Looking Back

Looking Back: Jan. 22, 2014

James Everett Bangs was in the plumbing and heating business. This photo was taken circa 1919 in front of his store, 126 Somonauk St. in Sycamore, where the Sycamore Elks Club now operates. The people in the photo are unknown; one of them may be J. E. Bangs. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.
James Everett Bangs was in the plumbing and heating business. This photo was taken circa 1919 in front of his store, 126 Somonauk St. in Sycamore, where the Sycamore Elks Club now operates. The people in the photo are unknown; one of them may be J. E. Bangs. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.


January 23, 1889

The heaviest fall of snow of the season made pretty good sleighing on Sunday morning, and everybody who owned a horse and sleigh had them out.

A.B. Buck is in jail on charges of forgery. ... It is supposed he committed the crime for the purpose of raising money with which to pay his wedding bills. Buck has been a hard-working young man, but this one foolish misstep has brought sorrow upon his young wife and an untold amount of trouble to himself.

Have the members of the board of supervisors the right to cut down doctors’, justices’ and constables’ bills, when they pay bills for merchandise in full?

There is at present a scarcity of fancy human hair in the market. The scarcest hair is pure white, and its value is constantly increasing. The fact that pure white hair is the court coiffure throughout Europe keeps the demand for it very high. It is much prized by American women whose own hair is white and who desire to enrich its folds, for white hair is held to give certain distinction to the wearer. There is no fancy market for gray hair; it is too common.

A mechanic has built a bed that, as soon as laid upon, plays airs from Auber to lull the occupant to sleep. At the hour set for rising it changes its tactics and thunders forth one clashing march after another until relieved of the sleeper’s weight.

Waterman children are having diphtheria.

A bill for the execution of criminals by electricity has been introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Any man who is disloyal to his town, sneers at its prospects, and libels its people, should be either run out of town or compelled to shut up.


January 21, 1914

The secretary of the interior proposes to withdraw all lands suspected of containing radium from the public domain, that their precious deposits may be secured for the public good and not become the subject of private speculation.

Oscar Weaver and Frank Ashelford were out after a wolf near Clare on Monday. They believe they wounded the animal, but followed it some six miles without being able to overtake it.

Roy Snell, member of a well-known family of Mayfield Township, is home after varied experiences and interesting adventures for a few years.

An evangelist says there are 13 roads to hell. We bet every one of them is choked with men who let their horses stand out in the cold without a blanket and who don’t pay for their paper.

Pure candy is admitted by the medical profession everywhere to be a healthful, nutritious food.


January 25, 1939

The peculiar thing about the three township high school districts in DeKalb County is that while each has a school board of five members and have the regulation setup for high schools, none of the three has a building. Eighth-grade graduates can decide what school they wish to attend, and the board pays his or her tuition.

At the request of a county judge of Kane County, the 12-year-old boy tire slasher was released to Kane County. He will be sent to Glenwood Industrial School, where he will be subject to certain discipline and taught a useful trade.

The Sycamore police chief has dedicated Exchange Street between Main and Maple as a slide for boys and girls for afternoons, evenings and Saturdays. The coasters also are permitted to use the drives that lead from the street to the back door of the courthouse.

Former McHenry County Judge Charles P. Barnes named McHenry County Sheriff Lester Edinger in a suit for $2,500, assault and battery action as the result of an altercation in the McHenry County courthouse last week. ...The sheriff admitted he pulled Barnes’ nose and “cuffed him once or twice,” but denied beating the 77-year-old former jurist. Edinger claimed Barnes had been abusing him and attempting to “blacken my character with continual nagging.”

So active have sheep-killing dogs become in this county, it is possible the special tax fund to reimburse the sheep’s owners will be depleted.


January 22, 1964

On Jan. 11, an official report was released by the surgeon general of the United States which stated that “cigarette smoking is a health hazard which needs appropriate remedial action.” ...By the end of the week, most Sycamore dealers in pipes, cigars and tobaccos reported their stocks were either sold out or very close to the bottom. It is feared orders for new stocks will be slowly filled due to sudden demand on wholesalers and manufacturers across the nation.

Season tickets for local and out-of-town golfers will be the same price this year at the Sycamore Community Park. A new opinion by the attorney general found that the park district cannot charge a non-resident a greater fee than is charged to a resident of the district.

Student musicians at Sycamore High School will emulate one of the TV world’s most popular entertainment maestros Sunday at their mid-winter concert. They have chosen to spoof on the famed Lawrence Welk. That should draw a crowd.

There is evidence a prowler is pestering Sycamore residents and police, but the report that a boy had been kidnapped is a genuine fabrication.

– Sycamore True Republican


January 18, 1989

Two more candidates have announced their intentions to run for DeKalb mayor, making it a four-way race between Adolph Miller, Nick DeGraffenreid, Mayor Greg Sparrow and Seventh Ward Alderman Mark J. Powell for the city’s top seat.

Kishwaukee Community Hospital will be a smoke-free hospital by April 3. Under the new policy, no physicians, visitors or employees will be permitted to smoke anywhere in the hospital.

– The MidWeek

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