Looking Back for Nov. 1, 2023

Milwaukee, St Paul, and Pacific railroad trestle across the Kishwaukee River east of First Street north of DeKalb, circa 1935. Today the site is a part of the DeKalb Nature Trail.

1923 – 100 Years Ago

F.P., ex-convict, is now resting in the county jail in Sycamore, awaiting trial in the circuit court on the charge of stealing a cow from the Greek farm at DeKalb, and a team of horses from the Watson farm near Maple Park. Mr. P., who was arrested by the Aurora authorities and returned to the county jail at Sycamore the early part of this week by Sheriff E. E. Crawford and Chief of Police Scott of DeKalb, is said to have confessed.

Fred Rompf, a former sheriff of DeKalb County and now making his home in Somonauk, visited this morning at the sheriff’s office in the court house building. Mr. Rompf was sheriff of this county during the years 1902 to 1906, before the present county jail was built. Many changes have taken place since his time of service here. At that time the county jail was often empty, while at the present time the jail is never empty. Several federal prisoners, unknown to the jail in those days, are at present rooming at the institution.

Kids of Sycamore did not cause much trouble, according to people of this city, although several residents awoke this morning to find their porch furniture gone and other articles moved about. No property was destroyed, as far as can be ascertained today. Store-keepers were kept busy the greater part of this morning washing soap from the windows. They all seem of the opinion that the practice of soaping windows could be abolished without hurting the feelings of a single store-keeper.

People with removable fence gates, and all other objects that are not too hard to move better take an extra precaution this evening in seeing that all is secure. Tonight, is the night that every kid in town feels that he has a divine right to move all movable objects, as well as destroy property. Halloween pranks, as long as they are pranks, are usually tolerated, but when youngsters of the more-bold type start to destroy property, a stop will be put to the work by officers of the law. It is understood that the streets of Sycamore will be well patrolled this evening in order that the property of individuals may be protected.

If you are keeping goldfish, learn these two important facts: 1 – The fish must live in the shade. 2- They require frequent changes of fresh water. The reason for the fact is that goldfish have no eyelids and therefore cannot keep light from blinding them. That is why you see them swimming about in the globe if you set them in the sunlight. Fresh aerated water is necessary for these fish, as for any others living in natural waters. Fish live on air in the water.

1948 – 75 Years Ago

Saturday afternoon the Memorial Clock located on the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb between Second and Third Streets, was placed in operation again after having been stopped for the past several weeks. Through the interest of E. F. Harmison, plant manager of the General Electric firm of DeKalb, the clock has been fixed to operate electrically. Mr. Harmison donated the motor. Considerable trouble has been encountered the past few years in keeping the clock in working condition but now that it has been handed over to operate by electricity it is expected that it will be possible to keep it in operation without so many breakdowns.

Mr. and Mrs. Yu have a chance to do something without cost tomorrow that a lot of folks all over this world would be willing to die for. A lot of you won’t do it either, but it’s worth thinking over that the opportunity to go to the polls and vote for the man of your choice is one of freedom’s most priceless heritage. It makes no difference whom you vote for, just vote!

Frank Tedford, the quiet yardman at the courthouse, has one of the most futile jobs in the county at this time of year. Frank has to rake up the leaves on the yard and dispose of them. This year he has a gadget which sweeps them up. It takes him two days to cover the yard, taking a quarter every half day, and the next morning it looks as if he hadn’t touched it. Bet he walks miles on that lawn.

Lotta folks around DeKalb certainly liked the looks of that big Sycamore pumper when it pulled up to that tavern fire. Heard more than one suggesting that DeKalb could use one like it.

Mumps are keeping a number of children in Shabbona from attending school.

Lanark – Local police are puzzled. A radio was removed from the auto of a local merchant, while it was parked on Main Street, and a large white rabbit was left in its place. Later it was found that the radio should have been taken from an almost identical car, parked next to the merchant’s auto, to be repaired and that it was just a case of mistaken identity. But why the rabbit?

1973 – 50 Years Ago

While the rest of the county was enjoying Halloween treats, Genoa suffered all the tricks. At least it seemed that way to Genoa property owners when about 150 persons, some of them high school age but many of them older, congregated on Main Street last evening. With the help of several county squads and two state squads, which were called in at 10:30 p.m., the Genoa police were able to disperse the vandals, but not until considerable damage had been done.

The White House offered today to let a federal judge listen to one of President Nixon’s Watergate tapes to hear for himself that a crucial part of a conversation in April between Nixon and John W. Dean III about the scandal never was recorded. The White House also recommended that electronics experts be called in to certify that Nixon’s remaining secret tapes “are complete and have not been tampered with” in any way.

1998 - 25 Years Ago

The sale of alcohol has been prohibited in the Village of Malta for almost 90 years. That could change next Tuesday when voters will be asked in a referendum if they want to continue their local prohibition. The last time the liquor referendum was up for a vote was 1988. It was defeated by 33 votes.

The 1998 Pumpkin Patch Baton Contest at the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival was the largest in the history of the well-known competition and probably the most memorable. The competition attracted champions from Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa Kentucky, Illinois and Washington, D. C. This year’s contest was very special to corps director Marlyn Burkart, as the original “Corps of 12″ surprised her as they marched into the gym at Sycamore Junior High School with a loud “hut, 2, 3, 4.”

The first week of November is holiday Fruitcake baking time for the Women’s Fellowship at First Congregational United Church of Christ in DeKalb. For 43 years, the women have been mixing up their secret recipe and baking more than 300 cakes. It takes two and a half days to complete the project, plus the help of about 35 men and women of the church.

Compiled by Sue Breese

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois