Looking Back

Looking Back for Dec. 27, 2017

Altgeld Hall at Northern Illinois State Teachers College, 1920, winter time. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Altgeld Hall at Northern Illinois State Teachers College, 1920, winter time. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1917 – 100 YEARS AGO

The North-Western station was not the warmest place in the city this morning, due to the non-arrival of the new heating plant, which was promised during the summer, and also trouble with the stove placed there a few days go. Last evening passengers were driven out of doors by the coal gas and smoke, and the fire had to be pulled, in order to keep the doors and windows closed.

Through the efforts of the fire chief, the traffic post at the corner of Fourth street and Lincoln Highway shows the color of the Lincoln Highway on two sides and also the official colors of the Burlington Way on the other two sides. The chief fitted the glass on the inside of the globe and also painted the colors, and although the blue does not show up plainly at this time, the matter will be remedied at a later date, so that all of the colors of the two highways will be readily seen from a distance.

A motor car used by the C.M. & G. section hands collided with a hand car loaded with section hands near Yeager’s crossing, north of Fairdale. Several of the men were badly bruised and badly shaken up, but no bones were broken.

The new hall building which the Finnish Majakka, temperance society, is erected on State street, has so far progressed that the officials of the organization have announced the corner stone laying for Sunday.

Despite his 90 years of age and the extreme cold and disagreeable weather prevalent in this vicinity during the past week Jacob Haish has appeared at his office down town DeKalb every day. The veteran citizen of the city says he is feeling tip top at this time, and manages to keep warm at all times and also on the job every day of the week.

The work of harvesting DeKalb’s annual ice crop should begin within the next few days, especially if such weather as prevailed here last night continues for any length of time. Cold weather, especially below zero, as we have experienced for a week or more, means that ice is in the process of making and it is very probable that the ice cutters, and numerous wagons, will begin getting into trim for the work within a very short time.

1942 – 75 YEARS AGO

Farmers of DeKalb county who are being contacted at the present time concerning the growing of hemp for the two proposed processing mills to be established in Kirkland and Shabbona, might find incomes from their crop that will run about $100 per acre. At the same time the matter of income is not being stressed in urging farmers to contact for growing he crop and the general impression is given that the revenue will be about what can be expected from soy beans.

Twenty-two thousand sheep, count ‘em, are in the Sycamore Feed Yards at the present time and as rapidly as the shearers can work, these sheep are losing their coat of wool, although not being sheared as closely as in years gone by.

Because many motorists were having difficulty in backing out of parking spaces in the business area of Sycamore, city men scattered cinders along State Street from California to the post office. This proved of great benefit to drivers of all kinds of vehicles and also to pedestrians as well, and probably averted more than one accident during the day and evening.

Within the last week or two, many hunters have responded to the plea of the Sportsmen’s club to return the empty shell cases to the depository at the Wylde store. The rabbit hunters, it is reported, have been thoughtful and returned nearly all of the cases they used. The shells are wanted by the government.

The new mileage rationing regulations give the War Price and Rationing Boards the power to revoke a consumer’s gasoline ration and to declare a consumer ineligible to receive tire certificates, if the consumer violates certain provisions of the regulations. Motorists convicted of driving their cars at a speed in excess of 35 miles per hour will be subject to automatic revocation of their gasoline ration books.

Someone, who wanted a larger than ordinary Christmas tree and didn’t care about paying for it, invaded the farm of Carl Johnson, south of DeKalb and cut an evergreen out of the windbreak that has been planted near the farm home. The person or persons cutting the tree evidently were not well acquainted with evergreens as they cut a Norway spruce that will probably shed its needles within three or four days after being taken into a warm room.

1967 – 50 YEARS AGO

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new $4.3 million biological sciences-nursing education complex at northern Illinois University were held today. The structure, which is named for former NIU biological sciences professor Charles E. Montgomery, will be located in a wooded are on NIU’s East Campus.

Communist guerrillas attacked U.S. Sen. Charles Percy and his wife with mortars and rifles in a jungle village of death far from American Troops. The Percy’s, touring Vietnam, went unescorted to Dak Son, near the Cambodian border and 90 miles northwest of Saigon.

Starting this week DeKalb’s Fire Department is responsible for operating the city ambulance. In a move aimed to improve the efficiency of the ambulance service and to relieve policemen of extra duties, firemen will be responsible for manning the city ambulance, a 1961 Cadillac, and the backup vehicle a 1957 Chevrolet station wagon.

The Sycamore Municipal Hospital Board of Directors are happy to announce the installation of a Cardiac Monitoring System located in the intensive care area of the hospital. This system is a result of the memorial funds established in behalf of the late Thomas H. Roberts, Sr. formerly Chairman of the Board of the DeKalb Agricultural Association and a long-time benefactor of the Sycamore Municipal Hospital.

1992 – 25 YEARS AGO

Finches and cardinals may not have a lobby in Congress, but they do have local people looking out for them and their natural habitats. Over 30 DeKalb County bird-lovers have volunteered to crane their necks from dawn to dusk to take the annual bird count. Information collected will be used to examine patterns of bird behavior and ways the environment is affecting them.

A third white light will replace a red bulb in the DeKalb Fire Department’s Red Wreath due to a fire at NIU.

More than half of high school dropouts who had joined a Kishwaukee program have either gotten or started pursuing their high school equivalence degrees. A follow-up study of people who had signed up for a Kishwaukee program for drop-outs showed 12 of 46 students reached, roughly one fourth of the sample, had gotten their General Education development (GED) degrees, the equivalent of a high school diploma. The survey showed 15 students working toward their degrees after joining Kishwaukee’s Kishwaukee Education/Employment Program (KEEP).

The DeKalb School Board voted to reopen Cortland Elementary School for classes next fall. Rising enrollment at Chesebro Elementary School warrants the reopening of Cortland. Without the move, Chesebro would have an average class size of 29 students next year.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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