Looking Back

Looking Back: Sept. 18, 2013

Harvest at the Henry Lanan farm in Mayfield Township in 1907. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Harvest at the Henry Lanan farm in Mayfield Township in 1907. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.


September 19, 1888

Upon his return from his northern fishing tour, Mr. J.H. Rogers left us a most delicious bass from the northern lakes.

Rascally boys have been annoying residents in the north part of Sycamore by stealing grapes. A dose of buckshot would end the stealing.

A curious fact revealed by the phonograph is that people do not know their own voices. A husband will recognize his wife’s voice on a phonogram, and the wife will recognize her husband’s, but neither will recognize their own speech.

Mr. E.C. West left this office the finest pumpkin we have ever seen. It is very nearly round, ripe and yellow, and weighs 62 pounds.

Two disastrous fires to farmers occurred in Waterman last week. On Thursday, a barn containing 700 bushels of oats, three horses, a lot of hay and 22 head of hogs was burned. On Sunday, a barn and corn crib containing 1,700 bushels of corn, with hog house, a new wagon, windmill, hay and grain all burned to the ground.

The original Mary of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is Mrs. Mary E. Tyler, 82, of Somerville, Mass. The scene of the incident was a schoolhouse in Sterling when she was 9. The lamb is said to have figured in the little serio-comic drama as alleged in the poem. The poem’s author was John Roulstone.


September 17, 1913

Aaron Plapp’s agricultural implement business at Hinckley was destroyed by fire last Friday. There have been other fires in that town, the cause of which has never been learned. It is believed now they have been of incendiary origin.

Three men escaped from Winnebago County Jail at Rockford early Saturday night. Saws with which the window bars were cut away were furnished by friends on the outside.

There has been much interest in the country in regard to the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway, or the Lincoln Highway. It has been disclosed the route will run through DeKalb County near Cortland. Of the $10 million that must be raised by popular subscription for the work, $5 million has already been subscribed.

Out of 55 boys reporting to Sycamore High School at the start of the term, 52 were engaged in work over the summer vacation. These 52 boys earned together the sum of $3,605, which will go a long way toward paying for their schooling.

A clue has been obtained to the identity of the “ghost” in the northeast part of town; it is believed he is a DeKalb man who has been terrorizing the timid in DeKalb. Evidence is accumulating and may be sufficient to cause his arrest.

Ray “Jack” Aldis of Cortland and Miss Violet Easterbrook, his niece, were married at Clinton, Iowa, Aug. 10. The groom is 22 and his bride is 16. This was not an elopement; Mrs. Easterbrook, who is now the mother-in-law of her brother, gave her consent.

Of 83 girls in Sycamore High School, 55 noted a desire to continue school after leaving high school.

One hundred twenty-six quarts of flies, swatted by Miss Lucille Galagher, earned the championship in the fly swatting contest by the Woman’s Civic League of Macomb.


September 21, 1938

Two petitions are being circulated in Genoa for free city mail delivery. One petition requests the service of the postmaster general, while the other suggests the city council provide for the proper division of the city, marking streets and numbering houses.

Mrs. Breunlin of Sycamore received a painful injury Tuesday when her right hand was crushed in the wringer of an electric washing machine.

Daylight saving time is going out next Sunday to be replaced by Central Standard Time. Central Standard Time has been used in DeKalb County throughout the summer, there having been no occasion to employ daylight saving time in communities west of the Fox River.

Under New Deal trade agreements, tariffs on dairy products were reduced 50 percent, resulting in a loss to American cattle and dairy farmers of $67 million.

Illinois families pay an average of $9.26 a week in taxes. The average income of families in Illinois is $33.09 a week.


September 20, 1963

“Oxen to Jets,” the history of DeKalb County in chronological, narrative and artistic form, is not yet available. Many have asked because they saw what appeared to be a copy in a show window at Henderson’s department store. It is only a couple of hard covers and some blank pages. No date of publication has been set.

Sycamore School District 427 offers adults in the district adult education classes. Subjects include painting, knitting, drivers training, business practice, first aid, sewing, welding, basic electricity, ceramics, and others.

Illinois public aid rolls continued to decline for the fourth successive month in July. In July, 417,413 people received public aid from the state, 895 fewer than in June and a reduction of 23,439 from July 1962.

The Lyndon Isham family reported they had been away from home Friday evening. They returned to find thieves had hauled drawers out of dressers and desk, dragged clothing out of closets and left it strewn on the floor. They found two billfolds, one belonging to one of the children and one owned by Mrs. Isham, and took them, netting the thieves $89.

– Sycamore True Republican


September 21, 1988

A group calling itself the Third Ward Neighborhood Coalition held its first meeting to air complaints and set in motion a course of action to solve the crime, vandalism, noise, garbage and property neglect problems occurring along Pleasant Street and its tributaries.

Just as the public was getting used to the name DeKalb Corporation, the company that will always be “DeKalb Ag” to most locals has acquired yet another name: DeKalb Genetics Corporation.

– The MidWeek

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