Looking Back for Dec. 27, 2023

Original bandstand in Liberty Park in DeKalb, between 10th and 11th Streets on Lewis Street, August 1955.

1923 – 100 Years Ago

While the work of installing the new pumping equipment in the Seagrave truck of the DeKalb Fire Department by a factory expert is taking place the old fire truck owned by the city of Sycamore has been loaned to DeKalb. Sycamore recently bought a new truck equipped with a pump and during the time when the Seagrave will be out of commission Sycamore’s second best will be housed in the DeKalb barns.

One of the older landmarks of the Sycamore’s business section, is to be sold at court sale tomorrow forenoon at 11 o’clock, that of the Gossmann building adjacent to the First National Bank. It is understood there are several bidders in sight at this time and although it is not expected the court attaches will allow the building to go for a song. It is more than likely it will be purchased at a lower price than through a real estate agency. Special efforts have been put forth to get several people interested and the sale is attracting unusual interest.

Through the courtesy of several friends about the city of DeKalb the members of the police department are smoking good cigars for a few days as several boxes of the better variety were left there Monday night and Tuesday morning. The chief does not indulge in the weed, and it is up to the mayor, and other members of the department to get rid of the smokes before they become dried out. It looks now as thought the several boxes left at the station will not last long, but then New Year’s Day is coming within a few days and more probably will be left there.

Patrons of the public library are informed that the library will not open Sunday afternoon, Monday evening or Christmas day. Since the installation of the library in the new quarters on the second floor of the Chronicle building, the librarians have been busy stacking the many volumes. They will welcome the short vacation which the holiday will afford.

It is with the utmost regret that those in the news room of The Chronicle, as well as the other numerous friends of Miss Esther Beckman, have learned of the illness of “our” operator, who is suffering with a throat affliction, reported to be quinsy. It is to be hoped that Miss Beckman will recover rapidly from the illness and soon be able to return to her duties at the switchboard of the telephone office.

1948 – 75 Years Ago

Several reports have been received of counterfeit ten-dollar bills being passed in DeKalb, the bills having been noted by cashiers and the like. A few weeks ago, a warning was issued to be on the lookout for bogus ten- and 20-dollar bills as a number of them had been discovered in the northern Illinois area. None of the bills was found in the DeKalb area until a few days ago. Since then, others have ported discovering them. The bills near a very close resemblance to good greenbacks and are difficult to detect.

Patricia Montgomery, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Montgomery of Kirkland suffered a fractured nose Tuesday forenoon when hit by a hard snowball.

When employees of Ideal Industries, Inc., left work yesterday each had a turkey and a big grin. The turkey, a Christmas present from the management and the grin just naturally went with it.

DeKalb County, ordinarily one of those territories where the sale of Christmas Seals was an accepted record braking event, has been lagging this year. Although the sale has not as yet officially closed, there are very definite indications that DeKalb County is lagging behind the mark of last year.

The Firemen’s Association of Cortland was presented a gift of $64 on Tuesday evening. This sum was realized from the benefit card party given by a group of women, the wives of the firemen, two weeks ago.

Over 40 mechanical toys many games, blocks, and jig-saw puzzles were delivered to the president of the Ministerial Association in DeKalb yesterday afternoon to be delivered to boys and girls on Christmas Day. The Mother’s Club was designated to find the families worthy of these gifts. The Mother’s Club, which is packing baskets for needy families will also see that the children of these families have toys for Christmas. The toys came from the Cub Scout Pack of Hinckley and were repaired and repainted by Connie Viakancic with some help from the Cubs.

Inmates of the DeKalb County jail will enjoy the traditional Christas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings tomorrow. Mrs. Arthur E. Anderson, wife of the sheriff, will have only five “guests” for the meal and they will eat turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing and pie. Most of the “guests” are serving jail terms for vagrancy or similar crimes and have two or three months to go.

1973 – 50 Years Ago

There is still no bypass-access road, but there is a committee to study it. Throughout 1973, the county fathers wrestled with obstacles to a road County Board Chairman John Castle has said everyone wants. The primary obstacle is a very physical one, the DeKalb Municipal Airport. It lies directly in the path of where the road would do the most good.

Someday April 18, 1973, may be engraved in a bronze plaque as the date the county purchased its fourth, and biggest, forest preserve, 240 acres in Afton Township, south of DeKalb. But right now, the land is still cornfield and all but 40 to 50 acres are likely to remain cornfield in 1974. Most of the land most likely will continue to be farmed while a committee tackles a question perhaps stickier than the original question of whether to buy the land.

Col. Herb Barnett’s Used and New Furniture Store on West Route 34, Sandwich, was nearly destroyed by fire last night. Fritz Lindner, acting fire chief, said the roof caved in on the west end of the building, the empty upstairs apartments were gutted, and the restaurant on the east end of the building had severe smoke and water damage.

1998 - 25 Years Ago

Many children’s holiday memories include the very first time they ever tried to ice skate, and Sycamore residents can live these memories at the ice rink at Wetzel Park. Sycamore Park District will again attempt this year to keep an outdoor ice rink available for resident to use on the corner of Florence Drive and Nickels Drive throughout the winter months.

Terry’s Ristorante in Shabbona is opening its doors once again on Christmas Day between 4-7 p.m. This is a celebration of the birth of Christ for those who are hungry or are lonely. There will be gifts for little ones given out by Santa.

The Salvation Army’s kettle collection campaign will be short of its goal this year, but DeKalb officials say mail-in contributions will take up the slack later. Lt. Kris Wood said the campaign had collected $109,413 as of Monday afternoon. The goal is $125,000.

Compiled by Sue Breese