Looking Back

Looking Back: July 31, 2013

WLBK studio, 153 ½ N. Third St. in DeKalb, in 1949. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
WLBK studio, 153 ½ N. Third St. in DeKalb, in 1949. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.


August 4, 1888

The Sycamore City Band discoursed sweet music to a large crowd Thursday.

The Elgin Every Saturday advocates burning all twigs falling from trees this time of year, as many of them are covered with cicada eggs. In this manner, the cicada crop 17 years hence will be materially lessened.

There is some excitement at Dundee over the discovery of oil on a farm.

The Sycamore Scoopers defeated the Genoa base ball club last Thursday in Genoa. The score stood 46 to 3 in favor of the Sycamore club. Fred Rose struck out 16 men, the opposing club being unable to hit his double-and-twisted curves.


July 30, 1913

When the little German baker Fred Koener put a tray of doughnuts into the kettle in Duncan’s bakery Monday night and turned around for another tray, he heard an explosion, and turning quickly saw the tray of “sinkers” just coming down from the ceiling and fire shooting in all directions.

The wealthy and fashionable young people who have tried about every kind of sport in the effort to find entertainment – and who never think of occupying themselves in an effort to be useful – have turned to flying for excitement and novelty. Air yachting has made its debut as a sport of Chicago society, as have aviation teas as a social function.

Merchants in DeKalb have started a movement that looks, from this distance, as though it would breed trouble for dealers there. Merchants west of the railroad tracks are having meetings to promote their particular business. They do not look with a kindly eye on the advancement of businesses operated by newcomers and foreign-speaking peoples on the east side of the tracks.

Hon. E.W. Chafin, assisted by Robert Patton, will speak from an automobile on the street in Sycamore on July 30 at 1:30 p.m. on the subject of liquor traffic and the public health.

We happened to notice in the files of this paper that 40 years ago this summer Edward Payson Weston was attracting much attention by walking across the continent, passing through this county on the journey. Last week he passed through this same section on a hike from New York City to Minneapolis.

William Henry Lee, wealthy publisher of Chicago, whose $200,000 estate will be taken by the state because there were no relatives to claim it, was a Negro. For nearly 50 years he kept the secret and masqueraded successfully in business and social circles as a white man. He built a successful publishing business and was regarded as one of the city’s most substantial businessmen.

With the long-continued severe heat, the great activity of pesky flies and the desperate attacks of unprecedented numbers of mosquitoes, no wonder some people are not themselves. Now is a good time to prove your Christian fortitude.


August 3, 1938

Frederick B. Townsend, descendant of two DeKalb County pioneer families, thrice mayor of Sycamore and supervisor from this township for more than a third of a century, observed his 80th birthday Saturday. Owing to his health, the day was quietly observed at the Sycamore Community Hospital, where he has been for some time.

Plans have been completed by the Illinois Bell Telephone Company for completely replacing its central office switchboards in Sugar Grove, Big Rock and Kaneville and converting all telephones in these communities to dial operation.

Secretary of State Edward J. Hughes has ordered 1.9 million pairs of 1939 automobile license plates with canary yellow numerals upon a black background.

Two youthful parolees in a stolen automobile were jailed in Geneva Thursday when their car, pursued by state police in a wild chase which started at DeKalb, crashed into a tree at 70 miles per hour. The boys were hurled from the machine, but miraculously escaped injury.

An order for 6,000 broiler chickens has been received by Bon Terra Farms of Sycamore, for Plentywood Farm, a Bensenville restaurant that has built up a reputation for chicken dinners and buys all its chickens from the Sycamore place. Charles Suter, manager of the farm, said the company will be able to fill the order, but it will take hard work.


July 31, 1963

Whether the hoodlum world has taken to golf or whether someone hopes to make a quick sale is not certain, but speculation is common after the theft of over 1,000 golf balls from the driving range was reported over the weekend.

Russell Kleinmaier reported to the sheriff’s office Sunday that 40 pigs were missing from his place. He could find only three animals that morning.

A ruling by the Federal Communications Commission is bringing about a complete modernization of the Sycamore Volunteer Fire Department’s radio communication system.

Firemen were called to the old Page Street water tower Wednesday to squelch a blaze near its base.

A tall, red-haired bandit too old to be doing things like that robbed the First National Bank of Leland Wednesday and is reported to have escaped with about $25,000.

– Sycamore True Republican


August 3, 1988

A crackdown at DeKalb High School will reduce the opportunity for students to get into trouble and to cut classes. Tigher controls include eliminating two dismissal periods, closing the campus at lunchtime for freshmen and sophomores and implementing new attendance and discipline procedures.

Due to the drought and resulting poor growing conditions for flower and vegetable gardens, the deadline for this year’s DeKalb County Garden of the Year Contest has been extended.

Photos Now offers color print film developing as quick as two hours in DeKalb’s only in-store processing lab.

– The MidWeek

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