Looking Back for March 27, 2024

Looking west at the corner of State and California streets at the Frank Langlois home, 404 West State St. in Sycamore circa 1945. A gasoline station opened at the site in 1959.

1924 – 100 Years Ago

Boys will be boys, to be true, but the paper boys of this city are used to at this time of the year in treading across lawns of the city, because Mr. and Mrs. Property Owner are going to get up in arms about the matter. Some of the boys’ ride bicycles and have been taking a short cut practice does much to spoil the appearance across corners to save time. In many places it is necessary to seed the ground each year on account of this habit of the boys. As complaints have started to come in, the newsboys of the city should take notice now, and possible avert trouble with the property owner.

Men employed by the Standard Oil Company have been busy today working about the station at First and Lincoln Highway, giving the building attention with the paint brushes. The free air station located on First Street, has also been repaired during the last few weeks, and today the post was treated to a fresh coat of paint. The lawns about the station as well as the shrubbery will be next to be fixed up by the oil company men and this spot will again be one of the prettiest in the business section, along the Lincoln Highway.

Today has been a typical spring day with the exception of possibly a sharp wind that has been blowing most of the time. Old Sol came out bright and early this morning and many people were of a far more cheerful attitude today than they have been in for many days.

Report is heard today of an auto accident last night at Evans Avenue and Lincoln Highway, when the DeKalb Wagon Company truck with trailer, was struck by a machine coming off Evans Avenue. The driver of the other machine, apparently did not see the trailer attached to the Wagon company truck and crashed broadsides between the two machines. Two wheels were broken, but neither of the drivers was injured, and the trouble was soon adjusted satisfactorily to all parties concerned.

Workmen started the task today of tearing down the old building at Fourth street and Lincoln Highway formerly occupied by the New DeKalb restaurant. The restaurant was closed several days ago by creditors. The property on which this building stands has been sold to the Independent Oil company, and today marks the first steps towards the construction of modern oil station there.

1949– 75 Years Ago

DeKalb Jaycees, started on their community and individual betterment program last night with the record-breaking charter membership of 170. This is the largest initial charter organization every formed in Illinois.

Police Chief George Meier of Sycamore has issued his last warning to the young men or boys who are damaging property around St. Albans with rifles and air guns. Hereafter, when the chief picks up any of the youths with an offending gun in his hands, that’s the last time that lad will every see his gun. The chief says that he will confiscate and ultimately destroy the weapons. City ordinances provide that no firearms may be discharged within the city limits, but the boys have been breaking windows with considerable abandon lately, Chief Meier said, using small caliber rifles and air rifles. Most of the boys are well known to the chief.

Stockholders of the Virgil State Bank have unanimously approved a plan which will thwart busy bank robbers who have held up the place four times, three of them since last fall. The bank will close its doors and go out of business.

A parking meter head, which was found by a motorist in a ditch alongside the road near Leland, has been turned over to the DeKalb police department. The motorist, who found the meter head, which had been broken open, left it with the police here believing that it might have been stolen from this city. Investigation disclosed that while it is a Miller meter, the company which provided the meters here, it is not of the same model used here or at Sycamore. It is one of the latest models and showing but little wear. The meter has been broken open and the money removed from the coin container.

Mrs. William Lockett of Newark, N. J., the former Carol Upstone of Fairdale is visiting her parents, the Floyd Upstones, now living in Rockford.

Last evening 35 Legionnaires had their blood typed, the group being the first activity in the formation of a DeKalb Walking Blood Bank. A few weeks ago, a committee was formed to set up the blood bank and within a short time it is hoped that hundreds of persons will have their blood typed in this city. It is only a blood bank in the sense that the whereabouts of available and adequate donors of the proper type will be known.

1974 – 50 Years Ago

DeKalb’s leap-frogging youth drop-in center may soon be headed for a new, and possibly permanent home. The drop-in center and its parent agency, the city Youth Services Bureau (YSB), are now in McAuley Hall on Fisk Avenue. Mayor Carroll Van Patter has called that location the “wrong place” for the bureau offices and drop-in facility. He clearly favors moving the entire operations to the former fire station on Fourth Street.

The final steps in the process towards receiving full accreditation is being taken by Kishwaukee College this week as President Dr. W. Lamar Fly and Business Director Dr. Norman Jenkins go before the North Central Association of Accreditation for Colleges and Secondary Schools. Accreditation for Kishwaukee will mean that students there will have no problem transferring credits to any senior institute in the United States.

Southgate development may become DeKalb’s newest addition Monday night. The diverse development includes the 55-acre Southgate Mall shopping center, single and multiple family housing, an ice arena, tennis courts and other businesses. The estimated cost of the development is between $15-$20 million.

1999 - 25 Years Ago

House Speaker Dennis Hastert misses being able to spend time around young people now that his new post keeps him away from home a lot more. So, Friday, the former high school government teacher and coach connected with local students via the Internet. Kids from the Illinois Republican’s own alma mater, Oswego High School, even came back from their just-started spring break for the chance to have a live online chat with such a powerful alumnus.

Howdy Doody, the freckle-faced puppet that entertained millions of American children in the 1950s, is in the middle of a custody battle. A Detroit Museum and the family of a Connecticut puppeteer who used to pull the marionette’s strings are in a legal tug-of-war for the original redheaded doll in cowboy boots. Howdy is sitting in a safe deposit box in Connecticut while the case plays out in federal court in Hartford.

The Shabbona Lake Sportsman’s Club is at it again. Last weekend several projects were under way to improve the habitat of the lake. The first project involved clearing log jams from Indian Creek which flows into Shabbona Lake. The next project involved adding brush piles to the lake. The club places new brush piles in the lake annually.

Compiled by Sue Breese

Sue Breese

Sue Breese is a DeKalb County area historian.