Looking Back for May 12, 2021

1921 – 100 YEARS AGO

If any automobilist has an idea that the road between DeKalb and the cement road leading to Sycamore is pleasant to travel on let him confer with the fire chief. The fire boys went out to the Electric park fire this morning and when they struck that stretch of road with the pea gravel they could not travel over ten miles an hour, and then it was hard work to keep in the road. Many people of the county would appreciate the fixing up of this road and it is probable that something will be done there before the summer is over.

Now that John Anderson has a big part of Lincoln Highway town up for the purpose of connecting several buildings along the street with the sanitary sewer, the street cars have considerable trouble now and then, due to careless parking of automobiles. Several times of late the cars have been compelled to wait two or three minutes for some motorist to get his car out of the way.

Sleepers at the police station last night, eight of them, thought they had stuck a regular village, when about 11 o’clock the sergeant informed them there was food sent in for them. Some of the sleepers had not eaten but little during the day and the sound of food was a welcome one to them. Following the party at the Vassar Swiss rooms last night by the Auxiliary and the Legion, information was secured as to the number of sleepers at the station and enough of everything sent over to go around. The lodgers expressed their thanks to the Legion boys for their thoughtfulness.

Rueben Peterson of Ohio Grove is erecting a fine new barn on his farm.

Jack Cook, who is always in a hurry, whether in his little fixer truck, or the large machine, was going north on Fourth Street yesterday afternoon with a piano box. Cook thought the box would ride without being tied in and he forgot that some parts of North Fourth Street are not as smooth as the cement pavement. The boys around the fire station were watching the antics of the piano box and just as Cook crossed the switch at the car barns, the box started for the air and Jack was going so fast his machine was away before the box hit the ground again.

1946 – 75 YEARS AGO

The South Grove Centennial to be held at the Driscoll Woods on May 26 will be held in the South Grove school in case of inclement weather.

Leland Strombom, industrial arts instructor at the Sycamore Community High School, has designed and is manufacturing a piece of playground equipment for backyards. Mr. Strombom has been working on this for two years. The idea for the device came to Mr. Strombom while coaching at the high school. He noticed that there was a need for a portable basket that a boy intending to play basketball could improve his shooting in his own back year. This ”Playmate,” which is the trade name, was also designed as a play set. The advantage of “Playmate” over other types of this kind of equipment, is that it can be used for children from the age of two years up to the senior in high school.

Shortly after completing my early newspaper training, a famous publisher made a remark to me that didn’t mean much at the time. He said, “Young man, you can tell a city by the kind of service clubs it has.” DeKalb is indeed fortunate it has two excellent service clubs, the Kiwanis and Rotary. In studying the accomplishments of just one of these clubs, the Kiwanis, we can agree he was very wise. DeKalb Kiwanis celebrates its 25th anniversary Monday evening with a dinner and many special guests.

Mrs. Cora Scott was a guest of Ruth Dresser of Northwest DeKalb, when her nephews and nieces aided her in celebrating her birthday with a cake being presented.

The Chicago and North Western railroad depot in Malta is being given a coat of paint. Both the exterior and interior are being treated.

President Truman has received the first sheet of the new discharge emblem stamps issued by the post office in commemoration of the 12,000,000 Americans who served in the war.

Poppy Day will be observed in Waterman and throughout the United States on Saturday, May 25, Mrs. Addie Babcock, president of the Waterman unit of the American Legion Auxiliary, has announced. Memorial poppies to be worn in honor of the dead of both World Wars will be distributed throughout the day by volunteer workers. Contributions received will be used in relief and rehabilitation work for disabled veterans, their families and the families of the dead.

1971 – 50 YEARS AGO

Promoter of a Kishwaukee Bike Trail through the DeKalb-Sycamore area, Wally Thurow discussed his idea with League of American Wheelman representative Keith Kingbay near the river at the First Street bridge. This would be part of the proposed green strip and bike trail if the plan materialized.

The new residence purchased by Opportunity House Inc. of Sycamore, a shelter workshop for the mentally handicapped, will be open to the public Sunday afternoon, May 16, between the hours of 2-5 p.m. This facility, the former Driscoll Nursing Home, provides housing for 12 live-in trainees from out-of-town or without parents or families to care for them.

An estimated 3,000 persons participated in the 30-mile Hike for Hunger yesterday in the Sycamore and DeKalb area. Unofficial records estimate that approximately one-half of the started managed to complete the long trek. Although it will take a while to get accurate figures, the marchers have earned an estimated $50,000. The final figure from last year’s march was $42,000 earned by 2,500 walkers.

In an effort to create greater awareness of bicycling as a potential solution to various ecological programs caused by gas-guzzling vehicles, Saturday was celebrated by thousands of bicyclists throughout the nation as National Bikecology Day. These bicyclers gathered at Northern Illinois University and then paraded, with a police escort, through the adjoining DeKalb business district and back through the NIU campus.

1996 – 25 YEARS AGO

The first steps in the realizations of the Short Street neighborhood redevelopment project in DeKalb come to the city council Monday for approval. Council will vote on the purchase of two properties, which would be demolished as part of the project.

Meet these local authors at the Junction Book Store. Gertrude Stonesifer, NIU graduate and former DeKalb High School teacher, author of “The Peanut Butter Kid,” and Pamela J. Farris, a professor of children’s literature and language arts. Ms. Farrisis also is a storyteller. She lives in Rochelle, author of “Young Mouse and Elephant.”

One year ago yesterday, demolition of the Old DeKalb Post Office began, following about a year of heated debate.

The would-be developer of a residential subdivision is suing the DeKalb County government, looking to reverse its decision to deny his proposal. The 147-acre, 75-house development, proposed between Plank, Moose Range and Whipple roads, was rejected by a committee of the DeKalb County Board earlier his year.

– Compiled by Sue Breese