Looking Back for Nov. 8, 2023

The DeKalb Armory building in the 300 block of Locust Street in DeKalb, looking south from the alley in 1944. The building was demolished in September 1969.

1923 – 100 Years Ago

DeKalb county dairymen and their families have been asked to attend a free motion picture showing that will be given next Friday evening by the Quaker Oats Company in order to make more clear several matters relative to better dairying. It is to be hoped that a large crowd will be in attendance at the picture which will be shown at the Townsend theatre in Sycamore.

Sheriff E. E. Crawford and his squad of deputies last evening raided the home of W.F. at Sandwich, confiscating about 55 gallons of intoxicating liquors. W.F. returned with the raiding squad, and is now lodged in the county jail. Complaints have been received by the sheriff that W. F. has been selling intoxicating liquor in Sandwich. Enough evidence was secured yesterday to cause the arrest of the Sandwich man. The evidence was also taken by the sheriff and put in safe keeping.

Several of the locomotives of the Chicago and Northwestern have been noticed during the past few days as being equipped with a new type of electric headlight. The new type is much smaller in the main portion than the type in general use, is more of a box shape but has a large flaring lens.

One of the large tank cars on a freight east bound yesterday, sprung a leak in some manner and the contents of the large car were scattered over the North Western right of way for several miles. When the train pulled into DeKalb the car was leaking and it is probable that by the time it reached the Chicago yards there was little oil remaining in the car.

Complaint has reached the ears of the members of the police department and others of the noisy motors that are driven along the Sycamore Road late at night, especially in the vicinity of the DeKalb County Tuberculosis sanitarium. It was not stated by the complainant whether the noise was being made by an automobile or a motorcycle, but tuberculosis patients state it is proving a nuisance. It is reported unofficially that steps are to be taken by the authorities to find who is responsible and see if the noise cannot be abated.

Reports are current today that the paving work in Eleventh and Thirteenth streets in DeKalb has been completed and the streets open to traffic. Thirteenth street has been completed but the work of the DeKalb, Sycamore & Interurban Traction Company of laying bricks between the cement has not been completed.

1948 – 75 Years Ago

Sycamore’s smoke eaters of the fire department have a brand-new kitchen down in the fire barn. And many a Sycamore housewife would be envious of the boys if she could but see the shiny new kitchen all cleaned up and painted light green and white. The boys took over an old storage room in the rear of the police station which had been used as the place to store oil barrels for years. They talked the city council into buying enough materials, plywood, paint, nails and other stuff to fix up the place into a kitchen.

Fire, gaining such a tremendous headway that the roof had fallen through before help arrived, destroyed the huge barn, a large shed and the filled silo on the Farley Brothers place, north-east of Leland early Sunday morning. The farm is located on the county line road and is occupied by the Robert Charlier family. The fire was discovered by a Mr. Sherman, who lives near Rollo, and who was returning home after going to a barn fire near Plano. He roused the Charlier family and the Leland fire department was summoned.

About 12:30 o’clock Sunday noon, Nov. 7, a fitting ceremony will be held in connection with the retiring of the World War II Honor Roll at East Lincoln Highway and Fourth Street. Participating in ceremony will be the DeKalb Post of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, the program to be held immediately following the Armistice Day Sunday services. Arrangements have been made by the city to secure a light tank which will replace the honor roll.

Light rains which have fallen this week have not supplied enough water to start the Kishwaukee River flowing again. The river was dried up except for a few lonely pools in the stretches south of DeKalb and had been for several weeks. The rains this week stretched the pools until they almost touched each other today, but there still was not enough water to start flowing downstream. Residents along the stream have been hoping for a good hard rain to flush the stagnant water from the pools.

Repairs to the Sycamore station of the North Western railways are planned next year. The funds are in the company’s budget, general agent R. E. Williams told the Rotary Club at the regular weekly meeting yesterday noon. Williams did not say what would be done to the aged station but did say that it would be made to “look more presentable.” This has been on the planned repairs of the company for two or three years, but now is expected to be completed in 1949.

1973 – 50 Years Ago

“You never know when this will come in handy,” said Hilda Schmidt of Schmidt’s General Store in Cortland. The Schmidt’s have had the potbellied stove in their store for many years, but lately have used it only to burn paper. The stove was made by the Station National Excelsior Stove Co. in Quincy, Ill, in 1902. And before the year is out, it might be used as it originally was intended.

Gas prices have gone up, again. With the Cost-of-Living Council permitting gas stations to pass on increases they receive from their suppliers; gas prices have risen steadily. Mason’s Deep Rock on W. Lincoln Highway raised prices a penny yesterday to 40.9 for regular and 44.9 for premium.

DeKalb residents would very likely be driving the by-pass-access road today if it were not for a June 23, 1969 decision of the DeKalb City Council to scrap the city’s airport project. The city had a site, 168 acres southeast of the city and it had commitments of $365,000 from the federal government and $200,000 from the state. But Jesse Chamberlain defeated Clifford Hunt for mayor of DeKalb that April in a council election in which the airport was a major issue. By a 4-3 vote, the Council that June voted to drop the condemnation suite.

1998 - 25 Years Ago

For humans, there is a bite in the air this time of year that makes us want to run inside for warmth. For deer, this time of year is a whole different story. Love and the instinctual urges that accompany it are in the air, making deer do some very strange things. The lousy part is that it sometimes means they run out in front of oncoming traffic without a second thought. This week alone, DeKalb County sheriff’s police reported seven car-deer accidents in the county.

Julia Mattera, the only female firefighter in the DeKalb Fire Department, is also the only woman in Illinois to qualify for the grueling national Firefighter Combat Challenge, held in Orlando, Fla. The challenge is a series of trials designed to test a firefighter’s physical skills. Mattera and Capt. Kevin Tjelle from DeKalb are set to compete tomorrow.

Compiled by Sue Breese