Looking Back for January 17, 2024

DeKalb County Locker Service at 508 Pine Street, a butcher and meat locker boasting several DeKalb County locations, at the intersection of 5th and Pine streets in Dekalb in March 1948.

1924 – 100 Years Ago

Official opening of the new auditorium of the Malta school will take place Saturday evening, January 19. The auditorium which was built as an addition to the main building is to be used as a combination high school assembly room gymnasium and auditorium for the school and community plays and entertainments.

Mayor J. J. Kingsley, following the heavy snow of yesterday ordered the snow plow out and to traverse every walk in town to help the property owners get their walks clean. The teamster also cleaned the gutters in many places in case the snow goes quickly, and this will avoid floods of any kind. Now that Mayor Kingsley has started the task of cleaning sidewalks, it would be a first-class plan if the property owners would follow up a bit with Armstrong shovels.

Reports came to the police station yesterday that an old screechy windmill somewhere near the city hospital was causing considerable annoyance. The matter was investigated and found to be the one at the swimming pool, and was quickly taken care of by Rotarians and the city authorities. It was reported the windmill made so much noise that many patients of the hospital were unable to sleep at night.

Derailment of an engine and car last night about 10:30 near the YD tower tied all railroad traffic up until eight o’clock this morning. The engine and one car hopped off the track near the round house and it was necessary to call the big hook before traffic could be opened. It was possible to allow some of the trains by, but schedules were not adhered to until the trouble was corrected.

Illinois’ shame for years has been the neglected condition of the graves at Janesville of the father and stepmother of Abraham Lincoln. So, the Lions clubs of Illinois have erected a monument over the graves and will see to it hence forth that the grave is not neglected. The monument will be dedicated on Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12.

Starting in yesterday with a fine fall of snow, the weatherman forgot his business and let the “beautiful” continue in its downward course until during the forenoon today when the temperature took a drop. E.E. Embree has been hauling loads of snow from this property on Second street; there have been any number of automobiles stuck, and it has been one grand and glorious day for the autoists. It is estimated that the snow was ten inches deep in places while in others it did not exceed the right inch mark.

1949– 75 Years Ago

Seventeen girls received their caps and pins at the Brownie Troop 30 vestiture service held at the Cortland Methodist Church. The girls then were entertained with a flashlight drill and two songs were sung.

The Franks Community Woman’s Club met January 13 in the church community room. Featured on the program were slides of historical landmarks found in northern Illinois. As the pictures were thrown on the screen, a reader gave the history of each.

A light M5 tank, secured by the city of DeKalb, to be used as a memorial in honor of those who served their country in the armed forces, has arrived in DeKalb. The tank, which weighs 28,500 pounds, arrived by railroad this morning and the car will be spotted at Seventh Street. Arrangements are being made to unload the piece of war equipment on Monday. The tank will be placed at Lincoln Highway and Fourth street and will replace the honor toll board, which was removed a few weeks ago.

Lauren Abel of Aurora, a pilot of a B-24 during the World War II, has identified the mysterious airplane pieces reported found along the Kaneville-Virgil blacktop Sunday, as the battered remains of a jettisoned gasoline tank of the sort used on single-engine fighter craft. Abel saw the wreckage and examined it Sunday afternoon. He said that it evidently had been cut loose from a plane and had hit the fence and ricocheted across the road where it ripped up more wire. Abel, who held the rank of first lieutenant, served with the 93rd bomb group spending eight months in England.

Failure of an electric pump shortly before 8 o’clock Friday morning cut Sycamore’s water supply to the vanishing point briefly. The pump failed and then started to run backwards when attendants couldn’t shut it off immediately. The reverse motion sucked the water out of the mains and water taps all over the city were dry. However, the crippled pump was shut off and another turned on quickly so that the failure went unnoticed by many residents.

What appeared to be the work of experts resulted in the theft of between $2,000 and $3,000 at the DeKalb Elks Club located on First Street and the Lincoln Highway. The safe was blasted between 3 and 4 o’clock this morning and the safe-crackers grabbed four metal money boxes and departed hurriedly.

1974 – 50 Years Ago

Seventeen of 18 women sent home Wednesday morning from the Falls Products Inc., here, were back at work today. The women were sent home after becoming ill from an undetermined cause while working on the assembly line at the plant which manufactures lawn mowers.

Opportunity House is planning an addition to the present headquarters at 202 Lucas St. The plant will add about 6,000 square feet on the west side of the existing workshop, counseling rooms and offices.

Because former Sycamore High School student Marta Wetzel became a new author and by publishing a book, the high school has received a complimentary dictionary from the publishing company. The former Sycamore student has been active in state athletic associations, specializing in fencing and conditioning, care and prevention of injuries in women’s sports. She served as an instructor at NIU during the 1973 summer session in the department of physical education for women.

Remember when a two-cent stamp would send a letter anywhere? When mail was delivered twice a day, and three times daily to the business area? When the DeKalb Post Office stood on the corner of Lincoln Highway and First Street? Many DeKalb residents will recall life as it was some 58 years ago when DeKalb’s original post office building at 100 W. Lincoln Hwy. is auctioned on Saturday.

1999 - 25 Years Ago

Their truck broke down, they eluded invasive border searches and narrowly saved their load from being looted by an unruly mob. But the Zelaya brothers, Aldo and Martin, made sure the generosity of DeKalb County residents was felt more than 2,000 miles away in Honduras, where survivors of Hurricane Mitch are trying to patch their lives back together.

On Jan. 7, DeKalb building inspectors issued 140 warning tickets to people for not shoveling their sidewalks. On Tuesday the inspectors will hit the street again, but the stakes will be higher for property owners who still haven’t cleared a path, a $25-per-day fine.

Northern Illinois University is moving ahead with plans for a multi-use facility, despite a protest that students and faculty are being shut out. The Board of Trustees gave university administrators the green light to draw up specifications and designs for the building, which NIU officials have dubbed a convocation center.

Compiled by Sue Breese