Looking Back for May 15, 2024

Grocery at 10th and Franklin streets looking northeast in DeKalb in 1950. Joseph Lindstrom (and, in later years, with his sons) operated the store from 1913-1949, before the family sold the store in May 1952.

1924 – 100 Years Ago

DeKalb at this time is without a noon train east, and many of the merchants and townspeople believe it is a matter for the Chamber of Commerce to investigate and secure some action. The Sycamore Chamber of Commerce has held several meetings with the officials of the Chicago Great Western and it is reported that plans are now being made to put on a noon train to Chicago. Other cities on the North Western, on other divisions, have been able to get their old trains back in service, with a little pressure, and it is believed that DeKalb should take some action.

Work of tearing down the grandstand and bleachers at Pershing Park and removing it to the grounds of the Community Swimming pool on the Malta road, which was started last year by the Rotary club, has begun, and there is a number of baseball fans in the city who do not approve of the change, believing it means the end of baseball in DeKalb. It is reported today from good authority that the American Legion team has been carefully considering the move to Pershing Park from Electric Park, although no action has been taken. Of course, if the bleachers and grandstand are torn down and moved from the park there will be no more ball games there.

Increasing business at the DeKalb greenhouses necessitated a larger and more powerful truck and today the greenhouse put a new Dodge truck into service. The new delivery truck is painted a dark green with the lettering in gold and makes an attractive wagon for the business. The nursery and flower business is such at this time that the larger machine became a necessity.

Following the accident earlier in the week in which the large plate glass window at the M. F. Malone store was broken, some comment has been heard regarding the service Mr. Malone received in getting the glass replaced. The day after the accident the plate glass company of Ottawa was on the ground with its big red truck and before the day was over the new window had been placed. It is reported this is about the quickest service ever received by any merchant in the city.

One of the large gates at Fourth street and Lincoln Highway, at the North Western crossing, was broken late yesterday when an autoist was caught between the gates. The driver of the machine, it is reported, had started across the tracks after the gates had started down, and was unable to get all the way across before the west gate was nearly down. Rather than stop in front of an approaching train, the autoist kept on going, and broke the gate, doing some damage to his machine.

1949 – 75 Years Ago

Miss Bergstrom’s first grade pupils at Ellwood School have started work on a circus mural. The children are cutting out pictures of animals and pasting them on paper to form a circus parade. They are also studying about trains and are drawing the different kinds of freight trains.

A new modern building is about to spring up in Hinckley. Edward Freundt Sr., announced this week that plans were completed for the erection of a 100-foot square business block on his property across from the Hinckley Implement house. Mr. Freundt will build a large super service station on the east end of the property.

The Wurlitzer bowling team left today for North Tonawanda, N.Y., where they will engage the Wurlitzer plant from that city in an intra plant bowling match. The matches between these two plants are an annual affair and are looking forward to by both plants.

Governor Adali Stevenson will land at the DeKalb Municipal Airport tomorrow morning shortly before 10 o’clock from the state capital. He will be taken under state police escort to the college where he will take part in the academic procession and the inauguration of Dr. Leslie A. Holmes as president of Northern Illinois State Teachers College.

Sycamore police are determined to halt the wild driving which has been prevalent on the street in recent weeks. No less than three men have been hauled in the last day or so and paid fines of $5 and $4.40 costs, assessed by Justice of the Peace A. C. Taylor.

Airport operators of DeKalb County and neighboring counties held their second regular luncheon meeting at the Rochelle Airport yesterday noon with nine people in attendance. At this time plans were drawn up for an over-night cross country trip on May 20; a spot landing contest at Rochelle at 12 o’clock on June and a fly-in breakfast at Rockford on June 4.

Sunday afternoon, May 15, at 1 o’clock the Marie Louise Olmstead Memorial Museum at Somonauk will be open to the public and will be open throughout the afternoon. The museum has been enlarged and many valuable and interesting additions have been made to the collection.

1974 – 50 Years Ago

The first real step toward hiring a full-time department head was taken last night by the County Board’s Forest Preserve Committee. The forest preserve district is the only function of county government which does not have a department head to administer its programs.

Legislation to restore passenger train service to DeKalb cleared the first hurdle in the Illinois House Tuesday. The passenger train also would serve Rochelle, Sterling and Rock Falls.

Employees at Lehan Drugs, 1328 Sycamore Road, are taking a full inventory to determine the number of drugs stolen early Tuesday morning. Police officers said the thieves took the drugs and $200 cash. The thieves entered the story by chopping a hole in the roof of the building.

“Instead of a tiger, we have a chicken in our tank.” With that sendoff from its developer, a large sedan powered by a combination of refined chicken manure, pig manure and shredded palm fronds began a historic journey around a campus foundation at the University of Hawaii. The automobile, which runs on methane gas made from local organic waste, leaves nothing in its wake except nonpolluting water vapor.

1999 – 25 Years Ago

Police officers throughout DeKalb County will be armed with a new weapon thanks to a donation from Wal-Mart and Fugi Photo Film Company Ltd. Two companies donated 150 disposal cameras to local law enforcement to help police gather evidence on domestic violence cases.

After serving Kishwaukee College for 31 years, President Norman Jenkins has announced his retirement. Jenkins has worked for the community college since its founding in 1968. He has been president for the last 21 years.

DeKalb City officials have announced a series of measures to slow traffic on Hillcrest Drive, in hopes of soothing the DeKalb neighborhood’s concerns about speed and safety.

DeKalb police have arrested four people accused of a string of armed robberies that targeted pizza delivery drivers in late January. All four of the suspects are from the Genoa/Kingston area and are friends.

The DeKalb City Council is scheduled to vote tonight whether to spend $10,500 to update a 4-year-old hotel study, in hopes of attracting a full-service hotel to the city. Local business leaders have long cited the city’s lack of a large hotel with conference rooms.

– Compiled by Sue Breese

Sue Breese

Sue Breese is a DeKalb County area historian.