Looking Back

Looking Back: Jan. 2, 2013

Stewartville grist mill, half a mile east of Kingston, in 1966. The mill was built in 1847. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Stewartville grist mill, half a mile east of Kingston, in 1966. The mill was built in 1847. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.


January 7, 1888
A company has been formed to develop the coal lands of Kendall County and see what they are worth. The first hunt will be around Millbrook, where indications have been found.

The Chicago Inter Ocean last Sunday introduced to its lady readers several hundred eligible bachelors of that city, giving the names and a description of the personal appearance, standing and habits of each.

The manly art of self defense has several followers in Sycamore. This particular school of training is considered excellent exercise for the muscles and not very hard on the eyes once one gets used to it.

There are a number of domestically-inclined gentlemen in Sycamore who have not yet selected a partner, notwithstanding the many suitable young ladies here. Girls should make the most of this year’s leap-year privileges; give a helping hand to some poor, timid fellow and settle the matter at once.

The dog tax has added greatly to the possibility of quiet slumber in Genoa. Now for a cat tax and we would all be happy indeed.

Thirty million people crossed the Brooklyn Bridge in New York in 1887 and not an accident happened.

Business during holiday week was extremely good, and it is now confidently predicted that not more than two-thirds of our farmers will have to go into bankruptcy, though we remember they were all reduced to the point of starvation by last summer’s drought.


January 1, 1913
Considerable damage was done by a fire in Cecil Wyman’s restaurant and billiard parlor opposite the courthouse on North Maple Street in Sycamore.

It’s getting to be a common occurrence for people to go around with skeleton keys and go into empty houses without permission.

The lid on pool and billiard games is to be riveted down tight in the village of Leland. Even bowling is forbidden.

The mile of cement road laid between DeKalb and Sycamore has been formally opened to traffic. The road is 12 feet in width and presents a hard, smooth surface. It is one of the first country roads of its kind in the state, and has been examined with interest.

Ministers of all denominations came to the Loop district in Chicago from all parts of Cook County and marched on city hall in protest against New Year’s revelry in cafes, hotels, restaurants and saloons after 1 a.m. The marchers called on the police chief, mayor and aldermen and demanded the 1 a.m. closing law be enforced on New Year’s Eve.

Jack Johnson, black world champion heavyweight boxer, purchased as a Christmas present for his white wife a home in the heart of the exclusive Lake Geneva summer resort. The purchase is to be followed by the establishment of a negro club there, it is announced. ...If either Jack Johnson or the 10 members of the social club attempt to establish a residence in Lake Geneva, they will find Mayor Frank Utosky against them. The mayor declared he would confer with the millionaire residents of the village and take whatever action they deemed best.


January 5, 1938
Postmaster Boyle estimates George Stevenson, in the local postal service for the last 33 years,  has walked 118,000 miles, more or less. This is more than five times around this mundane sphere mortals call the earth.

Ernest Burtch, 21, of DeKalb, was taken into custody by DeKalb police for a theft in which three piano legs were taken from the Great Western freight house. Bail was fixed in the amount of $2,000.

Anne Gilbert Danielson, daughter of  Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Danielson of Sycamore, born in Sycamore Hospital at 3 on New Year’s afternoon, weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces, was Sycamore’s first baby of 1938.

One out of every 12 in the United States is jobless, while in Sycamore, one out of every 20 has no steady work.

A pocketbook containing $15.27 in actual cash, one check for $15 and another for $3,300 was picked up in front of Danielson’s cafe Wednesday afternoon and returned to its owner.
More than 3 million pieces of literature, endorsements of 32 governors and promotional ideas ranging from parades to the pasturing of cows on historic Boston Common helped to increase milk consumption during National Milk Week.


January 2, 1963
The Salvage Yards between DeKalb and Sycamore were the object of looters last Friday night or early Saturday morning. Thieves removed 50 generators and four or five junked auto radiators.

For the first time in many years the street decorations furnished by Sycamore merchants during the Christmas period were already coming down the day after New Year’s. Replacing the holiday mode are signs telling the public retailers are now embarked on their annual clearance sale.

The stork made a safe landing at Sycamore Hospital and delivered a cute little bundle weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces who was the first baby of the new year. He is the fourth son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles V. Pierce of Sycamore. He has been named Brian Charles.
– Sycamore True Republican


January 6, 1988
A $100,000 gift to her church is just something Marguerite Mihm “is happy to be able to do.” Mihm’s contribution to St. Mary’s Church in DeKalb is the largest single donation ever received.

Michael Jordan he’s not, but Bill Lenschow of the Dairy Nutrition Council did something most of us never will: stood on the same basketball court as Michael Jordan, John Paxson and the rest of the Chicago Bulls to shoot a free throw.
– The MidWeek

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