Looking Back

Looking Back: Dec. 11, 2013

Red Willis, Louis Sladek and Floyd Stroberg relax in front of the home at 239 Edward St. in Sycamore. Year unknown. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.
Red Willis, Louis Sladek and Floyd Stroberg relax in front of the home at 239 Edward St. in Sycamore. Year unknown. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.


December 12, 1888

When you wish to know what the weather is going to be, go out and select the smallest cloud you can see. If it decreases and disappears, it shows the state of the air sure to be followed by fair weather; but if it increases, take your overcoat with you, for falling weather is not far off.

Dr. H.P. Holmes has a couple of coins that are quite a curiosity to coin collectors. They are both of ancient date; one appears to be a Roman and the other a Grecian coin. Speaking of curiosities in money there are some silver dollar pieces, issued in 1888, two of which pay for one year’s subscription to the True Republican. We would like to make a collection of these coins next month.

It is now near the middle of December and we have experienced no severe winter weather. Mild, sunshiny days have been almost continuous.

The first colored man ever elected to a seat in the Kansas Legislature is Rev. Alfred Fairfax.

Marion County may properly claim the oldest living Kentuckian in the person of Aunt Til Ruley, aged 121 years. She recently walked 28 miles in one day to attend a circus.

The American people should pay tribute to an example of female heroism. Miss Mamie Davis, a telegraph operator, has remained at her post during the entire season of the yellow fever epidemic at Jacksonville, Fla., affording that city communication with the outside world. Several other operators in that time have died.

Fourteen members of the county board of supervisors have declared by their votes their willingness to let the valuable papers and records of DeKalb County run the risk of being destroyed by fire until some future board decides to build a vault to protect them.


December 10, 1913

The Sycamore City Council, at its Monday meeting, struck a fatal blow to fake medicine vendors and created a bureau of charities.

A fire drill was held Friday at Central School and the entire building was emptied in 45 seconds, about the best record ever made.

Three little children who wanted to spend Thanksgiving with Daddy walked all the way from Woodstock to Elgin, leaving the Woodstock Orphans’ Home Wednesday afternoon and reaching Elgin early Thursday morning. They trudged the entire distance of 24 miles and went nearly 36 hours without food. The children have no mother and their father has not been able to keep a home for them. Friday afternoon their father returned them to the orphan home.

The cost of automobiles and tires have dropped considerably in recent years. Gasoline is the only requirement of an automobile that has not come down in price.

If things keep going as they have started, there will be a town three miles west of Sycamore at Five Corners – which name, by the way, should be Five Points, as there are five points, but no corners, there.


December 14, 1938

Ninety-seven DeKalb friends carried out a pleasant surprise housewarming party Sunday for Sheriff and Mrs. Runnells, who recently moved into their new home in connection with the county jail.

The city of Sycamore and the American Legion will aid in the citywide observance of Twelfth  Night, when used Christmas trees will be burned on the Central School grounds in a bonfire.

Fire threatened Sycamore’s famous old Mansion House building, later known as the City Hotel and most recently as the Sinclair Inn, on North Main and Page Streets, Sunday evening. There were two different fires, in different parts of the building, about two hours apart.

The DeKalb County Agricultural Association has purchased from Mrs. Eleanor Townsend Roberts the old armory building on East State Street in Sycamore, describes as Lot 1, Block 1 of the original town of Sycamore. The association plans to use the building as a storage plant for hybrid corn.

Mrs. N.D. Welch of the Sycamore Woman’s Club asks organizations planning to donate Christmas baskets to families to get in touch with her, to avoid families getting duplicate baskets from several organizations.

Businesses opening their evening hours, which will continue through Christmas, and the raising of the Christmas mural on the south wall of the DeKalb County courthouse stepped up the Christmas spirit this week. Santa Claus is scheduled to make his third visit of the year this Saturday.

Strain Bros. grocery store will probably move in the middle of February from its present location, the Waterman Building, to the First National Bank Building in Sycamore.


December 13, 1963

Motorists approaching the intersection of State and Main streets in Sycamore are urged to use more than usual caution, because the traffic signals are not in normal operation.

Married couples are needed to qualify for a special cottage parent program of the Illinois Youth Commission. The program will be conducted at the State Training School for Boys at St. Charles.

Alpine State Bank in Rockford was held up and robbed Wednesday by two men wearing Santa Claus suits and carrying revolvers. They locked 13 people in the vault and made off with $36,103.

People sending Christmas cards today at the 5-cent first-class stamp rate pay the same rate as was charged 116 years ago in 1847.

– Sycamore True Republican


December 14, 1988

Wayne White of Sycamore retired two years ago after 33 years with DeKalb AgResearch. Lat spring, he led a tour group of Illinois farmers to the Soviet Union, where they visited collective farms and an agricultural college.

New DeKalb County State’s Attorney Mike Coghlan said a pending child pornography case is the first such charge he’s seen in his three years with the county.

– The MidWeek

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