Looking Back for January 3, 2024

The 85-foot-tall standpipe for the old water works in Huntley Park in DeKalb, looking northeast towards the intersection of South 3rd and Prospect Streets, December 28, 1951.

1924 – 100 Years Ago

An alarm at 1:45 this afternoon called the fire department to the home of G. L. Gullickson on North Second Street, where the roof had become ingulfed by sparks from the chimney. The damage was slight and the department returned to the barn within a few minutes.

Chauncey Broughton, driving his Packard touring car, turned over Monday evening in his car near the Apollo Piano Company’s action factory on the Sycamore Road, and although the car was damaged, Mr. Broughton escaped with only minor bruises. Mr. Broughton attempted to slow down when approaching the tracks near the country club, but the snow over a layer of ice caused the heavy car to skid into the ditch, where it rolled over.

Charles E. Powell, DeKalb’s east and west end druggist, does not believe in doing things by halves, and after he had the downtown store, all arranged for the convenience of his patrons he decided it was time to “make over” the store at Sixth and Lincoln Highway. New fixtures ordered in October have arrived for the Sixth street store and Mr. Powell says there is going to be some house cleaning going on up there in the very near future. From now on there will be no soda fountain at the east end store, but instead a larger cigar case and more back shelves to make additional room for display of more merchandise.

Gus Gustafson and Ernest Holmes of Esmond are enjoying new radios that were installed in their homes last Wednesday.

Saturday night a widow woman of DeKalb who has been compelled to take in washings for over a year, lost a purse, containing $13 or $14. It is believed that some kids found the pocketbook, removed the contents, and then hid the purse. Later a gang of kids were seen searching for the empty pocketbook, but it is apparent someone else found it, and kept it. These youngsters evidently took the money, had a good time, and then endeavored to cover up their work by putting part of the money back, and returning it to the owner. The matter has been turned over to the police department. Whether all of the money will be returned or not, is another question, to be decided between the parents of the kids and the widow woman who is compelled to take in washings to send her children to school.

1949– 75 Years Ago

This morning the outside decorations in the DeKalb business district were removed and the business area resumed its normal appearance. All traced of the holiday season have now been removed with the window and interior displays in the stores having been taken down over a week ago. Over the week end period many of the residents also removed their holiday decorations and Christmas trees could be noted in many back yards. A number had their trees and other decorations lighted last night but by this evening most of the holiday atmosphere will be gone.

Sheriff Arthur E. Anderson and his deputies have had a busy year. Today, as is customary, the sheriff outlined some of the jobs that have been handled through his office in the last 12 months. It makes quite a list. Surprisingly enough, the number of men sent away to prison in the last year was far more than most people could imagine. The cold facts reveal that the sheriff and his forces transported no fewer than 38 men to the state prison farm at Vandalia and two men to the state penitentiary at Joliet. There were no women criminals to take anywhere.

The Sycamore fire department made a safety first run to the home of Eugene Tessier on North Sacramento Street in Sycamore at 3:30 o’clock Thursday afternoon. Smoke curling from the chimney settled down on the roof and neighbors became alarmed that the roof might be burning, but the department could find no fire.

When the horns blow and the whistles toot and the bells ring to usher 1948 into history the confirmed bachelors can breathe a sigh of relief. Leap year is over and they are safe unless they weaken of their own volition. Statistics for the year show that Leap Year hasn’t been much of a success as the number of licenses issued is down a little from the year before. The probable reason is that due to the war end and the return of the young men from service caused the country to be over-married for a year or so. The next open season for women to hunt their mate is 1952 and by that time marital condition may have relaxed to normal so the girls will have a fair chance.

City Clerk Bertha Schropell, District 192 registrar, announced today that a change in the registration of both births and deaths at Springfield now limits new parents, hospitals and doctors to three days in naming and reporting the birth of a child. It also limits morticians, hospitals and doctors to three days in reporting the death of any person.

Herbert Wells Fay, custodian of Abraham Lincoln’s tomb for 28 years, retires tomorrow. Fay, who will be 90 years old next February, will be succeeded by his son, Earl Owen Fay, who has been assistant custodian since 1945. The aged Lincoln expert estimates that he has greeted 4,000,000 visitors to the tomb from every state and nation in the world, from Presidents and kings on down. His son, 63, was appointed to succeed him. Both men are collectors of Lincoln items. In 1940, Fay displayed 1,000,000 Lincoln items in a one-man show. Fay said he wants to sell his collection to the state for a nominal fee.

1974 – 50 Years Ago

Where there’s ice, there’s bound to be skaters, and the rink at the Southeast School in Sycamore was no exception yesterday. Youngsters got in some last-minute hockey and figure skating before heading back to the classroom today.

The 23 taverns, clubs and restaurants which serve liquor in DeKalb are being notified of new occupancy limits by the city. The patron limits are intended to clarify a great deal of confusion. The issue of patron limits surfaced recently when a 22-year-old woman died as a result of an injury received in a crowded downtown tavern. The holders of the 23 liquor licenses are being notified by mail of limits which were established following inspection of individual businesses by city building code enforcement officers.

Two cars of a Chicago and North Western Transportation Company freight train derailed in Cortland this morning. The derailment took place in the village, and the Somonauk Road crossing was expected to be blocked for several hours.

1999 - 25 Years Ago

The new year came in like a dinosaur struggling to stay alive in the ice age. The first day of January saw the first major snowstorm of the season, shutting down roads, closing a number of facilities, and straining emergency services to keep up with demand of assistance.

With only 12 months left until the year 2000, many local businesses are starting to take steps to ensure their computers will not crash.

When the full moon takes its place in Friday night’s cold winter sky it will begin an unusual series of full moons not seen in more than eight decades. There will be two full moons in January, none in February, and two again in March. The last occurred in 1915.

Compiled by Sue Breese

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois