Looking Back

Looking Back for July 11, 2018

DeKalb Congregational Church, Second and Grove Streets, 1920. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
DeKalb Congregational Church, Second and Grove Streets, 1920. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1918 – 100 YEARS AGO

The work of erecting the new building for the DeKalb Knights of Columbus on the site on Lincoln highway recently occupied by the Cook livery barn, has been started, and as rapidly as material and equipment can be hauled to the scene the work will progress.

The Knights recently consummated a deal whereby they become the owners of six feet of additional ground, now occupied by the building owned by B. C. Knodle and used by Jack Cook as an office. This old building will be torn down within the next few days and removed so that the work may go forward without any delay.

The new garage at the corner of First and Lincoln Highway to be used as a Ford service station and garage, is rapidly nearing completion, inside and out and should be ready of occupancy within the next few weeks.

The DeKalb police department has again been bothered the past few days by calls regarding chickens, large ones and small ones. At this time of the year it is absolutely necessary that all people keep chickens shut up within yards and coops to allow the growing of garden stuff.

Ever notice the small black dog that is continually following members of the fire department whenever they go out on the street for anything? “Sandy”, who formerly belonged to the Shellaberger family, is a typical fireman, and no matter where he may be if he hears the alarm bells, he runs for the station as fast as possible.

War days are responsible for many “hurry up” weddings these days, many couples who planned to be married this summer rearranging their plans to meet Uncle Sam’s calls.

It is now up to you to see that your timepieces are in working order. The Bell Telephone company gave notice some time ago that they would no longer give the correct time to patrons. Now the Western Union has sent out notice that it will no longer give the time of day.

It is said that in larger cities since the order of the telephone company, the calls have been so numerous for the Western Union that it has been swamped. Therefore the new rule.

Those people of the city who pledged to pay a certain amount to the Salvation Army war fund are asked, appealed to and even requested to call at the First National bank and pay the pledges. The Salvation Army needs money at this time and badly.

1943 – 75 YEARS AGO

Former farm girls, now WAACS at Camp Grant, Ill., volunteered to help get in the peas on farm near Rochelle, when labor shortage threatened the crops. The girls drove machinery and took drinking water to men in the field.

For the first time since his restaurant was remodeled, Ernest Luxton closed up for the day because of the lack of help. Mr. Luxton posted a sign on the door of the café that the place was closed to allow the help a little rest.

Short circuit trouble with two fire alarm boxes during the forenoon caused an unnecessary trip to Boxes 21 and 22, when the “big gong” at the station sounded. Chief Tastad, on the first piece of apparatus answered the call to Box 21 which is between Second and Third Street, and finding no fire there, not anyone who knew anything about the alarm being turned in, immediately proceeded to 22, which is on the Highway near John Street.

Members of the Sycamore Rifle and Pistol club are meeting tonight at the Sycamore Community Park as early as possible after working hours, in an effort to complete the new outdoor rifle range there.

Announcement is made by D. A. Leifheit, postmaster, that the postal sub-station which has been a part of Cy Kallal’s appliance shop in East Lincoln Highway near Sixth Street, has been transferred to Ebby’s Smoke Shop, near Third Street.

Manufactured articles of the Ideal Commutator Dresser Company pertaining to the war effort, have been placed on display at the offices of the Chamber of Commerce, and attracting considerable attention. The Ideal is one of the industries in the city working night and day for the war effort and the many articles shown at the Chamber office depict in a small way, what is being done at the west side plant.

Complaints have been received of youngsters playing in the streets in the southwest part of town and several near accidents have been reported as trucks going to and from the California Packing plant nearly run over some of the kids. Two children were nearly run down just before the noon house and unless the practice of playing ball and other activities of the children in the street is halted there may be a serious accident.

1968 – 50 YEARS AGO

On an average day, there are more than 35,000 people within the city of DeKalb. If radioactive fallout from a nuclear attack (or from a train or truck accident involving radioactive materials) were to settle on DeKalb only 119 of those 35,000 people would stand a good chance of surviving. The Rice Hotel (148 N. 3rd St.) and the Drs. Smith building (261 East Lincoln Highway) are the only buildings which have been approved by the U. S. Corps of Engineers for shelter space and are stocked.

The Vice President of DeKalb Commercial Body Corporation, J. T. Midloff, has reported recently that his firm was successful in receiving a contract award of over $2 million from the U. S. Army Electronics Command, Philadelphia, PA., for a large quantity of electronic equipment shelters. This will be the largest single order the company has received for this product and will create a need for additional engineering and drafting personnel, as well as fabrication and line assembly people.

Phase Two for the Kishwaukee (Jr.) College building schedules is now Phase One. Meeting in regular session in their offices in a farm house on the school’s Malta campus, the Kishwaukee College Board of Directors voted to proceed with plans to design a gymnasium and library facility as its first permanent structure.

1993 – 25 YEARS AGO

A small section of Hopkins Park took a trip back through time during a medieval steel/wool festival hosted by members of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Peasants and noblemen, dressed in colorful outfits from centuries, sat side by side explaining medieval culture to visitors. Basic forgers showed patrons how to smith, weld and iron casts while maidens taught spinning, dying, weaving and felting classes.

In attempt to help inmates who need mental health services, and to reduce the number of repeat offenders in the county jail, a new mental health program is scheduled to start at the jail later this week.

The onset of an active mosquito season has DeKalb officials scurrying to get information out on how to control the pests as a result of the city’s decision not to go ahead with the annual abatement program this year. The spray affects only the front yards and streets where the trucks pass, and the least expensive spray would cost $2,116 for 106 miles of streets. This spray has known cancer-causing agents in it.

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

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