Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: How DeKalb Got the Normal School (NIU)

From the December 21, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"The following little bit of ancient history, appearing in this morning's Chicago Herald will be of interest to local people:  The information leaked out years ago that the state was looking for a site for a normal school (to train teachers) and had already considered several locations without a decision.

"DeKalb was one of the cities rumored to have a chance, but it was hinted that the land in question ran far too much to quagmire.  Still, DeKalb wasn't going to lose because of anything like that.

"The quagmire couldn't be removed on short notice, but it could be filled up and made to appear like a place that could be drained.  A fire engine was put to work and pumped enough water to create a small lake into which were propelled a couple of board and from them several citizens were hauling grocery store Yarmouth bloaters by hook and line when the state's agents came along."

A Yarmouth bloater is a type of herring.

They got their school.  Northern Illinois State Normal School opened in May of 1895.

The small lake is where today's East Lagoon is located and one of the most beautiful spots on campus.

I have also heard that DeKalbites dammed up the Kishwaukee River which is quite small and shallow most of the year and opened the dam just before the state people got there to make it appear that it was a mightier stream than it actually was.

Very Sneaky, You DeKalb.  --CootNIU

Friday, December 30, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: Water Flouridation Comes To Your Town

From the November 30, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"The DeKalb City Council last night held the first reading on a resolution calling for the flouridation of the city water system.

"The new resolution points out, more than 50 percent of the populations of this country now have the benefits of flouride in their water,  and such water treatment has resulted in proven beneficial effects, particularly for the teeth of children."

And, It Whitens Your Teeth?  --Cooteeth

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bubblers of Water

Just in case you are wondering what a bubbler, as mentioned in the last post, is.

A bubbler is a term used in the past to refer to what we now call drinking fountains.  This is a fountain meant for personal drinking from which a stream of water bubbles up from a small vertical nozzle.

Here's Water in Your Face.  --DaCoot

Looking Back to 1916: Old "Faceful"'s Last Days at DeKalb's Depot

From the November 30, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"From now on the North Western in DeKalb will receive the thanks of every one having occasion to want a drink of water at the depot.

"The present bubbler, while perhaps sanitary in every respect is one that will easily give one a shower bath instead of a cooling drink, and the officials of the road are now having a new fountain installed of the latest design that will be better in every respect.

"Many a passenger has endeavored to take a drink at the old bubbler and has received a veritable shower on account of the construction of the bubbler."

We used to have a "Bubbler" drinking fountain at my old school, John T. Magee in Round Lake, Illinois, that would do the same thing.  I put up a sign above it "Old Faceful."


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Names of Northern Illinois University Through the Years

From the NIU College of Education Facts and History.

1895--  Northern Illinois State Normal School

1921--  Northern Illinois State Teachers College

1955--  Northern Illinois State College

1957--  Northern Illinois University

Two other education dates of interest:

1915--  Fanny Ruth Patterson graduated, the first black student to graduate from the institution.  I wrote about her earlier this month.

July 1943--  The State of Illinois now required teachers to have a four-year degree.


Looking Back to 1966: "Stranger Danger"

From the December 7, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"The police department, the DeKalb Jaycees and the elementary school PTAs have done what they can to alert your children of the dangers which could happen to them, by showing the film "Stranger Danger" and by setting up "Helping Hands" at strategic locations."

Even back Then.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: Drinking His Life Away

From the December 7, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Martin Garrity, of Haish Avenue, who for the last two or three months has been an intermittent visitor at the police station Monday mornings for imbibing too freely, was hauled in again yesterday on the same charge and also another for cruelty treating his family.

"The matter has been brought to the attention of the authorities so many times in the past that they are losing all patience, as each and every time the offender promises to refrain from the stuff, but never does it.

"This time, however, the presiding judge handed him a fine of $25 and costs for drunkenness.

So, DeKalb Had Its Own Otis.  --CootDrunk

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: Wire Company Making Big Bucks

From the May 11, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Another of Sycamore's manufacturing industries is making a highly gratifying increase in business, and at a meeting held this week, the Nehring Insulated Wire & Cable Company voted to change the name to the Illinois Wire & Cable Company and to increase capital stock from $50,000 to $125,000."

No doubt, much of this increase was due to the United States preparing to enter the war.


Looking Back to 1916: Those Joing the Military Will Have Their Jobs Waiting for Them When They Return

From the July 26, 2016 MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"A communication was received today by the employees of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad yesterday from the head office stating that any man enlisting in the militia or regular army of the state or United States would be granted a leave of absence upon application to his foreman for same and that his position would be open for him when he returns."

Preparing for War.  --Cooter

Monday, December 26, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: It's a Milk Thing

From the May 11, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

"Milk produced by the DeKalb county farmers and sold to the Bowman Dairy Company netted a total of $71,123 in the first quarter of 1941."

Lots of Cows and Dairy Aire Out in DeKalb County, Illinois.  --Cooter

10 Fascinating Historical Origins of Everyday Idiom-- Part 1: "Running Amok"

From the April 6, 2016, Listverse.

I again, am just listing the words and telling a little bit about their origins.  For the complete breakdown, go to the Listverse site.

10.  SCAPEGOAT--  Comes from Hebrew tradition.

9.  WHITE ELEPHANT--  From Siam (Thailand)

8.  RUNNING AMOK--  Malay people

7.  GADZOOKS--  Christians

6.  ADD INSULT TO INJURY--  Aesop's Fables

Gadzooks, I Thought I Saw a White Elephant.  --Cooter

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: Davis Hall Dome Replaced at NIU

From the April 20, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

""Workmen replace the revolving dome on Northern Illinois University's astronomy tower which tops the ninth story of Davis Hall.  High winds last summer did some damage to the track on which the dome revolves.

"The new dome was installed by the contractor at no cost to the university."

I Took Many Classes at Ol' Davis Hall (my minor was Geography).  --DaCootgraphy

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: War Clouds and Kicked By the "Steel Mule"

From the April 6, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

**  "The National Board of the Daughters of the American revolution has decided to assist the Commission for Relief in Belgium, in organizing a 'Flag (Tag) Day' for the relief of war sufferers in occupied Belgium and northern Europe."

As the United States draws nearer to entering World War I.

**  "Wilbur Marshall was kicked by a 'steel mule,' in other words,, he was cranking a traction engine when it kicked back and he received a blow which dislocated his jaw and caused very painful bruises on Wednesday."

The Perils of Machinery.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: Dope Fiends Even Back Then?

From the April 27, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"The Kirkland White House Drug Store was broken into.  The thief took $5 change, 345 grams of morphine, 116 heroin tablets and eight veterinary cocaine tablets.

"The taking of the above drugs, and the fact that nothing else in the store aside from the cash was molested would indicate that the thief was a dope fiend."

This Is You Brain on Drugs.  --Cootdrug

Friday, December 23, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: Strange Lights in the Sky Over NIU

From the March 30, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"DeKalb police, county sheriff's department and NIU Security Police investigated reports of an unidentified flying object near campus at about 12:45 this morning..  About 15 residents of West Neptune's girl's dormitory viewed the light at about 12:45.

"It changed colors -- alternating between a reddish to a bluish color -- and remained for about an hour, one of the girls said.  It had no particular shape, yet appeared to be rotating."

So, What Were the Gals Actually Smoking or Imbibing?  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1966: The Great "Cone" Caper at NIU

From the March 30, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"Several rubber cones valued at $4.65 each were stolen from the site of the NIU Chariot Races Saturday morning.  DeKalb police set up a total of 28 cones to block off parking and traffic so the students could hold their annual Greek races, but only 21 were returned to the police department"

So, I Wonder If They Ever Got Those 7 Cones Back?  --Cooter

Shorpy Photos: Talking Machines: 1914

From the March 3, 2016, Shorpy site.

Richmond, California, 1914.  "Victor Talking Machine display, Hawley Piano Company, Macdonald Avenue."  With Nipper heading the list of the latest platters.

Early, early stereos.    There is an ad poster for Harry Lauder "Lauder Laughs and when you hear his Four New Victor records you will laugh with him.   12 in Purple Label.  Price $1.25.  Come in and laugh with Harry Lauder."

Another poster:  "New Victor Records "The Spring Maid.  Daydreams: Two Little Love Bees.  Sung by Christie Macdonald.  The Rabbit Story ? by Tom McNaugh ?.

Comment:  One of Lauder's biggest hits was in 1911 "Roamin' in the Gloamin." Price of records appears to be 75 cents to $1.25, which was a whole lot of money back then.

RCA did not come into existence until 1919 and bought Victor Talking Machines.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: Building An Electrical Building in Springfield, Illinois

From the March 30, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Winfield Divine, formerly of Sycamore, has been employed to take charge of a large contract, the erection of an electrical building in Springfield, Illinois, for William McAlpine, contractor, of Dixon, formerly of Sycamore who erected the DeKalb County court house."

An Electrifying Performance.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: A Tin Can Menace

From the March 30, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"Who would have thought that the tin can is a menace to public health?  The expert malaria investigators of the United States Public Health services have found, however, that discarded tin cans containing rain water are breeding places for the mosquito which is the sole agent for spreading malaria.

"A hole in the bottom of the empty can might have resulted in the saving of a human life.  Certainly it would have assistance in preventing debilitating illness.

"Empty tin cans have no business about the premises anyway, but if we must decorate our back yards, let's see to it that the can has a hole in the bottom."

After All, You've Already Opened One End.  I Always Like to "Decorate" My Back Yard With Empty Tin Cans (Or Is It Beer Bottles?). --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: Visiting His Mother

From March 30, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Roy McAllister, formerly of Kirkland, is visiting his mother, Mrs. A.L. Palmer, in Belvidere, after a service of five years in the United States navy, the last four of which was spent in China and adjacent waters."

I have to wonder if he was called back into service when the United States entered World War I?


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: Farm Gets Electricity!!

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The George Munch farm in Clare has been improved with electricity during the past week."

Hard to believe it was 1941 and there were still places in Illinois without electricity.

Way to Go, Mr. Munch!!  Hard to believe There Were Still Areas in the U.S. Without Electricity in 1941.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1941: All About Sycamore, Illinois, in 1941

From the March 2, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back.

"Sycamore is 840 feet above sea level and covers 1,000 acres, its assessed valuation is $3,090,228 and there are 12,000 volumes in the Sycamore Public Library.  Sycamore received its water from three wells pumping more than 11,700,000 gallons per month.

"There are 1,265 telephones in service, 14 lawyers, seven doctors, six dentists and two osteopaths.

I had to look up osteopaths.  They deal with drug-free, non-invasive medicine primarily aimed at treating the musculoskeletal framework of the body.

In Case You Were Wondering.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: War in Europe Helping American Industry

From the March 2, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Nearly every community in Northern Illinois in which manufacturing is carried on of almost any kind is enjoying a period of prosperity and the factories are running with increased forces and skilled workers are in great demand.

"The 'boom' in manufacturing is directly due to the demand for supplies that comes from the war zone, where the production is curtailed and the consumption is increased."


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fanny Patterson, Black Pathfinder-- Part 3: The Fanny Patterson Scholarship

The Fanny Patterson Scholarship at Northern Illinois University.
Applicant must be:

**  At least third year (minimum of 70 credit hours).

**  2.5 cumulative GPA.

**  Active in campus affairs (SA, NBC and Black Greek organizations)

**  Must submit a 500 word essay on the importance of obtaining a college degree.

**  Scholarship will be a minimum of $500.

Looking Back to 1916: A Schoolhouse Accident

From the March 2, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"On Friday of last week as Miss Ruth Gochenour was attending the stove in the county school of which she is a teacher, she suffered an accident that will cause her some inconvenience for some time.  She stooped to shake the grate and when opening the small door, the accumulation of gas in the fire pot exploded and her face was burned.

"She wore a sweater and this she pulled over her head and probably saved her from being terribly burned."

The Perils of Teaching Back Then.  --Cooter

Fanny Patterson: A Black Pathfinder-- Part 2

I had never heard of this woman so looked her up on the internet.

From the NIU Black Alumni Council "Fanny Patterson Scholarship Award.

Miss Fanny Patterson was born August 14, 1892 and graduated from Hinckley High School and, at the age of 21, entered NI State Normal School (former name of NIU back then) and took classes in arithmetic, reading, grammar, methods, and a state course.

Upon graduation in 1915, she was noted by then NIU President John Watson Cook as "an excellent girl, having good looks, good taste, extreme modesty of demeanor and a good mind."

She then went downstate and taught four years before dying of pulmonary tuberculosis on Feb. 17, 1920 at the young age of 28.

She was a brave, unique, an innovator at NIU.

Quite an Accomplished Woman.

Looking Back to 1916: Fannie Patterson, a Black Woman, Gets Teaching Job

From the March 6, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

Fannie Patterson of Hinckley has been engaged at a good salary to teach a two-room suburban school of colored children in Cairo, Illinois.  When Miss Patterson graduated from Hinckley high school a couple years or so ago she had the distinction of being the first colored graduate in the history of the institution."

Quite an accomplishment for a black woman back then.

I'll Do a Follow Up On Her.  She Had Quite the NIU Connection As Well.  --Cooter

Monday, December 19, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: The Wet and Dry in Sycamore Township

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Sycamore Township is almost dry.  There is but one tavern left in the township but that is not to be confused with the moisture inside the city limits.  Sycamore Township had two taverns until a few weeks ago when one voluntarily closed.

"The Ace of  Clubs, a place operated under one title or another and by several different proprietors since repeal has closed its doors.  The place was located on Route 23 on the northern edge of Sycamore's city limits.

"Reuben Nelson continues to operate Coast Inn, a tavern located on Route 64 on the west edge of the township."

Wet in Sycamore, Mostly Dry in Sycamore Township.  Moisture Inside City Limits. --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: "Crazy Man" On the Loose in DeKalb County

From the September 21, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 years ago:

"Deputy Sheriff Otto Holcomb and Chief of Police Johnny Thompson of Sycamore captured a crazy man on Wednesday.  The ladies at the home of Louie Heiner in Pierce Township, about eight miles from Cortland, were frightened when a man wearing a red cap and strangely dressed and evidently crazy, called at the Heiner farmhouse.

"He offered to commit no violations, but appeared to be dangerous."

Profiling Even Back Then.  --Cooter

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: Big Lightning Strike in Sycamore

From the July 6, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Downtown Sycamore gained a slight idea of how one of Hitler's bombs sounds Saturday evening shortly after 5:00 o'clock.  Lightning struck a tree in the southeast corner of the courtyard.  It is a question whether the bolt killed the tree or not."

The Battle of Britain was going on at the time.


Looking Back to 1916: Trouble Along the Mexican Border

From the July6, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

"Word has just been received here by the relatives of Peerley Terwilliger, an old DeKalb boy, who is doing duty on the Mexican border with a company from the New Mexico National Guard.  He is attached to the company from Artesia, a town located about forty miles south of Roswell, New Mexico.

"Since the guard of that state has been on the border, Terwilliger has been stationed at or near to Columbus, New Mexico, which was the seat of recent disturbances."

We weren't at war in Europe yet, but there was Pancho Villa in Mexico, who had crossed the border and attacked Columbus, New Mexico.'

There used to be a sporting goods store in DeKalb called Terwilliger's.  I wonder if this was his family, or perhaps even him.

Wonder If They Were Also Battling Aliens?  --Cooter

Looking back to 1916: Free Dental Work for Military Recruits

From the July 6, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Drs A.C. and J.A. Spickerman, the local dentists made an announcement this morning that shows their patriotism. They offer to take care, without expense, of the dental work of any recruit who fears that the condition of his teeth will make his acceptance for military service doubtful."

As the United States was gearing up for what would become World War I.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Ten Classic Men, Ten Classic Drinks-- Part 2: From Madeira to Jack

Benjamin Franklin:  Madeira--  a fortified wine from the Portuagal island of the same name.

Truman Capote:  Screwdrivers

Barack Obama:  Bud Light (also Red Stripe) and Blue Moon

Bono:  Jack Daniels

George Clooney:  Straight Tequila

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1966: New Garbage Cans and Dial Tones

From the June 8, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

**  "Some 100 homes in DeKalb began their 60-day test of a new and sanitary disposal Westvaco Papercan bag, designed to replace two regular size garbage cans and speed up the collections in the city."

They definitely didn't collect garbage like they do today.

**  "No, it's not the sound of bees, mosquitoes, or double-winged bugs from outer space; it is the new dial tone and busy tone of the new electric telephone gear being installed by the DeKalb-Ogle telephone Company."

What, no ringtones?

I Want My Bad Moon Rising.  --Cooter

Friday, December 16, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: Zip Code and a Drive-In Church

From the June 8, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"Zip Code use is going to be stressed by the Post Office Department in a new program that has been announced by the postmaster.  A nationwide poll revealed that 96 per cent of the American public is aware of Zip Code, and steps are now being taken to make it easier and more convenient for the public to know the codes for mailing addresses."

Remember that song "Zip Code" by the Five Americans?

**  "The Drive-In Church of Paw Paw is planning a program of services similar to those that were highly successful in the past five years."

Drive-In church?


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: Old Age Assistance Checks Arriving

From the March 2, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

"Old age assistance checks were mailed to 607 residents of DeKalb County in February, according to a report by the state welfare department.

"Pension checks sent to the county totaled $13,312."

Was this Social Security?

**  "Ralph Ranke, who recently went into the farm implement business with Edward McGirr, has disposed of his blacksmith shop, located on South First Street in DeKalb."

Fewer horses I reckon.


Looking Back to 1966: NIU Gets OK for More Buildings

From the February 24, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"The Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities today approved final plans for a $41 million classroom, office, and double lecture hall complex for Northern Illinois University campus and appointed a three-man committee to meet with a group of citizens who are protesting the board's decision to use the Montgomery Arboretum as the site for two buildings."

The 1960s were a time of huge growth for NIU.  The lecture halls in the complex that was approved eventually became Cole Hall, where the horrible murders took place on February 14, 2008.  Five students were killed and 17 wounded.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Looking Back to 1941 and 1966: Vaccinations , New Woolco and NIU Commencement

From the June 1, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"More than 150 rural and city grade school children gathered in the Central Grade School gymnasium to receive vaccinations from the hands of doctors as a preventative measure against small pox."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"The new Woolco Department Store opened at the Northland Plaza Shopping Center."  This was on the DeKalb-Sycamore Road, Il-23, near where the Wal Mart is today.  Woolco was the big box discount store of Woolworth's 5 & 10.

**  "NIU's 67th Commencement exercises were June 4 and set a new record of 1,820 graduates."  I arrived at NIU in 1969.


Looking Back to 1916: Lawlessness Even Back Then, What Is Good for the Goose

From the September 21, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 years ago.

"Mr. Howland of Sycamore made complaint to police that boys entering his lot and chasing his geese.  He described them and 'the gang of young bandits have been committing as many acts of lawlessness during the past months, and they may be taken.'"

**  "DeKalb has a new patrol wagon "Public Safety' conveyance was delivered."

So, we had hooligans even back then.  Guess the new patrol wagon could be used to transport them to jail when caught.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Ten Classic Men, Ten Classic Drinks-- Part 1: From Mojitos to Boilermakers

From the February 11, 2016, Esquire.

Earnest Hemmingway:  Mojitos

U.S. Grant:  Old Crow bourbon

F. Scott Fitzgerald:  Gin Rickeys  (Invented by Col. Joe Rickey at a Washington, D.C. bar called Shoemaker's in 1883.

Oscar Wilde:  absinthe

Charles Burowski:  Boilermakers

Pour Me Another One.  --CootDrink

Friday, December 9, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: Cutting Ice at NIU's Lagoon

From the February 10, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Ice men are busy cutting ice on the Normal pond (probably Northern Illinois University's Lagoon) and the skating will be interfered with until this is over.  There has been a good skating surface for several days but the fact was not known by many there was little use made of the pond.

"If the weather turns cold again and freezes over where the ice has been taken out it will make for good skating."

Ice Harvesting was quite a big winter time industry in northern Illinois at the time.

What, No Smart Phones?  --Cooter

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Remembering Pearl Harbor 75 Years Later: Stan Van Hoose, USS Tennessee

From the November 22, 2016, Beloit (Wis.) Daily News "Remembering Pearl Harbor 75 Years Later" by Hillary Gavan.

Stan Van Hoose, 96, will be flying to Pearl Harbor for the commemoration.  He was on the USS Maryland which was moored next to the USS Oklahoma and remembers seeing it slowly roll over.  He also saw the Arizona blow up.

Will Not Forget.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: Nothing Runs Like a Deer, Shot in the Head

From the March 16, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

**  "A running deer from the herd of C.W. Marsh was cornered.  Arthur Self says, 'that if anyone can 'run like a deer," they are traveling at a fast clip, as he never knew an animal could run as fast as did that one on Saturday when it cleared their heads with one jump and proceeded west on Lincoln Highway."

**  "Joseph Ogden, former chief of police who was shot in the head a few years ago by a crazy man whom he had taken in charge, went to DeKalb Wednesday for the purpose of having an x-ray examination taken of his head."

Fast Deer and Crazy men Even Back Then.  --DaCoot

Looking Back to 1916: New Rails and Hired Hand

From the March 16, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

**  "The Chicago Great Western Railroad Company has bought 10,000 tons of rails to replace curve-worn rails between Chicago and Oelwein.  It will also include the rails through Sycamore.  (Oelwein is in Iowa.)

**  An ad:  "Am looking for my fourth married hired man this year.  He must be an expert in pitching straw and chopping wood and be able to do three men's work.  Prof. Fred Middletown."


Monday, December 5, 2016

Deaths: Cuba's Leader For a Real Long Time, Fidel Castro

Age 90.  "No other Third World leader prompted so much U.S. hostility for so long.  Castro brought the planet to the brink of nuclear war in 1962 and endured a crippling U.S. embargo and outlasted ten U.S. presidents."

Died Friday, November 25, 2016.

You almost had to admire the man to do that.  But, was I ever scared when at age 11, I thought my life was about to end.  I'll never forget that Cuban Missile Crisis.  I am glad we have finally reopened trade and relations with Cuba.  I've always believed that he wouldn't have turned to Communism had the U.S. not so opposed him back when he came to power.  And, that was primarily because of his nationalizing U.S. interests in the country.

Like Him or Not, he Was a Force to Be Reckoned With.

Looking Back to 1941: Records from the "World War Period"

From the November 2, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce is making an appeal for phonograph records which contain or other vocal recordings of songs which were 'hits' during the World War period.  Persons having such recordings and wish to loan them to the chamber for a few days should call Mr. Reynolds, phone 188.

"They are needed in connection with the All-American parade to be held Thursday night, the final night of the Fall Festival."

You've got to love the phone number.  The "World War period" referred to would be what we now call World War I.  But, there was another war going on and about to draw the U.S. into it.

What, No Downloading?  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: President Wilson Passes Through DeKalb

From the November 2, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back.'

1916, 100 Years Ago

"The special train bearing President Wilson and his party passed through DeKalb this morning on the way back from the western trip where the nation's executive spoke before a large historical society yesterday."


Looking Back to 1916: Memorial Day

From the June 1, 2016 MidWeek "Looking Back."

"Memorial Day exercises at Elmwood Cemetery in Sycamore will include flowers being placed on the soldiers' graves by members of the Sons of veterans.  A detail will also visit Mt. Carmel Cemetery and decoratye the graves of soldiers there.

"The people of DeKalb County generally are cordially invited to join with these various orders and the people of Sycamore in this tribute to the country's defenders and general patriotic demonstration."

I'm taking the Sons of Veterans here to refer to the Sons of Union Veterans as the United States had not yet entered World War I.


Looking Back to 1941: Something Fishy in DeKalb County

From the November 2, 2016, MidWeek, (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"About 58,000 small fish, including bass, crappies, blue gills, and perch were placed in the Kishwaukee (River) in the northern section of the county."

No doubt, these fish were hatched and raised at the Spring Grove, Illinois Fish Hatchery which supplied fish for the northern part of Illinois for many years.  It has been turned into a park by my town now.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: "Dekalb's Youthful Banditry" Borrow Stuff

From the February 24, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"DeKalb's youthful banditry pulled another one today.  The case today is not as serious as some of the others and has a funny side as well as a serious one.  Mr. Ulrich today reported to the police that a hand cart belonging to him was missing and asked the help of officers to find it.

"Inside half an hour an officer found it propelled by a couple of youngsters and filled with copper wire belonging to the telephone company.  The lads were apparently innocent of wrongdoing and said that they had just 'borrowed' the cart.  When asked by police they also said that they had 'borrowed' the wire as well."

Sure Kids. Can You Spell Juvenile Delinquent?  --Cooter

Deaths: America's 1970s Mom, Florence Henderson

"Brady Bunch" Mom, Florence Henderson Dies at 82.

Played Carol Brady, died November 24, 2016.  Born in Dale, Indiana, the youngest of ten children.  The Brady Bunch" ran for five seasons.  Reflected more the role of a 70s mom than did the Beaver's mom.

One of my favorite TV sitcoms back then.  Sort of had a crush on Marsha with that long straight hair.

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha

Friday, December 2, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: The Beginning of Kishwaukee Community College

From the September 21, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

  "The State Junior College Board in Springfield announce that approval has been granted on the petition and territory set out for the proposed Kishwaukee Community College.

"The road is open for the state board to call a public hearing which probably will be held in DeKalb County sometime in late October or November."


"Gone With the Wind" Actors Still Alive As of April 2016

From the IMDB.

As of April 2016, a total of 15 actors and actresses who were in the movie "Gone With the Wind" are still alive.  Only two were credited.

The best-known is Olivia de Havilland who played Melanie Hamilton.

Also credited was Mickey Kuhn who played Beau Wilkes.

Two others are Skip Houghton who also played an Ozmite and Winkie guard in "The Wizard of Oz," and Greg Giese who played the newborn Bonnie and newborn Beau.


Deaths: Gone With the Wind Actress Mary Anderson in 2014

Mary Anderson, 96.  Born April 3, 1918 Died April 3, 1918.

American actress appeared in 31 films from 1939-1965.  Best-known for her small uncredited role in "Gone With the Wind."

She auditioned for the role of Scarlett O'Hare, but got the role of Maybelle Merriweather.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: First DeKalb Medicare Card

From the Feb. 10, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"William B. Hoyt, DeKalb Township assessor, is the first person in the DeKalb area to receive a health Insurance Card showing he is entitled to the benefits under Medicare.

Now That I Am Under Medicare.  --Cooter

Titanic Victim Margaret Rice-- Part 6: Charles Hays

A third Spokane, Washington, Titanic victim was Charles Hays.  He was director of the Grand Trunk Railway which had employed Margaret's husband William Rice in Canada.

He and his family also lived in Spokane and he was in England tending to railroad business.  His wife, Clara, daughter and her husband were with him.

They booked first class passage on the Titanic.  Charles Hays died, but the rest of his family survived.  His body was recovered, identified and buried in Montreal.


Looking Back to 1941: The Wet and Dry Issue

From the February 10, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The wet and dry issue will again be voted upon in the coming township election, it was learned today.  A petition has been filed with Town Clerk Vere Goodyear requesting that the voters make known their choice.

"When Prohibition came to a close in DeKalb Township, like all other townships, permitted the sale of alcoholic liquors.  Four years ago the dry followers petitioned that the matter be voted upon, both in DeKalb and in the territory outside the city both within the confines of the township.

"DeKalb voted to permit the sale of liquor but the township outside the city voted to prohibit the sale."

To drink or Not to Drink.  --CootBeer