Looking Back for January 31, 2024

Looking at the southwest side of the street from the north side of 6th Street and Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, July 1959.

1924 – 100 Years Ago

According to those who are in charge of the railroad gates at Fourth Street and Lincoln Highway, unless the motorists of the city refrain from being so antagonistic to those who have been placed in charge there, trouble is sure to follow. It seems that when the man on the ground approaches the middle of the crossing to prevent pedestrians and autos from crossing when a train is approaching, some drivers of automobiles seem to think it is a signal for them to step on the gas instead of the brakes. One of the gatemen has been struck twice and has the number of the machine and proposes to cause some trouble the next time it happens.

Thomas F. Olsen, postmaster of the city within the last few days has purchased for the DeKalb office a total of 1,250,00, one-cent stamps, which is the largest order he has thus far placed. The American Steel & Wire company, it is said, placed an order for a million of the stamps for the annual spring advertising campaign, and this greatly aids the receipts of the DeKalb office.

Contractor H. H. Hanway and his men have been replacing the stairs that lead from the street to the city library and the Chronicle news room. The task is not a small one by any means, and as a result the library will be closed today and tomorrow. All preparations for removal of the stairs was made ready late yesterday and it was the first task this morning. Since nine o’clock this morning the stairway has been closed and will be until tomorrow afternoon or Saturday morning.

Sherrif E. E. Crawford although not officially notified of the bank robbery at Burlington, in which robbers cut a hole through a “burglar proof” safe with an acetylene torch and escaped with about $3,000 in currency Tuesday morning has been keeping a sharp lookout for the thieves. It is thought the work was accomplished by Chicago crooks, that might have driven to this county in an effort to escape detection.

Sycamore will have a brand-new hotel from management to furnishings at an old location, when the New Ward Hotel formally opens its doors to the people of the city as to the traveling public, on next Wednesday, February 6. Mr. Ranch, who until recently, conducted the well-known Julien Hotel at Belvidere, has taken a long lease on the building and has made many important changes.

1949– 75 Years Ago

Over the weekend period two calls were received by the DeKalb fire department.

DeKalb Public Hospital and the St. Mary’s Hospital have again received full approval the American College of Surgeons it was announced in the 31st annual standardization report of the college. The Sycamore Municipal Hospital was also among those given approval.

Announcement was made that the northwest section of the French Thank You Train will leave Chicago Saturday morning, Feb. 12, with the first stop scheduled for Dixon from 8 to 8:30 o’clock. It will be at Sterling from 9 to 9:30 o’clock. The train consists of 49 40″ and 8″ French boxcars filled with historical, cultural and other types of gifts from the Franch people to the people of the United States in expression of appreciation for relief given the French by the Friendship train.

Sycamore firemen got a real workout over the weekend. They were called out no less than four times.

The farm home occupied by the Marvin Aldis family and located about a mile northeast of Cortland, was completely destroyed by fire this morning. The home was leveled and all contents were lost. Mr. and Mrs. Aldis found the entire home filled with smoke when they awakened. They rushed upstairs and carried their youngster from his bed and left the house. They were unable to summon a fire department as the phone service had been disrupted by the ice storm so Mrs. Aldis jumped in the family auto and drove to the Sycamore fire department.

Mr. and Mrs. Chester Freeman of northwest Malta were Sunday evening guess of Mr. and Mrs. Lennox Elliott.

The Squaw Grove Township library in Hinckley is very pleased to report that the library has just undergone a thorough cleaning and rearranging of their books, and invite the public to call anytime Saturday.

Purchase of the warehouse section of the former Sangamon Ordinance plant, at Illiopolis, by the DeKalb Agricultural Association Inc. was announced today by the War Assets Administration. The Ag has owned five parcels of land, former shell loading lines, at the former ordnance plant for more than a year. They have used these buildings and land in furthering their hybrid poultry breeding operations.

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Schaeffer of Victor enjoyed seeing the inauguration with Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Russell via the Russell’s television, Tuesday. They reported a very interesting time with good reception.

1974 – 50 Years Ago

The gasoline situation in DeKalb and Sycamore appears good. There are no lines, such as found in Chicago and suburbs, and few stations are limiting purchases. Many stations are open fewer hours than they used to, but only a few are closed. A survey of stations in the two-city area found many were pumping a specific daily amount and then closing.

The high winds which hit the area last night and today were responsible for four sheets of corrugated steel falling from the NIU Library addition. No one was injured by the falling steel, which a worker at the site said were about 30 by 4-foot sheets.

Twiggy is getting married. A spokesman for the British model, whose real name is Lesley Hornby, said yesterday. Twiggy will marry American actor Micharl Witney. Last year Twiggy ended her romance with Justin de-Villencure, the man who turned her from a gangling schoolgirl into a top model.

Rosemaling, the Norwegian word for “rose painting” will be offered in an adult education art class at Sycamore High School. Old Norwegian rosemalers were men inspired by early Dutch painters, who travelled throughout the country decorating churches. Their work still lives in museums, homes and churches in Norway.

1999 - 25 Years Ago

Ken and Dennis Rehn were awarded the “Family Farm of the Year” at the 52nd Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ Annual Meeting and Agronomy and Conservation Day held at the Farm Bureau building in Sycamore. The Rehns farm 1,800 acres in northern DeKalb and southern Boone counties. Both Ken and Dennis have been featured in numerous publications and have opened their farm to tours and demonstrations of their no-till farming.

Spiders and insects usually are extremely unpopular creatures. However, later this year they will creep into the homes of some stamp collectors via a new set of 33-cent offerings. The stamps will feature 20 of the crawly, and sometimes, flying organisms.

Internet Presence Provider DeKalb Online opened to the public, starting a three-week marathon to help bring DeKalb area businesses and individuals online. Company officials said their web site at www.dekalbonline.com promises to become a virtual DeKalb on the Internet, and offers “a plethora of services,” from complete A-Z listings of county web sites to free classified and personal ads.

Compiled by Sue Breese

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois