Looking Back for March 13, 2024

A house is relocated to Joanne Lane in the Tilton Park subdivision looking east toward the Kishwaukee River, circa 1965.

1924 – 100 Years Ago

Two DeKalb men, according to a report from the office of Clarence J. Lofts, patent attorney in Chicago, have been issued patent rights within the last ten days. According to the report, John E. Johnson has received a patent on an indicating fuse plug, while W. L. Wymer of this city has been issued a patent on a grate hanger for furnaces. It is not known today the character of the inventions by the DeKalb men, not is it known whether they will be manufactured or sold outright to a manufacturer. It is probable this latter course will be the main type of disposition of the patents by Mr. Wymer and Johnson

Housewives of DeKalb are evidently determined to help the authorities rid the city of professional peddlers and some of them, it is reported, carry their efforts too far. Salesmen for the United Appliance company, an auxiliary of the Illinois Power company, have been in the residential sections, selling appliances for the home. In several places, the women, it is said, have been very indignant over the call of the men, and even mentioned that the police department has asked to be notified of the appearance of “peddlers.” The men in charge of this work for the United Appliance company cannot be classified as peddlers, as the company is a DeKalb concern, and the merchandise is at hand ready for delivery at any time. The company also maintains offices here and stands back of every article sold.

It is expected that the tournament of the Maple Park Little Ten Conference will be held at the High School Friday and Saturday, March 14 and 15. This was postponed on account of the scarlet fever scare but as there are no more cases and the boys are all on the road to recovery plans are being completed for these dates.

Charles Rosencraft, a student of the teachers’ college, who has been ill for four weeks with scarlet fever, was discharged by the attending physician today and allowed to go to his home at Paw Paw. His mother, who has been here assisting in his care, will also return to the Paw Paw home. Mrs. Rosencraft was a roomer at the Firkins home and the residence and its contents today were given a thorough fumigation and the red sign removed from the house.

1949– 75 Years Ago

Another quiet day was enjoyed by the DeKalb police department Friday with only a few notations being included on the police blotter. Four calls were received for the city ambulance during the day.

DeKalb residents looked at The DeKalb Theatre last evening. In a lot of cases there were “ohs” and “ahs” and in many there was just no comment. The theatre was so different that it left a number of spectators speechless. The new structure, the first new theatre in northern Illinois since the end of the war and the first in DeKalb in 20 years, has been in the course of actual construction for the past two years.

A Sandwich man is in the county jail in Sycamore on a disorderly conduct charge after he was arrested Tuesday night while on the porch roof of a Hinckley home. The man was trapped by Joseph Easterbrook, owner of the home where he was arrested. According to the story as pieced together by Sheriff Arthur E. Anderson and Hinckley Police Chief Louis Olson, Mrs. Easterbrook was putting the five-year-old daughter of the family to bed when a neighbor, Erwin Schmidt, telephoned that there was a prowler around the house.

This afternoon a group of about 30 students from Chicago toured the Rudolph Wurlitzer plant in DeKalb to witness how pianos are manufactured. The group made the trip to this city by bus and after having dinner at the Rice, spent the entire afternoon at the Wurlitzer plant. They are all students of Dr. William Brade White’s School of Piano Technology.

Clarence P. Walters of Genoa owns a registered Holstein cow which has produced more than 100,000 pounds of milk during her lifetime. The cow is named Maywood Pride Lucy (G.P.) and in ten yearly milking periods she has produced 111,297 pounds of 4.2 per cent milk and 4,675 pounds of butterfat. The highest single year was made at the age of six years and three months when she produced 13,926 pounds of milk testing 3.9 per cent and 536 pounds of butterfat.

A DeKalb Walking Blood Bank Committee has been formed in Dekalb as a result of a desire to improve the facilities for the donating of blood for transfusion in DeKalb. It was organized as a representative group who desired to make available as many blood donors as possible in this city through setting up adequate facilities for the typing of individuals and for the recording and filing of their names and blood types and making the information available at all times.

1974 – 50 Years Ago

A heavy concentration of an unknown chemical agent again wreaked havoc with the fish of the Kishwaukee River. For the third time in six months, a fish kill in the river has been reported. No estimate of the number of dead fish is available.

Busing will hit the Kishwaukee College campus next month. The busing is a result of the energy crunch and the soaring price of gasoline. Kish college trustees last night approved an experimental program of busing students to and from DeKalb, Sycamore, and Rochelle for five weeks.

Halverson’s Service Station, 1031 W. Lincoln Hwy., had $700 in cash stolen Tuesday. The cash was stolen from an unlocked file cabinet inside of the station. An attendant was busy with a customer at the time of the theft.

The Chicago Daily News has reported the controversial East-West Tollway extension was delayed by “major engineering and construction blunders” plus “faulty and inadequate planning.” In a copyrighted story Monday, the Daily News said its reporters found a series of errors that pushed back construction dates and added more than $5 million to the original cost of the 69-mile project.

1999 - 25 Years Ago

State Sen. Brad Burzynski, R-Sycamore, is sponsoring a bill that would fine drunk drivers an additional $100 to help pay for police equipment to fight drunken driving. The bill would fine anyone convicted of DUI an additional $100, to be used by the arresting police department to pay for portable Breathalyzers, video cameras and other equipment.

The Underground Railroad and its connections though DeKalb County will be the topic of extensive discussion Saturday as a group of national and regional experts descend on this former stop along the abolitionist system. Depending on who you ask, Sycamore was home to at least three to six Underground Railroad houses during the 1850s and 1860s.

Polartech Industries in Genoa has successfully bid for the purchase of the former Continental Envelope plant on the city’s south-west side. Polartech will spend in excess of $500,000 to purchase the building and outfit it, with a portion of the project cost defrayed through a developmental grant.

Spring hardly seemed just around the corner as a powerful snowstorm swept through the northern half of the state, with up to a foot of blowing snow canceling flights today, causing gridlock on busy highways and blinding pedestrians heading to work.

Compiled by Sue Breese

Sue Breese

Sue Breese is a DeKalb County area historian.