Looking Back

Looking Back for March 8, 2017

I.L., Patty and Johnny Ellwood pose with their grandfather, H.B. Gurler, on the terrace of the Ellwood Mansion in 1924. Thanks to the Ellwood House Museum for the photo.
I.L., Patty and Johnny Ellwood pose with their grandfather, H.B. Gurler, on the terrace of the Ellwood Mansion in 1924. Thanks to the Ellwood House Museum for the photo.

1917 – 100 YEARS AGO

The DeKalb fire and water committee, city engineer and the fire department were busy yesterday afternoon testing out 250 feet of new hose, recently received from an Ohio farm. The new hose was given a thorough inspection and test and found to be in good condition. The additional 250 feet of fire hose now puts the local department in good condition for all occasions, as there is approximately 3,200 feet of hose for use at all times.

DeKalb and Sycamore said “welcome home” to their soldier boys last night in a way that showed the “fellers” that they meant it. With a crowd of at least 2,000 filing every nook and cranny of the space “outside the railing” at the Armory and fully as many more in a futile push for admission at the closed doors and admiration and regard shining from every face the soldier lads, band and company both knew last night what their place in the hearts of DeKalb people is.

Peter Aldis of Cortland is moving his household goods to the Willett house Thursday.

Fairdale had an exciting time Tuesday when three teams of horses ran away at one time. The Crill team, Ben Warner’s and Charles Yeager’s teams took part. Nothing serious resulted except the damage to wagons and harnesses.

The Melville Clark piano factory made another big shipment via American express to eastern cities today. There were over a hundred boxes of music rolls, etc. included in the shipment, and destinations included many cities in New York and New Jersey.

Local manufacturers say that on account of the car shortage they have received orders to ship everything by express.

Mrs. James Dresser, patriotic instructor in the Woman’s Relief Corps has an interesting report to make. She has visited the schools of DeKalb and some outside of the city and has found more flags displayed than ever before.

Announcement is made today that the pioneer manufacturing industry of DeKalb, Bradt and Shipman, will hereafter be known as a stock company. There will, it is understood, be something of a reorganization, and a stock company will be organized. It is also the plan to continue the manufacture of gloves and mittens at the same place. John G. Davy will retain his present official position with the new company, which will be known as the Bradt & Shipman Glove company.

1942 – 75 YEARS AGO

Bicycles have come into their own again in DeKalb. The bicycle is again becoming a common medium of transportation, harking back to the days of 30 or so years ago, when the bicycle was the favorite means of getting to and from work and to and from school. At the DeKalb plant of the California Packing Company a dozen or more of the office staff and others now employed are using bicycles and several have placed orders for bicycles.

Cookie Day was observed at Camp Grant in Rockford with DeKalb and adjacent counties taking gifts of cookies for the men at camp. Hundreds of dozens of cookies were taken by women from Lee, Kingston, Kirkland, Hinckley, Sycamore, Genoa, Pierce, Fairdale and Cortland Township.

Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Maj. Gen. Walter C. Short, who were the commanding officers at Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, were ordered to stand trial by court martial. They will be tried on charges of dereliction of duty as alleged by the report of the Roberts Commission which investigated reasons for the success of the surprise Japanese attach on Hawaii which started the war.

Mayor Frank E. Ashelford has appointed R. W. Terrell of the Sycamore High School agriculture department as chairman of the “Victory Garden” campaign here. It will be Mr. Terrell’s duty to form a committee or similar organization that will take the lead in urging citizens to raise food.

Employees of the Joseph Brody Garment Company, located in the Clark building in DeKalb, worked all day Saturday for the Red Cross. Employees of the firm, members of Local 189 of the International Lady Garment Workers Union, produced garments that will be used directly for war relief.

A portion of the building, long known as the “red shop” when occupied by the American Steel company, in DeKalb is to have a new defense industry. The assembly of tank tracks is to take place there, a project under the direction of the Northern Illinois Finance Corporation headed by T. E. Courtney. Space in the building, in the rear of that used by the Fourth Street Motors, will be used.

Members of the Waterman fire department spent an active early evening last night, putting out grass fires along the railroad right of way. One fire was of a threatening nature when the department arrived. The first call sent the department south of the Waterman airport hangar and when the department arrived the fire was rapidly creeping towards the Sterns home.

1967 – 50 YEARS AGO

DeKalb firemen made quick work of the blaze in the barracks type building at Northern Illinois University, but the intense heat in the office, where the blaze started, caused damage that will run up to $3,000.

The Sandwich Fair of 1967 will be highlighted with three new features – a poultry show, an antique auto show and a Farm Zoo.

It might not be idea working conditions out of doors but construction on the new DeKalb Municipal Building continues. Steps are taken to counteract the cold and the concrete footings are now providing the base on which the steel beams are being erected.

The Sycamore Future Farmers Association is sponsoring its tenth annual “Barnyard Zoo” at the corner of State and Sacramento Streets during the observance of National FFA Week.

1992 – 25 YEARS AGO

Providing alternatives, establishing neighborhood watches and getting people involved in their neighborhoods are just some of the ideas members of the DeKalb Community Wide Task Force on Gangs are looking at as ways to deal with the gang problem in the city.

Students at Sycamore, Genoa-Kingston and Hiawatha schools are getting a glimpse of the future each month from Turner-Cooper Tools in Sycamore. Since 1991, the company has donated a video series.

Instead of watching the Winter Olympics on television, Tom Hulseberg could have easily been there. The Sycamore resident’s team fell points short of representing the United States in the exhibition sport of snow sculpting.

The gap between Democratic presidential candidates Paul Tsongas and Bill Clinton appears to have widened three days before the nation’s first primary in New Hampshire.

What would make a child want to go to school every day, get better grades, and show his best behavior in class? Hiawatha educators have found the secret to motivating children – pay them. Though it may sound like bribery, Hiawatha Junior and Senior High School says it’s really positive reinforcement. In the past, students have received attention for poor behavior or trades. This new program is a way to acknowledge those who are making a positive effort.

– Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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