Looking Back

Looking Back for Oct. 31, 2018

Chicago & North Western railroad track at Tenth Street, 1945, looking north at Foster Implement Co. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Chicago & North Western railroad track at Tenth Street, 1945, looking north at Foster Implement Co. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1918 – 100 YEARS AGO

The little church at Afton Center is closed up for the winter and will in a small way help the fuel administration in the fuel troubles of the coming cold weather.

Nimrods of DeKalb and vicinity laid aside their work today and greasing up the old gun, and purchasing shells, started out after prairie chickens. This is the first day of the chicken season and one man who was absent from his daily routine today, and who has been waiting for the first day of the season was Sid Rowe. Rowe has a mania for walking, and a little jaunt of 15 or 20 miles into the country after prairie chickens is a vacation for him.

An enthusiastic campaign for some new accession to the DeKalb Military band is to be inaugurated, the plan being to start the training of a lot of new student players, to work into band service as soon as proficiency is developed. This is a splendid opportunity for embryo players of band instruments, especially boys and young men, to learn music under one of the best instructors around this part of the country, Zeigner Swanson, director of the band.

The Sandwich Argus, established in 1878 by M. B. Castle, father on J. B. Castle of that city, has closed up shop, selling material, machinery and good will to the Sandwich Free Press. The Argus was for many years published by J. B. Castle of the Sandwich bank, then disposed of it to B. W. Wood and F. M. Carpenter, later being taken over by the former. The last deal made this week places the property in the hands of F. D. Lowmann, editor and publisher of the Sandwich Free Press, and one of the older papers in the county goes out of business.

Elva’s little world is almost at a standstill. A case or so of infantile paralysis is responsible for the closing of the schools, the church has been closed because the pastor has resigned, and the clubs have discontinued meeting because of sickness. Residents there deem the extra precaution advisable. It is probable, however, that the schoolrooms will be opened and that matters will be going along as formerly in Elva within a few days.

The stealing of milk from the porches about town is causing some little inconvenience these days, and is also exciting the wrath of citizens. Last night the thieves worked on North Fourth street and they have been on John street and other places in town. People, however, have an idea who the thieves are.

1943 – 75 YEARS AGO

Shotgun shells, no matter how large the shipment nor what time of day they arrive, do not last long, according to hardware dealers of the city. During the last week or ten days most of the dealers have received more than one shipment of various kinds of shells, but as soon as the box in opened in the store, they are quickly sold. Just one sale is all that is necessary to let the nimrods of town know they can buy shells and the cases are disposed of at once. While two or three shipments have been received in Sycamore dealers are at a loss as to when another batch may be received.

Work has been started on the old C. J. F. Carlson store building on Lewis street, which will be converted into living apartments, it is announced. Guldbeck and Eckstrom purchased the building some time ago, and have been planning the remodeling operations for some weeks, but were delayed. With the acute housing shortage that exists in the community at this time, the additional apartments available on Lewis street will help alleviate the condition to some extent.

Rapid progress is being made on the housing project which started recently on the tract of land on Sycamore road between Fourth and Seventh Streets. Sixty single unit homes of brick construction are to be built and the project is developing in a rapid manner. Brick work has been completed on two of the hoes and is nearing completion on a couple of others. Basements have been dug for 25 and the foundations have been poured for ten of the units.

After several months preliminary work and delays caused by the shortage of manpower and many other difficulties, the Chicago Great Western railway company today started repairs on the Sixth Street crossing. Work was held up until rightful owners could be determined as to adjacent property, and whether the tracks belonged to the railway company or private concerns. This investigation required several months’ time, and eventually included the transfer of the property back to the Great Western.

Due to the rationing of shoes, repairs have become so numerous that shoe men of DeKalb will not promise repair work of any consequence for a period of three to five weeks. Repairmen in DeKalb say they never before have had so much rebuilding of all kinds of footwear since they have been in business.

1968 – 50 YEARS AGO

Work of installing the elevator in the DeKalb Municipal Building has started. A hole has to be drilled to accommodate the shaft which will be operated hydraulically. Drilling apparatus is now in the city hall and progress is being made.

The DeKalb City Council voted unanimously to deny the Bradt & Milner Inc. petition to annex and rezone four lots at the west end of Alden and Sunset Places near the site of the proposed Tyler elementary school.

City council of Sycamore approved the contract drawn up by the finance Committee to institute an ambulance service for Sycamore.

Some idea of how the Kishwaukee River is treated is gained when Tom Peterson’s sixth grade science class volunteered to clean a section of the river near the Rosette School near First Street. The class members found and collected signs, rubbish, old tires, cans, and a collection of junk. The City of DeKalb will haul the collection to the dump.

1993 – 25 YEARS AGO

The Genoa Plan Commission heard details about the newly proposed Willow Glen planned unit development to be located on the Middleton property southwest of Genoa.

Additional building is expected to gobble up more parking space on the Northern Illinois University campus. An addition scheduled for the Campus Recreation Center will take over Lincoln residence hall parking in lot G and commuter student parking in lot E.

If the 138-acre DeKalb County farm is annexed into the city of DeKalb, the city and the county each could see their coffers increase by as much as $800,000 in sales tax revenue. The DeKalb City Council is expected to take action to annex the farm property, between Sycamore and Barber Greene roads, into the city. It is also expected to act on a proposed intergovernmental agreement between the city and county over the farm.

DeKalb City council is expected to vote on the preliminary plans for the Target store being proposed by Dial Reality of Omaha, Nebraska. The project has angered some residents living behind the site on Sycamore Road, across from Northland Plaza, who claim their property values will be diminished.

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

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