Looking Back

Looking Back for Aug. 8, 2018

Malta stockyard and depot, circa 1920, looking west. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Malta stockyard and depot, circa 1920, looking west. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1918 – 100 YEARS AGO

The carelessness of an aged resident last night at the Fourth street corner, caused many people waiting for the six o’clock street car to turn their heads. The aged resident was walking along at a brisk pace, and probably due to the fact that a train was passing on the North Western at the same time, did not hear the street car. The man walked directly into the path of the electric car and had not the motorman had his car under control and able to stop at once the man would have been injured. Many people waiting for the car at this corner, turned their heads at the time, not caring to see the accident.

As another way of showing their patriotism, a crowd of the American Steel & Wire company fellows went out to the farm of L. H. Hopkins last night after work and put in two or three hours in the field. A more patriotic aggregation in the city that the steel company fellows cannot be found. They have always went over the top in any drive that has been instituted here and are now willing to take up labor on a farm after working hours, if it will help win the war.

DeKalb people who have boys with the old Third regiment over in France were glad to read The Chronicle Saturday night and get the first authentic information concerning the place where the boys are doing their fighting. There have been many rumors but the interview with General March for the first time told DeKalb folks that their boys are fighting with the British and Australians to the north and west of the scene of the present allied drive.

The Fairdale band give another concert at which popcorn and ice cream were sold.

The excavating work of the new Knight of Columbus building is making progress and there is but little work left in this line. As soon as the work has been completed to the proper depth the masons and brick payers will start at work, and more noticeable progress will be evidenced. It is probable the brick and stone work will start within the next few days.

The police department is again receiving complaints about chickens running at large and the members of the force are beginning to lose patience with the offenders. In these war times people should be patriotic and keep chickens locked up and help save food.

1943 – 75 YEARS AGO

The annual picnic of the employees and families of the Ideal Commutator Dresser Company will be help at Hopkins Park. It is expected this year’s affair will be attended by nearly 500 persons and the program committee is devoting much time to the day’s activities.

Again, it was proved beyond all reasonable doubt that if the business men or any other group of Sycamore, make up their minds to do something in a big way, they do it, and with a vengeance too. About 40 business and factory men went to the Sycamore Park after work, armed with hand sickles, scythes, rakes and mowers and after a last minute strategic meeting by the generalissimos, Emil Cassier as superintendent of the par, Vernon Wetzel, Ed Boies and a few more, the attach on the tall grass, obnoxious weeds and other objectionable began with a vim that meant a decided victory for the attackers, and a noticeable improvement in the grounds.

Among the fourteen dogs which left Rockford today for war service were two from DeKalb, their owners being Wilbur C. Watson and C. B. Watson. W. W. Dorward, Rockford area director of Dogs for Defense the group today runs the count to 78 dogs which have been sent from the district. The recruits most be purebreds or mixed breeds that is a cross or not more than two breeds. The heaver breeds, particularly farm collies, Doberman pinschers and German shepherds make the best recruits.

Crossing repair men of the North Western railway started making repairs on the crossing at Seventh Street, which has been in deplorable condition for some time. The company has a special preparation for such patch work which is spread easily and then covered with fine gravel, but in weather such as today the material does not harden rapidly and is quickly cut up by heavy trucks using that crossover.

Threshing crews are in vogue this week, and many “rigs” as the farmers designate them, are in operation in all parts of the county. The oats were cut and shocked through the cooperative aid of the United States Employment Agency in conjunction with the California Packing corporation and much of the work was completed on time.

A carelessly flipped cigarette either from the sidewalk or from a passing automobile into the awning at the Thompson barber shop on North Fourth Street burned a hole in the sun shade, much to the disgust of the shop owner. The awning was a comparatively new one and had been installed after the first one had been burned to some extent and further destroyed by the wind or kids.

1968 – 50 YEARS AGO

Judging from the crowd in the St. Mary’s parking lot on Pine Street the dance for the youth of the community was a highly popular event. The dance is one of a series held during the summer months, sponsored jointly by the DeKalb Family YMCA and the DeKalb Park Board.

The United States will be under “atomic attack” for 24 hours this weekend as nearly 30 Northern Illinois residents take shelter in a university dormitory here. The shelter in the basement of 13-story Stevenson Towers on the Northern Illinois University campus will house participants from age three to adults during a drill conducted by NIU’s disaster preparedness committee.

The Summer 1968 Street Oiling and Repair Program got underway at the Sycamore Municipal Building parking lot. The oiling and graveling of the parking lot was completed before noon and construction workers moved on to other parts of the city to begin work on other needed repairs.

1993 – 25 YEARS AGO

Residents in the Evergreen Village Trailer Park, outside of Sycamore, got a taste of what residents suffering flooding along the Mississippi River are going through. Most of the residents in the trailer park on Route 64, east of Sycamore, were forced to evacuate their homes as heavy weekend rains forced the Kishwaukee River to spill over its banks and into the trailer park.

The Drum and Bugle Corps Midwest Championship at the Northern Illinois University Huskie Stadium set attendance records with more than 10,000 people ignoring the threats of storms to watch the more than 30 bands compete.

DeKalb Plant Genetics, one of three companies under the parent group of DeKalb Genetics, is being dissolved and some top management heads are on the chopping block after lower than expected earnings for the third quarter prompted a reorganization of the company.

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

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