Looking Back

Looking Back for April 3, 2019

Crimson Days marked the opening of Northern Illinois University on Sept. 21, 1899.áIt was a three-day celebration that included the dedication of Altgeld Hall. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Crimson Days marked the opening of Northern Illinois University on Sept. 21, 1899.áIt was a three-day celebration that included the dedication of Altgeld Hall. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

Captain Rowe of the DeKalb police force was called to a residence on East Lincoln Highway where some pet Belgian hares had been making things miserable for neighbors, and it was the opinion of the neighbors that the animals should be killed. When inquiry was made as to whether the owner of the hares was in favor of the matter, it was stated he was. The captain of the department went to the home, armed with his rifle, and when the proposition was presented to the owner, there was a word battle on that would be hard to beat. The result of the affair was that the policeman made the trip up there and back for nothing, but enroute to the station informed the complainant that if she wished the hares killed, she would have to do it herself.

Alderman Nelson came to town this morning with a piece of fence, which he had taken from his property, and found to be one of the early fences made in this community. The patentee, according to Mr. Nelson, was a Mr. Hodge, and considerable of the fence was manufactured. The fencing is composed of two strands with sharp pointed disks six inches part, not fastened tightly between the wires.

The old McGirr elevator standing alongside the North Western at Second street was being torn down by employees of the North Western railroad. It has been known for some time that the railroad was after this property, but not until the men began the work of tearing it down was it known that the deal had been made. The elevator was erected there about 15 years ago, but had not been used for several years past.

The DeKalb county tuberculosis sanitarium on the DeKalb-Sycamore electric line known the county over as the C. W. Marsh property, according to a decision by the board of supervisors of the county. The property which consists of about 20 or 25 acres is an ideal place for such a proposition as the county tuberculosis sanitarium, and after the committee had went over the property several times, secured the option at $16,000.

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

Preparatory to the occupancy of the Loptien garage, which was seriously damaged by fire last year, workmen are making excellent progress on the repairs at the building. The office has been completed, and it is understood the new company is planning to take possession within a short time. In the other part of the building the overhead structure which was left standing after the fire, is being given attention and soon will be ready for occupancy.

For the first time in the history of retail grocery and vegetable business a dearth of onions is causing many a disappointed shopper to return home without the desired purchase. It is expected that the scarcity of onions is only temporary, but there have been no fresh onions on the market for some weeks.

Dog owners in Sycamore, especially those in Turner Addition, found running at large will be picked up by the police department for disposal. All dogs must be kept penned or on a leash.

For the convenience in loading of war material at the North Western freight depot east of Seventh street, a mono-rail loading device has been completed and the first huge crates of war materials manufactured were loaded during the forenoon. The system is equipped with an electric crane that picks up huge boxes weighing more than 7,000 pounds gross, and places them on flat cars with ease.

The Fargo Hotel is under new management, Col. Blanchal A. Murrelle, an experienced hotel man, having taken over the popular hostelry which for the last three and one-half years has been operated by Tom Marriott. Col. Murrelle will re-open the dining room with dinner served from 12:00 o’clock noon until 8:00 o’clock in the evening.

Believe it or not, Sycamore residents who have done so nobly in every drive for the war effort that has been staged, including all war bond drives, scrap iron, scrap paper, Community Chest and Red Cross, in addition to other campaigns, is not holding up that reputation in the fats and grease salvage.

All are again being urged to start making plans for a victory garden. By doing so all will be assured of fresh and nutritious garden products while at the same time helping the national food supply. Victory gardens are important in our wartime food program. In 1942, fifteen million were planted while last year there were 20 million. These gardens product an estimated eight million tons of food, nearly 40 per cent of all vegetables.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

After more than six months of searching advertising, and interviewing, the DeKalb County Board of Mental Health has hired the first full-time psychiatrist for the county’s newly established mental health center, 631 S. 1st Street.

Fire that had gained headway before being discovered was expected to completely destroy a two-story house west of Sycamore between Brickville Road and Motel Road. The Sycamore fire department had two trucks and a tanker at the scene and was attempting to save a machine shed near the burning house. A brisk wind from the south was endangering the shed.

Breaking of ground for the long-awaited Family YMCA to be constructed on Route 23 between DeKalb and Sycamore will take place. This positive step towards construction of the building that will serve the needs of the entire community comes 11 years after Ross E. Young joined the operation that is now known as the Kishwaukee Family Young Men’s Christian Association.

The bounty paid on fox carcasses was eliminated by a ruling of the DeKalb County Board of Supervisors. The measure was taken because the amount paid out to bounty hunters is in excess of the money appropriated for that purpose.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

Women in the DeKalb area may soon have a place just for them as plans for the DeKalb Area Women’s Center met with approval from the DeKalb Plan Commission. Rebecca Parfitt, a member of the group from the center, requested that a special use permit be granted for a building at 1021 State St. The building is currently zoned Multi-Family Residential.

Members of the Sycamore Public Library Board are gearing up for the final planning stages of the new addition to the Sycamore Public Library. The existing Carnegie Library was built in 1905 and has undergone a few minor changes over the years, such as a new entrance, lighting and mechanical systems. The new addition to the library will add over 21,000 square feet to the current 6,600 square feet.

Speculation about the buyer of the former Wurlitzer property on Gurler Road was put to rest when Bill Hanna announced the Savanna Investment group of DeKalb, of which he is president, made the purchase. Hanna said no final plans have been made on what the building will be used for, but he said it may be turned into offices. He said there is an Olympic-size pool and gymnasium housed in the complex.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.

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