Looking Back for Dec. 30, 2020

1920 – 100 YEARS AGO

Only two more days are left of Leap year, so the girls of the city who have not already taken advantage of the past four years had better do so very soon as the opportunity will soon be lost. Also the men of the city should remember the fact that if they are married within the next two days they will not have to pay any income tax if their salary is under $2,000. The same thing works two ways however, and if a man is getting a divorce, he had better wait until after the first of the year or he will have to pay the single man’s tax on his income.

With the robberies of a few weeks ago still fresh in the minds of some of the people of Malta making them wonder if there will be any more very soon, Christmas presents of guns and rifles were very appropriate gifts. These were received by several local men and if robbers attempt to loot the stores here again they are sure to get a good load of buckshot.

Due to the persistent efforts of Superintendent of Schools Ritzman, the Everett playground will be flooded with water this evening and the children of the city will be able to skate on it tomorrow. Workmen were at work this afternoon building a dirt wall around the ground so that it would hold the water in and they were also smoothing out the rough places so that the dirt will not stand above the ice.

While the services were underway at the First Lutheran church on Sunday night, some unknown sneak thieves entered the basement where the wraps of a number of the church goers had been placed and rifled them of an unknown amount of money and valuables. The thieves did their work thoroughly but no one will know how much was taken as a number of the people did not miss the contents of their pockets until after they had left the church.

A DeKalb man narrowly escaped being seriously burned on Christmas day in the Jack Cook barn on Linden Place when he stooped down to look in the door of a stove he had just put some oil in, and the flames flashed in his face. He was building a fire and had a great deal of difficulty in getting it started. After putting the oil in and lighting some of the papers in the stove, he did not think that it was burning fast enough and leaned down to look at it. As he did so, the oil caught fire and the flames flashed in his face. He was badly burned and it was necessary for a physician to give him treatment.

1945 – 75 YEARS AGO

Closing the books for 1945 means rolling off the last of an outstanding war production job at Cyclone Fence Division of American Steel and Wire Company. With its DeKalb plant and other plants reconverted to full-scale peacetime production and a sizable backlog of orders to work on, the men and women of this U.S. Steel subsidiary have much work ahead before they can claim to be “caught up.”

The deep pile snow at the side of shoveled pavements prove to be a help instead of a hindrance for a change yesterday morning. The snow bank by the Brilliant Bronze Station on West State Street was used as a fire extinguisher when a car in the garage section of the station started to blaze. The alcohol in the radiator of attendant John Astling’s car exploded about 10 o’clock Friday morning. When the fire extinguisher wouldn’t put out the resulting flames, resourceful Astling backed the car out of the garage and into the snow. Firemen, who arrived at the scene, estimated that the damage done to the auto would amount to about $50.

During the past several days, complaints have been received from motorists concerning kids hanging onto the autos and being pulled along. The youngsters, many of them being of high school age, grab onto the cars as they stop at intersections and slide along on the snow and ice behind the cars. This is a dangerous practice and someone is going to be hurt seriously unless the practice is stopped. The police are checking these complaints and warn the kids against this dangerous pastime.

The danger of fire was unplanned in Victor, but became very evident when a Christmas package containing a celluloid comb placed too near a light bulb became overheated and started smoking and burning. The comb being in a leather case did not ignite as it would have had it had plenty of air. The tree lighting was quickly unplugged and the offending cause removed. No one became unduly alarmed, all moving back enough to let the men take care of the small blaze that might have been a serious one in no time.

1970 – 50 YEARS AGO

Sycamore City Council last night agreed to purchase two new police squad cars at trade-in prices of $2,649.40. Two of the present squads in use will be traded in with the new cars to be purchased from State Street Motors of Sycamore.

A Christmas “Cookie Chat” for all women staff members of Sycamore High School was held recently at the Theodore Soli home in Sycamore. Each guest brought a sample of her cookies and a copy of the recipe.

NIU grounds crewmen scraped the ice on the lagoon this morning to officially open the pond for skating this winter. They also constructed a new grate for the fire which warms many a skater’s wet mittens and socks each season. The ice thickness averages more than five inches.

Senior citizens from throughout the county started signing up for a new “tax bonus” by the state legislature. The homestead exemption bill (House Bill 1176) allows a person 65 or older who owns and lives in his home to reduce his assessment by $1,500.

1995 – 25 YEARS AGO

The Natural Resources Education Consortium (NREC) is once again offering its Native American Survival Skills workshop at Russell Woods Forest Preserve. During this two-day workshop, participants will learn a variety of survival skills, including nature awareness, fire making, cordage, fishing, tracking, making arrowheads and constructing a survival shelter.

The DeKalb Police Department will be one of the first organizations to benefit from the opening of Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. The company’s officials are planning to donate $1,000 to the police department.

The Gen. John Stark Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently announced the winners of the Good Citizen Award for 1995-1996. This contest is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship; dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.

A holiday train, made out of recycled hog feeders and other old farm equipment parts, sits on display in the front yard of Paul and Lu Hudson-Johnson’s farm on Storey Road near Genoa. The display grew from a small Christmas house last year to a train, helicopter and manger scene with many lights all around.

– Compiled by Sue Breese