Looking Back

Looking Back for March 29, 2017

Russ McAllister (right) and Lloyd Waldee of Waterman harvest samples of corn. Thanks to the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association for the photo.
Russ McAllister (right) and Lloyd Waldee of Waterman harvest samples of corn. Thanks to the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association for the photo.

1917 – 100 YEARS AGO

Local wireless telegraph enthusiasts, of which there are a number, will be greatly interested to learn of the coming order of the war department. It is announced that in case war is declared between Germany and the United States, the first order issued by the government will be for the dismantling of every amateur wireless station in the United States. This is to be done for the lessening of likelihood of activities of spies in this country.

In order that there might be no time lost in case someone was endeavoring to report a fire in DeKalb, another telephone has been placed at the station. The new phone has been attached to the telephone gong circuit, and in case the operator cannot get the boys on 49, she has an opportunity to use 549.

William Foster has purchased the John Field farm of 80 acres near Fairdale and will occupy it himself. Mr. Field has moved to his farm west of Fairdale. He has also purchased the Roswell Keith farm consisting of 160 acres near Irene.

From an advertisement which appears in another column it is evident that the live-wire Knights of Columbus are not going to waste any time getting to work upon their new building in DeKalb. In this advertisement they state that they are anxious to sell the old frame building which stands upon the property recently purchased by them.

Some people living on State Street in DeKalb have a black cat which is considered a family pet, and yesterday this same feline took a notion to climb a telephone pole. The cat got up to the top and seemed intent on staying there when someone thought of the fire department and the long ladders as a means of rescue. Just about this time Maurice Kennedy happened along and rather than to get to the station and have to come up with the ladder truck he went up the pole and rescued the cat, and today is being called a “hero” by the boys at the station.

The foot bridge at Leonard Park which leads across the Kishwaukee creek to the ball park has again been washed away. The ice breaking in the Kishwaukee last Friday afternoon was too much for the bridge and part of it was broken away and the other half quickly followed.

1942 – 75 YEARS AGO

A reenactment of basketball as it was played by the first teams in the country will be a feature attraction “at the hall” of the Golden Jubilee basketball game to be played at the Civic Center. Sycamore and DeKalb All-Stars will stage the main event of the evening. Peach baskets will be used for goals, and a step ladder will be available at each goal for the goal boy to recover the ball after a “basket” has been made.

It is fortunate that some person who was winding all over west Route 64 late Sunday afternoon that he never arrived in Sycamore. Police had formed a welcoming committee for him at the gateway to this community. Someone telephoned the police that an auto was weaving over the highway and that the actions indicated the driver was ill or drunk. Whoever the erratic driver was he never arrived in Sycamore.

The DeKalb County Board of Supervisors was advised that road and bridge building in the county must be set aside for the duration of the war.

The Everett “Hap” Wallace Barbershop is about to move approximately ten feet east. The shop is being moved from its present location in the Fargo building in Sycamore where the two upper floors were recently removed, one door east into the Ronin building.

For some time there have been two organizations, the Scout and Sportsmen’s Club in Sycamore collecting waste paper as a war effort. Today the heads of the two groups issue a joint declaration in which they state that they are henceforth cooperating in the paper collection.

The interior of the Alida Young Temple in Sycamore is undergoing considerable improvement at this time. The Masons are sponsoring the project. The work is confined to the top floor where a new property room is to be built, a ladies rest room installed, modernizing of the kitchen, laying of new carpet, and the addition of new lounge.

The current issue of Look, well-known picture magazine, has a group of pictures which includes one picture in which a DeKalb young man, Dee Palmer, appears.

1967 – 50 YEARS AGO

The cost of hospital care is expected to soar to at least $57.93 a day per patient by September. The American Hospital Association, which compiles cost records, disclosed that hospital expenses are increasing faster than previously reported.

DeKalb’s Municipal Building is progressing. Foundation is in place, steel has been erected and now the pre-cast concrete sections that will produce the flooring are being put into place.

The Sandwich State Bank purchased the A. E. Woodward School in Sandwich and Ivan Fritsch of rural Sandwich bought the Sandy Bluff School. The A. E. Woodward School site and building are on Route 34. There are reports that the school structure will be leveled and the bank will make use of the property. The Sandy Bluff school building and site are adjacent to the Fritsch property. The school originally operated as a country school and then as a part of the Sandwich system.

Four elms to go and the DeKalb city’s street department will have culminated a project which began five years ago. The project, to cut down all the old elms in the city, was a slow and tiresome assignment. Working at times when duties did not call them elsewhere, the street department cut down between 5,000 and 6,000 elm trees in the city over the five-year period. One elm remains to be cut at the corner of Seventh and State and three in the 200 block of West Lincoln.

1992 – 25 YEARS AGO

The $60,000 master redevelopment plan for downtown DeKalb was swept under the carpet at the DeKalb City Council meeting with aldermen citing the lack of interest and participation from merchants as the reason.

DeKalb’s legacy as the barbed wire capital was featured on NBC’s Today Show as one of the program’s producers, Mike Leonard, visited the Barb City last week to look in to the Ellwood House Museum’s barbed wire collection and speak to a Northern Illinois University television news class.

The Sycamore Public Library is beginning an outreach service for the homebound. If you are unable to come to the library due to physical disability, illness or advanced age, the library can help you.

All priorities seem to be director toward the DeKalb acquisition of “the company,” said DeKalb Township Road Commissioner John Huber. Although Huber said he could not name the company that city officials are attempting to woo into DeKalb, township trustees said it was no secret that Nestle was looking at a site of Fairview Drive.

– Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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