Looking Back

Looking Back for Jan. 9, 2019

Sundberg express wagon unloading boxes from the Tir-O-Fix Company in DeKalb, 1918. Tir-O-Fix closes punctures in pneumatic tires. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Sundberg express wagon unloading boxes from the Tir-O-Fix Company in DeKalb, 1918. Tir-O-Fix closes punctures in pneumatic tires. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

The Chronicle would have been a pretty newsy looking paper, as usual, today had it not been for the gas company. Things have been going along so well at the plant that it was inevitable that something would be bobbing up before long. The gas failed this noon so that the metal in the linotypes “froze” solid. The reason assigned at the company quarters being that the water gas is more susceptible to cold than the other kind and that it froze in the mains.

Now that women have power to vote, their men folk on the strength of hundreds of years start in the study of politics, are giving them lots of good advice. Among their valuable hints are the following: Never vote for a candidate who parts his hair in the middle. He is obviously unable to take one side or the other. If your candidate asks you to give him a mandate, ask him: “What about a womandate?” If you attend a political meeting as a heckler, heckle the speaker the same way as you would your husband. That’ll get him all tied up.

An irate citizen was F. S. Corey Friday afternoon, late. He was riding in a cutter and had with him 40 quarts of milk. The horse, becoming frightened, tipped over the cutter and spilled the milk, just after the raise in price had been announced!

The latter part of last week the DeKalb-Sycamore electric line had plenty of troubles, along with the snow and difficulty in running its cars on schedule time. Between Seventh and Eighth street a broken rail was discovered, while one car was at Sycamore, fortunately, and for that reason it was necessary to transfer passengers at the point where the break occurred. This occurred on one of the coldest days of last week and was not very agreeable to the passengers, but it is one of the things encountered occasionally on any line.

Fire Chief McEvoy was on the warpath yesterday afternoon and had just reason for the peevish streak. A farmer came to town in a bobsled, loaded rather heavily with meal, stopped very nearly in front of the station, unhitched and put his horses in the barn. Had the fire department an occasion to get out yesterday afternoon, the drivers of the trucks would have had a little difficulty in getting out and avoiding a collision with the sled.

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

Exceptionally fine progress is being made at the Adee home on West State Street in Sycamore, the large family home being converted into suitable apartments for defense workers. Much of the inside preliminary work has been completed, and the plasterers soon will finish, after which the various rooms will be turned over to the decorators. The home is large enough for several small convenient apartments and it is understood that all available quarters have been spoken for by prospective tenants.

Can openers will soon come into their own again. The can opener which was about to become a war casualty is soon to come back to the home firing line. Word received by the Rockford War Production Board office is that most food items will again be packed in cans along with a number of non-food commodities which had been packaged in other than metal containers for the time being.

With the first snow fall of any consequence yesterday, the hill on the north side of the courthouse was swarmed with kids on sleds. While the barricades on the street have not yet been placed, the youngsters used every precaution when they reached the thoroughfare. In previous years when the driveway became ice coated, the city has placed barricades at each end of Exchange Street, at North Main and North Maple, to allow but one-way traffic and thus protect the boys and girls enjoying the winter sport.

Announcement was made today that the new apartments on the east side of DeKalb at Seventh and Lincoln Highway, formerly known as the Ferguson flats, have been completed and now are ready for occupancy. The three apartments that were on the second floor of the building have been converted into six convenient living quarters and it is reported that all of them have been leased. The conversion was made at the instance of one of the war industries of the city and the work was completed in about two months’ time.

In order that a better understanding of what the other fellow is doing and the problems which each industry faces could be learned, a tour of a group of manufacturers was conducted in the past two days through the industrial plants of DeKalb, Sycamore, and Genoa. The tour proved to be very worthwhile as each manufacturer was able to see the products which are being produced in the other plants and also had the opportunity to discuss the various problems encountered by each.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

It is through the doors at center that the congregation of Westminster Presbyterian Church will file on Jan. 12 for their first service in its new church at 830 Annie Glidden Road.

DeKalb County sheriffs’ detectives conducted an intensive investigation at the Hinckley-Big Rock High School yesterday after being notified by school authorities of a telephone call received stating that a bomb had been planted in the school.

Sycamore Police Chief Richard M. Mattis urges all motorists to co-operate with the city of Sycamore in conducting an efficient snow removal program throughout the city. Motorists are also advised to carry a shovel and a container of sand or other abrasive materials in the trunk of the car to insure being prepared in the event of an emergency.

Only 19 of the 192 DeKalb homes inspected last year by housing counselor Tom Cliffe were not in compliance with the city’s housing code, according to the year-end report of the city housing department’s inspection division. Fifteen of the 19 non-complying homes were brought into compliance and that the four remaining homes are being brought into compliance with the housing code.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

The original completion date of Huntley Middle School construction project was December of 1993. The DeKalb Board of Education’s first meeting in 1994 saw the project not only unfinished but still under discussion.

The Dream Lanes Bowling Alley in Waterman was re-opened during ceremonies recently held at the bowling alley. The bowling alley will feature a restaurant, an arcade and party/meeting room.

Several residents of the DeKalb Plaza expressed enthusiastic support at a tenant meeting last night for an offer from Franciscan Ministries Inc. (FMI) to purchase the building they now reside in.

The DeKalb High School wrestling program now includes a tutorial team to help athletes who are having trouble in their classes. National Honor Society (NHS) members have volunteered to tutor wrestlers on Mondays and Thursdays after school. It provides incentive for athletes to do well, because they are pulled from practice to attend the sessions.

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

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