From the 1934 year book the Kalibre. Our Town There has been much progress made in DeKalb since the early days when the Potta- watomie Indians roamed along the east bank of the Kishwaukee Across Pershing Park. On the college campus to the west is a marker erected by the DeKalb Historical Society. This marks one of the early trails formerly used by the well beloved friend of the pioneer, Chief Shabbona. For many years, Kapos, a famous Potta- watomie chief, counselled with his followers on the North First Street road at Coltonville. Here too, the trio of famed Americans, Abraham Lincoln, Zachary Taylor, Jefferson Davis, (later presidents), General Albert Sidney Johnston and General Robert Anderson discussed war plans. Our town was originally begun two miles north of here, on the First Street Road at Coltonville by the pioneers, John Collins and Norman Moore in the spring of 1835. There were a number of papooses found suspended from the branches of trees. I sure need some help here but it sounds like the first day care center in DeKalb. It was in this year,too, that the United States troops acted as escorts to the redman. It was fortunate for this city that Rufus Colton and Phineas Stevens, both men of property, should locate here, for it is to their credit that a store, blacksmith shop, and post office soon appeared. Rufus Colton built a hostelry, I had to look this one up. the most pretentious building in the entire country, for many years. A number of settlers decided that a site two miles south of here would be preferable to this one and so began our home town. It was then called Buena Vista, in honor of one of the most important battles of the Mexican war, which at the time was very vivid in the memory of each inhabitant. The first school house was built in 1850. A new arrival in 1851 would have found a population of less than a score and ten. 30 Some of the places of business which began to appear were a log hotel built by Joseph Glidden, and a tailor shop by John Jones. One of the early law advisers was Elias G. Gilbert. Because of their great desire to have the Northwestern railroad come through the town, What may have been a big mistake. many people gave splendid donations to the road as right of way. Early in the town's progress the inhabi- tants in 1853 built a second school house where the Congregational Church now stands. To answer the desire for fraternal socie- ties, the Masonic and Odd Fellow lodges were organized in 1854. The devout adherents of the Methodist and Baptist churches built little places of worship in 1854. In 58, the Swedish Lutherans built a place of worship. Two years later the Catholics built a church. The present church was built in 1901. By 1859, people in DeKalb and vicinity were reading their first newspaper. The Honorable J. F. Glidden in 74 obtained a patent on barb wire. This is where our school nickname comes from. Jacob Haish was the strongest rival of the Glidden interests. Colonel I. L. Ellwood became J. F. Glidden's partner. They manufactured Glidden wire which became of great use. Mr. Glidden sold his share of the business to his partner, Mr. Ellwood.

Sycamore Road in front of the Sanitarium "County Home" in 1908

Note DeKalb-Sycamore Electric Car at right 

At the same place today

 Through the generosity of many citizens, Glidden Memorial hospital began to serve the public in 1922. St. Mary's is another well-equipped hospital opened in 1922 by the Catholic Church. Closed in the mid 60's. DeKalb has its golf course, and well- equipped club house. The grounds are located in a sixty acre tract purchased from the Ellwood estate. The Northern Illinois State Teachers College is another one of DeKalb's great assets which was begun as a normal school in 1895. The DeKalb Township High School has further heightened the fame of DeKalb as an educational center. The students of 1923 had the privilege of being the first ones benefited by a new addition to the old building. In 1903 the Glidden school was built. The Ellwood grade school, located in the northeastern part of the city was built in 1907 and 1908. The Haish school is located at South Ninth and Franklin streets and was ready for use in 1908. St. Mary's school building was built in 1915. DeKalb has a most artistically designed library building. Still in use. The first band is almost as old as the town itself. In 1916 it went with the local militia to the Mexican border. As a place to live we wholeheartedly commend it to any one. We are proud of its merits and hope that every member of D. T. H. S. will have a share in upholding its high ideals.


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