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updated: 10/19/2010 12:34 PM

Elgin headlines circa October 1910

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"I can't believe they canceled the high school football season, and then revived it again.

"Did you hear what they found in an Elgin mailbox? "Students should be in school, not at a pool hall.

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These are some of the comments people might have made after reading the news of a century ago. Here's a look at those stories and others that made area headlines in October 1910.

Football fatigue: "The old time spirit that has been present in the high school team in former years is lacking, said the Elgin High School principal in announcing he was disbanding the school's football team.

"The boys fail to turn out consistently and have taken little interest in the game this year.

The players later circulated a petition stating that they would return to the field if the school assigned a different assistant coach.

"I feel perfectly satisfied that the board will be willing to accept the services of our former players if the mention of the assistant coach is the only question and that they are sincere in their promise to return to practice every afternoon, said the top administrator.

The compromise proved satisfactory and the season resumed.

Trimming troubles: "Something should be done to stop the ruthless damage done to trees and tree owners by men putting up or repairing wires, said one city council member. "Trees represent a great deal to their owners. Many have been purchased at considerable cost and planted carefully. The alderman apparently hit a responsive chord since his motion, which required telephone and electrical company employees to secure a permit and do their trimming under the supervision of a city employee, received unanimous support from the council.

Tardy time: Is three minutes enough to get to class on time? The administration at Elgin High School said "yes, but the students who were adjusting to their new building on DuPage Street said it was not enough time.

"If the teachers had to climb three flights of stairs between classes, the rules would change very quickly, they added. Students also said it was unfair to have to stay after school for supposedly "loafing between classes.

Mailbox garbage: Just about everything including nails, sticks, stones, and paper scraps was ending up in mail drop boxes, and postal employees said the abuse must stop.

Officials said they were particularly concerned about some customers who were placing pennies in envelopes in lieu of stamps. The coins, which would often fall out, proved to be quite a temptation to young boys who were poking objects into the boxes to collect them from the bottom. And if that wasn't enough, one employee said he even found a cat in a collection box which he put in a bag and took to the post office.

Pool truants: Elementary school principals let their voices be heard against pool and billiards parlor owners.

"Young boys ought to be in school and are instead frequenting these businesses, added the Elgin police chief.

It's not so much that the boys spend money, but there's the danger of forming bad habits, he explained. "There is scarcely a boy who would not be injured morally or spiritually hanging around a pool room.

Grocery giant: Grocery shopping a century ago brings to mind many small neighborhood stores, but there was one Elgin business the August Scheele Company which was said to be one of the largest grocery stores in the country.

Located on Douglas Avenue in the city's downtown, the newly remodeled business boasted nearly 20,000 square feet of floor space. Sixteen payment stations sent money to a central cashier for processing. There were also 12 telephone operators receiving calls for delivery orders which were made to all parts of the city.

Clobbered Cubs: "Cub fans are becoming increasingly scarce in Elgin today, said one Elgin newspaper after the team dropped its third straight game to the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series.

"The Elgin fans who are still loyal are offering many excuses for their teams showing, it added.

Some acknowledge that the Cubs might have been outclassed, while others said the absence of second baseman Johnny Evers was making the difference. The Cubs eventually fell to 4-1 in the series after winning the fourth game in Chicago.

Tame Halloween: Finally, "There was nothing doing, said the Elgin police chief when asked to compare the Halloween mischief to former years.

Much of the decline in vandalism was attributable to a force of 20 men, using a car for one of the first times, who were able to respond quickly to calls.

A group of eight men were also assigned to watch streetcar tracks where mischievous teens were known to place obstructions and apply grease to the rails.

Despite its vigilance, the department received calls of overturned privies, damaged picket fences, and ripped-up wooden sidewalks.

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