Looking Back

Looking Back for May 22, 2019

The ladies of the Somonauk Red Cross Chapter, 1918. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
The ladies of the Somonauk Red Cross Chapter, 1918. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

The new building being erected for the plumbing and tinning business for F. E. Douglas, adjacent to Foiles’ garage is nearing completion. The walls were completed last week and yesterday the roof was being put on and in a short time the place will be ready for occupancy. The building is constructed of cement blocks to conform to the Foiles’ garage.

The automobile owners of DeKalb are getting more and more careless about parking cars close to fire hydrants about town. Saturday night, for instance, there was hardly a fire plug along Lincoln Highway that could have been reached by the fire department had the occasion arisen.

The last disastrous fire that Sycamore had, which destroyed the plant of the Chicago Insulated Wire factory, has caused the residents, business and professional men to think and plans are under way now for the purchase of a motor fire truck. It was intimated some time ago that the board of directors of the burned factory disliked the idea of rebuilding, knowing that Sycamore’s fire protection was of a low standard compared to other cities. It is understood that a committee of the city council is investigating the cost and qualifications of several such trucks and it’s probably that an up-to-date motor apparatus will be purchased by the county seat before long.

The road leading into Fairview cemetery is perhaps in the worst condition now that it has been for some time past, and the local undertakers, are willing to do almost anything that will help to fix that road. Funerals that have been held there during the last week or ten days, were done so under trying circumstances, and it was especially hard for automobiles to get through the mud.

The many friends of Michael F. Malone will be interested to know that he expects to open a store here next week, possible the latter part of the week. The firm name will be known as M. F. Malone & Company, and “Mike” will be the manager. The business will be opened in the store formerly occupied by H. H. Wagner; Malone having purchased the fixtures at the public sale. 

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

Roaming dogs and chickens are becoming the chief troubles of the police department at this time and the head of the department, William Brennan, says that unless residents look after the fowls and dogs more carefully, there will be a wholesale killing some of these days. Victory gardeners, many more this year than usual are complaining daily about the neighbors’ chickens destroying their gardens and to top it off, someone else telephoned the station that a group of dogs, some without tags, were “just ruining my garden and also my flower beds.”

Men and women of DeKalb and community will be in greater demand for processing and canning foods this year than ever before, if our soldier boys at home and overseas are to be properly fed. Demands made upon the canning industry all over the nation will be heavier this year and as many former workers in canning factories have taken employment in other war plants, in addition to a huge contingent now in the armed forced, every canning factory in the United States must rely on more female help and older men.

Fire in the brooder house on the Tore Bergeson farm in Ohio Grove threatened the brooder house and the barn for a time but the Sycamore fire department saved the building and the barn.

Lt. Thomas Crooke of DeKalb, pilot of a Flying Fortress, yesterday was able to bring his ship home to its base in England on only two engines after taking part in a smashing raid on Saarbrucken, it was reported in a London dispatch. His plane was one of nearly 4,000 Allied craft which took part in raids on seven targets. Antiaircraft fire had knocked out two motors on Crooke’s plane but he still managed to return to his base although forced to straggle behind the rest of his squadron.

E. Cox of Fairdale fractured his leg Sunday when he lost control of his motorcycle and went into the ditch a half mile west of the village. He was taken to a Rockford hospital in an ambulance.

Pvt. Vernon Meade of Sandwich has been awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action on the Anzio beachhead during the evening of March 23 according to word received by his mother. The medal has been sent to Mrs. Meade.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

A 22-year-old DeKalb man damaged the entire front end of his 1964 station wagon when he reportedly rammed into a Suburban Estates office building early this morning after the breaks on his car failed to work.

A $500,000 bond referendum for the construction of a new main fire station and purchase of equipment should be put to DeKalb voters.

Production workers at the DeKalb plant of the General Electric Company may go on strike unless an agreement is reached concerning the company’s policy on layoffs and reduction in personnel.

Barber-Greene’s new movie, Anticipating Tomorrow, which was seen by thousands at the 1969 Construction Equipment Exposition at the International Amphitheatre, will be shown at the DeKalb Theatre in DeKalb tomorrow.

Fifth graders at Glidden School were the first group from the DeKalb schools to spend five days in residence at the Lake Geneva Campus of George Williams College. Since their October trip, the group have found increased interest in examining materials from outdoors.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

Affection, a sense of belonging and recognition were the focus of discussion for fifth graders at Clinton Rosette in DeKalb. The lesson on building a strong support system was just one of many that are a part of the Drug Abuse Resistance education (DARE) class.

Sycamore residents may be a little bit closer to Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets if McDonald’s expands its franchise to the Blain’s Farm & Fleet retail development at the intersection of Route 23 and Peace Road.

Agriculture continues to be a strong economic factor in DeKalb County. However, the number of farms and the land in those farms continues to slide.

Under a sunny sky and with the wind blowing, the first county road was officially adopted this morning. Members of the DeKalb County Farm Bureau’s Women’s Committee cleaned the ditches along Perry Road, west of Route 23, and had signs put up telling the public they adopted that portion of the road.

A state grant and loan totaling more than $240,000 will allow the Ben Gordon Community Mental Health Center to purchase a shelter for men recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. 

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

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