Looking Back

Looking Back for March 13, 2019

Quilhot school in Shabbona Township was built in 1846 at the southeast corner of the intersection of University and Preserve roads. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Quilhot school in Shabbona Township was built in 1846 at the southeast corner of the intersection of University and Preserve roads. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

Today was about the quietest horse sale day that DeKalb has seen since the organization of the monthly event in this city, many, many years ago. The roads throughout the country are in bad condition due to the snow storm of yesterday and the farmers did not come in. There were fewer buyers in town this week, too, than has been noticed on previous horse sale days.

The railroad men had a small task in getting the “goat” or in other words, the small switch engine back on the track again, which required about an hour. The mishap occurred due to a mistake at the tower when the operator threw the wrong switch open, and the accident did not tie up traffic nor do any serious damage.

Dr. Greeley of Waterman made a professional call to Shabbona Grove yesterday.

John Willrett, son of Gottlieb Willrett is now within 100 miles of his grandfather’s home in Germany. Only an uncle and aunt of the soldier reside there now. Willrett who had been in service a year last September is with the 33rd division, in the headquarters corps.

The water cooler that has been in use at the Elks club for some time past will soon be a thing of the past. Today A. W. Marvin and William Bagg have been busy installing one of the latest models of sanitary drinking fountains, not ice water but ice cooled, and when completed, the club will be well equipped along this line. The bubbler is built on the order of a thermos bottle, and although the water does not come in contact with the ice at any time, it is iced water.

Foiles & Russell announce they have secured the local sales agency for the Heider tractor, manufacturer by the Rock Island Plow Co., and now have the Model 12.20 on exhibition. The Heider is the result of ten years’ actual experimental field work, and represents the best practice in light tractor building, with ample power, enclosed working parts, rigid frame, short turning radium, etc., and is remarkably easy to handle.

The eight o’clock Sycamore car jumped the track at the hill west of town this morning, as the car was carrying Normal students around to the big school. About 15 minutes work on the part of the crew and car barn force was necessary to put the car again on the steel, and at 11 o’clock everything was running normal again.

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

Announcement was made today by the Defense Plant Corporation that a contract increase has been made to the Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Corporation. An increase of $70,000 has been awarded to provide additional facilities for the Interstate plant at DeKalb, bringing its commitment to $1,500,000.

Cookies for the boys in service of Cortland Township will be packed Tuesday evening at the Charles Forest home.

For the past several days the Northern Illinois Corporation, manufacturing division, has been working a 24-hour a day schedule following an emergency order received from the ordinance division of the War Department. Instructions received from the ordinance department were to step up production at the local plant to the limit. All of the employees were called back, but with the shortage of available help at the present time, a number of business men and others have been helping in the assembly line.

In carrying out the Victory garden program that has been publicized much of late, many stores in Sycamore have put out the seed cases for spring, and already some people have made purchase of vegetable seeds for the ‘44 Victory garden.

The Fairdale ladies who are interested in Red Cross work sew at the school house each Wednesday.

Telephone and electric lines at Kirkland are being repaired after being out of commission for a couple of days. A light wire broke at the intersection near the Mrs. Lora Wilson home and in falling came in contact with telephone wires, causing considerable damage.

Many outstanding production achievements have been recorded in DeKalb county war plants during the past few months, but most of them must go unheralded on account of the strict censorship necessities of war time. However, it is revealed by the J. V. Patten Company of Sycamore, which has been known to have a war contract, that heavy production on the Boots roll top airplane engine nut is now reaching large figures. This special type of nut, that helps made American Airplane engines tops on the war front, are being turned out at the Sycamore plant at the rate of a half million per month.

Starting this morning at 7:30 o’clock members of the DeKalb Police Department started working eight-hour shifts. Previously the members of the department have been working twelve hour shifts. Reducing the working hours means that there will be three shifts instead of two.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

Sounds of a carillon concert will ring from atop a 17-story tower on the Northern Illinois University campus at noon. A guest carilloneur will play a demonstration concert on what Northern’ s seniors hope will be their gift to the university.

Donald Merritt of Genoa was presented an award by the Illinois Central Railroad officials for averting a potential train derailment by reporting a broken rail to the company.

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 654 of Waterman met in the Legion Room of the community building for an all-day sewing session. Nylons were snipped and carpet rags torn, sewn, and rolled to send to veterans who use them to make rugs.

An attempt to break into the safe at the Kingston Post Office was foiled when a neighborhood dog began barking. The outer cover of the safe was damaged but the burglars didn’t get through to the contents. Locks on the Post Office doors were broken with entry made through the rear.

A $600,000, duplex-housing development for DeKalb’s low-income families will be constructed on a three and one-half acre site on Taylor Street between Ninth and Tenth Streets. The 36-unit housing project is being overseen by the DeKalb County Housing Authority, which was granted a 75-day option to purchase the three and one-half acre site from the DeKalb School District.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

If you have a green thumb, and even if you don’t, set aside April 23 to help plant trees in DeKalb. The fourth annual “Spruce Up DeKalb” program is conducted in recognition of Arbor Day. This year, 12,000 trees are available for planting.

Organizations seeking grants from the DeKalb County Community Foundation got two pieces of good news from the foundation's board. The amount of money available for grants in 1994 has increased and there are two grant cycles.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department may take over the law enforcement duties in Shabbona. Shabbona has been without a police officer since the death of police Chief James Drury in December. Earlier in the year the village's part-time police officer was injured in a traffic accident, and he has not returned to work.

A proposed Target project on Sycamore Road got a green light from the DeKalb Plan Commission. The commission approved the final plan and plat for the project on Sycamore Road across from the Northland Plaza.

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

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