Looking Back

Looking Back for June 5, 2019

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

Will Bristow, the mail carrier, who as a rule has home-grown asparagus on the market by this time, is having his troubles this year on account of the rainy weather that has prevailed here of late. Bristow says that the cold weather, in addition to the rains, is responsible for the backwardness of the crop, and for several days past his asparagus beds have been covered with water.

The large collie dog of Charles Gurler, recently shot by the police, was sent to Chicago for examination and was found to be afflicted with rabies, or what is perhaps better known as hydrophobia. The Gurler dog was one of many that had to be killed, and the authorities here caution people about allowing their canines to run at large at this time, on account of the trouble that has appeared.

There are a lot of little kids around town today who are stepping into the fire station and after inquiry as to where “Tom,” the parrot is, go away with saddened faces, as the bird died some time during the night. “Tom” had a history, and according to all reports was about 58 years old. He was the property of an old sea captain and is a survivor of the Chicago fire.

The large boilers recently taken from the heating plant of the Haish company, used for the flats on North street and DeKalb Avenue, are being loaded today for shipment elsewhere.  The boilers are not the easiest things in the world to handle but the men at work on the job seem to have the knack on getting them loaded the quickest way, and the car will be loaded ready for movement this evening.

Skoglund and Wedberg, well known contractors of the city who now have many of DeKalb’s best building to their credit, have secured the contract for erecting the new plant of the Chicago Insulated Wire factory at Sycamore.

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

Anyone having books which are suitable for the men serving in the armed forces should leave them at the DeKalb Public Library as there still is a great demand for them. Books are one of the chief items of recreation for the service men.

Two escaped German prisoners of war were returned to their quarters at Camp Grant following their voluntary, if not eager surrender to authorities after eight hours of hiding in the wet and cold asparagus fields in the vicinity of Rochelle.

Einer and Vincent Hillquist, two well-known brothers of the city, have completed a transaction whereby they have become owners of the Emmet Gandy farm in Ohio Grove and plan to take possession within the next week or ten days.

Employees of The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, DeKalb plant were electrified by an announcement over the factory inter-communication system made by Cyril Farney, Vice President and manager of the DeKalb organization. “The loyal workers of the DeKalb plant of The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company,” Mr. Farney said, “are notified that through their splendid cooperation, ability to tackle difficult manufacturing tasks and obtain production, have fulfilled the stringent requirements to earn the coveted Army-Navy “E” award.”

Testing of all of the fire hoses was started at the DeKalb Fire Department and each length will be tested individually before the work has been completed. All of the hose is tested each year in order that any weaknesses may be determined. One batch is tested and then dried before the next batch is tested.

Officials of the DeKalb plant of the California Packing Corporation are becoming alarmed over the labor situation here. Registrations for the pea pack which will start sometime next month are coming in very much slower than last year. Many former employee cards have been returned signifying the worker will not be back at the canning factory this year to help put up the millions of cans of food, most of which will be sent to the men in service.

With a record of perfect attendance with no tardiness, 32 students at the DeKalb Township High School will each receive eight merit points when school closes on June 2.

Farmers in the Fairdale community have some of their corn planted but have been delayed on account of the cold wet spring.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

The Cineworld Corp. of Sioux City, Iowa, announced plans to lease a 900-seat theatre in DeKalb at Hillcrest Drive and Blackhawk Road near the campus of Northern Illinois University. To be developed locally by Joseph Katz, the theatre, actually four theaters in one building, is expected to be ready for occupancy by October.

Tomorrow is the day wise shoppers have been waiting for; the first Moonlight Sale ever to be offered in Sycamore is to take place beginning at 7 o’clock in the evening.  During the sale, quality merchandise will be offered hourly throughout all participating stores at 7, 8 and 9 o’clock until stock has been depleted.

The DeKalb County Board of Mental Health will initiate a long-range planning program that will lead to the construction of a mental health clinic within five years.

Forms and outlines of the new Kishwaukee YMCA building are beginning to show at the site on Sycamore Road. Concrete construction has progressed in the lower level area. With summer weather near, the new construction should proceed on schedule.

The proposed $2.5 million, high-rise apartment building project for senior citizens hit a snag when the DeKalb Zoning Board of Appeals denied the project developer’s request for a parking variance.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

Although officials state that the McDonald’s Corporation is very pleased with the Sycamore McDonald’s, the restaurant may move to a new location in the Blain’s Farm & Fleet development at the intersection of Route 23 and Peace Road.

Phase one of renovation work on Huskie Stadium is underway as workers prepare to replace the existing seats with 1,200 chairs and 800 benches, as well as upgrade locker room facilities at the stadium.

The City of Sycamore and Brian Bemis Auto World may be going back to the drawing board after the Sycamore City Council voted unanimously against an agreement for the city to purchase land with Bemis.

The Target Department store will likely be built in DeKalb, but there is continuing confusion as to where the store will be built. The store was originally slated for construction on Sycamore Road, across from the Northland Plaza development. Darrell Rhodes, the owner of the property on Sycamore Road, said that Target has decided to move from the original site to the County Farm development at Barber Greene and Sycamore Roads.

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

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