Looking Back for May 24, 2023

Demolishing buildings looking northwest on the corner of Elm and Maple in Sycamore, October 1980.

1923 – 100 Years Ago

The 30th of May was designated by the Grand Army of the Republic for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land. And it is with us, the veterans of the world war, that the duty lies of redecorating the graves on this date and renewing our obligations to our state and nation. That the sacredness of the day may be fittingly observed, The American Legion asks the cooperation of all.

By the present progress the paving company is making in DeKalb, streets that are to be paved will be completed in about two weeks, according to information given out yesterday. So far there has been a total of seven blocks paved which will soon be open to traffic when the cement becomes seasoned. The big cement mixer is at present on the small stretch in the northeast part of town called Shipman Place. Here about two blocks of cement are being laid which will be completed sometime today.

All previous records in the number of prisoners at the county jail have been passed when the figure reached the maximum of 26 last night with the possible chance of two or three more today. At no time in the history of the jail has this number been reached, which is possibly due to the sheriff’s activity in securing every prisoner in his jurisdiction. The majority, of course are from Chicago and are cataloged as federal prisoners.

President Earl Wetzel of the Izaak Walton league has been notified of the shipment of several thousand fish that will be deposited in the Kishwaukee River in about two weeks. The Sycamore man was also told that a car load of the fish would be sent here from some time later.

Such an organization as the Barb City quartet is one of the assets of DeKalb which is helping to place the city on the map. While affairs held here are always more enjoyable when the singers appear, it seems that the surrounding town have the same idea, according to future dates of the quartet. Tonight the boys will appear in Malta, tomorrow night in Maple Park, and next week Friday at Burlington. The three engagements are for commencement exercises

1948 – 75 Years Ago

A tremendous machine is being used to create parking space and the race track being constructed at Prather Field in the northeast part of DeKalb. The huge, cat-type tractor, powered by a Diesel motor pulls the tremendous scoop capable of handling about 20 yards of dirt at a time.

With ideal weather promised, large crowds are expected to witness the Illinois State Olympic trials for amateur bicycle riders, which will be held Sunday, May 23, the race to end at the Memorial clock on the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb. Over 40 are expected to compete and will ride a 135-mile course starting about 6 o’clock tomorrow morning at Harlem and North Avenue in Chicago and going west through St. Charles and Sycamore to Glidden road and then to DeKalb and making a three-lap run over a 20-mile course before the race ends at the clock between Second and Third Streets on the highway.

It has been learned that as early as the year of 1913 talk was current about an elevator at the courthouse. Even today the county board of supervisors considers the project. Seems that the construction of the building makes installation of an elevator a real problem.

A drive, sponsored by the Foster Parents plan for War Children and designed to collect 200,000,000 pairs of shoes for the men, women and children of war devastated Europe and China is now in full force. Beginning on Monday, May 24, a large bin will be placed in the Miller-Jones store in DeKalb, where those who have old shoes may make their contribution to the drive. It is hoped that contributions in the DeKalb vicinity will be heavy enough to permit shipments on almost a daily basis.

Shortly before 7 o’clock last evening the DeKalb Fire Department was called to the Mary Bullwinkel farm occupied by Morris Benson where a truck was in flames. The farm is located seven and one-half miles southeast of DeKalb. The truck burst into flames shortly after it had been driven into the barn but had been pulled from the barn before the flames could spread to the building. The engine and cab were badly scorched before the flames were brought under control. Cause of the fire was not determined.

Mrs. Marie Kline of Kirkland is looking forward to a visit with her sister who lives in Sweden and will make the trip to the States this fall. They have not seen each other for 43 years.

1973 – 50 Years Ago

Twenty-four members of the kindergarten class of Mrs. Mary Langley of the Malta elementary school along with the room mothers and student helpers toured the Roger Hueber farm for the class spring field trip. Large and small animals were seen and a ride to the field on a hay rack to see how corn is planted was enjoyed by the group.

A woman has put the finishing touches to a Poppy Day display she built and put up in the window at the Harold Johnson Insurance Agency. She is a member of the Sycamore American Legion Auxiliary and used poppies in all the items on the display.

To celebrate the publications of a booklet on “The Story of the Windows” at The Federated Church, members and friends of the church will gather May 24 for a potluck supper. Color prints of all the art glass windows in the building are being reproduced in a booklet that will note the symbols in each window and in whose name the memorial or gift was made.

1998 - 25 Years Ago

Officials with DeKalb-based MicroSolutions Inc. say computer industry giant Hewlett-Packard is illegally using a patented technology, invented by the DeKalb company, to connect rewritable CD-ROM drive to PCs.

The pool of substitute school teachers is getting shallow in DeKalb County and across the nation. There are many reasons for the shortage, among them are smaller class sizes, a low number of substitutes, low pay, and limited to no benefits.

About 20 members of the DeKalb Fire Department participated in a live-burn exercise at an abandoned house west of the intersection of Peace Road and Fairview Drive on property owned by the Panduit Company. The firemen set fire to two smaller buildings before working inside the house. The firemen were able to work with live fires and smoke to learn what to do in an actual fire.

Focusing on personalized service designed to develop the best program for our good health, The Wright Athletic Club is marking 20 years in the community. The Wright Athletic Club is located at 2676 DeKalb Avenue in Sycamore and has been serving the DeKalb/Sycamore community since opening in 1979. It was located for 10 years on West Lincoln Highway at the current location of Amnesia.

– Compiled by Sue Breese