Looking Back for February 14, 2024

Looking west from 4th Street in downtown DeKalb, circa 1978.

1924 – 100 YEARS AGO

Railroad workmen who have completed the necessary repairs on the Fourth street crossing of the North Western have moved to First street and are fixing up there. It is expected that all the crossing of the north Western will be repaired soon.

A number of Sawyer & Son’s employees left today for Janesville, Wis., where they will secure a number of new Chevrolets, driving them back for immediate placement on the sales room floor.

The ambulance is the busiest piece of city equipment. Although for the most part the calls are to remove patients from their home, it is an interesting fact to know that never before has the city ambulance been used as much as it has in the last two months. During a part of the time, it has been called three and four times a day for removal of patients and some of the calls have been to the country which are paid for at the rate of 50 cents a mile. This helps in a small way to pay for the new equipment.

The farmers of Paw Paw all turned out last Friday and with shovels and road grader made a much better road than before.

The Chronicle is informed today that the report given this paper of the activities here of the Roxanna Oil Company was slightly in error. The company is doing some construction work on the property along Route 23 at the C., M. & St. P. crossing, but it will not be a filling station. Instead, the company plans to place three huge storage tanks which will be used in the distribution of its products in this vicinity. Each of the big storage tanks will hold 18,000 gallons. There will be a service station at the corner of Seventh street and the Lincoln Highway, work on which will be commenced in the very near future, but there will be no retail business at the storage plant.

With the completion of the new fire pumper for the city of DeKalb, its acceptance by the city council, one of the firemen from the department today returned the Sycamore truck to the county seat with the usual “thank you” for its use during the time the DeKalb truck was being rebuilt. There have been some fires that have broken out during the presence of the Sycamore machine that would have been difficult tasks for the DeKalb firemen with one truck and possibly a wagon or sleigh.

1949 – 75 YEARS AGO

A few weeks ago, the rural residents of Cortland and Pierce received word that a change in their route was being contemplated, the change to take them from the present arrangement with Cortland as postal headquarters, to Sycamore. Later a petition was sent by the Cortland and Pierce folks asking that their rural route remain as it has been for some years. Today John Flood of Cortland received a letter from the assistant postmaster general, V. C. Burke, stating that the petition was being granted and that the change would not be made at the present time. The route between Cortland and Pierce is to remain as it is.

Three Elmhurst boys, who apparently started out to see the country, were being held this morning at the DeKalb police station awaiting transportation back to their homes. They had started out yesterday and hitch hiked their way west but when they became stranded in DeKalb and found out that the night air was a bit too chilly, sought shelter in the hallway at the Kennedy Building at Fourth and Lincoln Highway. The boys were brought to the station and the Elmhurst police were contacted. The DeKalb police were instructed to hold the boys until their parents came after them today.

The Sunshine Circle of Shabbona met Thursday afternoon with Mrs. Frank Nelson. At the business meeting it was voted to give $6 for the March of Dimes and to pay for the hot lunches of three children for a month at the school.

As a part of Boy Scout Week activities, four Scouts, selected by their troop, today assumed the positions of acting mayor, chief of police, fire chief and commissioner of public works in DeKalb. The four boys met at the city hall for their assignments this morning and throughout the day will accompany the mayor and the other officials as they carry out their regular duties.

A Cub Hobby Show will be presented at the grade school gym in DeKalb on Sunday by the Cub Packs of the Kishwaukee District, Chief Shabbona Council of Boy Scouts. The purpose of the hobby show is to better acquaint the public with the work of Cubbing.

Yesterday was an exceptionally busy day for the DeKalb city ambulance. Six calls were received for the ambulance from 8 o’clock in the morning through 4:30 o’clock in the afternoon.

1974 – 50 YEARS AGO

Good news! Say the directors of the DeKalb Learning Exchange. The exchange may not have to close after March 1. More than $5,000 already has been raised in the campaign to raise $6,000 by March 1. The fund-raising campaign was necessary in order to carry on the program until July 1, at which time local federal revenue sharing and other federal funds might become available for the exchange’s use.

The DeKalb Kishwaukee Kiwanis Club will hold a spaghetti supper Saturday, serving will be from 4 to 7 at DeKalb High School Commons. Profits will be used to expand the bicycle pathway begun last year as a club project.

From ambulance to “rescue squad” the Fire Department emergency squad will soon be manned by paramedics trained in the use of special coronary equipment. “The Thumper” (a resuscitator and ventilator) will provide oxygen and a mechanical heart beat for coronary victims.

With sunny skies and temperatures foretelling spring, Farm Bureau members turned out in record numbers for the 62nd annual meeting of the organization. An estimated 3,300 persons were served luncheon in various Dekalb churches, in the Farm Bureau Hall, DeKalb High School and the American Legion building. Last minute ticket applications sent an overflow to the Hillside Restaurant. Undoubtedly the scheduling of Paul Harvey, nationally known radio commentator, attracted many.

1999 – 25 YEARS AGO

The DeKalb City Council has voted to use its powers of eminent domain to acquire the last apartment building in the Short Street Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan. Eminent domain is the power of a government to seize property for the public good.

Eleven Russian delegates from various trucking industries have been spending a little time in the DeKalb area as part of a Productivity Enhancement Program to study an American transportation system and different business organizations. The United States is highly organized, and since the current trucking system in Russia is less than reliable, they are looking at how Americans operate their transportation organizations.

William Jefferson Clinton won bipartisan acquittal Friday in the Senate, concluding a searing national drama that tarnished him forever as the second president to be impeached.

What will it take to move nearly 200 people, their belongings and all the services associated with the old county nursing over to a new facility on North Annie Glidden Road? No one is entirely certain, but they will soon find out as DeKalb County prepares for the massive effort this summer.

– Compiled by Sue Breese