1917 – 100 YEARS AGO
S. E. Bradt, H. G. Wright, J. H. Jarboe and Frank Fuller returned from the sixth annual meeting of the Illinois Highway Improvement association, held at Bloomington and reported it the most enthusiastic meeting imaginable. The slogan of the association is “Pull Illinois Out of the Mud,” and from the great interest that is being taken in the great project, the $60,000,000 bond issue, Illinois will be out of the mud in a few years.
Word has been received from Springfield of the incorporation of the William F. Wiltberger company. From inquiry at the office of William F. Wiltberger, we find that the company has been formed by Mr. Wiltberger because of his growing business and belief that in this way he can give his patrons and friends still more efficient service than in the past.
The rainy weather of the last few days has caused no end of trouble to motorists, and some of the cars are yet hub deep in mud between here and other cities in this vicinity. One big car became stalled last night and there did not seem to be a car available that could pull it out and it was necessary for the occupants to send for a taxi to bring them back to town, leaving the car in the mud for a threshing engine or some other powerful means to pull out.
DeKalb farmers will hear the apprehension the news that the deadly cattle, anthrax, has broken out in this county. Dr. F. N. Rowan, of the state veterinarian office placed in quarantine the farm of Walter Hammett of Elva where it was found that several cattle of a herd recently imported from North Dakota were afflicted with the disease.
A small blaze in the alley between the Glidden house block and the Webb garage called out the fire fighters just before dinner this noon. A small pile of rubbish there had become ignited in some manner and a few minutes work with the chemicals soon put an end to the trouble.
The cement foundation for the new Fisk-Ellwood garage has been completed and workmen are busy filling in around the ten-foot walls and removing the framework. It is probable that masons will start working on the building in a short time now.
A well improved farm in the south end of the county just at the south edge of Sandwich has been sold for $300 an acre. The farm of 160 acres was one of the best in that end of the county as the price paid per acre will show.
1942 – 75 YEARS AGO
The children of the upper grades in the five elementary schools of DeKalb are starting their canvass of the city in an effort to learn the names and addresses of all DeKalb men and women who are serving in the armed forces of the United States. The children have been provided with forms which are to be filled out by members of families in homes where members are serving in the armed forces. The children are to contact homes in their neighborhoods in an effort to secure all the names.
The police department officials have been receiving a numerous complaints about bicycles being parked on the sidewalk in front of the bowling alleys, making it difficult for a pedestrian to pass the place without walking in the street. The chief of police, after conferring with the management of the alleys, finally agreed to allow the pin setter boys to place a special rack on the west side of the garage building, which will keep the vehicles off the sidewalk and at the same time allow some of the boys to keep a watchful eye on the bikes.
“Chink” the prize pet dog of Sheriff and Mrs. William D. Runnells and almost equally so among the courthouse employees demonstrated he would make a good fireman as well as a pet or hunting watch dog. The sheriff was placing some storm windows on jail windows and was using a 35-foot extension ladder. While busy at his work, Sheriff Runnells felt something strike the bottom of the ladder and discovered that Chink had leaped to the third or fourth rung and was on his way to the top. Attaches of the jail were called so that if the dog failed to make the next rung he would not be injured in the fall. Chink kept right on climbing until he reached the top.
Fire Chief Charles Butzow of Sycamore stated yesterday that although gas and fuel oil rationing is soon to come, hoarding of such will not be tolerated in the city. Gasoline or oil storage is dangerous, the chief pointed out, not only to the occupants of the property but to the fire department members as well, in case they are called to the property to fight a fire.
1967 – 50 YEARS AGO
Seven senior girls from Hinckley baked approximately 60 dozen cookies for the local servicemen. The girls baking the cookies in the home economics room of the high school were Sue Rissman, Bonnie Willrett, Sue Woodrick, Barbara Boget, Robin Bergstrand, Sherri Chapman, and Pat Bastian.
They called it the Ideal Commutator Dresser Company, but that was in 1924. Today the industry manufacturing products used in the electrical field is called Ideal Industries, as named in 1946, 30 years after the partnership of two brothers. Founded in 1916 in Chicago by J. Walter Becker, the industry showed promise of a wide range of electrical products. In 1917, L. C. Becker joined in partnership with his brother and in 1924 Ideal moved to Sycamore.
The members and friends of the Waterman Presbyterian Church experienced a memorable and historic day in this community with the dedication of their church.
1992 – 25 YEARS AGO
Mike Ditka ain’t talking. The sometimes-explosive coach of the Chicago Bears has discontinued his weekly Monday press conferences in an apparent protest to recent media coverage.
The DeKalb-Taylor Municipal Airport’s fixed base operator (FBO) will be paying lower rent, and past due rent payments totaling $74,000 have been waived.
The DeKalb plant of General Electric Company may lay off 35-40 workers and an additional 110 employees might be out of a job by the end of 1993. The local GE plant employees 402 workers to product motors for Maytag, Frigidaire, and Hotpoint clothes washers, dryers and dishwashers.
If you want to hear the big band sound at a fundraising or other event, and at the same time help children, the Shenanigan’s can fill both bills. Started in the 1940s as a unit of the Tebala Shrine Temple, which is part of the fraternal order of the Masons, the Shenanigan’s originally played at circuses and other events to raise money for crippled children. Over the years it has evolved into a big band and expanded its audiences to play at community and regional events.
• Compiled by the Joiner History Room,
DeKalb County Archives