1922 – 100 YEARS AGO
No more forcible an illustration can be given of the interest which the present day farmer in his own organization than that which was shown Tuesday night last at the home of Alvin Warren near the Suydam church in Victor township. About 7:30 in the evening a fire broke out in Mr. Warren’s coal, wood, and store house, and as there was some oil, paints, etc., in the building it spread very rapidly until the whole structure was a solid mass of flame. Being surrounded by other buildings with the house only about fifteen feet away it was with the utmost difficulty that the fire was held to the one building. However, such people who gathered there were able to help and by 8:00 o’clock the crown that gathered numbered over 250 people.
Look for the box on the counter. No meal is complete without Johnson’s famous chocolate coated yeast wafers. Give health, strength and vigor.
Between 200 and 300 people stepped into the Fisk Motor company’s salesroom last night to give the Lincoln a careful inspection and in the words of one interested spectator, “It’s a bear of a job.” This is the first of such cars to be shown in DeKalb, and as it is one of the top notchers, the Fisk people expect many interested callers. The machine is an eight cylinder type, with beautiful trimmings and while the price here is about $4,000, it appears to be well worth the money.
The ornamental light post at Seventh and Lincoln Highway was damaged this morning when the truck of Walter Kennedy, driven by Cal Wiltsie, and another machine came together. The machines were not damaged to any extent, the touring car having a fender damaged. The accident happened as Wiltsie and one of the Corey & Evans’ trucks were turning the corner at the same time, going in opposite directions while the other machine was coming from the east. The light pole will have to be replaced and has been secured to prevent its falling and injuring passersby.
Carl Clages recently purchased the lots from the Greenwood estate located on the main business street of Waterman and plans to erect a garage on the east 65 feet. The building will be of hollow tile and the foundation will soon be under headway. The west 40 feet have been sold to Louis Leifheit of Aurora, who is already excavating for the foundation of a two-story building to be built of hollow tile. The lower part will be used for business and the upper for flats. The vacant lots have long been an eyesore to the people of the community and the new buildings will be a welcome addition to the village.
1947 – 75 YEARS AGO
Chief of Police B. F. Peck stated this morning that he had instructed members of the police department to arrest all those operating motor vehicles without mufflers. Numerous complaints have been received of late concerning the noise created by motorcycles and scooters being operated without mufflers and a drive is to be made by the police in an effort to correct this nuisance.
Yesterday a claim for the release from Sandstone Federal Prison of John (Jake the Barber) Factor, one-time Midwest gangster, was denied in Federal Court at Minneapolis. Factor will be remembered as one of the most widely known characters ever to be an inmate of the DeKalb County jail at Sycamore. In 1934, “Jake the Barber” was wanted in England for an alleged $7,000,000 fraud. Then he was kidnapped and held for huge ransom. Following his release by his captors, he identified his kidnapers in spite of threats against his life. On April 24, 1934, he was brought to the DeKalb County jail and placed in custody of the Sheriff, being released 60 days later.
The village of Paw Paw lies in Lee County, just a hop, skip and a jump west of the DeKalb County line because some pioneer DeKalb County residents were mulishly stubborn in 1856 and ‘57. But for some mule-headedness of those pioneers who wanted no part of that new-fangled contradiction, the railroad, Paw Paw would lie well within the limits of DeKalb County and approximately three miles east of its present location. Back in the middle ‘50s, there were three tiny settlements in that neck of the woods. There was Paw Paw, a stage coach stop on the old Galena-Chicago road, there was South Paw Paw a little off the south toward Mendota, and there was East Paw Paw, oldest of the three, to the east.
Mr. and Mrs. John (Cyclone Johnny) Thompson of Sycamore celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on Sunday, September 14, at their home.
1972 – 50 YEARS AGO
Over 3 inches of rain fell on Genoa during the night and early morning hours Wednesday, causing a repeat of the flooding conditions around the town which followed the heavy rain two weeks ago. Especially hard hit was the area around the Middle School with water flowing down Hallsall Street like a creek, causing the rerouting of traffic around the Middle School area. Picnic tables at Chamberlain Park were afloat for a while and water flowed heavily across Route 72 east of town during the morning hours.
Ten cars of a Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad freight train derailed in the center of Genoa at 5:10 a.m. today completely cutting off all the crossings in town for three hours. An apparent burned out journal (wheel assembly) was the cause of the wreck which tore up track bed and rails near Brown Street in town and overturned boxcars, which tied up both main lines on the Milwaukee Road.
William Boyd, the matinee idol of silent films and most famous as Hopalong Cassidy, died at South Coast Community Hospital at Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 77.
“The Salvation Army will soon enter the third phase of its building program,” disclosed Major Robert Bazie of the DeKalb Post at an Army Advisory Board meeting. “This will mean demolishing an adjacent structure on Ninth and Grove streets, which housed Red Shield youth activities at one time. More recently it has served as Army headquarters. Cleared space to be blacktopped, will be utilized for parking and recreation.”
1997 – 25 YEARS AGO
The Sycamore City Council’s attempt to play hardball with DeKalb County on the future site of the nursing home has prompted board members to look at a new location in the City of DeKalb. On Wednesday night, the county board will vote on a resolution from the Health Facilities Committee to investigate the possibility of building the new nursing home on 34 acres of the Dresser Farm on Annie Glidden Road, just north of Dresser Road.
It wasn’t until Thursday evening that K. R. Dalton was able to bring himself here. Too many memories. “I have three cousins and 26 friends on that wall,” Dalton said in the shadow of the Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial. “It’s still hard to talk about it, you understand.” Nine years removed from his last assignment in the Marines and more than 25 since his last tour of duty in Vietnam, Dalton hasn’t approached the wall. He only got within 50 feet before turning back, unable to go farther. But with the traveling memorial in town until Sunday, Dalton, like the other 250 vets who turned out felt the need to come out to Sycamore Park and pay his respects.
– Compiled by Sue Breese