1917 – 100 YEARS AGO
The Home School, a private institution under the direction of Miss Addie McLean and Mrs. L. A. Hatch, opened again yesterday after a two weeks’ vacation. Several new pupils were admitted for the new term. The school is making satisfactory progress and instructors are pleased with the interest shown.
The two Foiena brothers, small of stature, but large in ambition and activity, are two hustlers, if there ever were such things. The youngsters arrive at the depot early in the morning and remain there until the last train goes east at 9:10, and they dispose of a large number of papers. The boys work together, that is one on each side of the train and if one’s supply become exhausted, the other runs down town after more papers. A large number of people have commented on the activity of the youngsters and predict for them a successful future.
The Garden Commission of DeKalb co-operating with the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association has a unique way of doing its “bit.” It was announced that there will be a canning demonstration at the Armory hall, to which everyone in DeKalb and vicinity is invited. The food shortage makes imperative that women learn more of modern canning methods and the demonstration should interest everyone. Women are asked to bring their lunches but coffee will be served free.
A lady arriving on one of the morning trains staged one of the most careless acts seen there in some time past. She had the little one in a carriage and checked her grip in the check room leaving the baby in the buggy standing on the platform, with the brake not set. A fast freight train going west whizzed by and had it not been for the watchfulness of pedestrians at the station the baby would have been killed. The lady was told of her carelessness in a way that she will not forget after the train had passed.
A couple of the boys of The Chronicle force reported that they saw an airship flying over DeKalb last night about nine o’clock. The plane was seen in the distance and just the light and a faint outline of the machine was visible.
The recruiting officer for the local company of militia wishes it known that men of the height of five feet and one inch are now allowed to be taken into the army. Several applications of short men have been turned down as the limit heretofore was five feet four inches. The recruiting officers says that a large number of shorter men will probably avail themselves of the opportunity to get into the service.
1942 – 75 YEARS AGO
Although nearly 2,000 binoculars meeting requirements have been received from the public by the Navy Department since the first appeal was made the need for these important instruments is desperate. Mayor Hugh J. Hakala of DeKalb received a letter from the Navy Department recently asking that he again [bring] the great need of the binoculars to the attention of the public.
Removal of the rails by the North-Western Railroad between Sycamore and Caledonia was started less than a day after a railroad trustee filed suit in the federal court for an injunction to prevent interference with the project. The wrecking started at Henrietta. The railroad has announced that the last shipment of milk from the Bowman Dairy Company plant at Herbert to Chicago by way of Belvidere would be made today.
According to an announcement from the Chicago Welfare Commission, nineteen men from the welfare rolls have been sent to DeKalb county to work on beet farms in the county. They are being sent to help relieve the shortage in farm labor and further aid to the farmers was also promised by the commission.
Police were called at 6:40 o’clock by the Chicago and North-Western railroad to pick up three boys who were loitering near the coal chutes east of town. The trio was picked up and taken to the station for questioning. The boys were very dirty and all they had with them was the clothes they were wearing. All are from Boone, Iowa. They had left their homes but stated that they were on their way back.
The residents of Somonauk have been a bit jittery the past few days over the mysterious doings of a phantom. Actual or imaginary the strange happenings have the people agog. A series of window rapping’s, door openings have been reported and it seems that the ghost has occult powers, never leaving as much as a footprint. A proprietor of an ice cream parlor last week reported to the sheriff’s office that his windows had been rapped on and his door opened without a hand on the knob.
Buddy Burgin of Franks is spending this week with his grandparents in Leland.
1967 – 50 YEARS AGO
Work on the North First Street road in DeKalb is moving ahead on schedule. Currently the activity is being centered on grading about the triangle where Sycamore Road and North First Street divide. Traffic problems at the moment, but it will be better later on.
DeKalb Public Hospital served over 5,000 patients during the year. The hospital received more than a million dollars for services rendered and finished the year in the red.
Mowing of Highway 23 between Sycamore and Genoa was begun this week by the private contractor for the state road. State crews are not allowed to mow the highway banks yet because the state has not accepted the incomplete construction. Workers estimate it will take the rest of the week to complete the mowing. The road’s shoulders are not completed and they will also have to be seeded before the state will accept the highway.
They are rebuilding a bridge on Pritchard Road, a mile north of Highway 30 at Hinckley, a pile driver was busy driving poles for a new bridge which will replace one smashed by an errant automobile last fall. The new structure is scheduled to be finished early this fall.
1992 – 25 YEARS AGO
Sycamore Mayor Bernie McMillian recently took a swing at a piñata at the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce After Hours event hosted by Efrain and Raquel Salgado. The Salgados recently opened The Silver City, Taxco Restaurant located at 223 W. State St.
The DeKalb County Board agreed to purchase land needed to extend Peace Road past Route 23 (Sycamore Road) north toward its next intersection at Route 64.
Local union members picketed construction of the $1 million Illinois Regional Cancer Society Center this morning to protest an out-of-county firm getting the work.
Commonwealth Edison announced plans for what a company statement says are the deepest cuts since the great depression. It is not yet known how many of the estimated 1,250 jobs slated to be eliminated will be in DeKalb County. Some will occur in the area due to an early retirement and separation program ComEd will be introducing. The jobs to be eliminated will affect management and contractors. Clerical staff and the jobs of people who work on the lines are not expected to be reduced.
• Compiled by the Joiner History Room,
DeKalb County Archives.