Looking Back for Jan. 19, 2022

1922 – 100 YEARS AGO

Work of improving Huntley Park which has been going on for several days, includes the removal of many of the larger trees there, which, while it meets with the approval of the city department, is disapproved by some of the people of the city. On the east side of the park, especially in the region of the standpipe, several of the larger trees have been cut down. In some instances these trees have been badly disfigured by recent storms which may account for the removal. When the work at the park is completed, it will present a far better appearance than ever before.

Did you leave your automobile out all night on South Fourth Street, and forget it? If so, if you will get in touch with the police department, you will learn of the whereabouts. The night officers saw the machine standing on South Fourth Street for several hours, and after conference with the night sergeant it was ordered taken to a garage.

Children of E. P. Ellwood could hardly wait for this snow and have been wishing that it would snow since Christmas, when they received a snow slide for a present. The slide is a large wooden affair built on the front lawn of the Ellwood home. It is about 25 feet high and has a steep slope. When the slide is packed down with snow it will allow a sled to coast a good distance.

Fire Chief McEvoy will probably do most of the work in flooding the normal pond, which has proven a rendezvous for skaters since the cold weather came on. The chief stated this morning that plans were made to flood the pond last week, at the same time efforts were made to fix up the tennis courts at the high school.

As soon as Frank Balthis of the college is ready for the water, the fire chief says he will go down with a wagon and see that the college gets all the water it needs to make the skating there the most desirable.

For the first time, the boilers at the new city hospital on South First Street were fired yesterday and smoke was seen coming from the stack all the afternoon. Coal was hauled to the new institution during the forenoon and it is gratifying to the board and city people as well to know that splendid progress is being made on a most needed institution for the city. It is reported that the work is going along now by leaps and bounds and with the place being headed, the interior work will move much more rapidly than before.

1947 – 75 YEARS AGO

Permission to erect an office structure in Sycamore was granted by the Civilian Production Administration of the Chicago district, officials of the DeKalb Ogle Telephone Company announced this morning. The structure is to be erected on the south side of Elm Street, between Maple and Main streets and will cost in the neighborhood of $135,000 officials of the company stated.

Old eyeglasses are being collected by the Auxiliary of the Waterman American Legion post. The glasses are to be sent to the state hospital. An appeal was removed from the hospital for the old eyeglasses and the members of the auxiliary have made arrangements to make a collection in the Waterman vicinity. The frames and any small parts are needed badly and any parts may be used. Many eyeglasses are broken at the state institution and the parts are needed so that repairs may be made. Those having old eyeglasses they wish to donate may leave them at either the Whitford or Mizel grocery stores where boxes have been placed for this purpose.

The farmhouse owned by Claude Patterson of Kingston burned to the ground Thursday forenoon. Neighbors seeing the flames hurried to help and some furniture and bedding and most of the household goods from the ground floor were saved. The cause of the fire is thought to have been an overheated chimney. Lewel Farland gave the family shelter until they can find a place to live. The loss was partly covered by insurance.

Citizens of Sycamore are reminded again of the testing of the fire siren on Saturday noon, Jan. 18. This procedure will be followed every Saturday noon thereafter. During the war, this practice was discontinued to avoid the confusion of air raid signals. The main purpose of the siren blowing on Saturday will be for testing, as with the J. V. Patten Co. fire, the siren was frozen and volunteers had to be called by phone which caused some delay.

On Thursday evening, Jan. 16, members of the DeKalb aerie of Eagles will enjoy an oyster stag event at the Eagles Hall. The stag is to open at 6 o’clock. Preparations have been completed to care for a large turnout.

1972 – 50 YEARS AGO

A westbound Kansas City freight train derailed at 9:39 a.m. today about two miles east of Creston just south of Route 38 (Alt. 30). Eleven cars of the 57-car train Number 141 on the Chicago & Northwestern line overturned and piled up, tearing up about 200 feet of track and blocking both lines at the scene. The wrecked cars contained beer, plumbing fixtures, potatoes and canned goods; also one empty propane tank car. No contents were spilled out, however. The cause of the wreck was not known yet this morning.

To get away from the ordinary cabinet making in the woodworking class and to get away from it all, the Hinckley-Big Rock Woodworking class of Louis Ignelzi is building a single engine, low wing volksplane. The airplane, called a volksplane because a model 1600 Volkswagon engine is used, is being built by freshmen through seniors at the high school.

The Northern Illinois University Lab School may be revived as a joint venture between the university and DeKalb School District 428. The status of the lab school is currently up in the air.

1997 – 25 YEARS AGO

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will require a cleanup of the Harvester Square industrial complex in Sycamore, where the former owner allegedly dumped foundry sand, containing high concentration of lead.

A push is underway at the local YMCA these days, and it doesn’t have anything to do with weight resistance. YMCA organizers are trying to push contributions to offset a higher number of free and discounted memberships.

The DeKalb County Board last night approved the beginning of a project to determine the future of the county nursing home. The measure authorized spending up to $1 million for planning, creating a development committee and hiring a project manager.

Formost DeKalb County residents, the recent heavy snow, wind and bone-chilling temperatures are inconveniences to overcome each day. For older or less fortunate residents, winter weather can become isolating and even life-threatening, say local social service groups. Hope Haven, the Salvation Army, the Voluntary Action Center and Community Contacts Inc. are just a few organizations which serve the elderly, poor, homeless and disabled persons in DeKalb County.

The DeKalb County Nursing Home could be remodeled or in a new building by January 1999, if the county board follows the recommendation of the County Home Committee.

– Compiled by Sue Breese