Looking Back

Looking Back for May 16, 2018

North Second Street in DeKalb, looking at the east side of the street at the Corn Belt Hatcheries, Mobeck Floral Shop, Roberts Restaurant and Kroger, 1945. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
North Second Street in DeKalb, looking at the east side of the street at the Corn Belt Hatcheries, Mobeck Floral Shop, Roberts Restaurant and Kroger, 1945. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1918 – 100 YEARS AGO

Can it be possible that the war can be the cause of the present popcorn shortage? Myron Duffey came to the Chronicle office and inserted a want ad to the effect that if anyone had any popcorn for sale to see him at once. The local man, who runs the wagon opposite the newspaper office, says that the man from the baseball park in Chicago was here recently in an effort to find some corn, but was unsuccessful, and he has even sent to Iowa after corn.

Announcement is made that M. D. Clapper who has been manager of the Singer Sewing Machine company office in DeKalb for some time past, has completed a deal whereby he will be in business for himself. Mr. Clapper states that he will maintain the same offices on North Third Street and will handle all makes of sewing machines but will feature the New White Rotary, conceded to be the best of the market.

William VanArtsdale of Malta came to DeKalb and left his auto standing on Lincoln Highway, opposite the Princess theater. When ready to return home, the car caught fire in some unaccountable way and an alarm was tuned in from Box 21., which when received at the electric plant, necessitated the blowing of the whistle. The fire boys had little to do as the flames were subdued by bystanders and small fire extinguishers in short order.

John M. Alden, who recently purchased the music business of W. S. Reynolds has removed from the location on South Fourth Street to the Lincoln Inn, where he will have Victrolas, records, and other musical instruments. Mr. Alden is kept extraordinarily busy these days at the task of tuning and repairing pianos and also selling new machines and says he will be ready to meet all his old customers and also the general public at the Lincoln Inn.

A new picture of Hon. Isaac Ellwood was unveiled at the Stephen A. Douglas program at the Normal school, replacing a portrait which hung in the auditorium of the late Mr. Ellwood. The new portrait by another artist is a better likeness. The picture hangs on one side of the platform and a portrait of Joseph Glidden hangs on the other side.

Agent George Culver of the American Express company received word that 60 coops of pigeons would be shipped to DeKalb tomorrow to be released some time Sunday morning, probably about six o’clock. The 60 coops means that between 3,000 and 4,000 birds will be liberated in DeKalb under the supervision of a man from the Chicago clubs who are sponsoring such work.

1943 – 75 YEARS AGO

Each week two or three minor crashes are reported to the police which are caused by autos backing away from the parking spaces in the business district. As a general rule these crashed are only minor with dented fenders being he usual result. Motorists should use extreme care when backing away from the curbs into the line of traffic for the majority of these accidents are caused by carelessness.

The Chicago and North Western Railroad will start the repair work on its crossing in this city within a short time it was announced. Some of the crossings are badly in need of repair, especially the one at Fourth Street and the Lincoln Highway. The railroad like most others is short of help at present and it is also difficult to secure the necessary materials. The city has received many complaints on the condition of the crossings and has been doing everything possible to have the necessary repairs made as soon as possible.

Not only are the auto license plates no longer being made of metal but the new dog tags which have been received by DeKalb are being made of some plastic instead of metal as in the past.

Some people have all bad luck, some all good luck and there are others who have some bad and some good luck. Hooley Mills is in the latter group. When a tire blows nowadays, it is really bad luck but when a tire blows and you don’t even have to stop and change, that is good luck, good fortune or something. While on his route, Mr. Mills was startled by an explosion and thought that the car must have blown up. He stopped, looked at the four tires, all of which were okay, the muffler and everything else but all was in good order. He then looked into the trunk and discovered the cause of the boom; his spare tire had blown and had torn a hole big enough to put a hand in. He proceeded on his way, not having to make a change at least.

1968 – 50 YEARS AGO

Age can sometimes be deceiving, and so it was to two teenagers who attempted to snatch a purse from a 70-year-old DeKalb woman. According to police reports, the two youths crept up behind the woman on the 200 block of Grove Street and demanded her purse. She then turned around and threatened to beat the would-be robbers over the head with the purse. The teenagers then fled. “Nobody takes my purse away from me,” the sprightly woman was heard saying as she left the scene of the unsuccessful theft attempt.

In one trip around the roads of DeKalb township, James Culver, Township Highway Supervisor, collected a truckload of junk that had been dumped. It included chairs, stoves, washer, dryers, rugs, beds, davenport, auto parts, tires, dead dogs and cats, bricks, and hundreds of beer cans. The material, collected at taxpayer’s expense, was taken to the land fill for disposition.

Some 1,000 to 1,200 Northern Illinois University students, both men and women, celebrated the abolishment of women’s hours at the university last night. A trial system of “no hours” went into effect last night and means that women will not have to speed back to their dormitories and houses to beat the clock at 11 p.m. weekdays and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

A temporary campus will be built this year on the grounds now owned by the Kishwaukee (Jr.) College west of Malta at the Kirkland Blacktop and Alt. 30.

1993 – 25 YEARS AGO

Due to the recent Rodney King trial controversy, Northern Illinois University student organizations have begun to demand that police receive training in multicultural affairs.

Cult leader David Koresh avoided federal firearms restriction by purchasing gun parts from dealers around the country and assembling the components into deadly, illegal automatic weapons. Even though federal laws ban gun sales across state lines, it doesn’t stop dealers from selling replacement parts.

Nearly four years after voters approved a surcharge to fund an emergency 911 telephone system for the county, the system should finally be in operation Monday.

Commonwealth Edison has started inspecting by helicopter more than 3,000 miles of it lines, including many in DeKalb County.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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