto Kerner of Illinois has proclaimed Oct. 7 to 13 “Be Thankful You Can See Week.”

Two things are as certain as death and taxes in Sycamore tonight. One is that there will be a great crowd jammed into every nook and cranny to see the football game between Sycamore and Naperville high. The other is that parking spaces will be few and far between on Sycamore’s east side, as Naperville is bringing several hundred students for the games and an estimated 500 adults are planning to make the trip, plus a few thousand Sycamore people.
– Sycamore True Republican


September 30, 1987
An influx of students, some overcrowded classrooms, a half-time reduction in a social worker’s position and more than $238,000 in state aid cuts are making conditions in DeKalb schools less than optimal.

Faced with massive budget cuts, the Illinois Board of Regents has “reluctantly” approved a $150 mid-year tuition hike for Northern Illinois University and Illinois State University, Normal.

While DeKalb Township board members agreed to ask voters whether they should support social services, they disagree on how the services should be funded if a majority of voters want it.
– The MidWeek

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