Looking Back

Looking Back: Dec. 26, 2012

The intersection of Fourth and Oak streets in DeKalb, circa 1930. The Texaco gas station was on the southeast corner. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
The intersection of Fourth and Oak streets in DeKalb, circa 1930. The Texaco gas station was on the southeast corner. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.


December 28, 1887
Considerable stir has been caused in Chicago by Kelley Brewing Company instructing its brokers to buy no barley grown in or shipped from Iowa or Kansas. The farmers there are hypocrites, millionaire maltster Louis Huck declared, claiming to believe in prohibition, while raising barley for whiskey and beer.

Deerfield Prairie will hereafter be known by the name of Esmond.

Holiday trade in Sycamore was very large. Merchants are rejoicing over their empty shelves and filled tills.

In accordance with the annual custom, every employee of the Ellwood factory was presented with a fine Christmas turkey.

James B. Lane has sued the Rockford Gazette for defamation of character. The Gazette retaliates by saying it hasn’t yet told half concerning his character.

Other considerations besides a waning lumber supply compel our attention to the necessity of forest preservation. A vague idea that some connection exists between the forest cover and the climatic conditions of a country has been prevalent.

I.L. Ellwood contemplates building a railroad from DeKalb to Kingston.


December 25, 1912
Dream, little child! And may the years to you their richest treasures leave, and may all happy dreams prove real that come to you this Christmas Eve.

Automobiles have, for several years, been a necessary adjunct to the farm, but they are being put to uses that will make them of greater value to the farmer. They are being adapted to use in the field by means of an attachment known as the auto-tractor, to plow, disc and thresh. The automobile may be uncoupled from the tractor and used for travel or pleasure. The attachment was invented by W.H. Zimmerman, former superintendent of the DeKalb-Sycamore Electric Company and well known here.

An accident occurred on the Woodstock-Sycamore interurban line Tuesday morning by which the conductor’s arm was so badly crushed it had to be amputated. Accounts differ as to the cause of the accident.

Fear is entertained by many sportsmen in Illinois that the pheasants which the state game department has been distributing throughout the state for the past year or two will eventually drive out the quail.


December 29, 1937
In the waning days of the old year, the mind gropes toward the new, in an endeavor to ascertain what the future holds.

That 18-foot concrete highways are too narrow for the demands of this ultra-speed age was revealed by a camera survey by the U.S. bureau of public roads.

A fire on Christmas Eve did damage estimated at $150 to the James Beckler furniture store. The fire department answered the call and discouraged the flames.

Tragedy rode with five Rockford boys on their way home from the University of Illinois Friday. The auto in which they were riding skidded on a gravel road and upset five miles south of Waterman. All five were injured; a 20-year-old sophomore died in Waterman Hospital.

At a Watch Night service in the Methodist church in Sycamore on New Year’s Eve, pictures will be shown of Japan, and comment made on each. These pictures reveal a side of Japanese life that we easily overlook in these trying days of conflict. All the Japanese are not war-minded, only the militaristic party.


December 26, 1962
As a result of a minor incident in this year’s derby for the the first baby of the new year, sponsors wish to emphasize the 1963 derby is restricted to Sycamore Township. Parents living outside Sycamore Township, even if their newborn arrives at Sycamore Hospital, are not eligible. Whether the first babe is born at home or in the hospital is not important; what is important is that the parents must live inside the township.

A downtown Sycamore fire did considerable damage to the building at 113 S. Maple St. Wednesday morning. Casco, a subsidiary of Rough Rider Corporation, had moved in there early last summer.

Harry Sell, 77, former Sycamore man who has been serving a life sentence in the state penitentiary on conviction of murder, has been notified that Gov. Otto Kerner has commuted his sentence to 45 years, automatically placing him eligible for parole in 1963.

Firemen were called on a run in zero weather Wednesday evening because of a smoke scare. Tenants on the R.R. Renwick place west of Sycamore had seen smoke flooding the roof, but it turned out to be chimney smoke being blown by the wind.

The hundreds of sports fans in this area will be far more interested than usual in the Rose Bowl football game, where the University of Wisconsin is scheduled to collide with the powerful Trojans of the University of Southern California. Chief attraction will be the fact that Bill Smith, a Sycamore High School grad and football star, will be playing defensive backfield for the Badgers.
– Sycamore True Republican


December 30, 1987
The PADS program, which provides shelter to homeless individuals five nights a week, starting Oct. 15, has “just mushroomed” in its second year. So far, volunteers have given out approximately 400 beds and more than 800 meals at five local churches. “We’re looking for a central site,” said coordinator Andrea Rusin, “so we don’t have to rotate from church to church. That’s very high on our agenda at this point.”

Sycamore snow sculptor Lyn Bute’s first creation of the season, a dinosaur, stood in front of Kingsway Family Restaurant until warmer weather struck. Predictions of a snowy winter give hope for more of Bute’s icy artistry.

Couples planning to marry after Jan. 1, 1988, should take note of a new Illinois law requiring them to have a blood test to determine if they have been exposed to the AIDS virus.
– The MidWeek

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