Looking Back

Looking Back for April 17, 2019

Williston Hall, circa 1915, at Northern Illinois State Normal School. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Williston Hall, circa 1915, at Northern Illinois State Normal School. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

There are perhaps but few people in the city of DeKalb who are informed as to what an important industry is housed with the city’s borders in the DeKalb County Agricultural Association, which was founded a short time ago by the same progressive men of the county who founded the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association. Let it be understood at the first that both organizations are a part of DeKalb and DeKalb county, and there are few such corporations in the state that are as important.

The croquet fans of the city, who last year spent considerable time on the vacant lot north of the Wright building on North Third Street, are looking for a new ground this year. It is understood that there is a possibility that two clubs will be organized here with competitive games being played during the spring and summer. The lot adjacent to the new K. C. building is being looked over by some of the fans as a suitable place for the second club.

Perhaps one of the longest shipments of express, and also the heaviest that has been sent out of here in some time past as a single piece, was started on its way this morning. The Melville Clark Piano company recently received an order for one of their best players to be shipped to San Francisco, and the instrument was properly crated and started en route today. It was said about the express offices that the charges for transportation will exceed $100.

During the last few days workmen have been at work at the North Western station installing new water pipes. The old pipes became so rusted that they were continually springing leaks and when the repairmen finished their work, the water service there will be much better.

The large smoke stack that was used at the Haish heating plant until abandonment of that facility recently, was taken down last week and the several sections hauled to the station. Yesterday a force of men was busy loading the many sections into a coal car and getting them started on the way to the purchaser. The heating plant on North street is now a thing of the past and residents living in the flats there are using stoves and furnaces.

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

Most of the debris near Five Points, as a result of the Great Western wreck last week is cleaned up at this time, at least as far as the damaged freight cars are concerned. There is a huge quantity of lumber on the scene, which probably will be removed today. Large quantities of grain, wheat and other seeds are scattered for considerable distance, but the people of the neighborhood are picking this up as rapidly as possible for chicken feed.

Shoe retailers may temporarily sell children’s shoes ration-free in ranges from size eight and one-half through twelve, and misses’ and little boys’ shoes in sizes twelve and one-half through three. These shoes may be sold to consumers ration free from May 1 through May 20, at a maximum price of $1.60 per pair.

Mrs. Leta Best Muller, Sycamore librarian, who is putting forth an extra effort to secure books for the men in service, reports that of late, a greater interest is being shown in the work and she expects to be able to send out a large shipment before many days pass.

Waiting only for a change in the general weather conditions, home gardeners of DeKalb are preparing for victory gardening this year on even a greater scale than last. Gardens last year were well above expectations, and this year the government is asking that home gardens produce 25 percent more food than the 1943 season.

A large window on the east side of the J. C. Penney store at Third street and the Lincoln Highway was blown in. Fortunately, no one was injured as the huge pane of glass crumbled. Whether the glass was weakened by the heavy wind yesterday morning or whether the break was caused by the air pressure from the inside is not known.

Workers under the supervision of Harley Self, district superintendent of highways, are busy at this time removing the snow fences in all parts of the several counties over which the superintendent has jurisdiction. Many of the blockades have been taken down and rolled, but the posts remain. It is expected the work will be completed by Mr. Self and his several crews.

Two cows and several hogs were buried under a straw stack which was blown over them during the damaging wind storm which struck the community of Victor Tuesday. The animals were unhurt but the farmer was forced to dig them out.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

A big and growing problem in DeKalb and DeKalb County is the growing number of abandoned and junk cars littering the street and yards of the city and the country roads throughout the county. Regulations on air pollution and other problems with junk yards have made these junkers unprofitable business and actually expensive to dispose of by the city and county. The city of DeKalb has approximately 300 abandoned cars and the county has a thousand.

Construction of the Kishwaukee Family YMCA building started with a groundbreaking at the site on Sycamore Road.

Ground breaking services were held for the new Covenant Church in DeKalb at the site of the new building on North First Street and Ridge Drive. This event marked the start of construction of the $230,000 first phase of the church building which will be the third home of the 87-year-old congregation.

A single hospital comprised of 181 acute beds as a base for the development of a health facility complex in the DeKalb and Sycamore service area was the recommendation made.

Sycamore Brownie Troops 172, 260, 355, and 392 of Southeast School and Troop 291 of Central School attended a roller skating party at the Fargo Skating Rink in DeKalb.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

It appears that the money generated from the sale of the county farm should go to the renovation of the current nursing home or to the construction of a new facility.

The Genoa Township Park District may receive a helping hand from local contractors and laborers this spring to repair park buildings in poor condition.

Papers allowing the county to start eminent domain proceedings against two landowners along the proposed Peace Road extension, north of Route 64, have been filed.

Residents of the DeKalb Plaza Apartments will be seeing some improvements in the complex where they live as a result of the pending sale of the building.

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

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