Looking Back for Sept. 13, 2023

Northern Illinois University stadium during a 1976 football game.

1923 – 100 Years Ago

With the gates broken on one or two occasions within the past two or three weeks, the North Western railway has had occasion to try out the proposed plan of using two watchmen at Fourth Street, instead of one man in the tower. Some time ago the railway had men stationed at Fourth Street counting all classes of traffic that passed over the railway tracks for a period of 72 hours. The crossing at Fourth Street is a dangerous one at any time, especially when traffic is unusually heavy. There are so many gates to look after that it is impossible for the man in the tower to shut off all entrances upon the tracks at once. If this were possible there would be no need of an extra man to protect the public.

As tomorrow is the last day the DeKalb chapter of the American Red Cross will accept money for the Japanese Relief Fund it appears that this city will fall down on the quota of $1,000. Yesterday the total amounted to $616.50 and with donations made today it reached $665.50.

Sparks from the chimney today caused damage to the Cy Gonterman home on College Avenue, but it is an ill wind that blows no good. Gonterman has been planning to construct a new roof on his home, but had put the matter off indefinitely. With the help of the firemen this morning, when the south side of the roof was afire, several shingles were removed, and Mr. Gonterman now says he will get busy on the new roof at once.

Five weary travelers of the ties appeared last night at the Hotel Vendome for free lodging for the night. Especially at this time of the year if the police department stayed indoors all day, they could tell the approach of cold weather by the number that appear for shelter each night.

Motorcycle Officer Fred Housewert was on the job again last night and was compelled to stop several autoists who stepped on the gas too hard or who had forgotten the regulations concerning lights. Although no one was arrested Officer Housewert is keeping a close tab and anyone going over the limit will be liable to arrest and fined, which fine is usually $18.40.

Local grape growers are very angry over gangs of kids in this city who continue to rampage over vines, breaking them and stealing the grapes. This has become such a nuisance in the south part of DeKalb that efforts will be made to bring the matter to justice.

1948 – 75 Years Ago

In an effort to raise funds for the black topping of playgrounds at DeKalb’s elementary schools, the Lions Club will present Birch, the magician, in a show at the high school auditorium next Wednesday night. The Birch show features many feats of magic, none of which is more inexplicable than that in which a Shetland pony is made to disappear while suspended in midair. It requires 38 trunks and crates to hold the equipment and scenery used in this show. Proceeds will be used to help pay for the cost of black topping playgrounds at Ellwood and Glidden schools this fall.

Activities of the Lions Club are not always centered on dinner meeting, singing and having fun. The projects of the club are designed to bring better recreational facilities for the children of DeKalb. A crop of Lions were active on Sunday morning working on a playground project.

People riding on Route 64, especially on Sundays where there is a long string of cars, are finding that there is a new sport. It entails the endangering of all of the lives of these motorists, but the participants seem to have no thought of that. The sport is simply taking a coke bottle in a car and shaking it up until the carbonation is at the peak and then releasing the thumb so that the mess goes over a passing auto’s windshield. The windshield wipers become gummed up and it becomes difficult for the driver to see. The persons indulging in this sport are all young in age.

Went to the Sandwich fair this week and saw a lot of old and new friends. It is a great show and attracts large crowds each day. It seems emphasis is being placed more on the carnival theme.

With the Sandwich Fair going full blast, plans for Sycamore on Parade, one of the northern part of the county’s big shows, are rapidly being completed. Entertainment for all four nights has been booked, the hours of the show named and just about all of the booth space allotted. One of the features of this event is that it is open to the public and is provided without charge. One of the main purposes of the show is to exhibit the products of industry in this area and for retailers to show the latest fall merchandise.

1973 – 50 Years Ago

Seventy-four years ago, yesterday morning 139 students and faculty assembled in the study hall of Altgeld Hall. They sang “America” repeated the 23rd Psalm and the Lord’s Prayer, listened to a short speech from President John Cook and were given their assignments. Northern Illinois State Normal School was born.

A bicycle registration and safety check for all adults and children having bicycles in the Somonauk School District will be held Sept. 14 and 15. There will be no charge for the registration but donations will be accepted since there is a cost for the identification plates that will be attached to the bicycles.

City “farmers” learned Monday how DeKalb County, one of the richest agricultural regions of the country, is conserving its resources, combating pollution, and enhancing recreation in doing so. The DeKalb Kiwanis Club in its 29th annual Farm-City Tour, took 210 Kiwanians from 25 clubs in the Chicago area on a tour of three sites of large-scale environmental control before all sat down to a steak and corn dinner. The annual tour, begun by the late Chauncey Watson, has been made a national project by the Kiwanis.

1998 - 25 Years Ago

Talk of land rights and Indian casinos in the Shabbona area is beginning to be heard again. Late Friday afternoon, Gov., Jim Edgar’s office confirmed that groups purporting to represent Native American land claims in Illinois have had discussions with Edgar’s legal advisers over the summer.

To many, Reino “Rip” Riippi of DeKalb is more than just an employee of the Daily Chronicle. In many ways, he has provided heart and soul to the community, plus much-needed continuity for the public through more than three decades of change. Riippi, who will turn 63 in two weeks, finally closed the door on his long career at the Daily Chronicle Friday. He ended 34 years in a variety of positions, most recently as national advertising manager.

DeKalb has completed one of the busiest years for construction in the city. A record 384 housing units were built in DeKalb in the 1997-1998 fiscal year, according to the community development department’s annual report.

Compiled by Sue Breese