Looking Back

Looking Back for Dec. 13, 2017

DeKalb County threshing bee in the late 1950s. Thanks to the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association, Koltz collection, for the photo.
DeKalb County threshing bee in the late 1950s. Thanks to the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association, Koltz collection, for the photo.

1917 – 100 YEARS AGO

An autoist coming to DeKalb yesterday afternoon stopped at one of the restaurants for dinner and drove up parallel with the sidewalk. It happened that the next two cars stopped at the same place parked the cars according to the traffic laws. When the offender came to get started on his trip again some 30 minutes was necessary before he could get away from the curbing. Sage to say that next time this same motorist stops in DeKalb he will do as DeKalb people do with regard to parking automobiles.

On account of the new Ellwood Fisk garage at the corner of First and Lincoln Highway, it is probable that several sets of telephone and electric wires will have to be moved. As it is now these wires will be in the path of the south wall of the building and the officials of the telephone company and also the electric company were giving the matter the once over today.

The First National bank building in DeKalb which has been in the hands of contractors for several weeks past, is now nearing completion and should be ready for occupancy within the next few weeks.

There is a reported shortage of pennies in DeKalb and while the matter is not one that will get serious, it is causing some inconvenience at the present time. The ticket agent at the depot announces that he was compelled to scratch around yesterday on three or four occasions to get pennies. The war tax on so many articles is responsible for the shortage in the pennies.

In the window of Wiswall & Wirtz will be found a poster calling attention to a petition which should be of great interest to DeKalb people and which all should sign gladly. The petition is in connection with the work of the organization known as the Purple Cross Association and in a word, it’s organization is for the purpose of taking steps to have the remains of American heroes killed on French soil brought back to their native land for interment.

Malta street lighting system is in the process of installation. Poles are being placed and no doubt before many days Malta’s business district will be illuminated.

Myron Duffey closed up his place of business across from the Chronicle office and has stored his popcorn and peanut wagon until spring come around again.

1942 – 75 YEARS AGO

Dr. Harold E. Spafford, who has been in DeKalb for the past eight years, will report for active duty in the United States Navy having been commissioned a lieutenant commander.

Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard said today that military and lend-lease needs had increased until they will take at least 25 percent of the 1943 farm production.

Chicago may have the world’s busiest corner at State and Madison, but Sycamore has the coldest corner at California and State Street. Police officers are at this intersection several times daily, watching the safety of the students from Central School, and during the last two or three days, admit they have been in warmer places.

This is the season of lost mittens and gloves, singles and pairs, judging from a pair posted in a conspicuous place in the county building and here and there in some of the stores a single hand covering. Single gloves or mittens generally are hung up around stores and the courthouse for several days and then put into discard.

President Roosevelt ordered the “prompt liquidation” of the Works Projects Administration. War work has reached the point where a national work relief program is no longer necessary.

According to an announcement by Harold Leake, the executive board of the DeKalb Municipal band has decided to discontinue the trips to Sycamore upon departure of inducted service men. This is not an unpatriotic gesture on the part of the bank. During this sort of weather, the boys cannot play out of doors. The instruments would freeze in less than a minute.

Roller skating opens at the Sycamore Community Center gym. Roller skating will replace the bowling alleys as a revenue producer.

Many youngsters of Sycamore possessing sleds, and there are few who do not, have been enjoying the coasting facilities of the driveways on the north side of the courthouse building. The boys start from the building itself and vie with each other as to who will be able to go the greatest distance in to the street. One thing the boys must, be given credit for, and that is the caution they use as they approach Exchange Street. If there are cars in sight in any direction, most of the coasters steer their sleds so as to avoid an accident.

Ice skating is in vogue with the thermometer hitting down along the zero mark. The thickness of the ice on the pond at the Northern Illinois State Teachers College has reached sufficient quantities to hold all those who wish to skate.

1967 – 50 YEARS AGO

For the first time in almost one year, DeKalb will have a fire station on the south side of the railroad tracks. Within the next two months, the fire department will move a truck and a tanker back to the Seventh Street fire station. The police department, which had occupied the Seventh Street fire station after moving from the old city hall, has moved into the new Municipal Building on Fourth Street.

Northern Illinois University’s new art building will rise four stories in pre-cast concrete and brick on the site of the campus’ former football field. The $3 million art building will be construction on Northern’ s historic Glidden Field where NIU football squads played until dedication of the new stadium in 1965.

Meeting at the new Municipal Building for the first time, the DeKalb City Council approved resolutions for the extension of Annie Glidden Road, stoplights for the Annie Glidden Road and Lincoln Highway intersection, and road improvements on Glidden Road and Lincoln Highway at the edge of the old city limits.

A fire on undetermined origin completely destroyed the barn and adjoining garage on the Martha Weddgie farm in Hinckley.

1992 – 25 YEARS AGO

Workers tore down a building that use to house Kyler Excavating in Malta. At one time the building, located on Route 38, was s repair and body shop for heavy machinery and, at one time, was a restaurant. It was built in 1927. The building was torn down to make way for expansion of Route 38 slated to start next year.

Christmas melodies will ring out during the holidays, creating a pleasant atmosphere for shoppers and visitors in downtown Sandwich. The Sandwich Township Public Library, located on the north edge of the business district, is expecting to have its new chime system installed before Christmas.

As the county’s population continues to age and medical costs continue to increase, more people are turning to in-home health care services as an alternative to more expensive forms of health care.

The FBI, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Police and Waterman Police with the assistance of several area law enforcement agencies have arrested four suspects in connection with the Sept. 10 robbery at the Waterman State Bank.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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