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Looking Back

Looking Back for Aug. 16, 2017

The Raymond building in DeKalb on South Second Street in 1952. A storm had knocked down the chimney and is laying in the alley. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
The Raymond building in DeKalb on South Second Street in 1952. A storm had knocked down the chimney and is laying in the alley. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1917– 100 YEARS AGO

If you cannot fight at the front, you can send a book to the man you are sending to the front to do your fighting for you. The government has asked the American Library Association to assume responsibility for supplying the camps and cantonments with reading material. Every group of soldiers, small as well as large, is to have books. The Public Library in this city has been asked to get donations of books and magazines. Must be in good condition.

Mr. Johnson, of the Johnson-O’Brien Company, the builders of the beautiful Fairview mausoleum, was in DeKalb Saturday on his way back to Chicago from Sycamore where the concern is just putting through a deal for a lovely mausoleum for the county seat. All of the arrangements are about completed for the construction of the building there and a good proportion of the space has been sold. Mr. Johnson says that the experience of the company in DeKalb has proven a valuable asset for them.

Five young adventurers, their ages ranging from 11 to 14 years, were apprehended near the depot in DeKalb last night while begging, and corralled at the police station. Their tale was that they were enroute to Beloit in quest of work. As they were all of too tender years to be entrusted to seek their own fortunes, they were detained until their parents or guardians should be notified to come and fetch them home.

Fireman Oscar Nelson’s day off yesterday had a dismal finale. He journeyed to Batavia to see his folks and indulge in a ramble in one of the leafy groves about that pleasant place. Without any provocation whatever, Nelson insists, a bumble bee he had never even been introduced to came up, stung him in the eye, and made his getaway without giving any chance for an explanation. Nelson had to spend the remainder of his precious holiday in getting medical treatment for his injured optic and in nursing it.

Several chicken fanciers of DeKalb face arrest if they fail to curb the tendency of their feathered flocks to forage in their neighbor’s gardens. A number of complaints have been received at the police station and they will be vigorously followed up. The latest of the many to protest in the DeKalb hospital, where the flower gardens have been repeatedly ravaged by fowl belonging to a family living close by, who have failed to comply with several requests that they abate the nuisance.

1942 – 75 YEARS AGO

At the new bowling alleys in the Fargo Garage in Sycamore, there are many men working at the present time in an effort to get all the work completed this month, as most of these establishments around the country open the final week in August or the first week in September. The experts are now grinding away at the maple lanes, and as soon as this work is done, the shellacking operations will start.

Ivan Prall, age 20, of DeKalb, was one of the ten men who applied for enlistment at the Rockford recruitment station, in the United States Army. The ten submitted to physical tests at the Camp Grant induction center.

A DeKalb truck driver for the White Rose Laundry busy as he is on a Thursday, witnessed a baby’s bottle of milk fall from a mother’s hand as she was getting out of the car in front of one of the down town stores. After getting the baby, the mother started for the sidewalk, and the car driver left the scene without making any pretense of removing the glass to save tires. The laundry truck driver drove his truck to the curb and with the aid of a broom and shovel from a nearby store, removed the glass from the street. “I don’t want my tires to wear out any quicker than necessary,” was the only comment from the driver.

In addition to the bolt of lightning that hit the bank and another that cut a hole in the roof of a house on Park Avenue, there was plenty of other trouble about Sycamore. The electric company boys were scheduled to work most of the night and today as well, and then the complaints concerning the hot water heaters would begin. A large transformer near the Ideal Commutator and Dresser Company was burned out; another was burned out in the west end of town, and many homes all over the city were without lights.

Residents of Cortland as well as those living in Cortland Township have been asked to cooperate in the blackout which will be held next Wednesday. The church bell will ring at 9:55 o’clock, five minutes before the actual blackout, and all lights are to be extinguished by 10:00 o’clock. Anyone failing to comply will be notified by the warden in his sector and will be given a short time to comply. The regulations set by the Army are strict and must be obeyed.

1967 – 50 YEARS AGO

Representing the Chief Shabbona Council, Boy Scouts of America in the National Jamboree in Idaho are Bob Snow and Chuck Bergren. The young men will be gone three weeks, spending ten days at the jamboree and the remainder of the time traveling in the northwest part of the country.

The Board of Directors, Kishwaukee Family YMCA, recently determined to locate the proposed YMCA building on rolling farmland midway between DeKalb and Sycamore, just west of Route 23. The site, totaling nearly seven acres, lies about 200 yards west of Route 23 and would be serviced by the westward extension of Bethany Road.

A new roof for the Sycamore Municipal building was being applied Monday and Tuesday. The work is being handled by DeKalb Roofing Company, low bidders on the project.

1992 – 25 YEARS AGO

For the first time in its 20-year history, DeKalb County’s Youth Services Bureau (YSB) has started charging an annual fee to the families that receive counseling there.

Three farmers filed a lawsuit against A. O. Smith Corp charging the company has known for almost 30 years that its Harvestore silos are defective, making feed rot and reducing milk yields. Named a co-defendant in the suit was A. O. Harvestore Products Inc. of DeKalb. The DeKalb company is a wholly owned subsidiary of A. O. Smith Corp. About 200 people are employed full time at A. O. Smith’s DeKalb plant, which manufacturers the silos and other storage bins.

The sale of the former DeKalb School District administration center is on hold while lawyers argue over who should get it. A resident asks a judge to force the district to sell the former ad center to him. The suit also seeks a restraining order to block the district from completing the planned sale of the building to a Sycamore resident.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room,
DeKalb County Archives.

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