Looking Back for January 4, 2023

This March 1956 photo of North Third Street in DeKalb looking south toward Locust Street, shows the houses at 214 and 212 N. Third St. just before they were removed.

1923 – 100 YEARS AGO

Although it was necessary to alter the arrangement of the equipment at the North Western station, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Wiltse were glad to do this when the large new gas stove arrived for the lunch room. The new equipment is well fitted for making pies and other work at the lunch room, and the proprietors are more than pleased they had the extra work to do before installing the stove.

Sherriff Edward Crawford journeyed to Shabbona, where he captured one Jack O’Brien, who was wanted by the sheriff of Boone County for serious charges preferred by a young woman. O’Brien had been sought by officials of this county for a year and a half, and finally the DeKalb County sheriff got track of him. He had been working near Shabbona on a farm, under an assumed name. When captured by Crawford, the man accompanied him to Boone County where he was taken over by the sheriff of that place.

Due to a small boy locking himself in a room on the second floor at the Belding home yesterday, Fire Chief McEvoy was appealed to as a last resort, to get the room opened. The chief with the big ladder truck went to the home and after placing one of the larger ladders to the side of the building was able to get into the room, releasing the youngster. This is the first time in many months that the chief has been called on to use his ladder for such purposes.

Discovery of another outbreak of small pox in the city of DeKalb, one of the cases in a family, which previously refused to be vaccinated, has caused the red card to be placed on one or two homes in DeKalb today. The health board does not believe that the situation will get beyond control, but again urges those people in the city who have not been vaccinated to attend to the matter at once.

1948 – 75 YEARS AGO

Yesterday the parking meters in DeKalb were one year old, having been placed in operation on Jan. 2, 1946. At that time 394 meters were placed in operation in the business district as a means of alleviating the parking problems. Although it took a few weeks for the motorists to become accustomed to them, it was not long before all were dropping in their pennies and nickels as a habit. Enforcement was not stringent during the first few weeks, or until the newness wore off, but then tickets were placed on those cars which were found to be in violation.

Five years ago the agencies of war forced the United States government to take an action which dealt millions of “little fellows,” the low income Americans, a blow in the solar plexus. It was a simple order. All it did was ban the sale of new automobiles, except to those with high priorities such as doctors, public officials, essential war workers, and the armed services. Five years have elapsed and the war has been over for two and one-third years, 28 months, and for the average “little fellow” the ban on new cars still exists. The $40-a-week worker. The guy who kept the big automobile manufacturers in business with their purchases of second-hand cars, have been elbowed rudely aside for five long years. Most of them were not “essential” during the war, few of them have the necessary “down payment” which some unscrupulous dealers have exacted since for the mere privilege of paying twice as much for a car as it cost pre-war.

During the holidays, with the schools being closed the Sycamore Community Center has become a beehive of activity. Children of all ages are there in large numbers from morning until night, using the facilities of the civic building. The smaller children are enjoying the many games provided for them, while the older ones keep the gymnasium ringing with their voices while shooting baskets. Several times every day teams of all ages are formed and basketball games are played.

The Malta fire truck will be in DeKalb Saturday morning for some special work on the motor. Chief Heins wishes to warn farmers that if fire starts in their buildings they should call DeKalb or the nearest town for help.

1973 – 50 YEARS AGO

Because of interest aroused in Oriental culture as a result of President Nixon’s recent trip to China, the NIU Student Association is presenting a Peking Opera. The Oriental opera will be presented tonight, tomorrow and Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium. All parts will be played by NIU students under the direction of Van Lu.

The New York Yankees were sold today by the Columbia Broadcasting System which brought the club eight years ago for $13.2 million and netted a “considerable profit” on this transaction.

DeKalb Public Library can help you to “get away from it all” via cassette tapes. The library has a tape collection which permits listeners to take a “tour” of Berlin, London, Paris, San Francisco, Kowloon, Hong Kong or Washington, D.C. The library also has a series of tapes known as Vital History Cassettes. Information on these tapes include pertinent current events, speeches of President Nixon, Henry Kissinger, UN General Secretary Waldheim and coverage of recent election speeches.

Now making their home in DeKalb are newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Mahmoud Akrabawi, who were married last month at Calvary Lutheran Church in rural Lee following a rather unique courtship. Akrabawi made a public appeal for a wife through the Daily Chronicle in order to avoid being deported to his native Jordan.

1998 – 25 YEARS AGO

Local businesses in DeKalb are continuing the holiday spirit by donating their services to young residents of Hope Haven, a local homeless shelter. Mardi Gras Lanes, the Northern Illinois University Campus Recreation Center and GKC Theatres are offering to treat the children to bowling, basketball and movies, activities these children would not ordinarily be able to enjoy and participate in due to their family circumstances.

The flood of July 1996 left the Congress Lake Estates mobile home park in Kirkland devastated, leaving about 1/3 of the town’s population homeless. In November, the village gave final approval to a hazard mitigation plan with the federal government to buy out the trailer park, allowing residents to get on with their lives and forever turning the area into city-owned park land.

Corn and soybeans usually come to mind when thinking about crops in DeKalb County. But one Kirkland resident has become well-known for his production of wheat. In fact, he has been named to a state committee that is seeking to revolutionize the crop’s production. Illinois Agriculture Director Becky Doyle recently named Allan Aves of Kirkland to serve on a special Wheat Program Committee.

– Compiled by Sue Breese