Looking Back

Looking Back: Jan. 9, 2013

A Perry Ellwood family Christmas card showing the south side of the house and grounds, circa 1920. Thanks to the Ellwood House Museum for the image.
A Perry Ellwood family Christmas card showing the south side of the house and grounds, circa 1920. Thanks to the Ellwood House Museum for the image.


January 11, 1888
Concerning the phenomenal drought of the past year, the Illinois state weather bureau says that year was the driest on record.

It appears Americans are populating and taking possession of Lower California, and the journals and politicians of Mexico have sounded an alarm for restricting immigration from the United States. They point out that Texas was lost by permitting it to be colonized by the United States.

Catching on sleighs has been all the rage with our small boys lately, sometimes as many as a dozen swarming on one sleigh at a time. Many of them are too small to be allowed such dangerous amusement.

The practice of carrying revolvers is altogether too common. Young boys and men from 14 on up seem to think it is necessary to have a revolver in their hip pocket.

A most deplorable accident happened Tuesday evening in DeKalb. M.S. Douglas, a young attorney, purchased a self-cocking revolver at the hardware store of A. Wood & Son. In attempting to put it into his pocket, in some manner he caught the hammer on his coat and the revolver fired. A young Swedish clerk was in the rear of the store at the time and was killed almost instantly.

The best way to get all the fun there is out of a sleigh ride is to sit in a warm, cozy parlor in an easy chair by a glowing fire and talk about it.


January 8, 1913
Diphtheria is again in the home of Fred Rubeck. The two children of Herman Hoffman are suffering the same disease. The children were brought to the Eychaner home west of town; every precaution is being taken to prevent this dreaded disease from spreading further.

Arrangements are nearly perfected for changing the Bank of Kirkland from a private bank into a state bank.

Rose Anna Skelley of DeKalb has filed for divorce from Thomas R. Skelley. She says they have lived together since April 3, 1911, except several times when he left her. She accuses him of various serious offenses and claims he is her first cousin, which should make the marriage null and void.

Postmaster A.E. Hix had the honor of sending the first parcel through the new Parcel Post at the post office in Sycamore. It weighed a trifle over two pounds, contained potatoes, turnips and onions, and was marked perishable. It was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Orrin Silvins of Belvidere, the postage was 11 cents and it was mailed at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 1.

After being pursued by the father of the girl through two states, Martine Hoest and Harvey Weir of Algonquin were married at Woodstock last week.

Frank Hines of Rockford ate a barrel of apples in 10 days on a bet. It was a regulation barrel. His wager netted him $50, and when he quit he was 17 pounds heavier and had a dislike for apples he cannot express in words.

The skin from the stomachs of eight puppies has been grafted on the legs of a 7-year-old boy in St. Louis who was burned Dec. 6. Most of the injured area is covered, but five more dogs will be sacrificed before the boy recovers fully.


January 12, 1938
Sycamore grocers and butchers are divided over the advantages and disadvantages of opening on Thursday afternoons. It is said some of the merchants opened their stores during a trial run last Thursday under protest, and only because they feared losing business if they remained closed while others opened.

Five men – four Aurorans and a Hinckley farm hand – are held on grand larceny charges in connection with the theft and killing five hogs on the Wiley farm northwest of Hinckley.

Another tilt was lost by the Sycamore Preserve Works in its legal battle against the North Western railroad this week, when the appellate court denied a rehearing of the suit.


January 9, 1963
A fire which did several thousand dollars in damage to a Maple Park home brought death to volunteer fireman Sulo Petman while he assisted in battling the blaze. The 43-year-old was on the porch roof of the home when he collapsed. It is now believed exertion in fighting the fire may have caused the sudden death. It is the first fatality the Maple Park Fire Department has experienced.

Twenty-five superior high school boys will be selected from a five-state area to attend a summer institute in chemistry at Northern Illinois University.

After occupying the same shop for the past 33 years, Ora “Tinker” Koch of Hampshire turned the key in the door for the final time. He will no longer operate the barber shop on the main street in Hampshire. Tinker started barbering in 1914, when he was a high school student in Hampshire.
– Sycamore True Republican


January 13, 1988
Rural Clare residents, who do not want a hog waste lagoon in their backyards, are gathering more information about the DeKalb Swine Breeders proposal in hopes of “educating” DeKalb County Board members before their vote.

The MidWeek has it on good authority that Burger King has or is about to acquire vacant property on DeKalb Avenue in Sycamore, just a few doors south of McDonald’s.

The Dairy Queen building on West Lincoln Highway in DeKalb will be torn down soon in order for John and Nick Pappas to build a new Tom and Jerry’s sandwich shop.
– The MidWeek

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