Looking Back

Looking Back: June 25, 2014

Sycamore Hardware, at the corner of State and California streets in Sycamore, year unknown. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.
Sycamore Hardware, at the corner of State and California streets in Sycamore, year unknown. Thanks to the Sycamore History Museum for the photo.


June 26, 1889

Bicycles are becoming numerous on our thoroughfares.

The local strawberry crop this season is immense, in the aggregate product and in the size of individual berries.

Sycamore will celebrate the Fourth of July in grand style. There will be the dazzling display by the calithumpians, the greased porker, the slippery pole, foot races, ball games, bicycle contests, firemen’s parade, wrestling matches, open air band concerts, day and evening fireworks, and dances in the halls.

Mr. G.H. Denton has a new safety bicycle, the latest popular machine. Elderly men or ladies can ride them with safety, and they are as fast as the big wheels.

A.W. Brower is pondering over recollections of childhood as he nurses a case of the mumps.

H.C. Witt has a very sick horse, and John Snyder has another. Neither one is expected to get well.

The condition of the miners and their families at Spring Valley and Braidwood is said to be extremely pitiful; that women and children in this land of plenty are actually starving for want of food. Two thousand men are out of work caused by the general shutdown of the mining companies.

Aurora’s stray dogs will hereafter meet an aristocratic death by electricity instead of being targets for revolver practice.


June 24, 1914

After a whole week of investigations, the DeKalb County grand jury found five indictments, two of which were for illegal liquor selling.

Dr. Letitia A. Westgate, for several years a practicing physician in Sycamore, has stirred the officials of her present home, Aurora, by her efforts to prevent contamination of the city water supply. She is being called a meddler by city officials.

Rev. Mr. Meek, while running from Beloit in his automobile, came to a sudden standstill. He had to telephone to Beloit and have an expert come out and tell him that his gasoline tank was empty.

Many people from Sycamore were caught in the heavy rain Sunday while returning home from motor cycle races in DeKalb by automobile. Near Electric Park, the road almost flooded and a gully washed out, and over a dozen machines got stuck until a machine from one of the local garages was summoned to assist.

Four prisoners escaped from the Kane County jail Thursday morning. Some person passed saws to the prisoners, and they sawed their way to freedom and escaped in a waiting automobile.

Last Sunday’s base ball game between Kirkland and Rockford proved to be a most uninteresting affair and a sad disappointment to the crowd present. The game was called in the first half of the seventh inning partly on account of the threatening storm, but mostly on account of the overwhelming score of 17 to 4, with Kirkland on the 4 end.


June 28, 1939

Hopes are for the complete recovery of Will C. Lovell of Hampshire, believed to have been a victim of Chicago holdup men.

Louisville, Ky., has nicknamed its professional football team the Tanks. Is that what happens to those nice husky boys after they get out of college?

Federal, state, and local governments in the U.S. are estimated to be spending at the rate of $602 a second, or $36,120 a minute.

George Schwidetski has written a book on the language of the chimpanzee. In an appendix, he gives a complete dictionary of phrases and expressions used by the chimpanzee on which he experimented.

If plans now in the making mature, Sycamore will have a school of instruction for women to learn to operate electric sewing machines.

Sycamore’s new Harley-Davidson police motorcycle has been placed in commission. It replaces the three-wheeler with the basket behind.

The Shabbona volunteer fire department has made extensive plans for the Fourth of July Picnic and is offering a variety of attractions. Several features have never been staged in this locality.


June 23, 1964

The Illinois Public Aid rolls declined in April by 4,899 persons. There was a drop in most categories in DeKalb County.

A motorist found it costly Saturday to use more than one parking space at a time in downtown Sycamore. He was assessed two parking violation tickets and had to pay for an unneeded tow.

Two deputies suffered minor injuries early Wednesday and one of the sheriff’s patrol cars was damaged when the deputies hit the ditch while making a chase.

All children entering third, fourth, or fifth grades may enroll for free swimming lessons given by the DeKalb County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

– Sycamore True Republican


June 28, 1989

Jim and Helen Merritt last week donated 39 acres on the north side of Keslinger Road, one mile east of Somonauk Road, to the DeKalb County Forest Preserve District with the understanding the land will be restored to native prairie grasses and flowers. The new preserve will be called Merritt Prairie.

AFSCME Local 3537 has requested federal mediation in its contract talks with the DeKalb County board, but “we’re not at an impasse,” said Larry Henry, AFSCME staff representative.

Residents of the DeKalb-Pond-Fisk neighborhood rolled up their sleeves Saturday to brighten up the area. A neighborhood group has organized not only to improve the area, but to work with the city on redevelopment plans.

– The MidWeek

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