Looking Back

Looking Back: August 27, 2014

The Sawyer Auto Imports building on east Lincoln Highway in DeKalb in 1949 (front right of the frame). In 1920, the Sawyers built one of the first super service stations in the U.S. The original building housed Edelweiss Company and Edelweiss Saloon. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
The Sawyer Auto Imports building on east Lincoln Highway in DeKalb in 1949 (front right of the frame). In 1920, the Sawyers built one of the first super service stations in the U.S. The original building housed Edelweiss Company and Edelweiss Saloon. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.


August 28, 1889

Another inventive genius has turned up who thinks he is equal to the task of harnessing Niagara Falls. He proposes to do it with an endless steel belt 200 feet long and 20 feet wide, each link of which is a tiny turbine wheel. He calculates he can generate 1 million horsepower.

New York has said Chicago does not have the amount of Americanism supposed necessary to host the World’s Fair because a large number of her citizens are aliens. The Chicago Daily News replies that Chicago is proud of her foreign-born citizens, who have helped to make Chicago one of the foremost cities in America.

The commissioners of highways of Kingston and Sycamore agreed to build a bridge on Baseline Road and each township pay one-half. After the contract was let, the Kingston men asserted each township should contribute on the basis of their assessment, the Sycamore assessment being about double that of Kingston. At present it looks as though people will continue to ford the stream.

The pearl craze has reached Kingston, and boys are fishing for them in the Kishwaukee. One of the Gibbs boys has found several of good size; he found eight in one shell.

One of the features of the coming fair in Sycamore will be a balloon ascension. When at a height of over 2,000 feet, the aeronaut will jump from the balloon and trust a parachute to land him safely.


August 26, 1914

A mechanic’s lien has been taken on the new Catholic church and parsonage at Maple Park by a number of the subcontractors and other creditors of the contractor who have not been paid for their services.

The William F. Jobbins Chemical Company’s factory at Aurora, in which nitroglycerin is manufactured, blew up at about 11 o’clock Sunday morning, and the explosions shook the whole city.

The wreckage of an automobile was found Saturday morning on the Great Western railroad crossing a mile east of Sycamore. The machine had evidently been struck by a train, but no owner appeared and there was no explanation of the incident, causing much speculation.

Some 60,000 spectators, including over 200 Sycamore people, witnessed the annual national automobile races near Elgin on Saturday when Spencer Wishart, driver who electrified the races with his terrific speed and wreckless driving, was killed and his mechanician was severely injured.

The only unexpected thing about the European war is the date of it. No war in history has been so long anticipated, so carefully prepared for and so thoroughly discussed.

Mystery kindly hides the identity of a young man who was overheard making remarks about one of the “cowgirls” of the 101 Ranch Show while the cars were being unloaded and who was given a beating by the young lady herself.

Warner Whipple and his family went by automobile to Iowa last week, stopping en route at the Indian reservation near Tama, where the Indians are now in summer camp.


August 30, 1939

Two separate strikes at the DeKalb plant of the California Packing Co. last week were settled, but some of the produce that was to have been processed in DeKalb has been sent to Rochelle.

Names inscribed on the walls of the hallway of the Central block, some of them more than 50 years ago, were uncovered this week when redecorating of that hallway began. Central Block was erected in 1874, and at that time was one of the show buildings of Sycamore.

More than 7,000 persons attended the annual homecoming celebration at Hinckley last Thursday.

Aurora radio station WMRO has started a fund for David Lee “Buck” Eakle, whose right arm was cut off below the shoulder by the propeller of an airplane at Waterman airport last week. It is believed that the fund will reach at least $1,000.

Alterations and improvements are being made in the Townsend residence at 614 Somonauk St. in Sycamore. Build in the mid-Victorian days, it was considered a beautiful structure, judged by the standards of those days. Ornamental work is being taken down ... and other alterations within the building will result in a thoroughly modern home.


August 26, 1964

Chances are that Wyatt Earp will not be in Waterman on Labor Day, but the holiday program being planned by the Lions Club is giving the celebration a touch of the Old West.

The Raymond Weinrich family of Lindenwood was driving through Brookings, S.D., when they were halted by a police car and told they were under arrest. ...The Brookings Jaycees have an “arrest ’em and guest ’em” program. The Weinrichs were told their “fine” would be overnight lodgings in Brookings, dinner, entertainment, a courtesy car and a free tank of gasoline. Who could refuse to pay such a fine?

Walter Thurow, president of Deco Porcelain Inc. in Sycamore, announced that his firm is now completing an order of metal signs for use in war-torn Vietnam. It is the first Asiatic war business Deco has experienced.

A welcome change to the downtown parking spaces in Sycamore began this week. ...Though there will be about one-third fewer parking places when the job is complete, most motorists say they will like the new layout, with wider parking spaces placed at a greater angle, and new twin parking meters, so half as many posts clutter the curbs.

– Sycamore True Republican


August 30, 1989

If all goes well, SportsChannel will be available to Warner Cable subscribers by October.

“Happy days are here again” may be a common refrain this week as DeKalb teachers start the year with one of the best salary packages in a long time.

Steve Adkins, a 1982 DHS graduate, signed a contract with the Yankees Aug. 15, making him eligible to be called up to the big leagues.

– The MidWeek

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