Looking Back

Looking Back: Feb. 27, 2013

The 1939 Malta basketball team, coached by Russ Ritzman. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
The 1939 Malta basketball team, coached by Russ Ritzman. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.


February 29, 1888
E. Berry Wall, ex-king of the dudes, pleads poverty to escape paying the debts he contracted with florists for bouquets for his lady-friends before he was married.

Rockford has a lady attorney who commands a good law practice.

A beaver was shot last week near Starved Rock. Though plentiful years ago, these animals are now rare in this vicinity.

The sewing machine factory at Belvidere is not turning out as many machines as formerly. The benefit to the town from that enterprise is not as great as was expected.

Ambipedipulation is the latest name for dancing.

This country has half the railroads of the world.

To all boys born in Rome last New Year’s Day who are called Leo, and girls Leonie, the Papal Jubilee Committee has promised a bank savings book, with 100 francs placed to its credit.

M. Perrotin, an astronomer of Nice, says there seem to be canals on the planet Mars. ...M. Perrotin has gone far toward establishing that the planet really has an atmosphere not very different from that to which we are accustomed.


February 26, 1913
Damage approximated at $20,000 was sustained by the DeKalb County Telephone company by the storm of snow and sleet and wind which prevailed last Friday night. Prostrate and broken poles, broken and tangled wires and splintered cross-arms are strewn everywhere over the 15 townships.

Don’t be satisfied merely to live in this town. Help make it a better town to live in.

All the desirable houses in town are being rapidly rented, mostly by people moving into town.

Ex-President Francisco I. Madero and ex-Vice President Jose Pino Suarez of Mexico were riddled with bullets as they were being transferred from the national palace to the penitentiary. They were killed while trying to escape.


March 2, 1938
Fingerprints have established the identity of the man arrested in his parked car on courthouse square last week as William Norton, 69, who was convicted in McHenry County in 1933 of operating a confidence game. When arrested, Norton first claimed to be Charles Smith, though his auto identification card bore the name William Norton, partly obliterated.

Europe still resounds to the tread of marching feet, and Germany is better prepared for war than she was in 1914. ...Italy is now a military country. At almost every station in Austria and Germany, soldiers disembark from trains while others embark.

Five Sandwich youths, charged with burglary and larceny at two filling stations, are in the DeKalb County Jail. The boys are also charged with conducting a crime campaign in nearby counties; the total of their “loot” was less than $200.
In 1937, 12 were killed and 189 injured in 114 accidents, according to statistics made public by the highway division of the state department of public works, compared with 17 killed, 163 injured in 96 accidents in 1936.

Gasoline could go to 50 cents if 20,000  new wells are not discovered yearly.

Acting on the theory that prisoners in the county jail are well fed, Sheriff Oscar N. Larson has posted a notice to visitors stating the only articles that can be given to prisoners are tobacco, cigarettes, candy, gum and fruit. Sandwiches, cookies, pies and cakes may be eaten only while visiting; they can not be left for inmates.

A program for planting trees wherever needed in Sycamore was set up at a meeting of the Plant a Tree committee.

Charlie McCarthy has a new job: ambassador at large for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco Bay.


February 27, 1963
One fatality and considerable damage resulted from two auto accidents miles apart last Saturday, when slush and frost made roads slippery.

An unusual gift was received Monday by Mr. and Mrs. Del Lanan, prominent local residents who were observing their 57th wedding anniversary. The gift was sent from the Heinz Company, in keeping with the popular Heinz variety of 57 pickles, and included an assortment of Heinz products, including pickles, relishes, canned soups, mustard and others.

Sheridan, in LaSalle County, has no resident physician. Residents of that little community hope to raise $40,000 to build a medical center. If the medical center can be realized, a doctor will be invited to take up residence in the community.

On March 3, all who realize and fear the menace of polio can receive type 1 Sabin, oral anti-polio vaccine at no cost.

Mrs. Richard Wright of Somonauk called the sheriff’s office at 1:30 a.m. Thursday to report she was chased by an unidentified car all the way to her home. She claimed she reached a speed of 100 miles per hour to avoid the speeding pest or menace, whichever it was.
– Sycamore True Republican


March 2, 1988
Deputy City Clerk Donna Johnson, who was forced to resign last week, may return to DeKalb City Hall if efforts to create a new position are successful.

DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow told the chamber of commerce he is working on an extension of commuter rail service to the western edge of Kane County. He said chances of a commuter station in DeKalb are nil; making a station in Maple Park or Kaneland the next best alternative.
– The MidWeek

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