1918 – 100 YEARS AGO
According to the fuel administration of this vicinity the coal situation hereabouts has not reached a serious stage as yet, and details of keeping all families supplied with fuel are being handled very satisfactorily. Several investigations have been made regarding the hoarding of fuel, and several warnings have been issued, and it is the opinion of the administration of the county, that there will be no serious trouble along this line.
The ice harvest in DeKalb this year is a proposition that is a source of worry to those needing ice for business purposes and also to the dealers. Frank Carter, who has just completed the harvest of ice at the artificial pond said that he put up about 1,400 tons of 12-inch ice from this pond and the other two houses were yet, unfilled, and it would be necessary to ship in ice from other cities to fill the houses and such a move would also be necessary on the part of other dealers. The Normal pond, which has been used for this work, is shy of water this year and there was no chance of getting any ice from this source whatever.
The engineer of Train No. 11, due here at 7:45 forgot the new ruling last night and stopped here for west bound passengers, without being flagged. When the train stopped, the train men rushed about trying to find passengers for points west of Marshalltown, Iowa, and failing in this approached the engineer. The engine man calmly remarked that he forgot that he was supposed to stop at DeKalb only on signal, and the train was soon on its way again.
The new garage at the corner of First and Lincoln Highway is fast nearing completion, that is, as far as the contractors are concerned. The men have been working nearly all week and the brick walls have been climbing at an appreciable rate all during the week. When once the walls are completed the inside work can be rushed to completion regardless of the weather conditions.
The new siding, under construction at Kirkland by the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad, is expected by the company to facilitate the handling of passengers and freight over that road between Chicago and Rockford and to increase the effectiveness of the shuttle train service over the Chicago, Milwaukee and Gary from Chicago to Camp Grant.
1943 – 75 YEARS AGO
A meeting will be held on January 7, at Sandwich at which time a thorough discussion of hemp growing ad the contract which is offered farmers for hemp production for 1943 will be held.
When persons having business in any of the county offices yesterday stepped into any of the second or third floor offices and found clerk and deputies working with coats, hats, galoshes, fur lined boots, they began to feel cold themselves. The heating plant in the courthouse suddenly became out of order during the forenoon and it required several hours work by repairmen before the radiators began to show a sign of heat.
Alertness of an auto driver during the forenoon averted a serious accident when boys on sleds were coasting on Center Cross Street in Sycamore. The driver of the machine was able to swerve his machine and thus narrowly missed the youngsters. The matter was reported to the police and Chief George Meier states that unless the coasters stay out of the street during this icy weather, it will be necessary to confiscate some sleds. The kids again are hitching their sleds to autos unbeknown to the driver, and this also is a dangerous practice.
Through the quick thinking of one of Sycamore’s merchants, there still is plenty of soap in the city, and there probably will be no shortage of that commodity for the time being. Someone entered a store here and said he understood there was to be a shortage of soap, and proceeded to order a number of bars of every variety that was used in his home. About this time the owner of the store came to the front, and halted the hoarding by stating he had many other customers who used those same brands of soap and therefore there would be but two bars sold to a customer.
Following the week end storm of rain, sleet and snow and the resultant icy streets, Mayor Frank Ashelford ordered East State Street from main Street to the high school entrances and side street, generously sprinkled with cinders. The cinders were scattered in each lane of travel and at intervals to allow any motorist driving with precaution, to bring his machine to a stop quickly and avoid hitting a pedestrian or crashing into another automobile.
Mr. and Mrs. Earl Rich of North Fourth Street in DeKalb have four sons serving in the armed forces of the United States at the present time and a fifth son has been accepted for navy service and is expected to be called for active duty soon.
1968 – 50 YEARS AGO
A DeKalb motorist, who put a cloth cover over his car’s engine to keep it warm, found out early this morning that there’s such a thing as “too warm.” What caused the fire? The motorist forgot to remove the “heating blanket” after starting the car. The engine overheated and became “too warm.”
Two barrels of solvent, ignited by molten aluminum, created an explosive-like fire last night and did an estimated near quarter of a million dollars of damage to the Impact Tool and Die plant in Sandwich.
To “do what is best for the community,” DeKalb Public Hospital may seek the assistance of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce in the development of a new hospital facility.
Surveyor 7, America’s last unmanned lunar probe, is scheduled for launching Sunday towards a soft landing on one of the roughest spots of the noon, the highlands north of the crater Tycho. Surveyor 7 is the 29th U. S. moon shot in slightly more than nine years. The first 12 failed, but 13 of the last 16 were successful. No more unmanned moon rockets are planned, and the next American moon explorer should be man himself, perhaps in 1969.
1993 – 25 YEARS AGO
Street gang members will have a harder time hiding from law enforcement officials thanks to a new state law. The law, effective Jan. 1, established a statewide organized criminal gang database to track gangs and their members.
It appears that for a change, DeKalb County taxpayers won’t be footing a bill for a mishap that involved the county. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recommended that two companies involved in putting up the county’s new communications tower, behind the county’s public safety building in Sycamore, be fined a total of $14,000 for their part in the Aug. 7, 1992 collapse of a section of the tower they were attempting to put up. The 140-foot section of the 200-foot tower crashed to the ground as workers were attempting to upright it and put it in place.
• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.