Looking Back

Looking Back for July 1, 2020

The DeKalb Kindergarten class of 1970-1971 visits the DeKalb Fire Department. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
The DeKalb Kindergarten class of 1970-1971 visits the DeKalb Fire Department. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1920 – 100 YEARS AGO

W.N. Pinkston of South First Street has reported to this office that he had potatoes out of his garden already and had them to eat last Tuesday. On the same day that he called in other people did the same so it seems that the potato raisers around here are about tied for honors.

While it is alright for the kids to have a good time when the Fourth of July is near, still they had ought to use sense when it comes to throwing the torpedoes around. A number of them are in the habit of throwing the torpedoes against the sides of automobiles that are passing. In some cases they have been new ones and the powder in the torpedoes have ruined the coat of paint on the side of the car.

George Prescott and a party of men are going to have another outing Sunday and they expect to go to Oregon and spend the time in fishing and swimming and looking the place over. All of the men will ride Harley Davidson motorcycles and they intend to have as good a time as they did when they went on the gypsy tour a couple of weeks ago.

The largest crowd that the Sherman stock company has had this season was present at the opening show here Monday night. Upon the entrance of F. G. Hubbard, “Steve,” the play had to be stopped because of the large amount of applause that was given him. As special attraction there was a Jew comedian who took his part exceptionally well and brought a great many laughs out of the audience.

1945 – 75 YEARS AGO

Employees and executives alike will take part on the white star production presentation to the Anaconda Wire and Cable Company, the program to take place at the armory. Brig. Gen. Poust will be the speaker of the evening, following the presentation of the white star for the Army-Navy E flag which now flies over the mills. Emblems will be presented to employees who were not with the company when the original Army-Navy award was made.

Residents in the vicinity of the Glidden School may be surprised to see one of the squirrels in the neighborhood without its fur collar. The squirrel, apparently making its usual call at the Leonard Twombly home was spied by a couple of robins, and one of the robins took off to keep the squirrel from getting too close to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robin. Swooping down, the bird pecked fiercely at the squirrel. Another case where the air force move faster than the land crews.

First Lieut. Jean Isabelle MacQueen, Kirkland, of the Army Nurse Corps has been decorated with the Air Medal for her courageous service in the South Pacific while participating in aerial flight from August 10, 1944, to February 19, 1945. Previously she had been commended by three generals for her work in the Leyte campaign in aiding the evacuation of wounded by air in a swift and efficient manner.

This week we have received a plaintive appeal from a DeKalb resident who is a war worker putting in tough hours in a factory. The plea is for a little consideration on the part of people who like to have their radios on full blast instead of quietly enough to limit the sound to their own homes.

The anniversary luncheon of the DeKalb County League of Women Voters was served Thursday in the Masonic Temple by the White Shrine. This being the silver anniversary, the tables were decorated with silver appointments. The address of the day was given by Mrs. Walter T. Fisher, president of the Illinois League of Women Voters. Mrs. Fisher said she liked to outline the unique procedure of the League in P’s: First, Preparation; Second, Participation; Third, Persistence and Fourth, Public Interest; the League is one of the few organizations which is not working in the interests of some special group, but in the public interest.

1970 – 50 YEARS AGO

The art of re-soling a shoe was recently explained by someone who knows. Leo Van Der Heyden, operator of Sycamore’s only shoe repair shop. The Van Der Heydens opened their shop nearly a year ago. Both Leo and Elizabeth Van Der Heyden were born in Holland and when they came to the United States in 1966 to make their home with her brother, they could not speak a word of English. The Van Der Heydens expressed how they felt about America when they said proudly, “our son was born here – he’s an American citizen.”

A crowd estimated at between 650-700 area residents thronged to Ellwood House Sunday afternoon to enjoy its Ice Cream Social and Century of Fashion style show. And who should be participating but Barb Wire herself? As Barb Watson she did her NIU student teaching at Haish School. A recent bride of Gerald Wire of Winslow, Mrs. Wire returns to DeKalb to model a dress originally worn by Mrs. Charles O. Boynton in the 1870s. Mrs. E.E. Miller, chairman of the fashion show, discovered Mrs. Wire’s name through NIU records and thought it would be appropriate to have her model at the mansion built by barb wire king Isaac Ellwood.

1995 – 25 YEARS AGO

A small beginning in one southern DeKalb home may eventually influence the nature of recycling statewide through a pilot program to reuse food waste and test new ways of sorting recyclable materials. The City of DeKalb kicked off its Wet/Dry Recycling Collection Program Thursday – the first of its kind in the state – at the home of DeKalb resident Pat Dahlberg. The pilot program actually will involve 600 DeKalb households – 300 in northern parts of the city and 300 in the south.

Despite efforts of some Cortland residents, expansion of the DeKalb/Taylor Municipal Airport is continuing as planned. Work has begun to reroute Pleasant Street and Loves Road to make way for a new northeast/southwest runway, which DeKalb officials hope can be built next year.

The City of Sycamore will begin drilling wells sometime next month to monitor ground water for gasoline leaked from an underground storage tank at the municipal building. The gasoline came from an underground storage tank formerly used to fuel city vehicles on a site just northeast of the municipal building. “The tank had been leaking for some time. It was something we weren’t aware of, naturally,” said Sycamore Fire Chief Larry Haeffner.

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