Looking Back

Looking Back: Jan. 1, 2014

Chicago & Great Western, Engine #14, Caboose #25, in Sycamore, 1949. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.
Chicago & Great Western, Engine #14, Caboose #25, in Sycamore, 1949. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.

January 2, 1889

Schools started up again last Monday.

Abram Ellwood presented each of his employees with a Christmas turkey. It took about 80 to go around.

The weather has become colder, but it is bright and pleasant, and the thermometer has not registered below 20 degrees.

James Shannon, a well-known builder of Batavia, where he has an interesting family, was arrested in Chicago last week with a young girl with whom he is accused of having eloped. Mr. Shannon is well known in Sycamore, where it was supposed he was too old to be up to tricks of that nature.

When you send newly-designed Christmas presents, it would not be a bad idea to pin a tag to it explaining for what purpose the present is designed to be used. A Sycamore lady received a handsome present from a friend. She had never seen anything like it before, but concluded it was a chair tidy. After the present had done service for a week, she met her friend, who asked how she liked her new Oscar Wilde pin cushion.

Reigning queens have been successful enough, but the queen consorts of history, when they have interfered with their husbands’ politics, have done a great deal of harm. ...It is sometimes said that the influence of women on the politics of the world would put an end to war, but while they remain non-combatants we greatly doubt it.


December 31, 1913

The annual purchasing convention of the W.M. McAllister stores, 22 in number and located in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and Michigan, took place in Sycamore this week and brought to the city nearly two score men, including heads of retail stores, importers, jobbers and manufacturers.

Twelve cases of smallpox in Aurora have been disclosed by an investigation. The contagion is traced from Joliet by way of Montana, in the meeting of Aurora boys with a Minooka man on a train in that state.

On account of several cases of diphtheria in our midst, Christmas exercises at the Kingston church were abandoned.

A DeKalb boy went out Saturday morning with one gun, two dogs, and two ferrets, and returned with the gun, dogs, ferrets and 60 rabbits. Not being able to take care of that many rabbits, he placed them on sale at the meat market on Lincoln Highway.

The president of the Wisconsin Boxing Commission is enthusiastic in his praise of a watch invented by an Elgin man for the express purpose of timing boxing matches.

Beginning his 10th week in the La Salle County jail under a debtors’ act, real estate dealer William J. Parks continued conducting his business by telephone and mail from his cell. Meanwhile, his chief creditor, who must pay $3.50 per week to the sheriff for Parks’ support, gathers with a dozen other creditors outside Parks’ cell each day and considers ways of getting Parks to pay his debts and be released. Parks went into bankruptcy to avoid payment.


January 4, 1939

DeKalb County automobile deaths numbered 17 in 1938. Deaths in December were four.

Business districts presented a bare aspect to eyes accustomed to see the strings of colored Christmas lights hanging across the streets. Workmen took down the lights Tuesday.

Births recorded in Sycamore in 1938 far exceeded deaths here, there having been 113 births in the city in the last year and 69 deaths in the same period.

A good law is often blighted by the inclusion of an ill-advised and unnecessary feature. Such is the case with the new driver’s license law. Many applicants are protesting the requirement that they must place on the application the exact date of their birth. So many people have registered complaints on this it cannot be ignored. Many do not wish to disclose their age, for obvious reasons. Others feel their exact age is nobody’s business but their own.

The sheriffs of Ogle and Kane counties have ordered all slot and pinball machines removed from the counties under their jurisdiction.

Petitions are being circulated in Genoa Township to ask the DeKalb County Board of Supervisors for aid in rebuilding the “north road” and extension of State Street in Genoa.


December 31, 1963

When students arrive at Northern Illinois University in 1965, they will probably be awed by the spectacle of skyscrapers on the campus. It is expected a contract will be let for the construction of two 13-story dormitory buildings on the west campus.

Robert F. McCormick of DeKalb, well known in northern Illinois Catholic church circles and also prominent in the business and civic worlds of the Midwest, has been honored by Pope Paul VI as a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.

Two more courtrooms have been provided in the DeKalb County courthouse. 

Unless you don’t care much about that nice green stuff called money, it would be wise to refrain from or avoid being a litterbug in Sycamore. It cost Walter E. Dobzski a fine of $25 and costs to learn that.

– Sycamore True Republican


December 28, 1988

Residents of Barb City Manor performed their own version of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” last week for youngsters at the Children’s Learning Center.

– The MidWeek

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