Looking Back

Looking Back for Aug. 9, 2017

The College Avenue bridge in DeKalb looking west. The old foot bridge piers are visible in the foreground in 1904. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
The College Avenue bridge in DeKalb looking west. The old foot bridge piers are visible in the foreground in 1904. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1917 – 100 YEARS AGO

All of the farmers of DeKalb County ought to read the July issue of the DeKalb County Farmer which is today in the hands of its patrons. The sole topic handled in the Farmer this month is the matter of pure seed and it is a number devoted to the grand work of the pure seed propaganda to which the Soil Improvement Association has been devoting its efforts during the past few years.

Two young “hopefuls” stirred things up yesterday shortly after eight o’clock in the vicinity of North Third street in DeKalb. There were numerous cuts and bruises and of course some blood, until a mere woman put an end to it.

Ruth Law, the world’s greatest aviatrix, will give exhibition flights in DeKalb in the interest of recruiting, and at the same time, an extensive program will be carried on during the afternoon, in what will be one of the biggest demonstrations for the soldier boys that this vicinity has ever seen.

Heldson and Jackson moved their barber shop to the basement under Joseph Brothers in DeKalb, on account of the fact that alterations are going on at the First National Bank.

Workmen have begun operations on the stretch of state aid road between the Sycamore limits and the DeKalb township line out near the Claycomb place. The cement road from the city limits on each side of the street car tracks runs to where it turns into the side of the highway at which place it will follow the center of the highway. This will carry a very pleasant message to those who have traveled the quick sands or worse along the pike between Sycamore and the end of the state aid road at the township line.

An auto bearing a Texas license stopped here this morning and displayed a new kind of horn. A Texas steer’s horns were seen fastened to the radiator and the tips of the horns were about even with the fenders of the car. They were surely fine specimens.

The Seagrave truck of the DeKalb fire department was called out at ten o’clock this morning for an automobile fire near Greek’s farm, about three miles west of town. The car, which was a seven-passenger Jeffrey, was occupied by three men, all soldiers in uniform. Running downhill, it struck a rut in the road capsized and caught fire. The occupants had extricated themselves from beneath the car when the firemen arrived. It was a blazing ruin by that time.

1942 – 75 YEARS AGO

Automobile dealers, especially those who specialize in tires, state those persons who go driving on a hot day, fail to realize that the hot pavements are not conducive to saving of tires. If the rubber on any auto is old, it has lost much of its heat resistance, and after being driven many miles becomes much hotter than usual, and quickly blows out. Tires are difficult to get nowadays, and drivers are warned that motoring in hot weather is not helping in the war against the enemy.

On January 19, 1937, the meter on the Number One pump at the well on Pearl street in DeKalb read zero and on July 10 of this year it turned its first billion. This means that a billion gallons of water has been pumped in the five and one-half years. The daily average for this pump is 500,000 gallons which is about three fourths of the water used in this city. The pump has never been repaired since it was installed and it still in fine shape and starting on the second billion.

Throw your scrap into the fight! Although there have been campaigns conducted for the gathering of scrap metals and rubber, a crisis exists in the United States war production program unless more of these vital materials can be secured. The only way that the problem can be solved is for the American people to cooperate fully, and this means the people in DeKalb County as well.

Members of the Sycamore Sportsmen’s club are more than pleased with the progress the young pheasants are making at the Bob Wiley farm. Almost immediately after the arrival of more than 200 of the birds, they began dying off, and it was feared there would be few to turn loose at maturity. According to one member of the club yesterday, the birds now are getting acclimated and are about four-weeks-old. As soon as they are able to take care of themselves they will be released in various places in the country area.

A corn detasseling machine was delivered this week to Kenneth Furr of Genoa from the shop of Fritz Loptien of Sycamore. The device makes it possible for four operators to detassel eight rows of corn at one trip across the field. The machine moves less than two miles an hour under the power of a Ford engine, which is a part of the machine. The efficiency of the device is indicated by the fact that four detasselers and one driver were said to have accomplished in 80 minutes as much as 23 men working four hours from the ground.

1967 – 50 YEARS AGO

DeKalb City Manager urged parents to urge their children not to follow the city’s fogging machine on bicycles while the unit is in operation. The office has received a number of complaints about youngsters riding behind the spraying equipment at night. The practice endangers the youngsters because approaching motorists could not see the children or the bicycles because of the heavy insect spray fog.

Although Governor Kerner has not yet accepted Sycamore Mayor Harold Johnson’s invitation to visit the city and to take a ride on bumpy Highway 64 east and west of the city, some patching was done on the highway’s west entrance to Sycamore.

Dedication of the new Open Door, sheltered workshop for the mentally retarded young adults in the community was held at the new building. Following the dedication and the ribbon cutting trainees at The Open Door entered the building and began working in their new workshop so that visitors could see the types of work they do. The new building built on land leased from the Sandwich Unit 430 School district directly west of the old high school, has been largely afforded by gifts from individuals and industry in the area surrounding Sandwich.

1992 – 25 YEARS AGO

A group of DeKalb St. Mary School Cub Scouts has collected one ton of aluminum, can by can, but is not stopping yet. Buoyed by hitting the one-ton mark, Webelos Den 2 is working toward its goal of recycling three tons of aluminum cans.

Kishwaukee President Norman Jenkins remembers when the college first opened its doors on a rainy, fall day in 1968. The first class of 670 students got a muddy welcome. “They had just laid sod around those wooden buildings and it had rained” said Jenkins, who then was dean of student services. Kishwaukee, which started as five small, wood buildings, will turn 25 years old when the upcoming fall semester starts.

The recent court order to turn Char-Lot Apartments on West Lincoln Highway, formerly the DeKalb Center, over to Lincoln National Bank in Chicago will result in a change of image for the six-story building. The 24 families that live in the building were notified on July 22 that they had one month to move so the first step in sprucing up the tainted image of the building can begin.

– Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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