Looking Back

Looking Back for Feb. 27, 2019

DeKalb Fire truck after being hit by a train, 1913, south First Street, just north of the railroad tracks. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
DeKalb Fire truck after being hit by a train, 1913, south First Street, just north of the railroad tracks. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

Capt. Lloyd Evans of Hinckley has been decorated with the Croix de Guerre for bravery in France. He is an aviator and is now with the American army of occupation in Germany. He is with the 88th aero squadron.

Miss Daisy Ball of Kingston, who is employed in the Insulated Wire factory at Sycamore recently met with an accident in getting white lead in her eyes which resulted in the loss of sight in one of them. She has been at home with her parents, Mr. And Mrs. D. W. Ball of this village the past few days during which time she went to Chicago to consult a specialist.

The heating plant on North street, used last winter for the heating of the Jacob Haish flats on North street, fourth street and other dwellings in that vicinity, is being torn down this week. Men have been busy there for several days’ past, have removed the boilers and today the high smoke stack was taken down, preparatory to being shipped away. The heating plant was discontinued on account of the inability to get coal.

A special train of soldier lads went through here yesterday afternoon about four o’clock going west with Camp Dodge, Iowa, as their destination. The soldier lads were convalescents, as many of them were seen with bandages on their arms and heads and it is probable, they are some of the most recently returned boys from over there, who “got theirs” from stray Hun bullets.

Announcement was made today that Wiswall & Wirtz and the local council of the Knights of Columbus had completed an arrangement whereby the big furniture firm will occupy the basement of the new Knights of Columbus building as a warehouse. It is understood that an arch will be cut through the present wall separating the two structures and the new addition to their establishment will be thus connected with the present basement show room of the store.

Corey & Son, who purchased the Cusson building across from The Chronicle office some time ago, today began moving operations, and it is evident that the figure 13 has no terror for the well-known business man. The basement machinery and fixtures are being taken over today, such as the vulcanizing machinery and work benches, and it is probable the tire firm will be moved by the first of the month.

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

No one was injured but one hog was killed in an accident Sunday morning in front of the Federated church in Sycamore as the huge truck belonging to Elmer Strack, loaded with hogs belonging to Harry Loptien turned over at the intersection near the church. Don Thurston of DeKalb, was the driver of the truck, and as he swerved the truck to avoid another car, lost control and it turned over on its side. The driver of the other machine failed to stop.

Sycamore’s uptown park, corner of State and Sacramento Streets, will be the site of the honor roll for veterans of World War II. This large monument in honor of the men and women who are serving or who have served in the present World War will be a gift to the city by seven patriotic organizations of Sycamore including the Sycamore Elks, Moose, the American Legion, Masonic order, Odd Fellows, Vikings and the Sycamore Sportsmen’s club.

February issue of the Wire Crier, the official house organ of the Anaconda Wire and Cable company has just been issued and as usual is replete with many interesting items concerning activities of the many employees of the war industry. Early pictures of some of the employees, as well as bowling league members and many others are shown in the current issue.

DeKalb plant of the California Packing Corporation was one of the six midwestern canneries to be awarded the Achievement “A” award of the War Food Administration. This is the highest honor paid to members of the food industry as a reward for excellence and cooperation in the war effort in the food processing field.

According to an announcement made this morning by E. E. Houghtby, manager of the War Hemp Industries at Shabbona, the hemp quota for DeKalb County will be increased by several hundred acres this year. He stated that due to the extension of the hemp program in DeKalb County for 1944 it appears there will be an opportunity for new growers to sign contracts for production of this essential fiber crop.

It was announced yesterday afternoon that Wetzel Brothers of Sycamore have purchased the Lillian Johnson store building at 241 West State street, now occupied by the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. The jewelers will take possession of their newly acquired property as soon as it is vacated. The A and P is moving to the Stoler property and work of alterations has started.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

Work began this winter on the new Tyler Elementary School just off West Alden Place in the southwest part of DeKalb. The footings for the foundation have been dug and poles are being driven into the ground to support the foundation.

The Annie Glidden underpass is starting to look like an underpass as concrete supports are uncovered. Mild temperatures have provided the opportunity for workmen to progress with the ground work and construction of the concrete structure this month.

Ten minutes is an “unreasonable length of time.” According to the DeKalb Police department, if the city’s railroad crossings are blocked by a stalled train for a “period of 10 minutes or longer,” the police department will call collect to the chief railroad dispatcher. The railroad dispatcher will then contact the engineer on the stalled train and the deskman at DeKalb Police headquarters.

There were more than 30 winners at the annual Elks Ice Derby hold at the Northern Illinois University lagoon. Although the derby was postponed once because of soft ice on the lake it was in perfect shape yesterday for the participants.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

The City of DeKalb won the latest round in the lawsuit filed against it by residents living near the proposed Target development on Sycamore Road.

In spite of a winter chill, more than 30 people attended a recent Sunday meeting called by the trustees of the Sandwich Township Public Library. Joe McElroy of the Heritage Train Library System attended and shared his expertise in the projected expansion and remodeling of the library building.

DeKalb’s newest restaurant not only offers patrons their choice of spirits, but they also brew their own beer right of the premises. The Box Office Brew restaurant and brewery is housed in the old DeKalb Theatre on Third Street in Downtown DeKalb.

While it appears 75 acres of the county farm have been sold, it is still a long way from being signed and sealed. The acreage was sold to ORIX Real Estate Equities, Inc. and Wilkinson Development Corp., who will develop the property. They are planning to develop the tract into an open center, or strip mall.

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

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