1919 – 100 YEARS AGO
The last few days it has been noted that the tourists are starting their annual trips to states west and northwest. Cars from states east of here, of every description have been going through here the past few days, and the 1919 license numbers of the various states are interesting. Some of them are easy to read, while others need almost a magnifying glass to determine the state and number. Unusual travel over the Lincoln Highway is expected this year, and DeKalb merchants should profit to a great extent by this travel.
It is reported today that work on the erection of the bleachers and the grandstand at Pershing Park for the opening game of baseball, will be started within a very short time. The puzzler of the situation was a footbridge, but it was stated authoritatively this noon that the board of directors has hit upon a new scheme that will eliminate this bridge and be a better proposition all the way round.
Incorporation papers were today issued to Edward Conlin of DeKalb, for $60,000, for the purpose of conducting and carrying on the business of buying, selling and dealing in all kinds of grain, hay, feeds, etc. Such a move as this was expected on the part of Mr. Conlin when it was learned a short time ago that he had taken over the elevator at Maple Park. He now has three elevators, one at Maple Park, Cortland and DeKalb and is perhaps one of the busiest elevator men in this section of the state.
The name DeKalb is to be seen in practically every country in the world, due to the wide reputation that the Melvin Clark pianos have acquired. Today one of the best pianos made by the DeKalb company was shipped to New York, and from there will be transferred to an ocean-going vessel for shipment to London. Several months ago, a piano was shipped to Australia and in both instances, the first shipment was made by express from here to the ocean port.
One of Lon Smith’s delivery horses hitched to a light spring wagon, took a little extra exercise yesterday afternoon without the aid of a driver, and as he ran through the business section of the city, created on ending excitement. The driver of the horse who was a small lad, ran for about three blocks, and catching up with the animal, managed to get hold of the reins and get the outfit under control again.
1944 – 75 YEARS AGO
A mother of nine children from Genoa, who was brought into court earlier this year on charges of violation of the truancy law, when she failed to send one or more of her children to school, again was arrested this week on similar charges.
A caterpillar tractor, which had caught fire, was the cause of a call for the rural fire truck to the Oscar Wallin farm on Glidden Road. The fire was soon ended with the use of chemicals and the truck was back at the station in less than an hour. The farm is tenanted by the Oscar Wallin’s but the farm is run by the California Packing Corporation.
While not running at full capacity, because of manpower shortage, rightfully woman power shortage, the Kirkland hemp mill is in actual operation, and is the first hemp mill in DeKalb County to take on activity. The miniature mountains of hemp stalks that are poled about the recently completed mill at Kirkland are rapidly transformed into first class material for products which are made from hemp.
Fishing, swimming and picnicking on the campus of the Northern Illinois State Teachers College will be banned in the future. A number of youngsters have been swimming in the pond, but this practice will be halted in the future as will the fishing and picnicking.
DeKalb’s Municipal Band will have its first concert of the season on Tuesday if the weather permits. Dee Palmer, in charge of the band organization this year states that the first presentation will be at Liberty Park, Eleventh and Lewis streets.
A Rollo skating party will be held at the Fairway Rink at Sandwich. Several birthdays will be celebrated on this occasion.
Another chair has been added to the Harvey A. Snyder Wheel Chair Service and is now being touched up a bit and being made ready for someone who may need it.
Annual spring painting of the various signals of the North Western railway in DeKalb is being done at this time. The black and white danger signals are receiving a generous application of paint, and the switches and other property of the company also will be painted.
Clinton Langdon is the new editor and publisher of the Hinckley Review and plans to move to Hinckley from Aurora as soon as a house can be found.
1969 – 50 YEARS AGO
Settlement of the Anaconda labor dispute in Sycamore was the contributing factor in DeKalb County’s employment gain of 600 workers over the past year.
Residents in the neighborhood of the Garden Street Playground were scheduled to begin circulating petitions this afternoon, asking the DeKalb Park District to purchase the 5.2-acre playground from the DeKalb School District.
A lack of communication both within the university community and between it and the surrounding DeKalb community was one of the major causes that led to the March 22 outbreak of violence on the Northern Illinois University campus.
One of the actors in the film “Faces” now showing in DeKalb is Gene Darfler who operates a farm near Somonauk. A little over a year ago Darfler gave up his acting career to run the farm that had been operated by his brother Charles who was killed in a plane crash near Aspen in January 1968.
The number of DeKalb County residents on the state relief rolls increased by 12 in March. There were 393 DeKalb County residents who were receiving public aid during March. In February, there were 381 county residents on relief.
1994 – 25 YEARS AGO
The DeKalb County Board purchased more pieces of the Peach Road jigsaw puzzle giving the county more than half of the parcels it needs to complete the road from Route 64 to Plank Road.
Residents in the Kirkland Fire Protection District whose automatic fire alarms go off too often shouldn’t be surprised if they get a bill from the department for responding to the calls. The Kirkland Fire Protection Board of Trustees has decided to bill owners of automatic alarm systems if department personnel and equipment are called to respond to more than three false alarms during a 12-month period.
Students at Genoa-Kingston High School may have to work an extra hour or two this summer to pay for a parking permit next year.
The DeKalb City Council voted unanimously to hire a police officer for DeKalb schools in response to a request from the DeKalb School District.
A slow-moving and low level Kishwaukee River is being blamed for the death of approximately 1,000 game fish that were found in the city of DeKalb. The cause of the fish kill appears to be oxygen deprivation.
• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.