Looking Back for April 28, 2021

1921 – 100 YEARS AGO

An oil well with several hundred gallons capacity per minute was discovered in DeKalb yesterday afternoon but there will be no stock sold by the concern, but a considerable loss marked up on the accounting books of Sawyer & Sons. The boys were filling the second tank from the one across the street from the garage and the cap happened to be off the pipe on the south side of the road. As the big pump began pulling the oil from across the street there was a geyser of gasoline for several minutes and many gallons were lost before the matter could be remedied.

On such days when the weather man is congenial, the contractors in charge of construction of the new hospital have bricklayers at work. The work has already started there, but the uncertainty of the weather makes it impossible to get much of the work done. The contracting firm hopes the weather will settle down to a certain steadiness within the next few days and that the work there will go forward much more rapidly.

W.F. Snyder, district manager for the Standard Oil company, received word by wire this morning of a decline in the price of gasoline of three cents a gallon and kerosene also three cents a gallon. At the service stations, gasoline now sells at 22.6 cents and from the wagons 21.6 cents a gallon. Kerosene from the wagons only is now selling at 11.6 cents a gallon. This is a first drop in gasoline prices that has been reported by the Standard Oil people for some time and is indeed welcome news to automobile owners.

Spring always brings in a number of complaints from all parts of the city relative to chickens running at large, and the police department members tire of chasing from one end of the city to the other in warning owners that it is a violation of the city ordinances.

Louis Moulton, who for some time has been affiliated with the fire department, has turned farmer and nearly every day he can be found at his “farm” southwest of town getting ready for spring work. Moulton has considerable small stuff planted and will cater to the users of fresh vegetables in the city believing that a truck farm that will raise anything, such as he claims he has, will be a good investment of time and money.

1946 – 75 YEARS AGO

Announcement was made yesterday by the Federal Housing Authority in Chicago that a notice has been issued to a construction company to start work on dismantling and removal of barracks to be re-erected at the Northern Illinois State Teachers College in DeKalb. The W.E. O’Neil Construction Company of Chicago was issued a notice to proceed, effective Wednesday, May 1, with the dismantling and removal of eight barracks from Camp Weingarten, Mo., and their re-erection and conversion to provide 24 veterans’ emergency family units at the DeKalb college.

At 2 o’clock tomorrow morning, April 28, residents of DeKalb will move their clocks ahead one hour as DeKalb goes on daylight savings time. Fast time will be the official time in this city until September 29. Although daylight time becomes effective at the early hours Sunday, most of the residents will either move their clocks ahead an hour before retiring or will make the change when arising tomorrow morning. An hour of sleep will be lost tonight that will not be recovered until late in September. Chicago and many other cities will also start daylight savings time at 2 o’clock Sunday morning.

All residents of DeKalb are being urged to plant gardens again this year as they did during the war years. Mayor Hugo J. Hakala has received a letter from Governor Dwight H. Green in which he urged the mayor stress the necessity for having gardens. During the war years, the Victory Garden campaign was most successful throughout the state with DeKalb cooperating to the fullest. In view of the acute worldwide shortage of food, it is imperative that another organized garden drive such as placed Illinois first during the war years be staged.

The pre-flight school conducted by Darel Carls, manager of the Sycamore airport, will start another class at the Community center. All telephone lines have been moved and arrangements have been made to move all light lines in the near future from their present position to that of east of the road at the airport site. In doing this, it makes possible to move the road over in the easterly direction, giving the new Sycamore airport more room to land and more safety due to the movement of the high wires. The poles will then be painted according to aeronautical regulations.

1971 – 50 YEARS AGO

DeKalb firemen were called to the 1800 block of Sycamore Road at 9:20 a.m. today when a power line broke and fell across a gas pipeline regulator pit cover. This electrical jolt burst the high pressure natural gas line causing flames to leap from the pit. Firemen extinguished the fire and the gas was turned off. Nearby at the Jewel Food Store, the power outage caused a smoke smell and firemen were also called there to investigate.

As the result of Sandwich City Councilmen touring DeKalb’s low-cost housing units earlier this month, the council voted to proceed with plans for similar units. The council is asking the Federal Housing Authority for a maximum 120-dwelling unit to be built for the elderly and for low-income families to eliminate sub-standard and slum housing.

During this first month of the spring opening of the Ellwood House Museum, visitors to the second floor will see many things of their grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s day. As you enter the southwest room, an alcove contains a spinning wheel with a suitably dressed mannequin standing nearby. The exhibit, ”Our Heritage,” fills the showcases lining the room with many and varied items, some of the early 1800s. One case has a handmade blue and white coverlet (1830) almost covered with old Bibles; schoolbooks; pictures, one which shows the direct linage from John Alden; also two samplers made in 1822 by a 7-year-old girl.

1996 – 25 YEARS AGO

A vote on an annexation agreement for the River Mist development was put off for two weeks while the developer works out details with some property owners. However, the DeKalb City Council did take a vote to deny a commercial lot of the 242-acre, 900-unit residential development at the corner of North First Street and Rich Road.

Duplex Products Inc. has signed a merger agreement with an Ohio-based company, but the future of much of the local business remains uncertain today. The Reynolds and Reynolds Co., based in Dayton, Ohio, issued a cash-tender offer of $12 for about 7.5 million shares of Duplex stock, a sale which would total about $90 million.

Local author Sally M. Walker shows third-graders at Lincoln Elementary School “Born Near the Earth’s Surface,” a book she published in 1991 about sedimentary rocks. Walker has published five nonfiction science books and has short fiction stories published in “Highlights for Children” magazine. Walker has several more books in the works as well as four short fiction stories.

– Compiled by Sue Breese