Weather Updates

Watch factory workers got 10 days off for holidays

Updated: April 19, 2011 5:30AM

What was happening in Elgin during the month of December 100, 75, 50, 25 and 10 years ago?

December 1910

A $40,000 addition to the rear of the post office was completed. More than 60 were employed in the mail service, 22 of them carriers.

The shirt factory was filling orders for a new type of soft shirt with cuffs attached.

Moving pictures of the previous summer’s Elgin National Road Races were shown at the Star Theater. The audience cheered and yelled as if they were in the grandstand.

A 6-year-old bay, 1.413 pounds, was purchased for Fire Barn No. 2 for $265.

Watch factory employees were given the customary 10-day Christmas vacation.

December 1935

The “Golden Stairs” over the Milwaukee Road tracks at National Street were removed. The stairs and elevated walk had eliminated delays encountered by pedestrians when trains were stopping for water.

Elgin squad cars were equipped with radio receivers and transmitters, enabling them to be in contact with police headquarters in city hall.

The federal Works Progress Administration workers were employed removing streetcar tracks from the city streets. The junked steel was sold for scrap. WPA artists painted murals for the Elgin State Hospital buildings. Other WPA workers were busy on a storm water drainage project, while dozens patrolled intersections close to school buildings.

December 1960

The Riverside Drive Parking Deck opened, providing parking space for 175 cars and a new north-south route through the business district.

The official census results showed Elgin with a population of 49,447.

The old YMCA property at 2-10 E. Chicago St. was sold to Elgin National Bank.

Sales offices were opened for Elgin Estates, a subdivision northwest of the intersection of McLean Boulevard and Bowes Road. Homes were priced from $20,250.

The new home of Elgin Glass and Mirror was completed at 801 N. State St.

December 1985

An estimated 500 senior citizens attended the 13th annual VIP Christmas Party at Elgin High School.

The city council authorized the addition of a juvenile officer in the police department to work specifically on the growing gang problem.

The Open Door Clinic became part of a statewide network of blood testing sites for persons concerned about AIDS — Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

A 225-acre former gravel mine along Gifford Road was selected as a landfill site for 35 municipalities. (Elgin, the closest municipality, was never contacted about the proposal. Called a “balefill,” the project was later rejected.)

Since 1970, the city’s area increased from 15.99 square miles to 20.72 square miles. This lengthened the fire department’s response times, and the city council authorized the hiring of five more firefighters and the purchase of a fourth ambulance.

December 2000

The city’s budget for 2001 totaled $214 million.

The Grand Victoria and other Illinois casinos were given permission by the state Gaming Board to sell alcoholic beverages between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.

Gail Borden Public Library trustees approved the sale of the existing library building and site to the city for $2.06 million.

Elgin had a total of 23.9 inches of snow by the end of the month.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.