Looking Back for April 3, 2024

Interior of the newly opened Four Seasons Sports bowling alley in July 1977.  The first advertisements for Four Season began appearing in the spring of 1977.

1924 – 100 Years Ago

Workmen employed at tearing down the old buildings at Fourth street and Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, have been hard at the task for several days and hope to get the most of the buildings down within the next few days. The men have the interior well cleaned out and the material has been hauled away as rapidly as it has been taken out. The roof was removed today and it is expected the four walls will be the next to drop before the onslaught of the axes, sledges and bars. The Independent Oil Company is anxiously waiting for the ground at this intersection to be cleared, that work on the new filing station may be started and rushed to completion.

Frank Shoemaker, who has been operating the shoe repair shop on South Fourth Street in DeKalb next to the Thompson plumbing shop, has gone to Earlville, where he expects to establish a similar business. Shoemaker was in DeKalb yesterday, stating he expected to go to Earlville during the day and get his shop opened and ready for business and believes he will be kept busy the most of the time.

Workmen have been busy for several days rebuilding the large stack at the Nehring Electrical Works, which was damaged late last fall during a windstorm. Previous to the work of the bricklayers it was necessary for the carpenters to erect a large scaffold on all aides of the stack that the brick work might be accomplished with more ease. Laying of the brick started yesterday and it is expected that within the next two or three days the construction of brick will be more serviceable than the one of sheet iron that was blown down last year.

The automobile belonging to Bernard D., at the Fred Diedrich home on North Seventh street, caught fire in some unaccountable manner just before noon today, necessitating the calling of the fire department. When the firemen arrived the owner of the machine was applying considerable flour, but when the flames crept between the dash and the body of the machine, it got beyond control. The use of chemicals quickly quieted the trouble and not a great amount of damage was done to the automobile.

County road men were today placing a carload of gravel on the road leading past Electric Park to DeKalb. South of the bridge the road has never been in excellent condition and efforts are being made by the county authorities to have the drive put in the best possible shape. On account of the ever-increasing traffic on the regular route between DeKalb and Sycamore it is thought that the side road will receive its share of travel during the coming summer by those who know of the road.

1949– 75 Years Ago

The Flying Farmers will meet at the Kishwaukee Airport Tuesday night at 7:30 o’clock. Joe Salkawske will speak on the maintenance of airplane engines and Bill Turner of Lily Lake will talk on his recent trip to Florida. All members are urged to attend as final arrangements will be made for the summer’s activities. Refreshments will be served at this meeting with the women in charge.

Lt. Ruth Ashelford of Clare, who has been on duty as army nurse in Ft. Riley, Kansas, was transferred last week to Ft. Sheridan, Chicago. Ruth came home from Chicago Tuesday and was honored at a birthday celebration that day in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Rich.

Chester Mohn of Rollo attended a feed school in Indiana the first of the week.

Mrs. William Staack of Sycamore, teacher of the sight-saving class at the Glidden School in DeKalb, will be the guest speaker at the Hinckley Mothers Study open meeting Wednesday, April 13, at the Community Building. A potluck dinner is scheduled for one o’clock and each member is asked to bring a guest.

Today was a field day for the practical joker who took advantage of the All-Fool’s Day observance. Those failing to remember that today was April 1 found themselves the brunt of the jokers. Most of the pranks brought many laughs and those caught early were a bit wary for the remainder of the day. While most of the pranks were of playful nature, some of the jokesters carried their fun a bit too far. The origin of All Fool’s Day is unknown but has been observed on April 1 for many years.

Tuesday night, March 22, the Malta Future Farmers sponsored a donkey basketball game. The evening started with a Honky Donkey Derby and Ronnie Rumpf got first prize. At the half of the basketball game, the donkeys put on a trick donkey show.

At the election for consolidation of schools held at the school house in Fairdale Saturday night, 258 votes were cast. There were 246 for and 12 against the consolidation.

1974 – 50 Years Ago

DeKalb Park District voters, by a 2-1 margin, approved construction of a new swimming pool and playground development Tuesday. The $600,000 Hopkins Park swimming pool and playground development was approved in all three precincts and totaled 1,610 “yes” votes. There were 715 “no” votes. The current pool was built in 1935 and district officials have been warned of its poor structural condition several times by state officials.

The DeKalb County Highway Department this morning voted to recommend that two and one-half miles of Glidden Road, from Cherry Valley Road to Illinois 72, become part of the county road system. It is now a township road. The committee called the stretch of road “a main line” to Rockford.

The DeKalb School Board finally resolved the issue of what to name the southeast school. It will be called the Hattie Chesebro School. The school will be the first one the district named after a woman. Two weeks earlier, the board debated for more than an hour before decided on a name for the new northwest school. It will be named for Thomas H. Roberts, the founder of DeKalb AgResearch.

1999 - 25 Years Ago

Families on midwestern roads this holiday weekend should pay particular attention to where they are driving. Dramatic shifts in road temperature over the winter have created an abundant early crop of potholes, ruts and work spots on roads now in need of substantial repairs. As temperatures rise, however, the bumps in the road may also smooth out.

A new agreement between DeKalb County and the City of Sycamore is near completion regarding access to busy Peace Road. The deal between Sycamore and the county developed last month after the city annexed lands to make way for the new Heron Creek Subdivision. To ease congestion for the mixed-use subdivision, the city requested a handful of access points between Route 64 to the south and Plank Road to the north.

After years of trying, Northern Illinois University is finally moving forward with plans for a $35.8 million arena on its west campus. The project includes 3,000 parking spaces, a 10,000-seat arena and an adjacent support building which would house the Athletic Department offices.

A vicious virus which has been inundating computers with bogus e-mail messages had many DeKalb County operators on alert. But causing little reported damage.

Compiled by Sue Breese

Sue Breese

Sue Breese is a DeKalb County area historian.