Looking Back for Sept. 27, 2023

6th Street looking south to the site where South 6th Street joined Lincoln Highway in Dekalb in May 1957, the site of today's post office.

1923 – 100 Years Ago

Salesmen using the DeKalb-Sycamore interurban line as a means of transportation to Sycamore while on business trips, run a risk of being marooned in the county city for a longer time than desired. Today the 9:30 car was idle for an hour and a half, several of the traveling men “bumming” rides to DeKalb in order to get on the main route again. For the past several weeks the service on the interurban line has been uncertain, several times the cars having to stop while the steam pressure at the power plant was raised again.

Workmen have been busy for several days constructing a new barn on the Jacob Haish farm east of town, to replace the one that was destroyed by fire, after it had been stuck by lightning several weeks ago. The new building is a duplicate of the large barn that was destroyed and the tenant on the farm hopes to see the completion of the building within a very short time.

Sycamore last evening was without the services of the Illinois Power Company electricity for a period of 15 or 20 minutes, due to trouble in the boiler room of the DeKalb plant. This is the second or third time that Sycamore has been without lights because of trouble at DeKalb and the office of the company in Sycamore has been flooded with phone calls, asking what is the matter. It is understood that the demand for power at the plant is more than can be taken care of at the present time and as a result a shutdown has to be made in order that the steam may be raised again.

Reports were received here this morning stating that a Willys-Knight car, thought to have been driven by a tourist, turned over about three miles west of DeKalb. No one was hurt in the accident, although two people were riding in the car when it turned over. According to the story told in DeKalb by a tourist who stopped here for a few purchases, the driver of the auto stated that he tried to turn out of the way of another car that cut in ahead of him while another car was coming from the opposite direction. It is said that the Willys-Knight turned completely over, and it is a wonder that no one was injured in the mishap.

1948 – 75 Years Ago

Chicken thieves struck in the Kingston area again Friday night. Chief Deputy Francis Sullivan reported today that he and Deputy Harry Overton had investigated the theft of 35 big six-pound chickens from the home of Sam Deverell, near Kingston, last Friday night, but had found little evidence. The chickens were in the coops when the Deverell family returned home at 10 o’clock Friday night, but were missed the next morning. The thieves had passed the chickens through the fence. This is the third raid on chickens in that general area in a week.

Anyone operating an auto on the streets of DeKalb, starting Tuesday and for the next eight days, will have a chance to demonstrate they are courteous drivers. And the opportunity will bring with it the possibility of a cash award. The program to promote more driving courtesy throughout the city opens on Tuesday morning. An officer of the DeKalb Police Department has been named to assist committees of the various co-operating organizations of the community in selecting the daily winner.

The good safety record they had at Ideal Industries, Inc. went seven months without a worker losing a day’s time because of hurts. Then a fellow tried to empty trash into a barrel, leaned over a pile of boxes standing beside the barrel and strained his back muscles. Three days off recuperating. They take their safety precautions seriously down there.

Ideal has been in Sycamore exactly 24 years. A whole generation of youngsters have been born, reared and now are married since the company moved here. To them, Ideal is as much a part of Sycamore as the courthouse.

If those motorists who drive with their left elbows hanging outside the car windows had written as many stories about crushed elbows and amputated arms resulting from sideswiping accidents, bet there would be might few of them doing it any more. National Safety Council rates this a bad practice.

Somebody unloaded a big carton in front of the courthouse the other day, ripping open the top, stood it upside down and pulled out a television set. Everybody that came down the street had to stop and take a peek at the set. Reminded one old timer of how folks used to gather around an automobile, but the youthful office assistant thought it funny that people should be so curious.

1973 – 50 Years Ago

Installation of DeKalb’s 800 new parking meters began this week and will take about two or three more weeks to complete. The meters would be put in parking lots first.

DeKalb High School’s “Wild, Wild West” homecoming week picked up momentum yesterday with a noon hour hamburger-eating contest, but it wasn’t exactly like the meals out on the range. Chomping away before a packed house in the high school gymnasium, five contestants, one representing each high school class and one faculty member, attempted to eat their way through 10 McDonald hamburgers in 10 minutes or less.

Sheriff Wilbur Scott would like a dog. Not just any dog, but a German shepherd dog trained as a police dog. The dog itself, Scott said, would be donated but the eight weeks training, two weeks training for the sheriff’s deputy, a kennel, maintenance, food and upkeep and a new automobile specially fitted for the canine would run about $7,000.

DeKalb police arrested four men about 1:30 this morning on charges of burglarizing the Rattenbury Pete Shop, 1810 E. Lincoln Highway. Apparently, the only item stolen was an aquarium approximately 3 to 4 feet long and some accessories. The four men were being held in the city jail early today and were expected to have bond set before noon.

1998 – 25 Years Ago

The number of Northern Illinois University students who commute to campus for classes continues to rise. The number of commuters increased to 7,221 students this year, or 44.6 percent of the total undergraduate population, up from 40.5 percent last year.

A new Genoa-based rubber reprocessing plant has turned the heads of many in the community. Humane Manufacturing Inc. molds rubber matting from tire retreading materials, heating rubber to 320 degrees. That process often generates unpleasant odors, some which escape the plant through a ventilation system added to the building by the company.

Every few months, an entrepreneur visits DeKalb city hall with an idea, opening a gentlemen’s club. There are two big reasons why it hasn’t happened. First, DeKalb law prohibits any kind of nudity, particularly in liquor establishments. And second, even if someone did open such a club, the city council likely would pass a new law putting them out of business.

Garbage from Kane, DuPage and Cook counties may be headed to DeKalb County and so may large checks from Waste Management. But before any money rolls in, the DeKalb County Board needs to approve a Host County Agreement with Waste Management. Before any trucks roll in, the board must also approve the expansion of the DeKalb County Landfill following environmental hearings.

– Compiled by Sue Breese