Looking Back

Looking Back: Feb. 12, 2014

A train fire in Maple Park in 1973. Thanks to reader Jim Ernest for the photo.
A train fire in Maple Park in 1973. Thanks to reader Jim Ernest for the photo.


February 13, 1889

Today, the American Navy stands 19th in the list of 20 principal nations in the world. Happily for us, we outrank Denmark by eight men, and by this happy stroke of good luck are not placed at the foot of the list.

Little Anna Redmond was abducted from her home last May. Her father became insane through grief and was sent to the asylum at Kankakee. On Friday, a neighbor of the Redmonds discovered the child in the Chicago Home for the Friendless, and she was restored to her friends. The father was brought home from the asylum, and the family was once more happily united.

Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day, the day when every lovesick swain send his most touching effusion to his best girl. The custom of sending valentines is an exceedingly silly one, yet it makes the young people wildly happy for a day, and what matter if it be a little foolish.

We were walking by Rogers’ dry goods store the other day and, seeing a crowd of ladies there, our first impression was to step in and get a story on a women’s rights meeting. But after going into the store, we found the crowd was after bargains in Hamburg edgings.

On the morning of April 30, 1889, at 9 o’clock, it has been arranged that church bells all over the country shall ring to celebrate the event of 100 years ago, when church bells throughout the 13 states rang out to call the people to pray for success and prosperity under George Washington, that day inaugurated president of the United States.

A year ago at Lincoln, Neb., a colored man named Warwick had a barber arrested under the Civil Rights bill for refusing to shave him. The Supreme Court handed down a decision the other day in Warwick’s favor.

Young fellows in the habit of smoking cigarettes should take warning by the fate of Johnie Power, an 11-year-old lad of Middleton, NY. Johnie was taken to the county asylum last Monday, a raving maniac from the effects of cigarette smoking.


February 11, 1914

At 1 o’clock Tuesday morning, the residents of the Kingston Hotel were driven from their beds by dense smoke and flames. The firemen tried to extinguish the fire, but the hose, probably being frozen, burst, and by the time another was substituted the building was doomed. In about an hour nothing remained but blackened ruins.

Only one of the 52 convicts sent to the honor camp at Grand Detour to build a road abused the trust reposed in him, it was made known when the men returned to the state penitentiary last week. He attempted to smuggle a flask of whiskey into his tent, was at once reported by his tent mates and was sent back to the prison.

The question of women’s suffrage is before the U.S. Senate in the shape of a resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution.

DeKalb is out after small parks which will provide, in easily accessible places in built-up localities, open, breathing spaces and playgrounds for children.

Ed Swanson, the wide-awake, hustling electrician, is busier than ever. From now on, he is likely to be wide-awake and hustling nights as well as days, for early Monday  morning twin daughters came to stay at his home in Sycamore.


February 15, 1939

Sycamore’s first hobby show, exceeding all expectations, attracted 1,278 spectators and was so successful a second one will be held next year. In the meantime, Weldon B. Wade, who put on the show, says his next event will be a pet show to which all pets are invited.

Drastic action was taken this week by Sheriff William D. Runnells as a result of the escape of a Sterling man after he stabbed two DeKalb men last Friday. The sheriff took the star of Deputy I.L. Elmendorf, who is said to have put Arthur Staton of Sterling in a car after the stabbing.

Though the state driver’s license act does not become effective until May 1, the license issued to a Rockford man has already been revoked.

DeKalb Township High School was closed late Thursday afternoon, the reason being the prevalence of illness. Northern Illinois State Teachers College was not closed, although a number of students have colds.


February 12, 1964

Sheriff Field Utter and his staff are always busy, but lately, thefts – including a burglary of Rollo school and the theft of 2,670 pounds of brass parts from railroad cars – accidents and a search for a missing Malta man have combined to give the department more work and worry than usual.

Police cannot report any trace of Raymond Mamenga of Malta, a 47-year-old epileptic. He was last seen Feb. 6. It does seem strange that in this modern age of jets, television, spaceships, radio telephone, roving police cars and newspapers, that anyone could actually vanish, but so far that seems to be what has happened.

Sycamore-area voters will have but two elections to worry about this spring: the school election on April 11 and the county, state, and national primaries on April 14.

When a DeKalb service club honors a Sycamore man, it is NEWS. The DeKalb Jaycees named Tom Fenstermaker of rural Sycamore as the Outstanding DeKalb County Farmer of the Year at the club’s annual banquet.

– Sycamore True Republican


February 8, 1989

The city of Sycamore is fighting to keep several hundred thousand dollars in trust fund money from leaving the charitable confines of the community. Lawsuits filed by the National Bank & Trust Co. of Sycamore allege that because the Sycamore Municipal Hospital has been taken over by a for-profit corporation, the bank has found it “impossible and impracticable” to carry out provisions in the wills of three deceased citizens who bequested annual donations to the hospital.

Northern Illinois University President John La Tourette has posted a $1,000 reward in hopes of identifying those responsible for scattered incidents of vandalism and apparent arson at NIU.

– The MidWeek

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