Looking Back

Looking Back for March 15, 2017

Unloading Gunn’s Western Plowman corn at the DeKalb Agricultural Association seed house in DeKalb on Fifth Street, in 1917. The corn is hauled in boxes and delivered and unloaded through the window in wagons pulled by teams of horses. Thanks to the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association for the photo.
Unloading Gunn’s Western Plowman corn at the DeKalb Agricultural Association seed house in DeKalb on Fifth Street, in 1917. The corn is hauled in boxes and delivered and unloaded through the window in wagons pulled by teams of horses. Thanks to the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association for the photo.

1917 – 100 YEARS AGO

Skoglund & Wedburg of DeKalb were awarded the contract to build the new additions to the Chicago Insulated Wire and Manufacturing Company. One of these buildings will be 60 by 300; another will be 40 by 50 and the contract will also include the alterations of the old building which are to be extensive. When done this new space will give the company an added floor space of 35,000 square feet.

The Melville Clark piano factory is perhaps one of the busiest industries in the city right at this time. For the last week or two moving operations have been going on, and at the same time orders have been coming in at a rapid rate and all efforts is being made to keep orders cleaned up. 

Members of the Irish party who last night forced to an issue in the House of Commons, home rule for Ireland, today issued a manifesto, asking Irish-American and Americans generally for aid.

Corey & Son have recently added a new gas steam boiler to their tire vulcanizing department, which will greatly increase the output of the industry on North Third Street in DeKalb.

Because one case of chicken pox developed at Williston Hall, several young women who were exposed to the disease have been sent to their homes, for a few days. They will return to their school Monday unless something develops.

DeKalb people can be thankful for small favors. Eggs, which for a time were considered as precious as gold nuggets have taken a slump, and have at last reached a point where a common laboring man can at least afford to ask the price. Instead of selling for 50 and 60 cents a dozen, as they were some few weeks ago, they are now selling for less than 30 cents.

The North-Western has taken the preliminary steps in the solution of the problem which now prevails at the local station. For some time past complaint has been made of the narrow escapes passengers had, when crossing over to the other platform from the depot waiting rooms. Of course, it is understood that the fault lies in the majority, with the people, as nine times out of 10, they wait until the train is at the station, then start to cross the tracks.

The wrecking crew has been at work over near Malta again today in an effort to get all the coal and cars picked up. These cars were left standing in the ditch following the wreck over near Malta some weeks ago. Some of the cars were standing in several feet of water and frozen and the wrecking crew thought best to wait until the weather had moderated before cleaning up.

1942 – 75 YEARS AGO

Armed forces of the United Nations dealt strong offensive blows against the Axis in Europe today but in the Far East the Japanese, paced by almost unopposed air squadrons, were advancing on the Island of Java. 

There are 26,995 worn-out jalopies in automobile graveyards in the state of Illinois.  Before long these old cars will be melted into armaments.  That is good news for everyone, not to mention residents of neighborhoods in which one of the graveyards is located.  It is estimated that this amount of scrap material will produce 3,680 American tanks to help Uncle Sam’s soldiers to win the war.

Because practically all planes have been grounded and because the airport at Waterman has been closed, much mystery envelopes an episode which occurred Saturday night.  A plane was heard flying over DeKalb three times during the night. 

Slowly but surely we Americans are being informed as to how sugar will be rationed.  There are strong hints that other food commodities may be rationed in the future and the sugar plan will be followed in such future rationing. 

At a district meeting of the Odd Fellows held at Sycamore, it was made known that the Ellwood Encampment of the lodge, which is Sycamore’s reaches its 65th anniversary on March 25.

Efforts to secure government approval to the designation of DeKalb as a defense area, in order that the lack of homes may be declared an emergency, did not meet with much success for the DeKalb committee which went to Chicago.

The roll call on, “Worst or Best Bargain,” brought amusing situations and others found the bargain had been shared in the same manner by another.  The worst one was a racket in Victor Township that was worked through the township and county some years ago when horse and buggy salesmen (usually two to an outfit) went around selling stoves of very high price and proving very poor quality. 

1967 – 50 YEARS AGO

It might have been a bit delayed but the cornerstone of the new DeKalb High School became official in brief ceremonies at the school.

Kishwaukee College was the name officially adopted by the newly elected board of Junior College District No. 523 at the organization meeting of the board. 

Seven women and a young girl escaped what could have been one of the worst accidental tragedies in DeKalb’s history when they inhaled deadly carbon monoxide fumes while washing their clothes at the Piggly Wiggly Shopping Center laundromat on Sycamore Road.

Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa surrendered to U. S. marshals to begin a prison sentence for jury tampering, protesting to the last that he was a victim of a government vendetta.

When Raymond Loewy doesn’t like the looks of something, even if it’s the President’s airplane, he speaks up. And when President Kennedy agreed with one of the nation’s leading industrial designers that his plane, Air Force One, not only needed a more dignified appearance, including a new paint job, even the secretary of defense got into the act.

1992 – 25 YEARS AGO

It appears Peace Road will be finished according to plan, but it could take the county into the next century to complete it as funding becomes tight.

DeKalb County could be in the running for a large Midwest distribution center for one of the nation’s largest food and beverage manufacturers. DeKalb and Rochelle are among several sites in the running for a distribution center for the Nestle Corporation.

The DeKalb Park District will be adding 26 acres of wetlands in the area off of Annie Glidden Road between Taylor Street and the railroad tracks next to Huber Park thanks to a 50-50 grant from the state.

Of the seven street gangs that have members residing in DeKalb County, four are considered to have enough members to be considered established in the community. The gang with the highest number of members in DeKalb is made up of people who are transient or have recently moved into the community, most of whom are from Chicago.

– Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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