Looking Back

Looking Back for Dec. 20, 2017

DeKalb County Poor Farm / County Home, circa 1940, looking east. Route 23 is in foreground, with Barber Greene Road and Loves Road (County Farm Road). Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
DeKalb County Poor Farm / County Home, circa 1940, looking east. Route 23 is in foreground, with Barber Greene Road and Loves Road (County Farm Road). Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1917 – 100 YEARS AGO

Frank Stevens of the fire department hooked up the 348 the first of the week and made a trip to cities west of DeKalb, although making the trip successfully, was compelled to recover the route to pick up a few lost articles. It is said around the fire barn that Stevens first lost his hat and was compelled to go back a mile for that, and then later his klaxon became loosened from the side of the car and was not missed for two or three miles. Needless to say, that the gang at the station have assisted their co-workers so that the next trip he takes he will not have to double back.

Case after case of furniture for the First National Bank has been hauled to that institution the last few days and is being placed as rapidly as the force of men on the job can do so. It is probably the improvements at the bank will be completed in a short time now.

The two o’clock street car of the DeKalb-Sycamore electric company and a flivver belonging to a man from Troy Grove locked horns at Oak and Fourth street yesterday afternoon. Motorman White and Conductor McCann were in charge of the car, and from all reports obtainable today the driver of the flivver did not see the street car until it had started to make the turn at this particular corner, and then it was too late to stop. The front of the automobile was badly damaged although no one was injured.

“Site of first permanent settlement of DeKalb County by John S. Sebree, 1834, erected by D. A. R. and DeKalb county 1917, 182 feet west.” This inscription has been carved on a clock of red St. Cloud granite which was set up this Tuesday on the site designated, which is in the highway just south of the C. B. & Q. railroad track, running north and south about one-half mile west of Hinckley. The marker weighs 3,000 pounds. A proper deed will be obtained assuring the permanency of the monument.

The Elva Red Cross held a very pleasant and profitable meeting in the Elva Hall. A large crowd was present and the balance of Afton’s quota on the war fund was raised.

City of Halifax is destroyed by fire.

1942 – 75 YEARS AGO

According to an announcement from the office of State’s Attorney Ross E. Millet, who is county salvage coordinator, a hosiery depot has been set up in the store of McAllister and company on State Street in Sycamore. This is for the receipt of discarded nylon and silk hosiery as well as several combination materials in hosiery containing either rayon, silk or nylon.

Sycamore business men and others transacting business at the bank Saturday were shown a large number of the old fashioned five-dollar bills, which look like the page of a newspaper, compared to the present-day currency. Source of the old money was not revealed by the bank clerks, but it is presumed it has been kept in the proverbial “stock” for some time past.

Sycamore ambulances were pressed into almost continuous service yesterday for several hours as patients at the Sycamore Community Hospital were removed to their homes, to the Glidden Memorial or St. Mary’s Hospitals in DeKalb, after the heating plant at the institution here gave out, depriving the building of hot water and heat. It is the most serious accident that has befallen the institution here since its completion many years ago. The old boiler has been in need of replacement for some time, it is reported, but it was believed that by careful operation, it could be operated this winter, and a new one purchased as soon as priorities were lifted.

Kirkland, Sandwich and Shabbona have been tentatively designated as sites for hemp mills according to the announcement made today by Lee M. Gentry, chairman of the State Federal Farm War Board. Tentative sites for fourteen of the fifteen hemp mills which are to be built have been selected, the others being at Earlville, Woodstock, Galva, Ladd, Wyoming, Galesburg, Roseville, Mononk, Gibson City, Lexington and Polo.

During the final session the DeKalb County Board of Supervisors, it was voted by the group that the two cannons in the yard at the county building should be turned over to the Red Cross for disposal. The field pieces have been in the court yard many years, but contain much valuable salvage, which will be of benefit to the war effort, and the proceeds will aid Red Cross work.

Attention of the police department of Sycamore has been called to the practice of some of the youngsters hitching their sleds onto the rear of automobiles, which in the opinion of the members is a dangerous practice. In many cases the youngsters are not wholly at fault as some drivers have consented to the plea of the boys to hitch on for a ride.

1967 – 50 YEARS AGO

Plans for the renovation of the 38-yeare-old Hopkins Park swimming pool were discussed at a special meeting of the DeKalb Park District board. The park district is considering repairing the main swimming area, installing a separate diving and wading pool, footbaths, slides, bathhouses, and adding sunbather decks.

More than 300 boxes, cartons, and crates are piled to the ceiling in the basement of the new DeKalb Municipal Building on Fourth Street. The boxes, containing a “packaged disaster hospital” were carried into the basement by more than 30 fraternity brothers from Northern Illinois University who volunteered their time and effort.

The big corn dryer in Shabbona, owned by Howard Mullins, will dry at least 200,000 bushels of corn this fall at the rate of 3,000 to 4,000 bushels daily.

Two building permits for an addition to a DeKalb office building and remodeling of a business building were issued. Dr. Don Frantz was issued a permit to build a second-floor addition to the offices at 121-123 E. Locust Street. Estimated construction valuation of building the addition is $55,000. Nick Latrid was issued a permit to remodel at 142 N. Second Street at an estimated construction cost of $3,000.

1992 – 25 YEARS AGO

For Malta residents Ralph and Bertha Byro, the Kishwaukee College 25th anniversary celebration was sort of a homecoming. The Byros sold their 120-acre plot of farmland in 1967 to what has since become the community college.

Illinois was key in President-elect Clinton’s victory last month and it expects to have some clout in his new administration, including Chicago-style clout.

About 50 firefighters from Shabbona, Lee and Waterman fire departments battled a blaze in a corn dryer at the rural Shabbona farm of Mike and Judy Wallace on University Road. Firefighters were concerned about fuel tanks near the $60,000 dryer that was destroyed in the fire. It took firefighters about one-half hour to control the blaze and another two hours before they left the scene.

DeKalb County residents looking for someplace to go and spend a winter afternoon without driving too far or spending a lot of money can turn to the DeKalb County Forest Preserves. Forest Preserve Superintendent Terry Hannan said all 12 of the county’s forest preserves are open during the winter months. He said Sannuck Forest Preserve, located off Route 34, between Somonauk and Sandwich, and the Russell Forest Preserve, just west of Genoa on Route 72, offer sledding and tobogganing hills for the adventurous.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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