Looking Back

Looking Back: Feb. 13, 2013

The Ellwood-Nehring House after a snow, circa 1900. Thanks to the Ellwood House Museum for the photo.
The Ellwood-Nehring House after a snow, circa 1900. Thanks to the Ellwood House Museum for the photo.


February 15, 1888
A superstitious subscriber who found a spider in his paper wants to know if it is considered a bad omen.

On Monday evening, the Sycamore City Council adopted the following resolution: “Whereas numerous complaints are being made by our citizens that the city marshal is not attending to his duties, but is spending his time in places of questionable repute, therefore be it resolved by this council that the mayor is requested to investigate these charges.”

Two men of Rockford were arrested, charged with turkey stealing. When arrested, they had 15 turkeys under the seat of the sleigh they were driving.

About 15 citizens of Sandwich met Tuesday to arrange for the organization of a company to prospect for coal, oil, gas or anything else of value that might be found under the ground.

The Cortland Library Association has effected a permanent organization with a fair prospect of success.

North Carolina is a state without cities. Wilmington, its largest town, has only 19,000 people.

Nearly $4,000 has been donated by Nebraska citizens on behalf of heroic schoolteachers who protected their young charges at terrible cost to themselves during the big blizzard. Several of the young women are crippled for life by reason of their heroism.


February 12, 1913
Scarlet fever and diphtheria continue to make headway in DeKalb despite efforts of the authorities to stamp it out. Thirteen houses are now under quarantine for these diseases.

She will care a lot for a bunch of flowers on Valentine’s Day. Try it.

Capt. Robert F. Scott and his party were overwhelmed by a blizzard on their return journey from the south pole. The entire party perished.
In the amount of preparation for teaching the local teachers stand far above the state average. Twelve percent of the thousands of Illinois teachers have received either a college or normal school education; 50 percent of Sycamore’s teachers are so trained. Also, Sycamore keeps school 187 days a year, while the average Illinois school year is 158 days. The average annual salary of a high school teacher in the state is $1,097; in Sycamore it is $858. Elementary school teachers’ average stipend is $573 annually; here, it is $543.


February 12, 1938
Someone entered the Will Pollard poultry house through the back way Sunday night, stealing a handful of pennies, a rifle and a sawed-off shotgun.

The state commander of the American Legion said the Legion stands behind a bill, before Congress for 16 years, which would take the profits out of war. The theory of the bill is that with no profits accruing from war there would be no incentive for hostilities and, therefore, no war.

If a man’s conscience bothered him as much as a bunion does, his reformation would startle the community.

Sycamore Alderman Tyrrell said he didn’t believe local merchants would like it if the city enforces a rule to forbid double parking along State Street. Chief of Police Harris advocated putting a time limit on parking, suggesting two hours. He said if such a rule was enforced, there would be plenty of room so drivers would not need to double park.

The board of supervisors is working on a plan to change the archaic and expensive lighting in the courthouse for one of greater utility.

DeKalb’s Dollar Day bargains proved costly to Genoa and Sycamore residents who inadvertently fractured some of the numerous parking rules of that city. DeKalb merchants, drivers who were fined believe, should print warnings in their advertisements that patrons should be extra cautious when they visit the city. No bargains were found that would offset the cost of the fines plus the cost of driving an automobile from Genoa or Sycamore to DeKalb.

DeKalb County authorities have started a campaign to clean up the three hobo camps, known as “The Jungles,” in and near DeKalb.


February 13, 1963
Harry J. Christensen, president of the Hinckley board of trustees for the past 13 years, suddenly tendered his resignation in a row over the possible appointment of a full-time police officer in that community. ...The board objected to hiring an outside man and threatened to pass a rule requiring Hinckley residence. Christensen objected to the delay.

The National Bank & Trust Co. is expected to become owner of the city property on South Maple Street in Sycamore. ...It has not been disclosed what the bank intends to do with the property. At present, the former police station and jail section are a news stand, the former fire station area houses machines of the city’s public works department and the second-floor section where the city clerk’s office was long ago is a residential apartment.

Sycamore Mayor Harold L. Johnson issued a combined appeal and warning this week. He pleads with people to strive to do business with contractors, retailers and salesmen in this area instead of out-of-town unknowns. Some elderly people were apparently “taken in” by an excellent sales talk.
– Sycamore True Republican


February 17, 1988
Those who follow the ups and downs of the DeKalb housing market have noted there are more realtors in town than there are homes to sell. Yet there is no shortage of buyers. The good news is that several subdivision plans are in the works, which could turn the situation around by summer.

Attritioning firefighters to beef up the administrative side of the fire department is not in the best interest of the community, according to a statement released last week by the executive board of DeKalb Firefighters Local 1236.

Only 44 percent of DeKalb County residents wear seat belts, according to a recent local survey.

Alcohol-related accidents on DeKalb County roads dropped 4 percent last year, while the total number of accidents increased 9 percent.
– The MidWeek

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