Looking Back

Looking Back for Oct. 11, 2017

Old State Road west of Sycamore looking along the road and the Chicago Great Western railway. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Old State Road west of Sycamore looking along the road and the Chicago Great Western railway. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1917 – 100 YEARS AGO

The cement road between DeKalb and Sycamore which has been in progress the past two weeks is rapidly nearing completion and another week or ten days of this kind of weather will see the construction work completed. As soon as the cement is laid and has set, dirt is thrown over it as a means of protection and the road has been completed near two-thirds of the distance and the big cement machine works steadily every day.

Every woman over 16 years of age should register for service in the war. It is not compulsory but it is the first time that the United States Government has asked service of all women.

James Coyne, who has had the excavation work in charge for the new garage at the corner of First and Lincoln Highway, hopes to have the work completed this week if the weather man does not interfere. It is the biggest job of excavating he has ever had, there being 3,500 yards of dirt removed. He has had nine teams at work about all the time, and is now on the last stretch of the work where it is necessary to shovel the dirt to the bank and then load it into the wagons.

Waterman has a small-pox case within its borders. Every precaution has been taken and schools and churches have been closed. People are being vaccinated in hopes that there will be no further spread.

The firm of Dooley & Burchfield of Clare has not been exclaiming their business success of late, but let it be said that this firm has been most active. They drove back their 50th Ford to be delivered there and at the same time it might be well to say something of their tractor sales. This firm has sold 22 ton to 20 horse power tractors, three 8 to 16 and one larger tractor, 15 to 30 horse power to the J. A. Countryman farm. These tractors have all been equipped with three bottom plows and disc harrows.

Just watch the pole of smokes for Camp Granters, now on display in Anderson Brothers’ window, increase. It was announced this morning at the store that if occasion demanded the entire west window would be devoted to the display of tobacco for the soldiers of the selected army, and those sponsoring the movement only hope that such will be necessary. DeKalb smokes know what it is to be away from the humidor and find that the pouch is empty and willing to give almost anything for a smoke - that is just the way the fellows at Camp Grant are feeling, that is, a large majority of them.

1942 – 75 YEARS AGO

Tomorrow evening will see the scrapping of the relic of World War I and a huge pile of scrap that has accumulated during the week, when the American Legion disposes of the old cannon that had been in front of the Community Center in Sycamore several days. When the boys of the American tugged and pulled and finally were able to remove the field piece from the west Community Park entrance to a prominent place on State Street in front of the Community Center building, they appealed to the public to contribute scrap metal to the drive.

The white faced sorrel horse owned by Col. Cassius Poust, home on leave for a few days, decided he was going out to see some of the city. The hitch rope broken, the animal started roaming down Somonauk Street, nibbling at grass shoots here and there, and paying little or no attention to anyone. Hayes Knodle, returning to the store by the way of that thoroughfare, saw the animal narrowly missed by trucks, decided it was time to do something about it. After much persuasion on the part of Knodle, the sorrel was hitched to the reach of the truck and brought to the intersection of State and California. After about fifteen minutes of waiting the animal was claimed and returned to its proper pasture.

How the Old West lives side by side with modern ranching methods is the interesting story told in a recent issue of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which devotes a full page of the Sunday supplement to the Ellwood-Renderbrook Ranch. The ranch is the property of the Ellwood estate, E. P. Ellwood and his family of DeKalb spending a portion of each year there.

Carl A. Swanson of DeKalb reported to the police that his car has been stolen. He stated that the machine had been parked near the Elks Club for but a short time, and when he returned for the machine it was not to be found. Before the police had put the notice on the book and summoned officers for an investigation, a resident at 138 West Lincoln Highway called the station to report there was an auto in the front yard of her home, and thought it should be at least moved out to the street. It is believed that brakes on the car had gradually loosened allowing the machine to roll down the slight incline and hop the curb, coming to rest in the yard without doing any damage.

1967 – 50 YEARS AGO

The Ralph Byro farm on Alternate 30 west of Malta is where the Junior College Board has taken an option on 120 acres for the site of the proposed college. The area is located on the north side of Alternate 30 and west of the Kirkland blacktop road.


Renew those half-obliterated lines on a table-tennis table by using white masking tape. First wash the table to remove any dust, then apply the tape over the old lines.

Annual fall inspection of the DeKalb County Forest Preserves was made by the Real Estate Committee of the DeKalb County Forest Preserve Commission. The group spent the entire afternoon visiting the three preserves, Russel between Genoa and Kingston, Shabbona near Shabbona, and Sannauk between Somonauk and Sandwich.

Creation of a new Illinois state park in southern DeKalb County already approved by engineers, would turn the page of history back 140 years. The site which engineers found the best in all of DeKalb and Lee counties lies exactly one mile south of the center of Shabbona on Indian Road. It comprises 850 acres of land, none of it valuable as farm land, but ideal for park purposes. The proposed lake, which probably will carry the name of Chief Shabbona, the friendly Indian who helped the county’s early settlers many times and saved their lives on occasion, would be located by one of the old chief’s favorite camp sports, in the Shabbona Forest Preserve.

1992 – 25 YEARS AGO

Three DeKalb County school district are eyeing potential consolidation as a way to both run schools more efficiently and cash in on state financial incentives. Districts in Malta, Waterman, and Shabbona just got a draft report from the state offering different operations to meld the three districts.

The space shuttle Endeavour is back home with about 120 fewer hornets but 155 tadpoles it didn’t have when the shuttle lifted off.

A deteriorating sewer main at the DeKalb County Nursing Home has forced county officials to shut down the home’s kitchen and make other arrangements to supply food to the residents.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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