Looking Back for March 20, 2024

Looking west at the new First National Bank building, 141 West Lincoln Highway, under construction in May 1966.

1924 – 100 Years Ago

Miss Alma Norton of the high school always on the lookout for material for future operettas is organizing a freshmen boy chorus for the purpose of training the male voices of the high school for future work in school productions. A glee club has been working under Miss Norton’s direction for several years but the freshmen of the school have failed to really become acquainted with the organization. It is thought that with a chorus composed of boys nearly of the same age a greater amount of interest will be manifested by the first-year boys at the school.

Last night’s weather was not inviting to travelers to sleep out of doors and the police station gave ten of the strangers a warm place to sleep. The men were ready to get out this morning at eleven o’clock. To make sure they did get out, the city ambulance was called and they were taken east on Lincoln Highway a couple of miles, released and told to keep on going. One of the sleepers, as soon as he was able to get out of the wagon started down the cement at a good clip, evidently anxious to get on his way, and away from the others. By giving the sleepers a ride out of town each morning, the police department is certain that no calls will be received regarding beggars.

It is not every family that can be moved into the street, literally speaking, and make people using that street detour for a block, but such is the distinction Fred Bull has today. Mr. Bull is living in the house at Seventh and Lincoln Highway, which was on the property purchased by the Roxana Oil company, to be used for a filling station. The house has been moved into the street and will be transferred to other property. The household effect of the occupant will not be moved for a few days until Mr. Bull can get possession of property he has purchased in the northeast part of the city. The steel work as well as the tanks are on the ground at Seventh and Lincoln Highway for the filling station, and it is understood work will be started on the building at once.

Little Philis Housewert of Cortland is here with her great grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. William Wiltse for a visit.

1949– 75 Years Ago

Through the efforts of the Lady Elks the Glidden Memorial Hospital is to be provided with a complete electric sterilizer unit, which will be used in the maternity ward.

LaSalle – Unless something unforeseen turns up, voters in the seventh ward will be faced with the duty of voting for a man adjudged feeble minded and now an inmate of the state home at Dixon Institute after some nude exhibitions in the Hotel LaSalle brought him fines for indecent exposure and resisting arrest. He was an inmate of the Dixon home for seven years but later was released in the custody of his parents. Several weeks before his latest arrest his petition for alderman was circulated and filed. There are legal entanglements and LaSalle is wondering what to do.

Aquatic skills and games are the feature attractions of the DeKalb Swim Club water show, which has for its theme “Southern Fantasy.” Water ballets will be performed to such tunes as “Mood Indigo,” “Blues in the Night,” and “St. Louis blues.” The members of the club have been working hard on this project for the last few months, using their spare time in the perfection of their parts. The show which will start at 8 is to be in the high school swimming pool.

Announcement has been made that the Saturday night dances which have been held weekly at the DeKalb Masonic Temple for the past several years, are being discontinued. The dances on Saturday nights were very popular during the war years but the response has been dwindling of late and with other week end activities rapidly increasing since the war, it was decided to discontinued the dances at this time.

New doors were installed at the main entrance to DeKalb Township High School last week and thereby hangs a tale. Members of the high school board of directors and Superintendent S. B. Sullivan report that they have received numerous complaints from residents of DeKalb over these new doors. They have been called unnecessary, too expensive and a lot of other names. The fact is that the new doors were installed for a two-fold reason. One was to cut down the fire hazards of the building, the other to protect property inside the building.

DeKalb’s new theatre, The DeKalb, threw open the doors yesterday and had a formal opening day. At noon the show started and it was late at night when the final showing of the feature was completed and business was called completed for the day.

1974 – 50 Years Ago

Wilbur B. Scott took a big first step toward becoming the first DeKalb County Sheriff elected to a second consecutive term Tuesday. Scott defeated his predecessor, Melvin W. Shaw, 2,867 to 2,361 in the Republican sheriff’s primary.

The annual Girl Scout cookie sale will be completed by the end of the month. Home deliveries of cookies will be made between March 21 and 30.

A group of Boston University scientists are working on a program to develop stainless steel, plastic-coated artificial teeth implanted in the bone like real teeth.

After 64 minutes and 11 motions, the DeKalb School Board Monday night named the new northwest school Thomas H. Roberts Sr. Elementary School. The board retained the name of Clinton Rosette for the new middle school to be built on the site of the current middle school of the same name.

Disposition of Ellwood, Glidden and Haish Elementary Schools and the naming of the new schools are two of the major items of the agenda for the DeKalb Schol Board Monday night. The Citizens Advisory Committee has recommended the demolition of Ellwood and Glidden as soon as the building are vacated. The recommendation concerning Haish is for further discussion with DeKalb Park District officials on the usage of the property for recreational facilities.

1999 - 25 Years Ago

A Sheridan, Ill., man was killed yesterday afternoon after the cement truck he was driving collided with a freight train in Waterman.

The DeKalb County Forest Preserve District now owns one of the most valuable and highly discussed properties in the county. And the plan is to lease that property back to the county for $1. That’s the latest twist in the ongoing story over the future of the 17-acre DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center. The property, located along a busy DeKalb commercial corridor, is slated for eventual retail development once the center closes later this year.

Saturday’s Underground Railroad conference may be the first of a statewide annual seminar to be held in Sycamore. The conference drew about 100 people Saturday to the DeKalb County Farm Bureau for a day-long conference on the Underground Railroad and connections throughout Illinois.

Compiled by Sue Breese

Sue Breese

Sue Breese is a DeKalb County area historian.