Looking Back for June 12, 2024

Central School, at Exchange and California Streets in Sycamore, opened for viewing March 27, 1927. Completed for the school year that fall, the building later became the Sycamore Community Schools Administration Center, shown here in March 2006.

1924 – 100 Years Ago

In telling of the broadcasting by the Barb City Quartet from station WGN, Chicago, Tuesday evening. It was not mentioned that the announcer made a statement as to why the quartet singers took the name of Barb City. The announcer was asked the why for of the name and stated that to his knowledge the name Barb City was taken from a nick name given DeKalb during some of its past history when it was the center of the manufacture of barb wire. The announcer also stated that the name is of historical importance in that DeKalb was the city in which barb wire was first invented.

Though some oversight on the part of calendar printers, tomorrow has not been marked in red, the signal of warning. Such a signal should be necessary as the day is Friday, the 13th. Whatever misfortune befalls a person tomorrow will certainly be blamed to the date and day. Friday does not fall on the 13th of the month but a few times a year, and many people that have a superstitions nature do not feel at all secure on that day. Black cars will be avoided, ladders will not be walked under, and all of the other ticks of the superstitious will be passed by.

In the future tourists driving into Annie’s Woods for an evening’s camp will be greeted at the gate by a large American flag, the gift of the W. R. C. organization. The flag pole will be erected as soon as possible in order that the new flag may be flown.

On Christmas day, 1858, sixty-five years ago, the First Lutheran church, formerly known as the Swedish Lutheran church, was organized.

P, S, Corey & Sons today announced that on tomorrow and Thursday they will celebrate the opening of their new gasoline filling station, located on the old Evans lot, on the east side of DeKalb better known as the old circus lot. The station will be operated by Ole Olson and will be known as the R. E. Anderson Oil company’s gasoline filling station.

Officer Sid Rowe will be unable to enter the bull pen of the city police station until he finds his keys. This verdict was reached today following the full confession of the day officer, who stated that he has no idea where he left the keys.

1949– 75 Years Ago

Owners or residents of farms in DeKalb County are apt to see their rural homes in print. The Chronicle is tonight starting the publication of a series of pictures of farm homes, all taken from the air. The photos give the farmer an unusual viewpoint of his land, show the arrangement of the buildings, and the paths worn from place to place give him a good indication of where he is doing a lot of his walking.

Deputy sheriffs sought in vain today for boys believed to have fired the shot that broke a window in a truck driven by a woman near Shabbona Grove late Thursday afternoon. Chief Deputy Francis Sullivan and deputy Harry Overton carefully examined the trick and the terrain where the bullet came from and concluded that some boys playing in the thick woods had broken it with a random shot and had never known about it.

A glimpse into the future was obtained by a few of DeKalb’s citizens yesterday afternoon, when the traffic control light at the intersection of Lincoln Highway and Fist Street was given a test run. Electricians had wired up the equipment and were putting the signal through its first paces. Although it was Thursday afternoon and there were a few about on the streets, the green, yellow and red lights were attracting more than their usual share of interest. The signals will be in shape to go into operation with the opening of Lincoln Highway with its New Look.

Completing 50 years of service to the community a record-breaking class of 234 this morning received diplomas at commencement exercises held at the Northern Illinois State Teachers College. The golden anniversary exercises were held on the island, with the members of the class and the spectators seated on the mainland and the faculty and speakers on the island proper.

A big machine shed on the David Westlake farm, eight miles northeast of Sycamore on the Burlington blacktop, was destroyed by fire at 12:40 o’clock Wednesday afternoon. The contents of the shed, including a threshing machine and other small equipment, was a total loss. The blaze was caused by burning grass and cobs. The Sycamore fire department answered the alarm, but the shed was too far gone to save.

DeKalb began today to receive the benefits of the new era of ultramodern communications. At 7:30 o’clock lines from the DeKalb office were cut into the reperforator switching center at St. Louis, Mo., it was announced. Until today telegrams to and from DeKalb were subject to manual relaying at Chicago where they were sorted by routing clerks and carried by girls to operators, who retyped them to another relay center on to their destinations.

1974 – 50 Years Ago

The Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees last night agreed to underwrite a daycare center for children of Kishwaukee students. Backers of the center asked the board to provide about $1,600 to cover losses under the first year of the program. The board agreed to let the student Child Care Committee convert the Kougar Den, student activity center, into a day-care center.

If you were traveling on Lee Road yesterday afternoon, you might have observed two hearty Shabbona fellows. Jon Pool and Roger Erickson were on their way to Lee, where centennial celebration activities got underway. And in the spirit of the occasion, they chose to travel the 100-year-old way, by mules.

A “first” was noted at the DeKalb High School gymnasium last week when 372 seniors received diplomas at commencement exercises. This was by far the largest graduating class in the history of the school. The top ten students in academic achievement were recognized at the program. Maureen Loughin was named valedictorian of the class of 1974 and Anita Faivre was named salutatorian.

1999 - 25 Years Ago

Volunteers are needed to help the Hiawatha Community Unit School District #426 wire for connection to the Internet. Plans are in place and supplies have been purchase to wire the school district for the 1999-1000 school year.

Third grade teacher Nancy Carnahan held a time capsule while Sabine Tegura put in a CD. Samantha Rodriguez and Amanda Webb also contributed articles in the time capsule which was then placed in a wall of the newly constructed Gwendolyn Brooks Elementary School yesterday afternoon.

Main Street DeKalb Inc. invites the public to celebrate the inaugural Baron DeKalb Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 19, I the downtown area. TransVac will offer a shuttle between the Egyptian Theatre, Ellwood House, Gurler House and the grand opening of the Glidden Homestead, allowing the easy enjoyment of DeKalb’s hidden treasures.

– Compiled by Sue Breese

Sue Breese

Sue Breese is a DeKalb County area historian.