Looking Back

Looking Back: Nov. 21, 2012

The lobby of the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb, circa 1949. Thanks to the Egyptian Theatre for the photo.
The lobby of the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb, circa 1949. Thanks to the Egyptian Theatre for the photo.


November 23, 1887
The main building of Barnum & Bailey’s great circus and menagerie winter quarters at Bridgeport, Conn., was destroyed by fire Sunday. Some of the animals – including 30 elephants, a lion and a hippopotamus – escaped, but most of them have been recaptured.

The star of Bethlehem, which is now visible to the naked eye directly in the eastern sky, is an unusually large and brilliant twinkler. It will be visible from 3 to 5 a.m. for some time, and then will not be seen again for 849 years.

A well-known doctor says that the fumes of kerosene, when a lamp is turned low, are likely to cause diphtheria. The New York Board of Health has decided the prevalence of the disease can be attributed to this more than to any other cause.

The first part of the week was warm, dry and pleasant, as it had been all the fall. Friday the wind commenced blowing, Saturday the ground was covered with snow, which continued falling until Sunday, making travel by teams dangerous and delaying railroad trains.

Engineer Markham and his fireman were attacked by a panther Sunday on the Burlington and Missouri railroad. The men had left the locomotive to repair a wheel when the feline sprang upon them and severely lacerated both before being despatched with a bullet. The animal measured six feet and weighed over 200 pounds.

Mr. A.E. Sprague has gone to Chicago, where he expects to remain. Sycamore young people will miss his genial face.


November 23, 1912
Last week yeggmen broke into the Belvidere post office and badly damaged the stamp vault with explosives. This week the Sandwich post office was likewise attacked.

It is a great distinction to have the work DeKalb County is doing to increase crop production given some three pages in such a magazine as the Saturday Evening Post, which probably has the largest circulation of any periodical in the world.

Andrew Benson was driving the auto-truck for the Haish Company across the tracks at Ninth Street in DeKalb on Wednesday when a passenger train collided with the truck. The truck was demolished and the driver thrown 50 feet. When Benson saw the train he started to leap from the truck; this probably saved his life.

Those contemplating getting a Victrola for Christmas had better get their order in now, for there will be no chance after the first of December. The Victor Phonograph Co. are months behind on their orders now.

At the roller rink tonight: a jail breaking act featuring Madame Mystery, the lady jail breaker. Bring your own locks and lock her in and she will make her getaway.

Theodore Joslyn is only about 7 years old, but he is a brave little fellow with more nerve than most grownups. Last Saturday when there was no one home, he fell, breaking his arm. Alone he went uptown to a physician, had the arm set and returned home. He was there in cheerful spirits when his parents returned.


November 24, 1937
Explosion of gasoline being used to fill a tank between the chicken house and the machine shed on the Welander farm north of Sycamore Friday evening caused damages estimated at $1,200 to $1,500.

Marilyn Thorne, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Thurm, will sing on the Ted Weems orchestral program over station WGN each evening for the next three weeks.

Changes in basketball rules are expected to speed up the game this season. The most important of these changes eliminates the center jump after field goals and at virtually all points during the game, except the opening of the first and third periods.

Merchants are protesting the recent post office ruling that no directory service will be given, even to first-class mail. If mail is not correctly addressed, it will be returned to the sender. Merchants say the rule strikes a blow at every man who extends credit.

Elaborate ceremonies will mark the laying of the cornerstone of St. John’s Lutheran Church at Ottawa and Main Streets in Sycamore.

The 20 inmates of the DeKalb County jail fared well on Thanksgiving Day, Mrs. Oscar N. Larson going to some extra pains to provide a chicken dinner which also included mashed potatoes, squash, celery, cranberries, cake and coffee.

He is 80 years old. He believed his $160 safer in his coat pocket than in the bank. The gypsies got the money.


November 23, 1962
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department was given a very rare type of warrant to serve, asking the arrest of a contractor for refusal to pay small wage sums.

Aubrey Manufacturing, Inc., has developed a kitchen unit which keeps hot foods hot, moist and delicious from early morning to the evening meal.

The DeKalb-Ogle Telephone Company announced the use of seven-digit telephone numbers for subscribers of the Sycamore exchange will start Dec. 9.

Of 13 boys in two gangs charged with serious vandalism in DeKalb County, one was sentenced on Friday, two were placed on probation and the balance of the battalion is due in court again today.
– Sycamore True Republican


November 25, 1987
DeKalb County non-exempt employees have rejected unionization up til now, but last week’s salary action by the county board may have opened the door to AFSCME.

At a time when employers are looking for extra workers to get them through the busy holiday season, DeKalb County’s unemployment rate of 3.6 percent – the lowest since 1979 – is making that task difficult.

Forty Hiawatha School District teachers went on strike Monday, canceling classes for the district’s 560 students.
– The MidWeek

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