Looking Back

Looking Back for Feb. 7, 2018

Rubber/tire drive in DeKalb at the Standard Oil Station at First Street and Lincoln Highway, 1942. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Rubber/tire drive in DeKalb at the Standard Oil Station at First Street and Lincoln Highway, 1942. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1918 – 100 YEARS AGO

Just to show us that he has not exhausted all of the tricks in his repertoire, the weather man last night, without giving a hint of his intention, just pulled the cork out of the bottle labeled “Real Crimpy Stuff” and handed us the coldest night of the winter.

One common every day or night drunk was picked up last night by the police and given a warm place to sleep for the night and this morning relieved of the usual assessment for such misdemeanors. The man, well along in years, hailed from Ashton and after paying his fine, left for his home, well supplied for future snake bites.

Yard Superintendent Bratton of the Northwestern asks The Chronicle to give publicity to the fact that some 200 shovels, loaned to shovelers within the last several days are now on the missing list. These shovels were loaned, not donated, and the shovels were the property of the government, inasmuch as Uncle Sam has the supervision of the nation’s railroads at this time. Local men who shoveled snow during the tie up here surely are patriotic enough not to keep anything loaned to them from the government.

According to the Lincoln Highway official bulletin the highway in DeKalb has been illuminated with a double row of boulevard lamps with special red, white and blue globes. These lights have been discontinued on account of the fuel situation.

The city authorities have had a force of men again at work at the task of removing the snow from the street corners and other places along the highway. The officials fear that when the thaw hits the usually large amount of snow, that there will be many basements flooded, and other damage done, if it is allowed to remain. The snow is being hauled away to spots where there will be no danger of destroying property when it starts to melt.

The towns of the south end of the county and including Plano in Kendall county had trouble the first of the week on account of a fuel shortage. Sandwich, Somonauk and Plano were all practically out of coal, and there were some 50 cars of coal side-tracked at Earlville. The mayors of the cities affected appealed to the people of Earlville to shovel snow, thus releasing the coal, and after two days of hard work, the coal was moved, and then every available team was put to work to distribute coal to those families needing it.

1943 – 75 YEARS AGO

Sparks from a chimney at the Wedberg farm about seven miles south and east of DeKalb, which is tenanted by Mrs. Marie Twombly, caused a $500 loss to the building and contents. One of the men about the place was at the barn when he saw the roof afire. He called to the occupants of the house and they in turn called a neighbor. The neighbor began calling other neighbors to the farm before the DeKalb department was called.

James Pauley, thirteen years old, an escapee from St. Charles School, was arrested by Sycamore police after he had gained entrance to the Fargo hotel by means of the door of the elevator shaft. The escapee has been at St. Charles about a month, sent from Chicago on a theft charge. It also was learned he has been an inmate of Indiana institutions of correction.

The Mayfield schools have been closed on account of the weather and blocked roads.

The holiday mural, which has been at the courthouse since before Christmas was finally taken down and the various sections stored away for future use. The work would have been done several days ago were it not for the cold weather. It is a huge task to remove the piece as there are so many parts, and the work cannot be accomplished with a hammer and crowbar, but must be handled carefully. The removal of the holiday decoration will make the county court room more like a court room rather than a dungeon as practically all outside light was shut out when the mural was in place.

Orders have been received at the rationing board offices here that heating stoves of any make or burning any kind of fuel are subject to rationing. This is believed due to the conversion of many oil burning units to coal and wood stoves in many parts of the state.

With the ground covered with snow and ice for the past several weeks in this locality the birds are finding it difficult to find food and the residents are being urged to scatter food for the feathered friends.

DeKalb is moving a step closer to the fulfillment of its quota in the nationwide drive to secure 600,000 typewriters built since 1935 for the armed forces. Businesses, schools, state, county, city governments and individuals are being asked to sell the government one out of four of their standard typewriters. The machines will be checked and reconditioned and then shipped immediately to depots and debarkation points of the army and navy.

1968 – 50 YEARS AGO

Chief Shabbona Council and Kedeka Council of the Boy Scouts of America disappeared last night in a meeting over 100 Scout leaders held at the University Center in DeKalb. Emerging from the meeting was a brand-new council, the Two Rivers Council, Boy Scouts of America, which will embrace the two previous councils and create a unified organization incorporating all of DeKalb and Kendall counties and 10 townships of Kane County.

If DeKalb residents are wondering why they have to pay a three percent utility tax on the use of electricity, gas heating, telephones, and cable television, they only have to look at a copy of the city’s new salary schedule which is on file in the city clerk’s office.

The number of Spanish speaking people will total more than 300 million by the middle 1970s, according to a Western Illinois University language professor and the need for Spanish teachers will double.

Plans were disclosed for a unique shopping center, designed for the pedestrian shopper and without customer parking facilities! A Chicago real estate firm, has been appointed exclusive leasing agents for “The Village Commons,” an unusual retail complex to be located in DeKalb on Lucinda Avenue, just east of Annie Glidden Road. The center, comprising over 80,000 square feet of store space, has been planned specifically to serve the complete retail needs of 20,000 students and faculty members of Northern Illinois University.

1993 – 25 YEARS AGO

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation said the state will work with the city to save as many trees as possible by changing plans for the upcoming Sycamore Road widening and improvement project.

The head librarian at Sandwich Township Library, announced that new state laws make it easier to prosecute persons for library theft. Under the old law, violators were not prosecuted unless they had stashed away $200 worth of forgotten books. The new law lowers that threshold to $50, which is the cost of a couple of hard-cover best-sellers.

DeKalb Corn Fest 1992 has been nominated as one of 15 of the best festivals in the Midwest by the Illinois Festival Association.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.

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