Looking Back

Looking back at 10 years of Looking Back

Joiner History Room volunteers are seen hard at work on a research request. Pictured (from left) are Tammy Johnston, Kevin Mathey, Sue Breese and Ann Marie Babich.
Joiner History Room volunteers are seen hard at work on a research request. Pictured (from left) are Tammy Johnston, Kevin Mathey, Sue Breese and Ann Marie Babich.

June is the 10th anniversary of the Joiner History Room participating in the Looking Back column. Thank you for letting us share this different look at the column with you. We hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

1887 – There is danger that the patriotic impulses of the present legislature may lead it into reckless extravagance with the people’s money. 

1887 – Dr. A. P. Astratzaturoff has drawn attention to the danger of infection arising from the promiscuous use of the mouth pieces of public telephones.

1887 – H. H. Haaff, a cranky fellow, made a speech at the courthouse last Thursday evening, evidently with the intention of drawing off attendance at the Farmer’s Institute, against which he has a grudge. His speech was on the dehorning of cattle, which he claims to have invented. He had a small crowd.

1888 – The boys on North California Street in Sycamore have formed a joint stock company and are building a toboggan slide.  

1888 – It is understood that there are several foreign-born people in this town who have been voting for years without having taken out naturalization papers. This matter is being carefully looked after by the proper authorities. 

1911 – Charles Tharme, who was granted a divorce from his wife on Wednesday, celebrated a little too hilariously and was arrested that evening for being drunk.  

1912 – The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the decision of the DeKalb County Board of Review that churches must pay taxes on parsonages, rectories and other church property excluding church buildings themselves.

1912 – The Sycamore city council voted to purchase two drinking fountains – one to replace the fountain on the corner of the courthouse grounds, which was stated to be too low for fat folks, and the other to be located at Mrs. Frank Hall’s corner. 

1912 – Fire destroyed the dwelling at the John DeWane farm in rural Kirkland Sunday night. The piano was about all that was saved of the entire household goods.

1912 – It takes a pretty smart girl to chew a wad of gum and look intelligent at the same time.

1912 – The demand for limestone for fertilizer and macadam roads has exceeded the output by the penitentiaries. The only solution seems to be establishment of manufacturing plants by outside interest.

1913 – The man who tries to hide behind a woman’s skirt is likely to be discovered. Some of the skirts nowadays are scarcely able to hide what is inside them.

1913 – The township of DeKalb has begun the work of laying a hard stone road from town to the northwest corner of the township.

1913 – There are many hundred of squirrels in Sycamore. The lively little rodents are so numerous they are regarded by many citizens as nuisances, and what were at first pets are now pests. 

1913 – If things keep going as they have started, there will be a town three miles west of Sycamore at Five Corners – which name, by the way, should be Five Points, as there are five points, but no corners there.

1914 – Mr. E. J. Wiswall of Wiswall & Wirtz advocated a plan to the Commercial Club of shutting up every mercantile institution in DeKalb a half-day each week and allow the workers a holiday.

1936 – Mr. and Mrs. Roy van Artsdale have purchased a discarded Rockford street car and located it on the old Mace farm near Esmond. They may decide to make a residence of it. 

1936 – The first quota of 100 men was put to work today on the project for paving 17.98 miles on an extension of Route 64 west from Sycamore to Kings.

1937 – Nearly 1,000 in Sycamore and vicinity who come within the provisions of the federal Social Security Act, which became effective Jan. 1, will find their paychecks short on their next pay day.

1937 – Mayor Frank E. Ashelford, presiding over an assemblage of six aldermen, a city clerk, city attorney, chief of police, superintendent of streets, one reporter, and one lone spectator – not counting two snow plow salesmen who were doomed to disappointment – piloted the Sycamore City Council last night through its regular monthly session.

1937 – Life grows easier every day for the younger generation. The youngsters now have soft paper handkerchiefs for bad colds instead of old-fashioned rough coat sleeves.

1937 – A proposal to incorporate a new municipality in DeKalb Township known as “South DeKalb” was defeated at a special election yesterday. Thus the last hope of the wets to circumvent an earlier vote declaring DeKalb to be dry territory was shattered.

1937 – The Fargo Theatre received word today news reels en route here for showing Sunday will show explosions which racked the huge dirigible Hindenburg and sent her crashing to the ground in Lakehurst, NJ, with a loss of 35 lives. 

1937 – Esmond is the second community in DeKalb County to have the advantage of a modern automatic telephone exchange. Dial telephones were first installed in Kingston three years ago. The system has worked so well that it is planned to extend it to other communities.

1937 – The Waterman airport, officially listed as the DeKalb County airport, will reopen next summer in condition to meet federal requirements. The field has been planted in corn this year.

1938 – Joseph A. Entwhistle is seeking $1,000 damages from the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad for wrecking his automobile at the Monroe Street crossing in Genoa. According to the (suit), a locomotive and string of cars were proceeding so carelessly that they struck the auto and demolished it.

1961 – You must set your clocks and watches back one hour this weekend. There are three choices. You can: 1) set the timepieces in your home and on your wrist back one hour just before you retire; 2) sit up until 2 a.m. and then set them back one hour; or 3) Forget about it and learn the hard way by arriving at church an hour early on Sunday morning.

1961 – Thomas Cliffe planned to park his car in the North Maple Street parking lot in Sycamore as he often does. He inserted a dime; nothing happened so he tried another dime. The second dime generated real action when it paid Cliffe $7 in dimes. 

1962 – An attempt to steal a parking meter and the kids’ new fun stunt of taping auto horn switches down in the middle of the night are the things that make police officers wonder why they didn’t take up farming or forestry as a profession. 

1987 – Wurlitzer Co. plans to vacate its corporate headquarters on Gurler Road by Feb. 20 as part of the term of its acquisition agreement with Wurlitzer Investments, Ltd., which holds a majority interest in the company. Wurlitzer has been in DeKalb since 1919.

1988 – Ollie’s Frozen Custard, 1208 Sycamore Road in DeKalb, opened three summers ago and has gained a reputation to match its tasty product as the long lines of customer attest. 

1987 – A 21-year-old Sycamore woman who died from injuries sustained in an apartment fire has become the first organ donor from Kishwaukee Hospital. 

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