1919 – 100 YEARS AGO
Claus E. Johnson, who has for some time operated a dairy farm two miles east of Cortland, is quitting that business and announced today that on March 6, 1919, he will hold a public auction of his stock.
Flu has broken out in Elva for the second time. The illnesses do not seem to be very serious, but the cases are quite frequent.
The high cost of smokes, as well as matches has been thrust upon users of the weed, and it is rumored about town that a lot of fellows are going to swear off. Cigarettes that used to cost 10 and 15 cents are now selling for 20 cents in many stores, while in some places the proprietor has added just the war tax. Matches formerly selling for a cent a box are now selling two boxes for five cents, and in addition, they are marked on the box as “war quality” that means about every other one usable.
Prof. John Adee, who is well known here as a Sycamore boy, and as a former and popular superintendent of the Sycamore schools, is one of the 30 superintendents of schools selected by the government to go to France to teach the American soldiers.
Waterman Hall will become St. Alban’s school for boys. At the meeting of the Chamber of Commerce lately Mr. Seymour of the institution explained that the building at Knoxville, Ill., had become too small for the boys and that they desired to move. Waterman Hall seems built for purposes of the school.
Recklessness of boys throwing snow balls is causing complaint of pedestrians. Yesterday a lad threw a snow ball which struck a little baby girl square in the face. Today her face is bruised in three places. Carelessness in throwing snow balls has resulted seriously many times and it seems that boys might be more careful.
Names of several returned heroines and heroes known in DeKalb were included in the lists today in the papers. Miss Celeste Firkins of Shabbona Grove and Miss Nellie R. Satter of Leland, who were with the Red Cross nurses of Presbyterian unit, arrived on the Mauretania.
Local people who have banking business through the Sandwich banks will be interested to know that the Sandwich bank, formerly a private bank, is now a state institution, the new arrangement having been perfected last week.
1944 – 75 YEARS AGO
Jack Cook of Rollo had the misfortune to suffer a painful accident of last week. He was using a rifle to shoot pigeons and as one dropped, he dashed to get it forgetting to put the safety release on the rifle, the shot going through his leg. Treatment was given him at the Mendota Hospital and he was returned to his home.
Two youths employed in DeKalb really had a taste of the wintery blasts as the car in which they were riding stalled on Route 23, four miles south of DeKalb, about midnight. A car coming from the south was halted by one of the youths and the driver was asked for a lift into town. He agreed and when one of the youths went to get his buddy, the car drove away leaving the pair stranded. It was not until early morning that they were able to secure a ride to DeKalb and by that time one of the boys was scarcely able to walk and the other one had frosted his face.
Again, this week and the latter part of last week the value of the snow plow purchased by the city two years ago was demonstrated and it is a certainty that there are few residents in the city who now believe the purchase of the equipment was unnecessary.
A patent has been granted to J. A. Miller of North Ninth street according to word received from Washington, D. C., for an improved filing cabinet. Mr. Miller, superintendent at the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, has had several patents granted in the past few years and his friends will be interested to learn of the latest one.
Enos A. Baie of Hinckley this week was awarded county bounty on several foxes, which, according to E. W. Joiner, county clerk, is the largest bounty paid to one individual so far this season.
Sheriff Al Deisz made a trip to Vandalia for the purpose of carrying out commitment orders issued by Judge Harry W. McEwen, of the circuit court, when Raymond Phelps was ordered to the farm for a period of one year. Upon his return Sheriff Deisz reports seeing many dandelions in bloom in the vicinity of the state penal farm, and many lawns in that section of the state showing every indication of spring.
1969 – 50 YEARS AGO
The Sandwich Historical Society would like to obtain, either by loan or by gift, pictures of local scenes and people, events and happenings. The pictures do not need to be of Sandwich, but can be of nearby localities.
On-campus housing at Northern Illinois University has come a long way since it was first provided for women in Williston Hall in 1915. Men moved into the top floors of David Hall, now a science building in the mid-1940s. What once passed as a “dormitory” is known today as a “residence hall,” a distinction some use to indicate the difference between student quarters primarily used for sleeping, eating and studying, and today’s lodgings designed to accommodate nearly all aspects of student life.
The Cortland fire department took delivery on a new 1,500-gallon tanker truck.
Delivery of three new patrol cars for the DeKalb County Sheriff’s force put the department back on full patrol power again. There are now six cars available to patrol the county and to serve the forces of Mel Shaw when the need arises.
1994 – 25 YEARS AGO
In an effort to bring more qualified job applicants to the doors of Sycamore industries, several business leaders have formed a committee to establish a training center for future employees.
Edward L. Peterson, livestock and grain farmer from Kingston, has been designated as a Master Farmer by “Prairie Farmer” magazine.
The City of DeKalb and the town of Cortland have reached an agreement concerning land acquisition near the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, ending years of friction between the two local governments.
A new health care center designed to serve the needs of Kishwaukee College students and those in a three-county area should be open for business next month. The Tri-County Community Health Center should be open and accepting patients by April 1.
Driving through downtown Genoa without stopping will come to an end in the near future as Genoa has qualified with the Illinois Department of Transportation for three traffic lights on Route 72. The traffic signals would be the city’s first.
The former Wurlitzer headquarters property on Gurler Road is changing hands but no one is saying who the prospective buyer is. The building has been vacant for many years since the Wurlitzer plant moved out.
• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.