Looking Back

Looking Back: Jan. 16, 2013

County vehicles lined up along Oak Street in DeKalb in 1938. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
County vehicles lined up along Oak Street in DeKalb in 1938. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.


January 18, 1888
Miss Cora Cripps of Burlington has closed her school on account of the prevalence of scarlet fever.

A Kentucky regiment, the 41st, served through the war but was never mustered out or discharged. It is said the surviving members will claim continuous pay amounting to $3,588 each from the government. If there is a man in the regiment who would take this sum from the government for services he never rendered his country, we will venture the assertion he made a mighty poor soldier.

About the only persons who welcomed the intense cold were the ice harvesters. ...The thermometer ranged from 18 to 26 degrees below zero on Sunday and Monday.

Natural gas has been struck in DeKalb County near Shabbona. Considerable excitement prevails in that section.

Ten typewriters are now owned by gentlemen in Sycamore. One year ago there were only three.

Out of 325 members of the present Congress, 216 are lawyers.

In a recent lecture, Francis Murphy said the great trouble among young men of the present day is that “they are ashamed to take off their coats and get down to hard work. They want to be genteel; they want to get rich right away.”

About three months ago a rather attractive girl secured employment in a hotel in Freeport as a dining room girl. She was neat and competent and was soon accounted one of the best girls in the house. A few days ago the discovery was made that the girl is a young man, and he was discharged.


January 15, 1913
An auction of a residence in Lake Geneva, which was heralded far and wide, failed to materialize when no one came to bid on the property. Reporters from three Chicago dailies were the only ones present, and they did not bid. The public sale was proposed to give owners of local property an opportunity to buy the place if they did not want a colored athletic club to locate there.

Mr. Bockovitz of Chicago, who intended to open a shoe shop in Sycamore, has given it up. He decided he could not compete with George Morris’ shop in price or quality.

The True Republican does not publish anonymous information, received either by mail or telephone. This has been stated probably 100 times the last 10 years, yet some people do not appear to understand it.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and an onion a day keeps everybody away.

Ludwig, Nelson & Irish have spiced pickled lamb’s tongue in 20- and 30-cent glass jars.

A million-dollar estate in England hinges on whether the baby presented to Lt. Charles Slingsby by his wife is her own child or one she bought. A younger brother of the lieutenant is trying to prove the young heir is an impostor.


January 19, 1938
Protection of Sycamore’s valuable archives, newspapers of long ago, is the aim of the chamber of commerce. ...It was suggested files of the newspapers be stored in a fireproof vault in the courthouse, where they would be protected against a loss that would be fatal to any project that aims at preserving local history.

Peter Anders, 30, confessed kidnapper and slayer of Charles S. Ross, 72, who also confesses to killing his confederate in the crime, is on his way to Chicago in custody of FBI operatives. Anders admitted killing the confederate who aided in the kidnapping of Ross from Sycamore on Sept. 25.

Contracts have been received, rights-of-way have been granted, houses are being wired and folks living along the Burlington road are rejoicing that they, too, are soon to enjoy the pleasures electricity will bring to them.

The Sycamore Chamber of Commerce will aid the Northern Illinois Horse Show Association in producing a horse show here this summer. F.R. Henrekin, secretary of the Sycamore organization, said either the outfield of the baseball diamond or the high school athletic field were prospects for a site. Objections might be made to using either if horse shows cut up the sod. Neither the high school nor the baseball teams would care to have their fields spoiled.


January 16, 1963
Ten head of high-grade cattle valued at thousands of dollars, a barn and nearby shed were all destroyed by fire Sunday on a farm south of DeKalb on Crego Road. One cow alone was valued between $15,000 and $17,000.

Should a nuclear bomb miss Chicago, death and destruction could be experienced in Sycamore even if the detonation were miles away. A child wouldn’t have a chance in the open or in a glass-walled school.  ...Sycamore school authorities and the Civil Defense Committee want people who reside within 15 minutes walking distance of the junior high to register that they will gladly take a certain number of children into their home and take care of them when a disaster warning comes. In case of disaster, school buses will not operate, and rural parents won’t be able to drive in to Sycamore, as the whole idea is to eliminate traffic congestion in the first place.

Biologists are experimenting to determine what effect DDT has on bald eagles. They have some evidence that Rachel Carson and her book “Silent Spring” may have hit upon some truth in the fear that insecticides are a menace to wildlife and perhaps humans as well.
–Sycamore True Republican


January 20, 1988
According to a new book called “Great American Movie Theaters,” just published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, DeKalb’s Egyptian Theatre has “emerged as the self-sustaining star of both DeKalb County and the statewide civic center program as a whole.”

Sycamore Hospital is working with the American Cancer Society to provide a low-cost method of detecting or preventing early breast cancer known as Mammography Screening.
– The MidWeek

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