Looking Back for March 31, 2021

1921 – 100 YEARS AGO

Wes Concidine, night desk sergeant of the police department also custodian of the Memorial clock, is going to cease smoking cigarettes or carry a suitable tray on which they may be placed hereafter. Concidine gave the clock a going over this morning replacing a couple of burned out lights and oiled up the machinery. Before going up on top to replace the lights he lighted a cigarette and as he started up the ladder placed it on his overcoat until his work was done. Fortunately, Fire Chief McEvoy was on the job but before the fire extinguished, the overcoat was damaged to some extent.

Hoover day was a hum dinger in Elva. The farmers of Afton brought in over a thousand bushels of corn. The ladies earlier in the year raised over sixty dollars.

Due to the cold snap which swooped down on DeKalb Sunday night and yesterday with little warning, many automobile radiators required the service of repairmen today. The large watering trough on Sixth Street was frozen over during the night and the ice had to be broken up in the morning before it was usable. The drinking bubblers of town were not frozen on account of the water flowing continuously through the founts.

In the big parade at Sycamore Sunday when nearly 200 Templars participated including many DeKalb members, there were four men in line, who have a record both as to membership and activities at such an age. According to a DeKalb man who was in the parade Sunday, there were four men in uniform who had passed the age of 82 and were able to march along with the remainder of the younger knights. It is rather unusual to see men of such an age in a parade, but these men, it is understood have been members of the Templar organization for many, many years and enjoy this special Easter service.

DeKalb people had their first look at gypsy outfits Saturday when a big automobile filled with traveling equipment stopped for a few minutes. The car did not stay long, however, as the police were quickly on the trail and as soon as the necessary purchases were made they were told to keep moving. This is the first of such traveling squads to show up here, but as soon as the weather begins to warm up a bit, there will be plenty of them along, going from one end of the country to the other and in all cases, traveling via automobile.

1946 – 75 YEARS AGO

Advent of spring in Sycamore has brought to light plans which are being made by the Ideal Industries Inc. for a recreation field to be used by employees of the company. Three acres south of the factory buildings are to be seeded and lined for various sports. A baseball diamond is to be laid out on the field, and courts for volleyball, horse shoe pitching, and shuffleboard are planned. The recreation field will be used by the Ideal employees during rest periods, lunch hours and after work.

Port Manager Darrel Carls made the first landing at the Sycamore Community Airport Thursday afternoon. Land for the new field which will be located just east of the city park on Route 64 was purchased this month by the Leader Oil Company of Sycamore and leased to Mr. Carls for development. One hundred twenty-six acres of the Lee and Sheeler farms were bought by Leader Oil, and approximately 90 acres will be used for the landing field proper, with hangers and maintenance buildings to be built on the remaining space. Ten acres have been reserved by the company for the construction of a super-service station.

For a period of about four hours yesterday afternoon residents of Kirkland and the surrounding area were without electrical power. The trouble was caused by a transformer which burned out. Although it was fortunate that it happened in the daytime, it caused considerable inconvenience. The hemp mill was forced to close down because of the power cutoff and offices and homes are without lights. Farmers in the community stated that they were hampered because most of them have electric milkers and water pumps and the power went off just before milking time.

Excavating activities always prove to be of interest to a large number of spectators and work on North Third Street this week is no exception. Large crowds have been watching the excavating work for the new theater building to be located on North Third Street on the west side of the street in the middle of the clock and also the work on the northwest corner lot at Third and the highway. Those in the business district and in that vicinity usually stop and watch the activities for a few minutes before proceeding on their way.

1971 – 50 YEARS AGO

Approximately 1,000 customers were affected by an electrical power blackout early Sunday morning, caused apparently by a raccoon who came in contact with a 12,000 volt structure. The structure is located at the Commonwealth Edison’s Glidden power sub-station located just north of the General Electric Company.

Now that the worst winter-like weather hopefully is gone, work on the extension of Annie Glidden Road is resuming. The road is being extended south from Lincoln Highway to Taylor Street.

A study group to develop plans for the new Community Hospital has been formed by the Kishwaukee Community Hospital Board. The study group is made up of physicians, nurses, administrators and Board members of the DeKalb and Sycamore Hospitals and members of the Kishwaukee Hospital Board.

DeKalb Rotary marks 50 years. One of the first projects sponsored by the DeKalb Rotary Club was in 1923, when the first outdoor swimming pool in the county was opened. The pool was located on South Malta Road, the present location of Lions Park. The Chicago Tribune ran a feature article at the time, calling it the world’s largest outdoor pool.

1996 – 25 YEARS AGO

Kirkland-Hiawatha High School students held a brief walk-out this morning as school started. Both Hiawatha Superintendent Ken Brooks and high school Principal Larry Kernagis said the reason for the walk out was the non-renewal of a second-year coach, who is also a teacher at the school.

Not too many businesses survive 100 years. One store in Sycamore, Henderson’s Department Store, has not only survived to see that milestone, it has grown. Community leaders, employees and current company president Jerry Henderson marked the event in a ceremonial tree-planting outside the courthouse in Sycamore marking the impact the store has had on the city.

The Sycamore School District is trying to buy land to build a new high school next to the existing one. The school board voted to make an offer to buy about 25 acres of land to the north and west of the existing high school, between Route 64, Peace Road and Johnson Avenue.

– Compiled by Sue Breese