Looking Back

Looking Back for May 8, 2019

Boiler Room at the DeKalb Sycamore Electric Line on Third Street, circa 1905. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Boiler Room at the DeKalb Sycamore Electric Line on Third Street, circa 1905. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

There is hardly a day passes that one doesn’t come across some soldier lad, who has returned from overseas service, and is either walking with a crutch or has a leg or arm missing, and it is then the people realize that there has been a bloody war, and many of our boys have made sacrifices beyond words.

P. A. McGirr has recently disposed of his farm holdings in DeKalb County, and this includes two good pieces of farm land in this vicinity. The purchaser of the farms, we are informed, has agreed to pay off the indebtedness of Mr. McGirr. The two farms purchased were the 160 acres in Milan township and 80 acres in Afton township.

The Standard Oil company filling station adjacent to the Chronicle office has its troubles with the iron pieces over the drain at the entrance to the station. Since the station has been built, several of the iron pieces, which are supported in cement by a small lug have been broken off, and this accounts for the barrels and other constructions that are used to keep autos from driving over the opening and getting damaged.

Workmen are changing the course of one of the driveways in the park at Waterman. Many automobiles also various vehicles, since the spring opening, occasion some congestion in the main thoroughfare, especially near the Wiltberger Post Clock. By making the change Park Commissioner William Schnibbe plans to have a plot of green and some shrubs at the base of the clock.

Second Lieutenant Dale Albert Leifheit, of Company M, sixth infantry, I. R. M., is not the sole owner of the Lincoln Inn, the interests of Harry Dunleavy having been purchased the latter part of the week.

The DeKalb fire department had a call this morning at 7:30 o’clock to the Conlin elevator on South First street, and the boys were compelled to climb to the uppermost part of the building to get at the incipient blaze. The discovery was a most fortunate one as had it broken out during the night; the fire boys would have had a real battle.

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

The Sycamore Community Honor Roll will be dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, Tuesday, May 30, in collaboration with fitting Memorial Day exercises.

The comparatively new cement highway that links Sycamore and DeKalb, which has undergone some severe treatment since it has been completed, has withstood the ravage of the last two winters very well. However, it is reported there is one spot, believed to be over the underpass east of the Claycomb farm that has dropped a fraction of an inch, and it is probable the state highway authorities will see that it is repaired early in the season, to present a further depression.

While accurate figures are unobtainable, because of the large number of enlisted men, it is a certainty that DeKalb County has furnished a large percentage of men for the armed forces, it was learned. It is stated by Selective Service members that the men of military age in this county who now are in service number about 35 percent, and that is a conservative estimate. That does not mean that 35 percent of the county’s population now is under arms but includes those who are within the age limits for military service.

After being out of commission several days it is reported that the coal chutes of the Great Western railway in Sycamore soon will be ready for use again. During the time the chutes have been out of commission a shovel crane has been in operation. It is amusing to see one of the huge freight engines stop at the chutes for coal, and observe a train back up to the tender, and with the use of a huge clamshell, load it with coal for several miles trip. It is reported that extensive repair work is being done at the chutes at this time and when work is completed, there will be little or no delay for coaling orders.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

Mayor Harold L. (Red) Johnson was successful in his write-in campaign in Tuesday’s hotly contested mayoral race.

The remodeled basement and new audio-visual equipment make up the new projection room for viewing films in the DeKalb Public Library.

A pickup truck sustained $1,000 damage after striking a steer on Somonauk Road north of Harter Road. Ronald L. Heath of rural Hinckley had been south bound on Somonauk Road and caught sight of the steer just prior to hitting it.

Fifty years ago, a proposal was made to form a League of Women Voters to finish the fight for women suffrage and to help the newly enfranchised voters to achieve the political goals for which women wanted the vote in the first place. The League formally came into being the following February. It has been a force for civic education and constructive political action ever since.

Michael Austin has completed his term of duty in the army and has returned to Fairdale to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jakey Austin.

Science learning contracts – a written agreement between student, parents and teacher in which a student chooses a topic telling how he will study it, have been set up this year for sixth grade students at Haish Elementary School.

Approval of two projects to expand the services of the DeKalb Public Hospital received the unanimous support of the Board. The establishment of an area in the Glidden portion of the building for a psychiatric wing and making available space in the house north of the hospital on First Street for Project Alert, which will provide a special education program were two programs approved.

According to Sister Margaret James, director of admissions and records at the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minn., Annette Herrmann, Shabbona, qualified for the Dean’s list for the winter quarter of 1968.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

The last major hurdle for the Target development on Sycamore Road was cleared last night when the DeKalb City Council voted to approve the final plan for the site. The approval ends months of tension between the developer, the city and residents living near the site.

The city of DeKalb’s Department of Building and Community Services announced that monies are available for those residents residing in the Tax Increment Fund (TIF) district for sidewalk replacement.

It’s been a year since the county’s enhanced emergency 911 telephone system went on line and officials are pleased with how it is working.

The city of DeKalb and Warner Cable Co., have reached a tentative agreement regarding FM radio service to customers in DeKalb. The proposed agreement is the result of several months of negotiations between the two parties.

Tentative plans for a potential 650,000 square foot retail center drew nods of approval from the DeKalb Plan Commission at their regular meeting. Tentatively named the DeKalb Market Square development, more commonly known as the County Farm site on Sycamore Road.

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

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