Looking Back

Looking Back: Nov. 7, 2012

The 100 block of North Second Street in DeKalb, looking north, in 1934. Thanks to the Egyptian Theatre and the Joiner History Room for the photo.
The 100 block of North Second Street in DeKalb, looking north, in 1934. Thanks to the Egyptian Theatre and the Joiner History Room for the photo.


November 9, 1887
A new comet is said to be plainly visible in the northern heavens.

Coal robbery is even worse in the west. In Nebraska, $13.50 per ton is charged, yet the local dealers make but a fair profit, the money going to mine owners and railroads.

Another manufacturing industry is talking of locating in Sycamore. It does not ask the city for a sum of money for locating here, as too many concerns do.

In Boston the current slang is “play ball.” It is an expressive bit of slang, and its beauty lies in its adaptability to all varying needs of the hour.

Farmers are coming into this new practice of running corn through a threshing machine, which is much pleasanter than the old, cold, sore-fingered way of husking it.

London fathers and mothers are greatly troubled by their boys, who have been converted by Buffalo Bill and are anxious to be off for “the great West.” A London paper says a staff of detectives is employed at Liverpool to look out for runaway youths and restore them to their parents. The boys typically have four to 16 loaded revolvers concealed about them, and lariats galore packed in their trunks.


November 9, 1912
Woodrow Wilson, who has been chosen for the next president, is without doubt an able and honest man, and the affairs of this great nation will be as safe in his hands as in the hands of any other representative of the Democratic party.

An election – with judges, polls, challengers, ballots, poll books and tally sheets – was carried out by the high school civics class on Tuesday. The only changed laws were that women were allowed to vote and there was no age limit.

John Shattuck is alive and well in Washington, in spite of the fact that he was reported to have been frozen to death in the wilds of Alaska several months ago. An account of his supposed death and that of his companions was published in this paper.

A demonstration of electric heating and cooking appliances will be given next Monday. Refreshments prepared on these new devices will be served.

For ambulance service, call 104 or 220.

The size of the average family in the continental United States decreased from 5.1 in 1870 to 4.7 in 1900. ...When women become the competitors of men in industrial life they always suffer, and when women desert the home for the factory the nation suffers.


November 10, 1937
Pleading guilty to larceny of an automobile, Hubert Ross, who with Francis Farthing escaped from the county jail Oct. 23, was sentenced to one to 20 years in the state penitentiary. Judge Fulton told the prisoner the length of his stay in Joliet depends upon his behavior.

A Genoa farmer is in serious condition following injuries he received in a runaway Saturday. While he was shredding corn, one of the teams became frightened and started to run. He jumped off a hayrack to quiet them and became wedged between a tree and the rack.

Republicans are watching with interest the split that is widening not only among the leaders, but among the rank and file of the Democratic party.

Knowing A.E. Kiefer was incapacitated and in the hospital, and that his corn would suffer if left exposed to the weather, 50  neighbors gathered at the farm Friday, husked the corn on 40 acres and placed it in the cribs, one of which was erected by the workers.

A 16-year-old boy from DeKalb was arrested Sunday after shooting through a partition at the Flatiron restaurant in his home city. The fact that the bullet from his .32 revolver was deflected by several bottles saved the life of at least one person, and perhaps others.


November 9, 1962
Sycamore Township maintains a considerable Republican majority and continues to indicate by the ballot box that “tax” is a bad word.

This year, for the first time, Sycamore plays host to a foreign exchange student from Central America. Jose Picado, from Costa Rica, is the sixth exchange student to spend the year in Sycamore. The others were from four European countries: Italy, Germany, Finland and Austria.

The county swept the Republican primary winners into office Tuesday. No race came near anything that could be called close. The county favored the blue ballot and the change in the banking act but crushed any idea of increased taxes.

The board of DeKalb County Children’s Community Theatre convened Tuesday to discuss plans for future programs.

Another fascinating natural history and wildlife movie sponsored by the Kishwaukee Audubon Society is being shown tonight. Robert C. Hermes, naturalist and cameraman who took the pictures, will discuss the scenes.

For over two hours, the advisory committee of Sycamore’s Civil Defense Department discussed the problems facing the city if any kind of disaster strikes. When it was over, one point stood out like a brilliant neon sign on a rainy night: the greatest stumbling block is lack of funds.

Almost every American boy dreams of a football career such as Chuck Gautcher has had, and of finishing as dramatically. Chuck’s final play was a dramatic touchdown with only a few seconds remaining in the final game of his final season – made via a 67-yard run.
– Sycamore True Republican


November 11, 1987
A 20-rank Wurlitzer pipe organ built in 1926 was given new life last week by several pipe organ devotees. Prime among them was Auggie Otto, a lifelong Sandwich resident well known for the miniature steam train he built and often operates at the Sandwich Fair.

Sycamore school district voters defeated the request for a 70-cent tax increase, with the opposition garnering 52.4 percent of the vote. “Making cuts or having a dramatic deficit, there’s no good way to work it out,” Superintendent Charles Norland said. “It’s a crisis either way.”
– The MidWeek

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