1917 – 100 YEARS AGO
A shipment of 250 feet of new hose arrived here today for the fire department and the boys at the station say that they are now in rather good shape in the matter of fire hose. The hose was ordered by the council some time ago and was needed by the department.
DeKalb seems to possess a large number of “fire fans” and of late some of them have been putting their own lives in danger by riding on the outside of the big trucks. The trucks are heavy and when fire fans grab onto the ladders for the purpose of going to the fire, there is danger of them skidding against a pole and then someone would be sure to receive serious injuries. The fire chief says that he does not like the idea of getting peevish on the matter as oftentimes a little extra help is needed at the fire, but unless the fans use a little more judgment, the public will be forbidden to ride on the trucks going to or from a fire.
The Spring Valley rain was a half hour late in here yesterday morning for the reason that it ran into a herd of cattle shortly after getting started in the morning. Three cows were killed and it was said that others are more or less injured but none of them serious.
Another mysterious fire occurred in the city of DeKalb last night when the barn belonging to Frank Bemis at the corner of South Fifth and Franklin was totally destroyed.
The police department has been called on of late to take care of horses that have been left standing out in the cold weather, some of them without even a blanket. The hitch rails on North Second street have been used extensively of late, and residents along that thoroughfare have been compelled to complain on account of the people leaving their horses standing out so long at a time. It is a pity that farmers do not think enough of their horses to spend a dime or twenty cents and put them in a feed barn especially when the weather was such as it was last night.
Jacob Haish, veteran banker-manufacturer has not been down town the last few days on account of sickness, and proposes to remain at home until he feels better. It is said that Mr. Haish’s sickness is nothing serious, but the well-known man, at 90 years, is not able to throw off a cold as readily as he could 50 years ago. It is thought Mr. Haish will be back at his station at the bank during the next few days.
1942 – 75 YEARS AGO
Sycamore’s long awaited south side water main project is under way. The mild weather has permitted the Triangle Construction Company to begin the work now rather than wait until spring. Pipe, fire hydrants, and other equipment are on hand. The work is being started in the Turner Addition on Kerr Street, the last street on Sycamore’s south side. It is so far south it is in Cortland Township.
Sycamore Hospital is now equipped with a special lamp in the operating room to be available for emergencies when the power goes off. If a storm wrecks power lines, the switch is pulled for a blackout, or trouble ensues by bombs, a surgical operation can be completed. The light is a gift of Sycamore Legion Auxiliary.
Samuel Lund of DeKalb will take added interest in the war because one son is already in the army, a second is about to enter the navy, and a third goes to the marine base next month. A year from now another son will be of age to go.
Every citizen, old or young, who is not engaged in military service or the emergency services of civilian defense now has an opportunity to do his bit through the statewide victory garden and food supply program, it is pointed out by Farm Adviser Roy Johnson and Home Adviser Helen Johnson.
Ice and high wind combined to give the trouble shooters of the Central Illinois Power Company a little workout in the night. A spot in DeKalb, and areas south of Malta and north and northwest of Clare were scenes of power line trouble.
The DeKalb County Tuberculosis Association members are very much gratified with the manner in which the people of this county cooperated in the purchase of the annual Christmas double-barred cross seals. The sale of the seals began shortly after Thanksgiving and continued throughout the Christmas holiday.
Sycamore Patrolman Don Ehrler lost a race with a speeding mystery car on an icy road yesterday. Up to late yesterday afternoon state highway police had not notified Sycamore officers of locating the car or its driver. The mystery care crowded the Sycamore squad car off the highway west of the city and nearly caused it to crash. Only snow saved it.
1967 – 50 YEARS AGO
More than 20 DeKalb residents, mostly from the Doge Addition, bitterly voiced their objection to the proposed sanitary landfill site between Wurlitzer and the Chicago and North Western railroad tracks.
Handling telephone calls at the Administrative Center of the DeKalb Community School District takes on a new look. A switchboard has been installed that makes it possible to handle calls with speed and dispatch.
More than 1,000 American combat troops, the first to be stationed permanently in the Mekong delta, moved today into their new post at My Tho 45 miles southwest of Saigon on the banks of the muddy Mekong River.
Sandwich school officials report that an early occupancy of new facilities can now be expected. Architect Earl Wardrum checked out the new classrooms at the W. W. Woodbury School along with the Illinois School Building Commission of Joliet.
The gymnasium, chapel, residence, and Waterman Hall all have been demolished at McLaren Foundation on Somonauk Street in Sycamore in recent work at the property. All four buildings have been landmarks in the community for about 75 years and the work has attracted the attention of those passing by the area.
1992 – 25 YEARS AGO
On February 22, more than 1,000 middle school students from nine schools including Huntley Middle School and Clinton Rosette in DeKalb as well as schools in Sycamore, Big Rock, Waterman, Paw Paw and Shabbona let their talents be heard at Shabbona High School for the annual Illinois Grade School Music Association solo and ensemble contest.
As residents of Chicago’s western suburbs continue to migrate into Cortland, the small town’s rapid growth shows itself in different ways. New homes are going up and unfamiliar faces are appearing in the community.
It appears the DeKalb County Nursing Home, the county’s general fund and the state will “live happily together ever after.” However, the storybook ending is not quite so happy for the nursing home as it may still be forced to make additional budget cuts.
• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives