Looking Back

Looking Back for Jan. 3, 2018

Chicago & North Western diesel #4073A at the DeKalb coal chute heading west. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Chicago & North Western diesel #4073A at the DeKalb coal chute heading west. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1918 – 100 YEARS AGO

A monster cannon passed through DeKalb at an early hour on the North-Western eastbound. The gun was the length of a long flat car, and it looked very formidable. The mouth of the cannon was as large as a good-sized wash tub. It was made at Rock Island arsenal and is likely destined for overseas service.

A Finnish resident called the DeKalb Chronicle last night and said that the man concerned in the auto accident of Monday evening at Seventh and Pleasant street was a Finn and not a Lithuanian and seemed rather provoked that such an error was made. The source of information on the accident was considered authentic, but at that, mistakes are very apt to happen on a busy day such as was in evidence Monday.

Clyde Morse, who has been an employee of the Robertson barber shop for some time past, consummated details whereby he took possession of the place this morning. C. W. Morse is well known to DeKalb people, has a head for business and is sure to make the new business a hummer. DeKalb business men up and down the street will welcome the new proprietor among their ranks.

The electrical supply store of Swanson Brothers at Sycamore is undergoing, extensive improvements. Carpenters are putting it into a thorough state of renovation. The stock of cigars was closed out last Saturday night to the last items. The counters have been moved out and the Messrs. Swanson will very soon have one of the best equipped electrical establishments to be found.

The department of agriculture at Washington will soon commence the distribution of samples of rare seeds to the farmers of the country to encourage an increased production of forage crops.

According to a big sign on the cell room door at the DeKalb police station today, “This place closed on account of lack of patronage,” it is inferred that business around that place has been very quiet. There were no arrests over the holiday even thought there were many who made a trip to Maple Park, but is seems that all came home walking the straight and narrow path, and no chance for a policeman to made an arrest. For the first time in many years that there were no arrests as a result of New Year’s parties.

1943 – 75 YEARS AGO

Work is steadily progressing on the new science building on the campus of the Northern Illinois State Teachers College. Despite difficulties in securing some essential materials, most of the articles needed have been secured except copper to be used in electrical wiring. According to specifications, this copper is required and until it is secured the final wiring for the building will be held up.

The Office of Price Administration has announced that a person who was fourteen years old at the time of his registration for War Ration Book One and is now fifteen years of age is not entitled to use the ration book for coffee. Only a person whose age is shown as fifteen years or over on War Ration Book One is eligible to use his book to buy coffee.

Buddy and Joan Burgin of Franks are with their grandmother in Leland.

Observation shows that many Sycamore motorists are becoming careless at the stop signs, following removal of much of the ice at the various intersections. When ice covered the streets, and there was a chance of becoming stalled at some of the street intersections, auto drivers became accustomed to driving past the crossing to avoid wasting gas to get going again. Now that most of the approached to the stop streets have been cleared of treacherous ice, it seems the auto drivers still cling to the former practice and drive through the stop signs, even if they delay traffic approaching from each direction.

For the first time since the Franklin Variety store in Sycamore has been in operation, this week found the place without candy of any kind. The Christmas rush cleaned the place of any kind of candy and while the proprietor has considerable such merchandise ordered, it has failed to arrive.

DeKalb County housewives can save enough steel for 3,329 machine guns simply by replacing one can of fruits or vegetables a week during the next year with fresh or home-packed produce. This substitution urged by the War Production Board, will not only save steel but also conserve food by using extra supplies of fresh product made available by increased production, canning restriction and reduced storage facilities.

Robert and William Wangler, living on Dodge avenue in the east end of DeKalb were burned about the face and hands late yesterday. Robert had been working on an automobile during the afternoon and his clothes became saturated with oil and gasoline. As he attempted to tend a stove in the house last evening his clothing became ignited and with the aid of his brother, William, the fire was extinguished before causing serious damage to the house.

1968 – 50 YEARS AGO

A post mortem showed that Louis Washkansky died of a severe localized infection of the lungs, and his transplanted heart worked well until the very end. Washkansky, reprieved from fatal heart disease by the world’s first human heart transplant 18 days ago, died after five days of fighting lung complications.

The Sycamore Odd Fellows and The Ladies of Rebekah have established an eye bank at the Sycamore Community Hospital. The bank has been in operation for about one year.

The DeKalb County Board of Supervisors authorized $1,000 to be spent for a DeKalb County Float to be displayed in the sesquicentennial parade at the Illinois State Fair.

Wondering what to do with your Christmas tree now that the holidays are over? If you don’t want to keep your tree up all year, you can have it picked up by the DeKalb Street Department.

1993 – 25 YEARS AGO

About 25,000 fewer Illinois families will get government help paying their heating bills this winter, but DeKalb County residents won’t be hurt by the federal cutbacks.

New Year’s Day puts more than 150 new state laws into effect, including a ban on radar detectors for truckers cruising along Illinois’ highways.

Three of the four people allegedly involved with the September 10 robbery of the Waterman State Bank have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges stemming from the incident.

A new state mandate requiring children to be tested for possible lead poisoning could prevent some low-income children from entering day care centers, day care homes or even kindergarten.

Street gang members will have a harder time hiding from law enforcement officials thanks to a new state law. The law, effective Jan. 1, establishes a statewide organized criminal gang database to track gangs and their members.

• Compiled by the Jouner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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