Looking Back for February 7, 2024

Looking west at the south side of Lincoln Highway from between 2nd and 3rd Streets in DeKalb, November 1997.

1924 – 100 Years Ago

Train service on the North Western, according to reports current about the station and the yards, is expected to return to normal within the next day or two, provided there is not another snow storm headed this way. Track walkers have been day and night on the road along this division to see that nothing occurs that will cause a derailment and injuries to the hundreds of passengers that are carried over the line during the night. In some places there has been found gate trouble due to the ice and snow, but in most instances, this was cleared up within a short time by the repair crew.

From reports from DeKalb people whose machines were stuck in the snow drifts near Elburn, just before going down the winding hill, where it was said the snow was six feet or more deep, Governor Small and his party were stalled there Tuesday night for several hours. The snow would not give any easier to the governor’s big machine than it would with some of the smaller machines, but finally with the aid of 21 men, some from DeKalb, and two teams of heavy farm horses, the governor’s machine was extricated and proceeded on its journey.

Announcement was made this morning by the William F. Wiltberger Company of an important real estate transfer concerning a piece of downtown business property. By the terms of the deal Joseph Rendell, the local jeweler acquires possession of the structure known as the old Bristow building, in which he had been located ever since coming to DeKalb to enter business some ten years ago. The building was erected by the father of Assessor George Bristow and has been in the possession of the family for a long period. The structure was occupied for many years by the senior Bristow as a meat marker and all of the local old timers will be thoroughly familiar with its history as a business institution of the old days.

Through the efforts of the department of streets and alleys, cooperating with Mayor Kingsley, several of the city wagons have been in use for the last two days, hauling snow from the streets piled high in many places. In some places along the Lincoln Highway in the business section, snow was piled several feet high and one wagon load did not make much of a showing.

1949– 75 Years Ago

The sheriff’s short wave radio station will be in operations sometime Tuesday night. Technicians started assembling the various parts of the station on Saturday and planned to erect the antenna on the Courthouse this afternoon. The only bar to starting operations tomorrow night would be the failure of the telephone company to complete laying the special wires to the courthouse and jail by tomorrow. The cars have all been equipped with receiving sets and in fact one of them already has been used to communicate with the sheriff of LaSalle County which is on the same frequency.

Some day the world may beat a path to the door of a man who invents a better mouse trap. But until then, University of Wisconsin zoologists say, the old-fashioned snap trap is still the best mouse catcher. A team of zoologists studying rodent habits found that poisons don’t do too good a job in eliminating mice. The reason is that mice are “intermittent feeders” and seldom stop in one place long enough to ear a lethal dose of poison bait.

Hear that the Log Cabin tavern in DeKalb, which was burned so badly they tore the building down and erected a new one, is going to be called just the Cabin since there won’t be any logs about it.

Somebody is going to get a workout one of these days when they start building the aerial for the sheriff’s radio. All that heavy iron pipe has to be lugged to the roof and that’s four good flights of stairs. Hope they are young and have steady hearts.

Grandma Anna Bauer wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Just because Wednesday, Dec. 8, was her 102nd birthday, Grandma didn’t see any need for celebrating. “People make too much fuss about by age.” Mrs. Bauer complained. The only effect of her advanced age is occasional nervousness, she says, and adds that it is quickly subsided by knitting.

Dolls of all shapes and sized invaded the school room of Mrs. Thorworth in Cortland. Her pupils exhibited 18 dolls and invited Miss Mack’s pupils to see them. The children showed a tremendous interest in the lovely dolls.

The Government Fish and Wildlife Service recommend that old Christmas trees be set up in the back yard to provide a shelter and feeding station for birds. The government service said the evergreens will retain their needles several weeks if they are placed outside. The close-knit branch work of the evergreens will provide shelter as a feeding center.

1974 – 50 Years Ago

The trucking strike, apparently coming to an end, has affected two Waterman trucking firms. Paul Johnson of Paul Johnson, Inc. and Russ Read of Coldway Food Express Inc., both said they stopped operating trucks about a week ago. Both Johnson and Read said safety of the truck drivers was a big factor in the decision to shut down temporarily.

DeKalb County Sheriff’s Police escorted a convoy of several trucks and one vehicle along Illinois 64 Tuesday from the Ogle County Line Road to Kane County Line Road. The small convoy came from Iowa and was being escorted by county police along its route.

Employees of the Chicago North Western Transportation Co., work to remove the cowcatcher from a train, which caught the street pavement at the DeKalb Avenue railroad crossing in Sycamore. The cowcatcher buckled under and forced the train engine off the tracks. The crew worked about two hours to get the engine back on the track.

The Skylab 3 astronauts retrieved thousands of rare pictures of the sun and Comet Kohoutek during America’s last planned spacewalk for almost a decade, and today start packing to come home.

1999 - 25 Years Ago

Avery Dennison Corp’s decision to close its Rochelle plant is a blow for that city’s economy, but it might be a boon for DeKalb. A total of 320 employees of Avery Dennison in Rochelle will be out of a job by December. The company, a manufacturer of consumer and industrial products including Avery-brand office products will eliminate 100 jobs by the end of March and close its doors completely by the end of the year.

If New Year’s Day 2000 brings nothing but starvation, military attacks and blood in the streets, DeKalb County should be prepared, according to the county board. The board is eyeing a resolution declaring the county has done its part to prepare for whatever the new year will bring. More importantly, it states the county will do everything it can to be certain its computers and programs they run will be set before the new millennium.

A few planters and a couple banners may be the first step in the revitalization of downtown Cortland. City officials hope a little bit of work will bring customers to the half a dozen businesses that occupy the two-clock downtown area of Cortland along Somonauk Road.

– Compiled by Sue Breese