Looking Back for May 17, 2023

Sycamore Road looking south from Greenwood Acres Drive at the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Pacific railroad crossing, circa 1962.

1923 – 100 Years Ago

Owing to repairs being made on the railroad gates at Fourth and Lincoln Highway, spectators had a thrill last evening when two Fords narrowly escaped being struck by an oncoming train. The watchman was on the crossing, but being alone, the task of handling the big crossing was difficult. He had used his whistle several times but two Ford drivers failed to see him and not the approaching train. The engineer of the train applied the emergency air and slowed his train to some extent and there was no one injured, but it is reported several spectator’s hearts stopped beating for a few seconds.

People along the street do not hesitate to say that travelers from the east, west, north and south are getting numerous on the Lincoln Highway. Most any time of day one can stand along the street and see machines from most any state in the union go through here heading east or west. As far as is known there have been but two or three states in the east such as Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont that have not been represented in the throng of travelers at this time of the year.

Good progress is being made on the Ballou garage which is being built near Fourth and Lincoln Highway for the B Taxi Company. The sides of the building are now about ten feet high and workmen are busy on the job endeavoring to get the place constructed in short time. The taxi men will have a fine location for their new business as it is a place where they are handy to town. They are anxiously waiting for the completion so that they may move in and get settled for the summer.

Boy Scouts enjoyed their hike and picnic supper yesterday afternoon and early evening in the woods on the North First Street road. These occasions provide much fun as well as training for the boys, who look forward to them with much pleasure.

It has been suggested by several merchants along the street that an effort be made during the forenoon tomorrow to get several large flags up along the Lincoln Highway in honor of the distinguished visitors expected tomorrow. There are several large flags available for street decorating and it has been suggested that the business men show the courtesy to the legislators by decorating upon the occasion of their visit here.

1948 – 75 Years Ago

Damage estimated at a couple of hundred dollars was caused by a fire discovered Sunday morning at the mill of the DeKalb Toy and Novelty Company located at 1025 Oak Street. The call for the fire department was received at 7:10 o’clock Sunday morning. The blaze started in a pile of toy snow shovel handles and the place was filled with smoke. The fire was quickly extinguished and damage was confined to the pile of handles. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The DeKalb county campaign against tuberculosis, particularly among adults, started at 9 o’clock today at Northern Illinois State Teachers College when a large mobile unit supplied by the state began taking x-ray pictures of students. The mobile unit will be in constant use five days a week until June 25 taking x-rays of the chests of every adult in the county that wishes to ascertain if he has any traces of the “great white killer.”

Allyn Ritzman spent the weekend in Port Huron, Mich.

All grade schools of DeKalb have been visited and over a thousand bicycles ridden by DeKalb youngsters have been treated with six pieces of light-reflecting Scotch-lite. The project, a tremendous undertaking has been completed during the past two weeks with the final visit being made at the Haish Grade School yesterday. The Chronicle, providing the Scotch-lite as well as a group to assist in its application, has had splendid cooperation from the DeKalb Police Department and a crew of young men from the DeKalb Township High School.

Waterman Hall at St. Alban’s School in Sycamore is being cleaned and redecorated to house and feed around 90 high school and college students, who will work at the Sycamore Preserve Works this summer. The hall has been leased for one year and the students will be obtained from Chicago. Other help will be derived from southern Illinois and from Sycamore personnel. This will be the first time in a number of years the canning company has not had to draw upon foreign help.

Jack, the dog at the fire station is now married according to the firemen. His bride is Queen, a similar breed of dog. The police department picked up Queen during its drive for loose dogs and the fire department felt sympathetic and took over her ownership. Queen has not taken a ride on the truck as there have been no calls since her marriage.

1973 – 50 Years Ago

To visualize the concept of large numbers, the fifth, seventh and eighth grade math classes of Kirkland Junior High began saving bottle caps on Aug. 28, 1972. Teacher Gene Glover said they that hit the 100,000 mark on May 11, but that they were shooting for one million. At the rate they were going, it would take about 10 school years.

A neighborhood park at Liberty Park moved closer to reality Wednesday afternoon when the five commissioners of the DeKalb Park District unanimously approved the purchase of more than $14,125 worth of equipment for the park. Some of the equipment consists of benches, swings, climbing devices, slides, teepees, a porpoise, and barrel of fun, wood equipment, merry-go-round, water fountain, fencing, sand and trees.

DeKalb Jaycees are delivering sand for sand boxes May 19 and 20 to any residents in DeKalb Township. The first wheelbarrow full is $2; additional ones are $1.

An antique fire extinguisher from New Orleans, La., was dedicated to DeKalb Fire Chief Mike Smith upon his retirement. The extinguisher, donated to the fire department by William Minnihan, will stand in front of Fire Station Number 1.

1998 - 25 Years Ago

Some old settling ponds are raising a stink for the DeKalb Regional Mall, and the developer also reports slow negotiations with potential stores. The result may be another delay for the mall to be located at the northwest corner of Peace Road and Fairview Drive. Construction was originally scheduled to begin in July 1997. Ground-breaking now scheduled for late spring or early summer, has been postponed three times already.

Time Warner Communications in DeKalb and The History Channel will sponsor an historic walk through the city of DeKalb Saturday. It is being hosted for the Wynonwy Girl Scouts. Over 1,000 girls have been invited to participate in the historic walk taking place today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. During the walk, the girls will be required to stop at several designated sites around the city and complete a specific activity. After the girls complete the activity they will receive a stamp in their special Hometown History passport booklet. Girls completing the walk will receive a Hometown History patch and will have met several requirement for badges.

Compiled by Sue Breese