Looking Back for May 26, 2021

1921 – 100 YEARS AGO

The trolley wire in the business section of Sycamore broke Monday afternoon and cars were not running uptown. The electric company’s men were removing the broken cable and guide wires near the end of the rack at the library and they had not been down five minutes when a Conlin boy and others in a Ford car coming from school drove into it and one of the boys was swept from the front to the rear seat, the windshield was broken and the top of the car swept off.

How many Chronicle readers as they read this can tell where the nearest fire alarm box is located? We doubt if there are over 50 percent of them are sure just where the box is located and what the number is. This is mighty good information to know. Oftentimes such storms as DeKalb had last night cripples a telephone service and if you are not sure where the fire alarm box is located, how will you get an alarm to the chief and his men in case of fire?

A Great Western freight train passing through Sycamore about midnight Friday night was the object of a frustrated robbery by merchandise car thieves. It seems that the thieves boarded the train, broke open five different cars, selected their plunder and having arrived at the place where their truck awaited them, set the air brakes and stopped the train. Before they could transfer the property to the truck, the train men and railroad detectives on board scared them away empty-handed. Although a long and careful search was made, none of the crooks were captured.

The Ford sedan belonging to Percy Oberg was found in the ditch on Sunday morning about 1 o’clock and not finding anyone around the car, Lock Pierson, Henry Tolfe and Henry Lundgren towed it to the station. The machine was damaged to some extent, but it was understood no one was injured. Oberg called at the station an hour later and claimed his property.

After repeated warnings to the newsboys of the city by the police, some persist in riding on the walks, and as a result, one lad, Everett Whitney, was arrested this morning by Officer Martin. The police have been working on the matter for some time and the orders of the chief of late have been to watch all violators of the sidewalk riding ordinance. The newsboys of the city are today warned by the chief of police that the first offense will not bring forth a heavy fine, but the second time the violators are brought in they will be assessed a heavier fine.

Work on the Wes Abbott house in Malta, which was started some time ago, after the building was moved from the main street to the site of the old creamery, is nearing completion. The outside work is nearly done and it is understood that the inside work is making good progress.

1946 – 75 YEARS AGO

A minor blaze was the reason for the call to the DeKalb fire department about 9:30 o’clock this morning to the Irving home at 323 West Locust Street. A cigarette had fallen from a tray into a dresser drawer in one of the bedrooms at the home and had started a blaze in some articles in the drawer. The danger was soon ended. Damage was caused to some articles of clothing and to the dresser drawer. The trucks returned to the station within a few minutes.

Rain during the night and this morning forced the postponement of the safety lane for bicycles which was to have been held today for children from the first through sixth grades. If the weather clears, the students of the seventh and eighth grades and high school pupils will take their bikes through the safety lane Sunday during the period from noon to 4 o’clock. The safety lane is being conducted by the DeKalb Police Department on the playground on Franklin Street between Seventh and Eighth streets.

Fire yesterday afternoon completely destroyed the warehouse of the Donnelly elevator at Elva, the warehouse being located to the north and across the road from the elevator. The building was leveled to the ground and contents such as tools, nails, tires and the likes were destroyed.

Another tavern robbery was reported to the sheriff’s office this morning. The robbery took place some time last night or early this morning at the O. L. Farr tavern in Kingston. The robbers stole twelve cases of whiskey and eighteen bottles of whiskey and a small amount of cash. No cigarettes were stolen and no blended whiskey. Only the popular brands of bonded whiskey were stolen. There may have been more, but so far this is all that has been discovered.

1971 – 50 YEARS AGO

DeKalb Junior Woman’s Club invited members and community leaders to a coffee party preview of their Nature Trail for the Handicapped at Russell Forest Preserve near Genoa.

The Sandwich City Council last night voted to follow the wishes of the people of Sandwich and return the original contract for the purchase of the former State Bank building to the bank. The city council several years ago voted to purchase the downtown building under certain conditions for the amount of about $60,000, but when citizens protested the purchase and continued to protest, a proposal vote was taken during the spring aldermanic election.

After three days of pumping from their well, the DeKalb Park District over the weekend finished filling the Hopkins Park Pool which will open June 5 for the season. The 500,000 gallons this year came entirely from the park well, but drinking fountains and shower water will come from city lines at the pool house. The murky water will now be slowly filtered through the pool’s filtration system and chlorine added.

Five Northern Illinois University students were injured and the DeKalb police chief’s house received a considerable jolt when a carload of youths crashed into it at 10:46 last night. Driver of the car Charles J. Williams of Douglas Hall was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident following the one-car crash that caused $1,500 damage to his car and $1,000 to the home of Police Chief Victor Sarich.

1996 – 25 YEARS AGO

The DeKalb Police Department cleaned out its storage room yesterday, and destroyed 157 guns. The weapons, from exquisite military and sporting collectibles to junk with killing as its only purpose, were cut into pieces for recycling at DIMCO facility on Pleasant Street. Most of the guns were evidence in criminal cases or turned in by citizens who no longer wanted them around the house.

Taps will sound around DeKalb County, and the rolling thunder of cannon fire will echo from Kirkland, when residents remember those who have fallen in service to their country on Monday. Memorial Day activities around the county will kick off tomorrow, with special meaning inKirkland. The Northern Illinois Veterans Memorial, located in Franklin Township Park, will celebrate its fifth anniversary.

– Compiled by Sue Breese