Looking Back for January 24, 2024

DeKalb's City Hall building on South Second Street, located just south of the current City Hall, is seen circa 1900.

1924 – 100 YEARS AGO

According to all reports there is considerable frost in the ground at this time, and those people who are compelled to do any digging have said that frost is running as deep as 14 inches in many places. Reports from other sections, however, state that the frost is leaving the ground rapidly at this time and within a week or ten days, unless another cold wave comes along, there will be little hard ground.

Chief Butzow had the Sycamore city fire truck out again this morning flooding the skating pond being constructed through the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce. A large spot was flooded near the Great Western depot last Monday, and it affords Sycamore skaters a large sheet of ice on which to try their skill. Water has been pumped from the river, and the pumper has made short work of the flooding job.

G. K. Milton and Veder Peterson of Cortland motored to Chicago Sunday after automobile repairs, they report the road not very good, had a narrow escape several times. They witnessed the big fire at Genoa.

Mrs. Immaculate housewife of today, it is believed wraps all crumbs from the table neatly in the garbage package and then burns it or throws it into the receptacle. How many women of DeKalb give thought to the birds that are still in this locality and have no means of getting bits of food? Instead of throwing the crumbs into the furnace fire, throw them onto the snow and within a short time, the birds will become accustomed to stopping there each day for a meal.

High winds yesterday caused the roads to become drifted with snow and several autos were reported stuck on the road to Genoa. The high wind whipped the snow into all the hollows and some drivers had difficulties in making the trip to Genoa. The large highway maintenance truck was used yesterday to scrape the road between DeKalb and Sycamore. Nearly all the snow was pushed to one side and the roadway at the present time offers drivers nearly equal to the summer months.

All sleeping rooms should air for at least an hour daily even in the coldest weather.

Malta people have missed the faithful horse of Ben Stone which died Sunday night.

1949 – 75 YEARS AGO

When open house was declared at the Fourth Street Motors and the Farmers Implement Company, it was expected there would be a good attendance. But when the day arrived, Saturday, even the most optimistic were surprised and pleased with the tremendous response that the invitation achieved. There were several reasons for holding the open house, and evidently the general public liked the idea, because estimates made late Saturday night indicated that about 10,000 had been in the building during the course of the day. It was known that a tremendous supply of doughnuts disappeared by late in the afternoon and gallons of coffee were consumed.

Shortly before the noon hour yesterday the Sterling firemen were called upon to assist the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. A steam-powered freight engine limped into Sterling with its water supply nearly exhausted. The station agent called the fire department for assistance. The railroad’s water tower at Sterling was torn down over a year ago so the firemen hooked a line to the nearest hydrant and filled the tender. The train was east bound and ordinarily took on water at Nelson. The train crew could not explain the sudden shortage of water.

Harry S. Truman of Missouri humbly took the President’s path today and made his inaugural address a smashing challenge to Soviet Russia. He pledged the United States to undertake new projects to protect free countries against armed attack.

Faster and more improved telephone service between DeKalb and Sycamore was inaugurated this week when the new cable between the cities was cut into use. The manager of the DeKalb-Ogle Telephone Company, announced today that the newly installed cable had been placed in operation for toll calls. It would be cut into local service in both DeKalb and Sycamore as rapidly as possible.

This morning about 9 o’clock a dog became a full-fledged member of the Polar Bear Club, when he fell through the ice on the Kishwaukee at the end of Roosevelt Street. The predicament of the canine soon attracted considerable attention as well as a large group of would-be rescuers. The police department was notified and an officer went to the scene to assist in the rescue work. After playing cowboy for a time, the dog was lassoed and pulled to safety. Although appearing little the worse for his experience, the dog seemed a bit chilly in the near-zero temperature.

Darrel Carls of the Kishwaukee Airport will be the guest speaker in Sycamore and he has chosen for his topic, “Aviation From a Pilot’s Viewpoint.”

1974 – 50 YEARS AGO

Committees representing DeKalb and Sycamore city governments came close to agreement on a boundary line between the two communities here Wednesday night. Each city now has presented a boundary proposal and there is very little difference in the suggestions. The line generally would run about 200-300 feet south of Bethany Road, between DeKalb’s North First Street and Illinois 23. From Illinois 23, the line would run south of DeKalb AgResearch and east toward Somonauk Road. The line would have variations to allow some farms to be entirely included in either one city or the other.

Testing is still going on at the Falls Products Inc. plant in Genoa, where 18 women were sent home last week after complaining of dizziness, nausea and headaches. A spokesman for the lawn mower producing company said this morning they hope to have the problem corrected by Monday. Some modifications are being made in the duct system and the paint is being changed.

The DeKalb Five-School Elementary Bank will present its first performance of the year tonight. John D. Smith is the director. Participating are fifth grade instrumentalists from five elementary schools: Tyler, Haish, Ellwood, Cortland and Littlejohn.

1999 – 25 YEARS AGO

Genoa hopes to break the cycle of training law enforcement officers for other towns. An immediate 4.5 percent increase has been approved for police personnel, following months of discussion at the council level over what pay levels should be established for law enforcement in the growing community. “We train them and other people use them,” Mayor Dave Rood told the Chronicle. “It’s been totally frustrating.”

Sometimes, text in a large point size looks funny, but you don’t know why. A likely explanation is that the kerning between the letters is too loose. Kerning? Yes, kerning. The space between characters is called kerning and you can tighten it (remove space) or loosen it (add more space) to your heart’s content, even making the characters run over each other. Adjusting the kerning is effective also when using italicized text, because it creates more of a handwritten effect.

Eighty-four cents a month can add up after a while. Members of the DeKalb Police Department hope it adds up to a $600,000 state-of-the-art computer aided dispatch system. Almost all the money will come from the 911 fund, which is supported by an 84-cent charge that appears on residents’ phone bills every month. DeKalb has $473,000 in the fund now.

– Compiled by Sue Breese