Looking Back for Nov. 17, 2021

1921 – 100 YEARS AGO

Engine trouble developing Monday night in the locomotive at the head of the Spring Valley passenger caused considerable inconvenience to the passengers and crew. The trouble developed at one of the towers not far out of DeKalb and despite anything that could be done the iron horse refused to budge. It was long after midnight when the train finally reached the terminal at Spring Valley.

N.D. Gilbert knocked at the fire station door this morning about 12:40 and asked for the fire chief. The boys were all in bed but upon the noise all were ready for a call. Mr. Gilbert informed the chief that there was a little fire in the partition in back of the fireplace in his house and asked him if he could come down and give it attention. The chief took the safety wagon and with a three gallon tank drove to the Gilbert home and soon had the fire out with but slight damage.

Honor to the soldier dead of the city, of the state and the nation will be paid by DeKalb people in fitting ceremonies. Fourteen trees are to be planted at Annie’s Woods, honoring 14 heroes who gave their all while in the defense of the flag.

1946 – 75 YEARS AGO

Armistice Day, the anniversary of the Cease Firing order, marked with the first days of dawn the opening of the pheasant and hunting season. In Clare, the frequent crack of gun fire from dawn until dusk on Monday meant casualties to the ring necks. The store in Clare was busy throughout the day serving a slab of cheese or a cut of cold meat between slices of bread with a bottle of cold milk to the hungry men who had tramped over many fields. To most working men the holiday provided a chance to enjoy the pleasure of hunting. The cease firing order is disregarded on November 11 unless the man with a gun has no hunting license.

Bernard Selfer, president of the Diamond Wire and Cable Co., said today that production would begin in the Sycamore Plant (the south mill formerly operated for the Signal Corps by Anaconda Wire and Cable Co. during the war) sometime between Dec. 1 and the middle of the month. The organization is being built up and will be completed and announced in a few weeks. All plans are centered on the manufacture of building wire here.

Sgt. Charles H. Padden of 210 S. Third St., DeKalb, is presently serving overseas as a radio operator at the Vernam Field, British West Indies, detachment of the AAF’s Airways and Air Communications Service. This service celebrated its eighth anniversary today. Since its beginning in 1938, the AACS has grown into an organization numbering some 13,500 highly trained technicians and specialists. It has furnished the communications facilities and navigational aids which insure the safe flight of AAF pilots, crews and aircraft over worldwide airways.

The government reportedly was about ready to junk its ban on two-pants suits and on vests with double-breasted suits. These and most other remaining wartime clothing restrictions were reported on the way out because the EHC Civilian Production Administration considers them unacceptable without price control. CPA took a step toward decontrol by scrapping its program to increase the output of low-cost clothing. Under this program, manufacturers were compelled to include a large percentage of medium and low price clothing in their total output. According to reliable quarters, orders will be issued soon to remove most of the 40-odd government controls still binding the clothing industry.

States Atty. Ross E. Millet enjoyed a sight seldom seen in this part of the country. While looking out of the kitchen window of his new home, which is on the second road north of Sycamore off of Route 23, he saw two deer. The deer, evidently out for a morning romp, took a jump over a large brush pile right in stride. He turned his head momentarily and when he looked back the deer had evidently vanished into thin air as they could not be seen. Just where they came from and where they went is a question.

Mr. and Mrs. Julius Anderson were forced to flee from their farm home located about 3 miles north of DeKalb about midnight last night, when flames destroyed the house and all of its contents. The farm is owned by William Rich of DeKalb. The Andersons had resided on the farm since March of this year. A trace of smoke had been noted by the Andersons earlier in the evening but a thorough investigation failed to locate its source. They had retired and shortly before midnight awakened to find the bedroom filled with dense smoke and found it most difficult to find their way out of the house. Having no phone, they hurried to the home of a neighbor where a call was placed for the DeKalb fire department.

1971 – 50 YEARS AGO

The city of DeKalb has called the state’s fire marshal office to determine under what conditions the 31 railroad cars carrying propane gas may be stored in the DeKalb area. The 31 cars are owned by the American Oil Company and are being stored by the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad on the railroad’s track near Barber Greene Road. According to a spokesman for the railroad, the company is looking for an alternate site.

The razing of old Stevens Wing of Sycamore Municipal Hospital and a slow-up on other phases of its replacement program were confirmed at the meeting of the hospital’s board of directors. The razing of the now-closed Stevens Wing is scheduled to begin this week. Protano Crane and Demolition Service, DeKalb, has been contracted to complete the razing by the end of the month for $7,360.

According to Leland Fire Chief Lester Miller, a farm fire southeast of Leland on the Roy Reeder farm was definitely arson. A barn on the farm that had been blown down several years ago, was noticed on fire by a passerby about 9:30 p.m. who went to neighbors to call the fire department at Leland. The family who reside on the farm, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Goken were away at the time.

1996 – 25 YEARS AGO

A Sycamore Junior High School geography teacher Mark Anderson led residents of the DeKalb County Nursing Home on a tour of the world. The senior citizens have been going back to school to study geography as part of cooperative, outreach program with the school which includes the use of computer models and contact with students.

The historic 1921 Glidden Wing of the Barb City Manor Retirement Home in DeKalb is undergoing renovation. The glass block, wood siding and cement block that was part of the wing of the former Joseph F. Glidden Hospital building on South First Street has been removed. What were the screen porches during the early days of the building are now being remodeled into sun rooms for the residents of the manor, and new windows will enclose the sun rooms and match the ones on the main portion of the Glidden Wing. These changes will restore the historic look of the building.

– Compiled by Sue Breese