Looking Back for Dec. 6, 2023

Locust Street in DeKalb looking west towards the intersection of Locust and First Street in 1957.

1923 – 100 Years Ago

Christmas Savings Clubs which have been in the course of being completed since the beginning of the year were today paid off by the various banks of the city. Although no figures are announced the First Trust and Savings Bank indicates that the number of members of the Christmas club and the value of checks mailed this morning are far in excess of the clubs paid at this time last year. The DeKalb Trust and Savings Bank sent checks out today for 641 club members with a total value of $34,000 compared to a business of last year which amounted to about 340 savings accounts with a value of $16,000. The checks mailed by all of the banks this morning nearly swamped the post office which today handled more business than it has been forced to take care of since last Christmas.

Considerable comment was heard around the city hall today concerning the appearance of Girard Street, which is but two blocks in length, and the authorities are determined to take some action to “clean up.” Just whether the authorities are determined to clean up the street or those guilty of making that thoroughfare a dumping place for tin cans, rubbish and garbage, is not known. “It is a dirty shame” said one official today, “that the people of Girard Street do not know that the street is for travel and not for garbage, ashes and rubbish. We are going to clean up that street before long and those people who are making a practice of littering the thoroughfare will be made to pay the penalty.”

There seems to be considerable misunderstanding according to reports from the police station as to what is meant by the chief of police orders that cars must be parked with lights at night when on the highway and on side streets. The greatest trouble seems to be with those who leave machines parked on the Lincoln Highway in the business section after 11 o’clock at night. It must be remembered that at 11 o’clock each night the ornamental lights on the Lincoln Highway are turned out and few other than corner lamps are allowed to burn the remainder of the night. It is after 11 o’clock that light must be lighted on the machines parked in the business section.

1948 – 75 Years Ago

This morning the Sallee Implement Company at 625 Oak Street reported to the police that a large door had been broken when a tractor had been banged against it. It appeared as though someone had entered the building during the night and had attempted to drive the tractor away by driving it against the door. If this was the case the effort to steal the tractor was not successful although the door as damaged considerably.

Pfc. Robert Wildenradt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Wildenradt departed by train Saturday evening from Aurora for Denver, Colo., where he will be stationed at Lowry Field for the next few months. He, along with two other Sycamore boys, Pfc. Merle Swedberg and Pfc. Howard Higgens have been enjoying the past ten days with relatives and friends.

On December 1, there were 164 certificated airports and 230 restricted landing areas in Illinois.

Kane County authorities are looking for a well weighted-down burglar who broke into the Carl Thurow Implement Store at Big Rock sometime during the night Friday and made away with about $50 in coins. The money was in half dollars and quarters and would have made quite a load for any man’s pockets. The burglary was discovered when the place was opened for business on Saturday morning. Entrance to the store as gained by removing a screen and raising the sash. The money was taken from a desk which was jimmied open.

Today is Illinois’ 130th birthday. On December 3, 1818, President Monroe signed a bill making Illinois the 21st state in the union. The “Sucker State” has come a long way since then. From a string of frontier outposts, the state now has a bustling 9,000,000 population with the second largest city in the nation. There wasn’t quite as much bustle then as there is now. In fact, it took 13 days for the news of President Monroe’s action to reach Kaskaskia, capital of Illinois Territory, on Dec. 16, 1818.

Ideal Industries, Inc. of Sycamore, this year is observing Christmas with a paid half holiday for all employees on the afternoon of the day before Christmas. Ideal customarily provides holiday pay to its employees for holidays observed during the work week so that employees’ income will not be reduced by the holiday. The firm does not work on Saturday, however, and because Christmas falls on a Saturday this year, employees this year did not expect any Christmas pay. Ideal’s management, though, felt some special observance of Christmas was in order.

1973 – 50 Years Ago

Twisted steel, more than 60 percent of that erected thus far for the A. O. Smith Harvestore plant just south of East-West Tollway extension, lies crumpled on the ground after high winds ripped through the area Tuesday. No injuries were incurred as the steel workers were on lunch break when the incident occurred.

House Republican Leader Gerald R. Ford becomes the 40th vice president of the United States today. The House of Representatives was gathering two hours earlier than its usual noon starting time to take up President Nixon’s nomination of the 60-year-old Michigan lawmaker, made Oct. 12, two days after Spiro T. Agnew resigned and pleaded no contest to a charge of tax evasion.

If the Christmas spirit is measured in unselfish generosity, then Mrs. Ida Montgomery and her mother, Mrs. Leichnitz have a corner on the market. Every Christmas, these two women spend all their spare time repairing and dressing donated dolls and making other usable items such as crocheted slippers which they send to Bethesda Home, Dixon State Hospital and veteran’s homes.

1998 - 25 Years Ago

At the Fiftieth Anniversary Conference of the Illinois Art Education Association in Springfield, art educators were honored for their professional achievements in our state. Anna Marie Coveny was nominated and selected to receive the 1998-99 Illinois Museum Art Educator of the Year Award. She was recognized by her colleagues for her vision and leadership in arts advocacy, primarily because of the founding and directing of an art gallery within a nonprofit organization in DeKalb.

Just how many fulltime police officers does a town of 3,950 in DeKalb County really need? Genoa, which currently has eight full-time officers plus a chief of police, seems to have enough to satisfy several city council members, who have twice tabled requests to increase the size of the department. However, there is a plan on the table which would expand the city’s police presence by allowing two more full-time patrolmen.

Employees of Duplex Products Inc. lowered the company’s flag for the last time Friday afternoon in Sycamore. The company, which has been in operation since 1947, closed its doors for good during a brief ceremony at the business.

The DeKalb County Highway Department may demolish its building and construct a new one in its place if the state kicks in a portion of the expected $1.5 million bill. A faulty roof, water damaged walls and a garage area too small for most modern trucks, are just a few of the reasons county officials are considering a new building for the transportation department.

Compiled by Sue Breese