Looking Back

Looking Back: Jan. 8, 2014

The Fargo Hotel in Sycamore, circa the 1960s. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.
The Fargo Hotel in Sycamore, circa the 1960s. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.


January 9, 1889

The great Q strike has been settled, and the striking engineers are not near as well off as they were before the strike began. There are too  many strikes for the good of honest labor.

When we meet on of those “better than thou” persons who is continually reminding us the world is fast growing worse, we feel sad for the man who has such a badly-affected liver. This is the best little earth he will ever be on, and it is inhabited by a pretty good class of people. If one looks for gladness and for goodness, he is certain to find it.

There are 14 different towns and cities in the United States named Augusta, and there is never a day that freight and mail are not going wrong.

Micajah Henley, the man who invented roller skates, was a poor wood sawyer, and it took nearly his last dollar to pay for his patent, but the craze for skating that spread over the country made him rich.

An old oak in Woodbridgetown, Conn. was felled to the ground after five hours of chopping by four men. The trunk was 27 feet, 6 inches in diameter and contained over 1,100 rings, showing it was above 1,000 years old.

A shooting affray at Kirkland Thursday night resulted in the wounding of three citizens, one probably fatally. It is reported some people, including those shot, thought they would have some “fun” with the new marshal. In trying to arrest some of their number for an infraction of the peace, the marshal was set upon by a crowd, upon whom he drew his revolver and fired.


January 7, 1914

The illegal marriage of two young people hardly more than children and apparently possessing less than average intelligence has troubled the good people of Cortland.

The son of a former Methodist minister from Aurora and a pretty Mexican girl he brought home from Mexico figured in a romance which ended a few days ago with the arrest of Scott on a charge of violating the Mann Act, forbidding the transportation of women for immoral purposes.

There are people who claim the Bible is too long, but the minister at Blairsville, Pa., for whom it stopped a bullet is not one of them. The missile went clear from Genesis to Revelation, and there was not a leaf too many.

“Mother” Jones was forcibly deported from the coal strike district in Colorado upon her arrival from El Paso. Capt. E.A. Smith, with a detachment of militia, met her at the depot, kept her under surveillance until a train for Denver arrived, then put her aboard, accompanied by Lt. H.O. Nichols and four solders.

The first issue of the Joliet Prison Post, edited by the prisoners, appeared this week. There are in the prison men representing nearly every profession and craft, even preachers, but no printer was to be found among the convicts, and it was necessary to print the paper outside the institution.


January 11, 1939

A wedding party anniversary last Sunday morning ended abruptly in tragedy, when the big sedan carrying eight members of the party left the highway at a high rate of speed east of DeKalb, rolled over seven or eight times, sheared a telephone pole and crumpled into a wreck of twisted iron and shattered glass. The driver was killed instantly, and the seven others were injured.

Harry Friedland, a farmer living near Maple Park, has notified sheriffs in DeKalb, Kane and nearby counties of the theft of his 400-pound prized heifer.

A Clare boy is recovering from an injury to his eye received when the eye was struck by a shot from a BB gun.

Circuit Judge Arthur E. Fisher of Rockford vacated an order permitting the Keeshin Motor Express Company to operate freight lines between Chicago and 40 other northern Illinois communities. In his decision, Judge Fisher held that railroads were suffering because of the inroads by truck transportation and that truck traffic destroys and increases hazards to life and limb.


January 8, 1964

Sycamore experienced its first armed robbery since June 1930 on Monday evening, when a lone bandit held up and robbed the Zephyr filling station at Main and Page streets. Between $300 and $350 was stolen.

A 17-year-old boy from Cortland was killed when he was struck by a car while walking on the highway; his was the fourth life to be lost on DeKalb County highways in the first five days of the new year.

People who enjoy firing a bow and arrow now can enjoy this interesting sport on an indoor range in Sycamore. By a unique arrangement, indoor archery is provided at Bowl 299 Page St. two evenings a week, after regular bowling hours have ended.

The village of Waterman will receive a zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations and a comprehensive plan at the Planning Commission meeting on Jan. 6. The village, which is believed to be the smallest unit in the state with comprehensive land-development policies, is anticipating considerable growth over the next 20 years.

– Sycamore True Republican


January 4, 1989

DeKalb Police warns residents that this week it will begin towing cars that haven’t been moved since the Dec. 26 snowstorm. State law says cars must be moved every seven days or they are considered abandoned.

Barb City Manor reached its $50,000 fundraising goal six months ahead of schedule. The money will be used to remodel six, two-room apartments on the third floor and to install a security system for the facility.

“Even though January brings your coldest temperatures and biggest snowstorms, remember that the days are getting longer and the noon sun is higher in the sky,” is the comforting optimism offered by Northern Illinois University meteorologist Allen Staver, who notes northern Illinoisans can expect January to be both snowy and cold.

– The MidWeek

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