Looking Back

Looking Back for June 13, 2018

Malta Fire Department at the Paul Willrett barn fire in 1953. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Malta Fire Department at the Paul Willrett barn fire in 1953. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1918 – 100 YEARS AGO

E. W. Lindgren, who came to DeKalb about three years ago and opened a Ford automobile agency, later disposing of his interest to Perry Fisk, has resisted the business bug to the last, and will again enter the game of selling automobiles under his own name.

For some time past a force of wood choppers has been in several of the fine groves within a radius of a few miles of DeKalb and the sound of the ax has reverberated through the forests. Few people have known what the meaning of the work was, but it seems that the choppers have marked a number of fine walnut trees and are cutting them down to be used for rifle stocks. This takes a fine grade of black walnut and all over the country the foresters of the government are securing these trees for use in Uncle Sam’s armies.

Prof. E. C. Page of the department of history of the Northern Illinois State Normal School and in charge of the museum, announces that the Normal Museum of History will be open to the public. The museum which has acquired nation-wide fame and is one of the best of such in the state, is the result of many years of hard work on the part of Prof. Page.

George Prescott, who is the agent here for a well-known make of motorcycles, stated that the draft laws recently enacted by the government have hit the motorcycle business rather hard. The local agent had sold many of the machines to young fellows of the city and now that they have been called to the colors, the machines are left with Mr. Prescott for disposal.

The new band will give its first outdoor concert next Thursday night at Huntley Park. The band members are well organized and are capable of giving excellent concert programs. Director Zeigner Swanson will have a program announced in a few days.

The board of education of Paw Paw has decided to discontinue the German course in the Paw Paw High School and the study of Spanish or French will be substituted instead during the coming school year.

The kids of the city, that is the rough-neck kind, are giving the police more trouble than a batch of men on parole, and the officers are beginning to lose patience and it is probably that some of the unmanageable youngsters will be given a term at a school of correction.

1943 – 75 YEARS AGO

Interesting letters have been received here of late from Sgt. Ralph Tessier telling of some of the delightful experiences he has had while with the army corps in England. One particular feature from which he derived considerable of a thrill was a greeting by the Queen of England, who was on an inspection tour of the army air camps in the country where he now is stationed.

Necessary cleaning and repairing of the swimming pool at Hopkins Park has started and while two or three days will be required to thoroughly clean the pool, it is not believed much time will be required for repairs. At the close of the season last year the park officials, after the water was drained, carefully inspected the bottom and sides for defects. The bottom was carefully covered with several layers of wild hay to prevent the snow and ice from doing any damage.

Sycamore Chief of Police William Brennan and his men appeared for duty in the new uniforms purchased shortly after the new chief took over his duties. The boys say the new suits are not what they used to be, however, as it is an impossibility to get a sixteen-ounce blue serge anywhere. All uniforms bought by the city heretofore have been serge but owing to war conditions it now is passé.

During the month, there have been many crates of homing pigeons shipped here and later released by the employees of the Railway Express company. When these birds are shipped here, there is much work required by the express company boys. When the birds are released the time must be recorded, the actions of the birds on first release, and the number remaining in close proximity to the release center.

Barton’s Pastry Shop at 137 East Lincoln Highway will end its business when the bakery is closed this evening. Today will be the last day of business and the Bartons, who have been here for the past ten years, will end their business in this city tonight. Mr. and Mrs. John Barton came to DeKalb from Decatur ten years ago, to enter the bakery business. During their stay here, they have made many friends who will be sorry to learn of their leaving. Lack of help has forced them to give up their business.

Private Robert Hickey of Milan was home from Camp Grant and spent the week end with his folks.

Defense plant guards employed for the protection of the Interstate company and also the Wurlitzer company in DeKalb, hereafter will take their weekly protection schooling in the gymnasium which has been equipped for the two plants.

1968 – 50 YEARS AGO

Remember Carl Swanson, the fellow who is always building those World War One fighter planes out at Sycamore airport? He’s at it again! Only this time he’s building a plane from scratch, using original factory specifications. The project Swanson has undertaken this year is to build an exact replica of the British made Sopwith Pup, first produced in 1916. This little one-gun, one seater was often referred to by British fighter pilots as being the “perfect flying machine.”

A 173,000-foot factory addition to Automatic Electric Company, Genoa Branch, is nearly completed and should be housing production equipment in operations within a few more weeks.

Friends and church members of the Shabbona United Church of Christ took advantage of the opportunity to view the new parsonage of the church which was open for inspection and also dedication.

Troop 23 of the Malta Boy Scouts spent a portion of Saturday planting trees in a conservation project at the first preserve north of Sycamore.

1993 – 25 YEARS AGO

A report by federal investigators into the September 7, 1992, Hinckley airplane crash that killed 11 skydivers and their pilot draws a picture of possible violations of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations by the plane’s owner, including the lack of required inspections, improperly supervised maintenance and missing repair logs.

The DeKalb County Board may turn to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to help complete the remaining leg of Peace Road from Route 64 to Route 23, north of Sycamore at the Plank Road intersection.

Northern Illinois University was granted $50,000 by the U. S. Department of Education in an effort to encourage women and minorities to attend graduate school.

It appears the management of the DeKalb County Nursing Home will be given an ultimatum: take steps to reduce the home’s deficit by half in one year or face the possibility of having the home sold. The home administrators should be given two years to reduce its anticipated deficit of $880,000 without county board interference. However, if administrators have not cut the deficit in half after one year, steps could be taken to start selling the home.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

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