Looking Back

Looking Back for May 1, 2019

John G. Cook Express and Baggage Transfer, South Third Street in DeKalb, east of Huntley Park, 1906. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
John G. Cook Express and Baggage Transfer, South Third Street in DeKalb, east of Huntley Park, 1906. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

Two women traveling from the extreme western part of Kansas to Beloit, Wis., had a long wait in DeKalb last night and this morning due to a mistake by a ticket agent in routing their tickets, and getting them started on their way. The women planned to get out of here last night, going north, but did not get here until No. 12, which arrived at 8:45 last night, too late for the northbound passenger. Due to the error they were compelled to wait over here until 8:42 this morning.

The DeKalb bakery is planning on putting a new delivery truck into service this week, probably about Thursday or Friday, and the firm then will be fixed to take care of the business in good shape. The new truck was made especially to the likes of the proprietors and is all white, with just the lettering “DeKalb Bakery.” The new addition to the local firm was brought here to the Fisk garage this week and will be turned over to the firm the last of the week.

There will be a demonstration at the Fordson tractor on Saturday of this week at the William Minnegan farm, one mile and a half south of Afton Center school house on the cement road. The Fordson tractor will be seen in demonstrations doing both plowing and discing.

It has been noticed of late there is a gang on young fellows about town, who either lack the nerve to step up to the door of a home and ask for a girlfriend, or else lack the decency of it, and instead walk up and down in front of the house, whistling for the girl. On three or four occasions of late such a stunt has been done by young fellows of this city, and then again there are some of the younger bloods of Sycamore who think they can get away with the same manner of calling, and it might be a good thing some time if the men of the house chanced to be home, and answered the whistle instead of the girl.

The last three or four days many piles of storm doors belonging to the Haish tenant houses in the city, and there are many of them, have been hauled to the old Haish factory near Sixth street, and are being stored. In the place of the storm doors, the screen are being given an overhauling and will be sent around to the various Haish renters during the week or ten days to come.

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

Through the persistent efforts of George Knipp, of the Sycamore Own Your Own Home Association, twelve additional dwellings have been completed in the city within the past two or three weeks and some are already occupied. The homes on the east side of town, for the most part are constructed of brick and present an attractive appearance inside and out.

Firemen started the week out today by answering an alarm to the John McCormick farm before eight o’clock this morning, where an overheated furnace had started trouble. The fire was in the partitions in one of two of the rooms and it was necessary to remove plaster to get at the flames. The booster pump was used and fortunately the fire was discovered early and avoided a serious loss.

An official warning that air mail service to men overseas may be cancelled brought added importance to the Navy’s V-mail campaign this week. In a letter to all Navy personnel, the chief of Naval operations explained that present facilities for handling air mail letters are taxed to the limit, and that if increased proportions of the overseas mail are not handled by the space-saving V-Mail, personalized air mail service may be eliminated.

Inspection and final acceptance of the Kirkland hemp mill has been made and included not only a survey of the structure itself and its equipment but a test run of hemp through the machinery. So far the Kirkland mill has a larger number of acres contracted for the coming season then either Shabbona or Polo plants.

Mrs. Anton Silkauske, living on the DeKalb road near Electric Park, was removed to the Sycamore Hospital Saturday night, suffering from a serve infection in her thumb. The woman, well known in her community was at work about her home when a sliver of wood entered the thumb. She paid little attention to the injury until the infection developed. The attending surgeon ordered her removed to the hospital immediately.

The new Grange hall in Paw Paw was filled Wednesday evening when a large audience witnessed the dedication ceremony. The grange organization purchased the Siglin building about three months ago and the member remodeled it.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

Engineering studies are being conducted for an “East Side By-Pass” and railroad overpass that would eventually connect Route 23 to an interchange of the proposed East-West Tollway.

The underpass on Annie Glidden Road is progressively taking shape. Workmen are tightening bolts on the steel work and dealing the top for the roadbed early this week.

Property in Cortland township was annexed into the Sycamore Park District due to the passing of a referendum. The purpose of the referendum was to increase the Park area to coincide with the growth of Sycamore, and included properties on the south side of the city, in Cortland Township, but within the City of Sycamore, namely Elmwood Park, Somonauk Gardens, Somonauk Meadows, and Turner Addition.

Foundation work is underway on the new addition to the DeKalb Senior High School.

A resolution supporting the City of DeKalb’s plan to provide an access road to the Northern Illinois University campus extending from North First Street to Garden Road was approved by the Board of Regents. The first section of the road would extend 1,700 feet west from a point north of the North First street bridge, then north along the east edge of the NIU playing fields for 1,300 feet, and then west for 1,850 feet to Garden Road.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

The top agriculture official from the People’s Republic of China was in DeKalb as part of a tour of the DeKalb Ag Facilities.

County voters may have the chance this fall to make a radical change in the way DeKalb County is operated. Petitions are being circulated asking that a binding referendum be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot stating that instead of an appointed county board chairman that the county go to an executive form of government with an elected county executive.

A 16-year-old male juvenile has been arrested for a shooting incident that injured two school children when a bullet was fired into the school bus they were riding in on Plank Road near Moose Range Road.

Oaken Acres Wildlife Center Director Kathleen Westfall has announced several steps will be taken to provide steady funding for the county’s only wildlife rehabilitation center and free up more time for educational programs and to take care of the animals brought to the center.

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

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