Looking Back

Looking Back for Sept. 12, 2018

Burlington-Lincoln Highway marker in DeKalb was a six-foot granite marker, circa 1918. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Burlington-Lincoln Highway marker in DeKalb was a six-foot granite marker, circa 1918. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1918 – 100 YEARS AGO

Two automobile accidents occurred last night although neither one amounted to anything serious. A gentleman from Aurora giving his name as Wetmore was looking for a cigar store and crashed into the Burlington-Lincoln Highway marker at Fourth street with some force, and the spring of his car was damaged some and a hole was made in the marker. Nate Woods collided with the Homer McDole car during the evening and this was also a slight accident and both cars were soon on their way.

When you pass the booth of the Boy Scouts at Leslie’s building, stop and ask the boys what they are doing. They will inform you it is Pershing week and they are so enthused that they will induce you to show your patriotism. They reported sales of the stamps as “pretty good” this afternoon.

The walls of the new Knights of Columbus building, located next to the Wiswall & Wirtz furniture store, are going up rapidly and it will not be long before some conception of the size of the building will be possible from the street. The west wall is being pushed along as rapidly as possible, and the contractor in charge of the work hopes to make even better progress from now on.

Enter the flag woman in DeKalb’s workaday world! Mrs. Laura Cole is substituting at the Chicago, Milwaukee & Gary crossing on Sycamore road for C. A. Bears, who is ill. Mrs. Cole goes on every afternoon at three and remains on duty until midnight. Asked if the hours were not long and lonesome, she answered that the children, who live in a house nearby, come and visit her and that she busies herself with needle work.

Agent George Culver of the American Railway express company stated today that he expects a shipment of some 70 coops of pigeons tomorrow, to be liberated some time Sunday, probably during the morning hours. The agent states that the birds are sent out for training purposes and the people are liable to severe punishment if they interfere in any way with the birds. Heretofore many of the birds were shot and converted into potpie the following day, but since the government is expending money for the training of these birds, it is best to play safe and not shoot any of the pigeons released.

1943 – 75 YEARS AGO

Strain’s Food Mart is the latest retail establishment in Sycamore to hit by the wartime transportation problem. Starting next Tuesday that store will restrict its delivery services to one trip a day except Saturday.

The south mill of the Sycamore Anaconda is a genuine 100 per cent war industry. A new 60-foot, steel flag pole was installed there. A flag will adorn the pole early next week. It must be set in its concrete a few days before being vibrated by Old Glory waving in the breezes. Installation of the pole created major interest for war workers at the mill. Already they express a feeling of pride over it.

Repair work has been started on the steeple at the Finnish Lutheran Church at State and Eleventh Street, the steeple having been hit by lightning several weeks ago. Lightning struck the tip of the steeple and came out near the side, scattering shingles about the neighborhood and splintering the inside of the steeple. There was no fire and the rest of the church edifice escaped damage. Scaffolding has been built on the outside of the steeple and workers have started the precarious task of repairing the damage.

DeKalb county’s fair, staged at the Sandwich Fair Grounds, is going to threaten if not break, all past records according to those who are on the grounds trying to accommodate the huge influx of exhibits that is being registered. All indications point towards a record-breaking number of exhibits of all kinds this year, as a curtailed fair circuit throws huge loads on those that are still operating.

Chicken thieves are operating in Esmond according to reports from several homes. Harry Gustafson, living a mile north of Esmond, lost over 100 chickens one night during the past week. He heard the thieves and put on the yard light, which he now says was a mistake. He managed to reach his car and chased the thieves to the Greenway school house a mile west of his place, but he lost track of the car at the four corners. A few nights earlier Clarence Barry reported 60 chickens taken from his place and Mr. Nelson also reports the loss of 40 hens.

Mrs. Clarence Swanbum, chairman of the production department of the DeKalb chapter of the Red Cross, is making an appeal for women to help in some of the work at the sewing center on the second floor of The Chronicle Building. Production this year is lagging because of the scarcity of helpers and any women who are able to devote some time to this work will be welcomed.

1968 – 50 YEARS AGO

Emphasizing that “Industry has a big stake in DeKalb’s new airport,” City Manager, Ralph Precious, urged a group of 35 DeKalb area business and industrial leaders to support the city’s proposed $800,000 airport project. Final property appraisals on the proposed 317-acre site are now being completed and he city will probably start seeking bids for the project within the next few weeks. The site selected for the new airport is located two miles southeast of DeKalb along the northern edge of Gurler Road between Webster and Somonauk Roads.

In the final days of the DeKalb County 4-H fair and the Sycamore Farmers Club Junior Fair, beef cattle were judged. More animals were entered in the fair this year than any previous year and the judge Gary Dameron of Lexington was required to spent the entire afternoon in making close decisions. There were 99 Angus entered in this one division of the show.

At Northern Illinois University’s annual summer commencement, 470 students received graduate degrees. Another 338 received bachelor degrees.

1993 – 25 YEARS AGO

DeKalb and Sycamore Warner Cable customers are assured of continued reception of two Chicago network stations. Warner Cable has negotiated agreements with NBC and ABC that will allow it to carry the two networks without payment for rights to retransmit the signal.

DeKalb diggers will find it easier to locate city-owned underground utility lines as the city will become a member of J.U.L.I.E., Inc.

While school board administrators and teachers haggled over contract details, 70 DeKalb parents began planning a way to educate their children themselves. Their two-hour discussion at the Hopkins Park Community Center resulted in ideas for home-schooling and enrichment diversions as well as a petition to protest the strike.

Although picket lines and strikes are generally associated with unions, the construction unions currently working on Davenport Grade School will not honor the picket lines of the Genoa-Kingston Education Association.

A new event will allow shoppers to see and sample the offerings of about 20 DeKalb businesses at the downtown Egyptian Theatre. City Scenes will make its debut from 5-8 p.m. when the local business will have displays, items for sale and samples of their merchandise in the theatre’s lobby and art gallery mezzanine.

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

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