1918 – 100 YEARS AGO
Waterman has survived the worst storm within the memories of all but the oldest settlers. However, residents soon had the walks cleared and nearly all the roads were broken. In many places the roads were broken through the fields and much shoveling had to be done. Even now it is very unsafe to travel without a shovel. It would be well-nigh impossible to pass a team where the snow is deep. The community was fortunate in that there were no accidents or great suffering.
Someone evidently was in sore need of fuel as some time during Saturday night, six tons of soft coal were taken from a car in the local railroad yards. The car arrived sometime during Saturday and had not been placed, and yesterday the agent noticed some fuel had been taken. The car was taken to the scales and there it was seen that six tons and an additional 100 pounds for good measure had been taken.
Train No. 2 of the Northwestern held up at Rochelle this morning on account of the wreck, passed the station in DeKalb this morning at a little after eight o’clock, going well – so bloomin’ fast, that the passengers did not know they were passing thought one of the busiest cities along the line. Many people commented on the speed of the train as being far above that usually maintained by the fast trains.
In Fairdale, automobile drivers have discarded their cars and are learning to be contented with the slower modes of bob-sleigh and cutter travel.
Illinois has a serious seed corn situation. The census of corn fit for seed, just completed by the Food, Fuel, and Conservation committee of the State Council of Defense, shows that unless extraordinary efforts are made to get seed and to conserve all that is available, nothing like the normal acreage can be planted this year. Without cooperation on the part of those who have good seed and those who need it, some of the experts estimate that a third of the usual corn area will have to be planted to other crops.
There was much damage by a bad wreck near Sycamore. The wreck of the Great Western was quite a serious one. Five cars were run off the track just east of Virgil and merchandise was dumped onto the ground in great disorder. One car of perfumes, fine soaps, and delicate fancy goods was billed for China trade. They were gathered up as well as possible, tossed back into boxes and taken back to Chicago. A carload of coal or two was also mixed up in the heap.
1943 – 75 YEARS AGO
Penny milk for students of Sycamore schools, which has been under consideration here for a year or more is in the offing, although definite date for inauguration of the plan has not been announced. The plan, which has been used in DeKalb schools and found to be successful from every point of view, has been under fire for some time. The cooperation of the government officials and the students and parents is necessary if the project is to be successful.
With the number of men from this community serving in the armed forces overseas there is a heavy demand for the V-Mail supplies for the sending of letters to these men. The V-Mail service is used only in writing to those serving out of the country as photostatic copies are made of the letters and the film sent overseas where the letters are reproduced and sent to the service men.
Betty Riebock, fifteen years old, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Riebock, North Fourth Street in DeKalb, who is attending school in Chicago, is becoming an artist on roller skates and also has taken up work of instructing at the Arcadia rink there. The DeKalb girl, according to all reports has been hard at practice with her skating partner Charles Kelley, and they will compete in the state roller skating novice pairs championship at the Arcadia.
Low curbing that prevail along State Street for the most part, are proving a menace now as the snow is starting to melt and the drains are not opened as thoroughly as possible. The city’s street crews were out with picks and shovels, and many of the curb gutters had been cleaned and the drainage system given attention that the extra water from the melting snow might be carried away quickly.
The interior work on the new science building at the Northern Illinois State Teachers College is nearing completion and except for a few minor items will soon be ready for use. The building has been heated all winter and most of the necessary work to make the building usable has been finished.
Chauncy W. Broughton, father of Russell Broughton who was killed in action on December 21 in the South Pacific area, received a letter this morning from General G. C. Marshall, chief of staff, in which he expresses his sympathy to the Broughton family.
1968 – 50 YEARS AGO
With the sun and warm temperatures, the ice at the lagoon at Northern had a film of water for the skaters on the pond. Ice surface had been smoothed by the crew and skating on the lake was popular despite the temperature.
The free chest x-rays offered by the Tuberculosis Association of Kane, DeKalb, and Kendall Counties are paid for by the money received from the sale of Christmas Seals. Again, this year the familiar mobile x-ray unit will stop at locations throughout the three counties and people will be given on opportunity to take advantage of this free service.
Back in March 1960 did any of you readers happen to see Jolly Erickson standing in the front window of the “Y” building at 149 North Third Street in DeKalb? He was slapping paint on the walls inside with one hand and merrily waving “hello” with the other to all passer-by. Jolly was only one of many volunteers who dauntlessly gave their support in remodeling this building for the Y, the first and only Youth Center of its own.
Kishwaukee (Jr.) College was scheduled to obtain the deed to a 120-acre piece of farm land near Malta this afternoon. The action will mark the beginning of the reality of the Kishwaukee district actually owning its own school, building and facilities. The $119,500 land deal was to be closed at 2 p.m. in the Chicago Title and Trust Co. offices in Sycamore. The land is at the Kirkland Blacktop at Alt. 30 west of Malta.
1993 – 25 YEARS AGO
Illinois’ U.S. senators came out squarely behind the right of gays to belong to the military, but congressman Dennis Hastert said he supports the ban on homosexuals in the military.
Warner Cable upgrades in DeKalb during the next several months will result in the immediate addition of nine channels and rate increases of up to 11 percent. Upgrades will include the installation of fiber optic cable and will allow room on the system for 60 channels, up from the current 36.
Mayor Jim Back advised the Somonauk Village Board that Somonauk Park is scheduled to be opened to the public in June. The park project is located in 12 acres south of town. Planning for the part began as a outgrowth of the bicentennial celebration.
• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.