Looking Back

Looking Back: Jan. 15, 2014

The Sycamore Bowl was opened for business in the Fargo Garage building on West State Street in Sycamore in 1942; this photo is circa the early 1950s. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.
The Sycamore Bowl was opened for business in the Fargo Garage building on West State Street in Sycamore in 1942; this photo is circa the early 1950s. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.


January 16, 1889

Three members of the DeKalb city council have been skylarking about the state, their expenses provided by an appropriation, with instructions to visit the water works systems of neighboring towns with a view of improving the plant at DeKalb.

The fine barns of Hiram McChesney in the west part of Geneva were burned last week, and no one doubts it was the work of an incendiary. The city council of Geneva offered a reward of $1,000 for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons setting these fires, several of which have occurred in the last few months. McChesney also has offered a reward of $1,000.

There will be a box sociable Jan. 18 for the benefit of the Dayton church Sunday school. Each lady will bring a box containing supper for two, and her name inside. The boxes will be sold, and each gentleman purchaser will eat supper with the young or old lady whose name is discovered within.

The high wind during Wednesday’s storm broke the rope on the signal flag and the flags cannot be displayed until someone volunteers to go to the top of the pole and put a new rope through the pulley. We will give a $2 bill to the person who will go up and put the rope back in. Ladies and small boys will not be permitted to compete for the $2.

Miss Julia Garvey of Freeport has been awarded damages in the sum of $200 against Alexander Watson, who promised to marry her and refused to live up to the bargain. Watson thinks he got off cheap enough.


January 14, 1914

Dr. George W. Nesbitt and Dr. O.H. Smith have returned from their trip to Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, where they thoroughly investigated a recently perfected apparatus for producing anaesthesia without ether or chloroform.

The Aurora police have become smallpox germ sleuths, owing to those now ill with the disease endangering many factory employees. One school has been closed. Mayor Sanders has ordered a general vaccination, as a repetition of Joliet’s present plight is feared.

The “Willing Walkers,” otherwise known as the “Hying Hykers,” took a hike Sunday afternoon. About a half a dozen hiked a distance of about eight  miles; they didn’t know how far it was, but they enjoyed it and didn’t feel any ill effects. They made good time, too, although Ben Olson was with them.

A decided change in the weather came on Monday morning, to the surprise of all. In a few hours during the night there was a fall of over 30 degrees, and on Monday morning the thermometers registered 1 degree below zero. It was the coldest “snap” of this mild winter.

Three major leagues, with the Federal centering its fire on the National, is the base ball situation in the early days of 1914. The Federal League will be recognized by the fans – not by organized base ball, but by the fellows who pay their money to watch – as a major for a year at least.


January 18, 1939

Mystery as to the identity of the miscreant who slashed automobile and bicycle tires in DeKalb last Friday and Saturday was solved Tuesday by the arrest of a 12-year-old boy who lives near Richardson. ...Authorities have not decided what to do with the boy. His age precludes his entrance to St. Charles, and Glenwood is so full that no more can be received there.

Arrest of three members of the Coulthard family Friday is believed to have effectually broken up a cattle ring that has operated in DeKalb and nine other counties in the last three weeks.

Reorganization of the DeKalb County Volunteers was begun this week, with a unit in each of the 16 townships. Not only will the volunteers discourage crime, but they are being enrolled to eradicate marijuana, or Mexican hemp, in the county.

Proponents of the plan to create a forest preserve district in DeKalb County will put the proposal to a referendum vote on April 4.

Three of four new Chevrolet cars being taken to the William Gnakow garage at Genoa were damaged last Saturday when the truck on which they were loaded skidded into an abutment of the Illinois Central viaduct. The new cars were hurled from the transport truck and were considerably damaged.

Sycamore will place fewer cinders at street intersections and slippery places from now on. The first time cinders were placed on the street this winter, too many were used, the mayor said. Consequently, four sewers were clogged and the city went to some trouble to unscramble the situation.


January 15, 1964

An attempted strong-arm robbery was halted with one punch in the early morning darkness Monday, and Andrew Lyle escaped the bandit without losing a dime. ...Police searched for the would-be yegg, but apparently he went home nursing his jaw.

There is every indication there will be a new motor fuel filling station in Sycamore at the corner of State and Walnut streets. ...This brings up an interesting picture of a downtown business district six blocks in length in Sycamore.

– Sycamore True Republican


January 11, 1989

Thirteen area high school students had the great thrill Sunday to perform in the half-time show for the Chicago Bears playoff game at Soldier Field.

A citizens advisory committee has been named to help city manager Mark Stevens pick a new DeKalb police chief.

WNIU-FM, which has one of the worst broadcasting facilities in public radio, will have one of the best when it moves into the former Palmer Music store on North First Street.

Sycamore Mayor Harold “Red” Johnson says 32 years as Sycamore’s mayor is not enough; he will seek another term. “There are a lot of things that still need to be done,” said Johnson, refusing to reveal his age but asserting, “I feel like I’m 19.” ...Charles Pangburn, a retired Sycamore firefighter, will challenge Johnson’s bid for a ninth term.

– The MidWeek

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