1918 – 100 YEARS AGO
Early morning called at the fire station found the “paddy” wagon and the two trucks standing outdoors, and the chief, captain, and all the men armed with brooms, working industriously - all due to the fact that the cement floor was given a thorough scrubbing during the morning. The boys at the station believe in getting their Saturday’s work done early and by ten o’clock everything had been done and the gang was ready to spend the rest of the day at the card tables.
There is always a first time for everything, and passengers on the 7:40 this morning saw DeKalb people board the train wearing “Flu” masks. This is the spirit of co-operation here in the city of DeKalb that is going to keep a serious epidemic from getting a foothold here.
The city received a shipment of 250 feet of new hose from the B. F. Goodrich company today, and the chief and the men were busy this afternoon giving the hose a thorough test before accepting it. This gives the fire department nearly 3,500 feet of good, substantial hose, and the equipment is equal to meet any demands that could be made upon it.
Saturday night and Sunday seemed to be busy ones for the police as there were several drunks arrested Saturday night and early Sunday morning, many of them coming back on the last car from the nearby oasis, Maple Park. The fellows were given a chance to sober up at the city bastille and Monday morning were before the police court and assessed the usual fine fur such misdemeanors.
The new home of the Knights of Columbus on Lincoln Highway is moving along at a rapid rate and the contractor today are installing the ornamental front. The outside work has been about completed as far as bricklaying, and the roofing and other such matters will be attended to soon. The building is now beginning to present a very attractive appearance, and when completed it will be a wonderful improvement for the business section of the city.
During the past week or ten days that the movie houses have been compelled to close shop on account of the flu epidemic, the proprietors have been busy at odd jobs around their places, such as painting, wiring, etc. It is very probable that the places will be allowed to open up again within the next few days or a week and they will then be in fine shape for the fall and winter business.
1943 – 75 YEARS AGO
Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Collin of 223 Gurler street this week received a card from Lieut. Donald E. Whipple, better known as Gene, a former student of the Northern Illinois State Teachers College, now a prisoner in a German camp. Lieut. Whipple was a member of the air forces and was shot down over Bremen. He was reported missing on April 15 and the card received this week is the first word his DeKalb friends have had of his whereabouts. The card was written on July 12 and was received in DeKalb on October 27. He states that he is feeling well, is being treated satisfactorily and desires to hear from his friends in this vicinity.
Construction work on the 50 family trailers, which will be built on the Evans lot on East Lincoln Highway is reported to have been started today. The contractor, Elmer Gus, of 100 East New York street, Oshkosh, Wis., had been awarded the contract, and he is in DeKalb at this time and will start work on the war housing project immediately.
Farmers of DeKalb county are expecting and realizing a heavy yield of corn, and the old cribs were not of sufficient size to provide storage space for this year’s yield, it is reported from many sources. Information was gathered yesterday that about twelve farmers in the northern part of the county are erecting new and larger cribs to care for this year’s yield.
Sycamore Elks lodge announces that all owners of the Elks building bonds should call at the National Bank & Trust Company, where the bonds are now being redeemed at par, plus interest. In addition to paying off its indebtedness this year, the lodge has made extensive improvements to the building and is looking forward to a bright and successful future. The membership which was down to 99 five years ago has increased to 253 to date, with ten new members to be initiated this month.
Barriers at Sixth street on Locust street of the Chicago Great Western railway right of way were removed today and that crossing again is open to traffic from Sixth street and also on Locust. The work completed yesterday required much more time than at first anticipated, as the right of way had to be raised to some extent to conform to the rest of the crossover. Now that the work has been completed the Sixth street crossing is one of the best in the city and probably will be used more than Seventh street by the many auto drivers of the city.
1968 – 50 YEARS AGO
Driv-Lok, Inc. industrial resident of Sycamore for 20 years, will break ground soon for a new plant and office building to meet the expending need of the company’s nation-wide customers. The firm, now at 777 Park Ave., will build the new plant at 1150 Park Ave., between Borden Avenue and Becker Place. Manufacturing will also be continued at the present plant.
The Republican Victory Train - 1968 - made its stop in DeKalb Thursday. An estimated 500 people were on hand to hear the state Republican candidates as they spoke from the back of the train.
Fire spread from an incinerator behind the Eagle Food Store on Sycamore Road this morning and destroyed the food store and the adjacent DeKalb Liquor Mart. Although the fire did not spread beyond the food store and liquor mart, the Grant’s department store was filled with smoke, which seeped through the walls from the adjacent liquor mart.
1993 – 25 YEARS AGO
The Target development moved one step closer to becoming reality after the DeKalb City Council unanimously approved the extension of $2.48 million in grants and loans to Dial Reality, Inc., the developers for the project.
People attending the seventh annual candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Memorial at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore will see the faces of those listed on the memorial.
Lucinda Avenue is again opened after months of construction work limited motorists to just one lane. The cost of the project was more than $3 million, with the city of DeKalb contributing $1.9 million, Northern Illinois University $500,000 and the Illinois Department of Transportation paid $650,000 of the total cost.
• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.