Looking Back

Looking Back for June 19, 2019

DeKalb rail yards at 10th street circa 1907. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
DeKalb rail yards at 10th street circa 1907. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

The cement walk at the corner of Fourth and Lincoln Highway was found to be defective one day last week, and rather than take chances of anyone receiving injuries, the city covered the walk with planks. It is planned to put in new cement, and it is probable the same will be done with other walks about town that have been damaged by the water washing out the foundation, leaving just the crust of hardened cement.

Mr. and Mrs. Guy Housewert of Cortland yesterday received a wireless message from their son, Fred, who is enroute to the United States after several months serving in France. The young man is on the U.S.S. DeKalb, and is as anxious to get home as the rest of the boys who have been over there. Housewert had been in France since last June, and of late had been at work in one of the division laundries over there.

W. M. Sabree, who came to DeKalb county in 1834 and is believed to have lived longer in this county than anyone else is suffering with a broken left hip at his home in Hinckley. He is past 87 years of age.

Bright and early tomorrow morning the actual work on construction on the Lincoln Highway from DeKalb east to the state home for boys near Geneva will be commenced just east of the CM&G viaduct where a force of graders will start to work. The start will not be made at the east city limits where the state road is to commence as it has not yet been decided whether the tracks of the CA&D electric line will be placed at the side of the road or in the middle and the cement construction cannot be done until this is settled.

Two men, apparently under the influence of liquor, narrowly escaped being struck and killed by one of the west bound fast trains yesterday, causing considerable excitement in the neighborhood of the station. The gateman at Seventh street had lowered his gates, and was ringing his bell for the approach of the fast train, but it seems the fellows were in a hurry, or at least thought they were. Hardly had one of them reached the track when he saw the danger and jumped, while the other one was not missed by over six inches.

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

Rain interfered with the display of captured German war equipment, which was on display on Somonauk street in Sycamore. The exhibit was viewed by many Sycamore residents, however, and they quickly observed what the efforts of the Allies have done to thousands of pieces of enemy equipment such as shown there. The display included a 22-ton German tank, the remains of a Focks-Wolfe plane, 88-millimeter field piece and other lighter artillery, captured during combats in North Africa.

One lady said a few days ago that she used to be afraid to go to bed at night. She was swollen with stomach gas, which always got worse when she went to bed, and the gas would rise up in her throat after she lay down and would nearly choke her. She couldn’t lie flat. Had to prop herself up on pillows. Recently this lady got ERB-HELP and now says gas is gone, stomach feels fine, bowels are regular and she can go to bed and sleep soundly.

John Marshall has been secured by the Sycamore Park Board to work at the grounds during the night, and his duties will be to keep the greens in the usual splendid shape, in addition to keeping prowlers off the grounds after closing hours. Persons found in the park after closing hours will receive no leniency. The plan to have a night man at the park this year was to avoid a repetition of other years when several of the greens were damaged by the trespassers.

A total of 98 cases in circuit court for which there has been no demand for jury trial, probably will be heard by the court, or stricken from the docket, it was stated yesterday in the circuit clerk’s office. The matter is taken up at this term of court in an effort to rid the docket of many cases of long standing in some of which attorneys for one or both sides have died. The list of these cases to be stricken with leave to reinstate, has been mailed to the attorneys of the county, and a copy is on file in the circuit clerk’s office.

Those sending packages overseas are being reminded that greater care should be taken in wrapping the parcels. A number of the packages being received at the post office are not wrapped securely and some even have to be refused. All packages going overseas should be wrapped in at least three thicknesses of heavy wrapping paper and then should be securely tied.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

The dog eludes the net and refuses to be caught by the snare. The city’s dogcatcher decides that he can’t capture the dog on foot. He estimates the weight of the dog and picks up a gun. He’s only going to put the dog to sleep until the animal can be captured and taken to a veterinarian. After selecting the cartridge with sufficient dosage, the dogcatcher loads a weapon that is known as CAP-CHUR.

Everybody who shops in DeKalb knows Mike Malone who not only has the distinction of being the oldest (91) businessman on Main Street but he has the oldest business (94 years old) as well. Starting to work in the same store for H. H. Wagner in 1896 he bought the building himself in 1919 and started with an all-new inventory. He took over the business himself 50 years ago with seven employees, he now has 35.

After four years without an outdoor theatre, DeKalb area movie fans will see DeVal Drive-In opening again about June 25. The theatre opened in 1948 and closed in 1965.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

Students at Littlejohn Elementary School were not dampened by the weather on Thursday when they began planting the Littlejohn Prairie. The prairie is being created as an outdoor classroom and will provide opportunities to extend the curriculum outside the classroom.

The City of Sycamore and Brian Bemis presented a new proposal to the Sycamore City Council outlining a new payment schedule and new stipulations for the purchase of a parcel of land for Bemis. According to the new proposal, the city of Sycamore will pay Bemis $450,000 for a five-acre parcel of land at the intersection of Peace Road and Route 23 with the guarantee that Bemis will build and operate a car dealership at that location for a minimum of five years.

Students, beware! The District 428 Advisory Committee on Discipline is considering establishing city ordinances that cite and fine students for offenses such as fighting, tobacco use, truancy, and use of intoxicating substances. The citations would be similar to those received for traffic offenses, and fines would be paid at City Hall.

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

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