Looking Back

Looking Back: Aug. 14, 2013

Races at Prather Speedway, a dirt track in DeKalb, circa 1949. Thanks to Jim Ernest of Sycamore for the photo.
Races at Prather Speedway, a dirt track in DeKalb, circa 1949. Thanks to Jim Ernest of Sycamore for the photo.


August 15, 1888

It is said that Josh Shuey has returned once more to this city. It had been hoped that he had shaken the dust of this place off his feet for good.

Mr. O. Kingsbury’s house east of court house park is being moved further from the street and raised, making a decided improvement in the looks of the property.

It is with a feeling of regret that one sees the gradual destruction of the Big Woods north of Sycamore, notwithstanding they are being replaced by the pleasant farms of our thrifty Swedish population. ...If this cutting down of our forests continues at the rate it has, timber will become very valuable here in a few years.

The flag that floated over Fort McHenry during its bombardment by the British fleet in 1814, and which inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Banner,” still exists in a tolerable state of preservation, and is in the possession of Mr. Eben Appleton, of Yonkers, NY.


August 13, 1913

A special committee of the county board of supervisors have designated 20 percent of roads in the county as state-ad roads, to be made hard roads, with half of the cost paid by the state. The committee have provided for three north-south roads and six east-west roads.

All of us may  not agree with Clarence Darrow, who will lecture on the second Sunday of the Sycamore Chautauqua, but all will be interested in what this famous leader and powerful orator may say.

A number of requests have already come for places to board and to work for board for pupils from the country who expect to enter school in September. Anyone willing to take pupils to board to work for board would confer a favor on such pupils and the school by notifying the superintendent at once.

School will begin Tuesday, Sept. 2. All students are expected to attend the first day with their books. The book dealers can tell you what books children need.

One of the greatest fallacies of conservatism is the theory that a thing which has been of service in the past is good enough for the present. The splendid record of the country school in turning out leaders of the people does not make cleaning them regularly with soap and water unnecessary, and the ghosts of departed statesmen do not stop cracks in the floor.

Morris Miller, who holds the championship record in Kane County for serving jail terms, began his 150th term in the county jail Wednesday, when he was sentenced to 30 days for vagrancy and intoxication.

To conform to the new law, gasoline must be stored in red cans lettered, “gasoline.”


August 17, 1938

Negotiations for the sale of the Fargo Sweet Shop in the theater building ended Monday when Mrs. Florence Henigan purchased the restaurant from Clifford Johnson. ...Besides being one of the leading restaurants in this part of the state, the Sweet Shop sells candy, ice cream, soda water and other soft drinks.

Nine persons, seven men and two women, have applied for the job of investigator in the county welfare office. More applicants are desired. Applications from more women would be gladly received. From the list, the head of the county welfare office will choose five names, and from these names, the state board of public welfare will choose one person to act as investigator.

Noah M. Mason, congressman from this district, predicted “things will happen in the fall election and in the next Congress” to dissuade President Roosevelt from seeking a third term.

Mrs. Tracey Scofield took her two children to see the new Shirley Temple picture at Rockford Tuesday in honor of her little daughter’s fifth birthday.

Gust Krause, 78, was the victim of a holdup Saturday when a load of gypsies stopped in front of his home.

The $48.45 taken by the Aurora police department from five confiscated slot machines has been ordered deposited in the Aurora police department pension fund by Olney C. Allen, county judge.


August 14, 1963

Saint Dominic College, a new Catholic college for girls near St. Charles, will open Sept. 15.

VJ Day: Flags should fly today, Aug. 14, the 18th anniversary of the victory over Japan.

Herman Strawn of Garden Prairie was westbound on Route 20 about 4 a.m. Aug. 6 when his car collided with a bull loafing on the highway. Strawn was not injured, but the bull required a decent burial. There was $400 damage to Mr. Strawn’s car, but the bull was valued at $5,000.

The annual convention of the Israel of God’s Church White Horse Army will be held Aug. 20 at the local church on North Avenue in Sycamore. The convention has been held in Sycamore since 1918, when delegates voted to make Sycamore and the Israel of God’s Church here its permanent national headquarters.

Time is running out on every Main Street in the nation. Whereas total U.S. retail sales increased by 32 percent, Main Street stores in typical communities registered a meager 1.4 percent gain. In many cases, business is being diverted to the giant shopping centers.

– Sycamore True Republican


August 17, 1988

DeKalb County’s taxable assessed value has increased by a surprising $24 million, despite an $11 million drop in farmland assessments.

High school students who last year didn’t have any chance of graduating in a normal four-year curriculum will now be able to do so in a new program by the DeKalb School District. The Optional Education Program will open its doors to students in five school districts that are members of the Kishwaukee Education Consortium, the group backing the program.

– The MidWeek

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