Looking Back

Looking Back: October 17, 2012

The Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb circa 1938. The theater did not have true air conditioning; a large fan was rigged to blow across water pipes to cool the air. The system was costly and inefficient. Thanks to the Egyptian Theatre for the photo.
The Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb circa 1938. The theater did not have true air conditioning; a large fan was rigged to blow across water pipes to cool the air. The system was costly and inefficient. Thanks to the Egyptian Theatre for the photo.


October 19, 1887
It is a curious and instructive circumstance that the most radical propositions for restricting foreign immigration come from the higher class of foreign-born citizens.

Someone took a drunken sleep near the barn on the William Tifft place, then wandered off and left a good overcoat behind. He can have it back by calling for it.

A young man who has been working in Sycamore got ready to be wedded the other day when he was told he could not marry the young lady in Illinois on account of the recently enacted law prohibiting the marriage of first cousins. Whether to break off the match or move to a different state is the question now to be determined.

In a letter from H.P. Holmes: Every person in the state will receive a free scholarship to Champaign University by passing the examinations necessary to enter and paying a single fee of $10. The Illinois University is a free institution; no college fees being charged after the payment of the $10 matriculation fee.

The drove of 162 Montana cattle at the feeding yards Wednesday attracted a large amount of attention. All had the large horns of the breed of cattle seen in DeKalb County 50 years ago, except that the horns seem larger and the cattle smaller.


October 19, 1912
Frank Chafer, a well-known farmer residing near Sabula, was struck and killed by lightning between 5 and 6 o’clock Friday evening.

DeKalb people seem displeased with the first decision of their new city court, and some of the county officers were equally displeased. They say their efforts are wasted in arresting violators of the law if they are only to be released.

Many voters of foreign birth or descent are opposing Woodrow Wilson because of past criticisms by him of immigrants. “He has not only insulted us, but the entire nation, as this country was made by men of foreign birth,” said Alderman Stanley Kunz, one of the Polish Democratic leaders in Chicago. “There are 30,000 Polish voters in Cook County who are going to show Mr. Wilson they are not of the meaner class.”

Lavish use of money by supporters of President Taft in the Michigan primary campaign was charged by a Detroit lawyer. Both sides, he said, bought delegates like sheep.

Women will soon use snakeskin for garments for everyday wear. One can scarcely imagine a more poetic revenge by the daughters of Eve on their old enemy the serpent. If the fashion thins out the number of these dangerous reptiles all over the world, humanity will owe a debt of gratitude to its inventor.

A young Sycamore lady has a hat so large it was necessary to open the double doors to admit her and her hat into a dry goods store.


October 20, 1937
Popularity of the Sycamore Community Center is increasing rapidly. The swimming pool, game room and gymnasium are usually in use during every open hour. Between Oct. 8 and Oct. 15, a total of 1,562 persons were counted at the center. These figures take no account of the many who bowled, because the government, which supervises the center, does not count projects with a charge.

Belief that the archaic Lincoln Highway has outlived its usefulness is creating a condition whereby Route 64 may become the great east-west traffic artery across Illinois.

Two prisoners who made a daring and spectacular escape from the DeKalb County jail Sunday night are again in custody. After a wild flight across Illinois, Missouri and part of Kansas, they were apprehended in Hiawatha, Kan.


October 16, 1962
A sharp increase in the number of youthful drivers involved in Illinois traffic accidents if state-supported driver training is dropped was predicted today by the Insurance Information Institute.

In a weird situation on the November ballot, both sides will win. No matter how the voter marks his ballot in choosing a state representative for the 32nd District, both the Republicans and Democrats will win. The district has the right to be represented in Springfield by three representatives. Two Republicans and one Democrat are nominees, so those three are almost elected right now.

A modern version of the Boston tea party is the basis of a statewide campaign to protest rising taxes in Illinois, GOP State Chairman Victor L. Smith said.

“Trick or Treat for UNICEF” offers great possibilities for community-wide, interfaith cooperation among children, youth and adults.
– Sycamore True Republican


October 21, 1987
Bob Daniels, owner of downtown DeKalb bar Otto’s, recently lost an employee because of a drunk driving accident. The tragedy affected Daniels and his workers so deeply, he has taken the initiative to bring to DeKalb an employee training program aimed at preventing patrons from becoming dangerously intoxicated.

Union and management representatives at DeKalb’s General Electric plant will begin talks on wage cuts management says are necessary to keep the plant open.

“Alcohol, the Living End” is a collection of coroners’ slides put together into a chilling, haunting 45-minute show. All the slides show individuals, mostly teenagers, killed in alcohol-related accidents in DeKalb County.

Sycamore Hospital will X-ray treats from 6 to 9 p.m. on Halloween to make sure the goodies collected by area youngsters are free from foreign objects.
– The MidWeek

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