1919 – 100 YEARS AGO
Two families are mourning the deaths of pet dogs, and in a third home on Third Street, another dog has been poisoned: Residents are not certain whether the poison was set for the dogs or whether it was put out to catch pests.
A resident of Kingston township brought to the office of the county clerk a pelt taken from an animal shot by him, and supposed to be a wolf, claiming the $100.00 bounty. The fur was a rich red color and there were earmarks of a fox. After several of the county seat experts had examined it, it was adjudged a fox pelt and bounty refused.
The vacant lot between the Hilland Brothers’ building and the new Knights of Columbus building in DeKalb has been cleaned up the last few days, and presents a more attractive appearance. The contractors at work on the Knights’ new home used the vacant property on which to store their lumber, and other building materials and for a time, it was far from being pleasing to the eye. The inside work of the new building is fast nearing completion.
The DeKalb Fruit company, with offices on South Second street, put a new flivver truck into operations and the little black horse which the firm has used for some time past, will be given a rest. Louis Drago, who is proprietor of the firm, says that business was getting too big for one little horse to handle and thus the purchase of the truck for the proper handling of the increasing business.
One of the little fellows attending school here sprung one on Captain Rowe of the police force this morning, and although a trifle slangy, is too good to keep. Just imagine a little fellow about seven years old, and the policeman in a conversation and the latter putting the query as to the reason the little fellow was not in school. Here is the little fellow’s reply: “Huh, thank the Lord there is scarlet fever at the school, and we don’t have no school until Monday.”
Another DeKalb man is embarking in business. Steve Rukavina announced that he has rented the former C. Neuman store and will be ready to meet the public with a fine line of goods about March 25. He will conduct a grocery and meat market and plans an up-to-date store.
1944 – 75 YEARS AGO
More bowling facilities will be offered to the hundreds of kegiers of Sycamore this evening when the alleys at the Community Center will be opened.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hickey of Milan have moved to the farm vacated by Omar Jordal.
Workmen have been busy several days on the Loptien garage on Maple street which was seriously damaged by fire many months ago, making it ready for a new tenant. The office has been completely overhauled and may be used when the new renter sees fit, although it will be several days before the west side of the building will be completed.
With the completion of some of the apartments in the State theater building, it is announced that two of them are now occupied. These apartments are three room kitchenettes and make a comfortable home for a family of two or three.
State highway workers were pumping the water from the viaduct east of DeKalb at the Milwaukee tracks where traffic has been hindered since the early part of last week. Two large pumps, one brought down from the state highway garage at Woodstock and the other obtained from the city of DeKalb were being used on the job. After about an hour’s work the level had been reduced five inches and it was believed that the major portion of the water would be removed early this afternoon if the workers could continue their early morning pace. Water collects at this spot due to a drain tile that is plugged with tree roots.
Following a trip to Vandalia this week by Sheriff Al Deisz when he turned over two prisoners to the penal farm authorities, the DeKalb County jail again is empty as far as prisoners are concerned. To those persons living in the vicinity of the county building, it looks peculiar to see the building all dark after 11:00 o’clock. There has been no one confined in jail for two days.
Announcement was made at Decatur that the 1944 hemp crop of six midwestern states, including Illinois, will be decreased by two-thirds of the 1943 production on record because of the current large reserve supply of fiber in the United States.
Mrs. Leta Best Mueller has started a campaign to secure a large number of the better books for the men in service, and while there has been some response it is not what she thinks it should be, due to the fact, possibly, that many persons have forgotten the campaign.
1969 – 50 YEARS AGO
A reorganization of DeKalb’s fire and building department offices has been completed. For the first time DeKalb Fire Chief Fran Cliffe’s headquarters is no longer in the main fire station. Chief Cliffe how has an office on the second floor of the Municipal building.
Final preparation of the documents necessary for the acquision of the YMCA building site and the land required to reach the property are currently underway. Transfer of land parcels had been delayed ending negotiations between the City of Sycamore and property owners in the area. In the land gifts the Kishwaukee Family YMCA is receiving a total of ten acres. The DeKalb AgResearch is contributing five acres for the building site.
The federal government has approved a $1 million grant to be used for construction of Northern Illinois University’s planned $5 million Music Building. The structure will be built on a site bounded on the north by Lucinda avenue, on the east by the Kishwaukee River, and on the south by the new Art Building. Gilbert Hall men’s dormitory is directly west of the planned structure.
1994 – 25 YEARS AGO
Several different parcels of city-owned land need to be annexed to the city, and action was taken at a recent Sandwich City Council meeting to start those proceedings. The council authorized Mayor Tom Thomas and City Clerk Barbara Olson to request the annexation of three parcels, two of them by the sanitary sewer plant and one by the detention basin at the end of North Ash Street.
The Ellwood House Association got a green light from the DeKalb Park District to proceed with a renovation and expansion plan of the carriage house on the Ellwood Museum grounds.
Eminent domain proceedings could start against four property landowners who do not sell the necessary land for right-of-way to extend Peace Road beyond Route 64 to Plank Road to the county could start if negotiations collapse between the parties.
A little corner of Sycamore’s history will be changing hands as Boone’s Tavern is scheduled to be purchased by two local businessmen. Co-owners of P.J.’s Red Hots in DeKalb have a contract to purchase Boone’s in May.
• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.