All towns began because someone came from somewhere else and decided to stay.
In the case of DeKalb, while the four brothers Glidden, who settled there in 1841, are among its most active citizens, the first settlers of this township were John B. Collins and Norman C. Moore. Collins who arrived in 1835.
The mark of a truly viable community is when settlers continue to arrive and plant their flag. That’s exactly what happened in 1989 when a young man from Buffalo New York pulled into town.
Bill McMahon came to DeKalb as a grad student at NIU and forgot to leave. Romance, love, marriage the whole bit played into that decision, but, what I find most interesting is that this freshly anointed Masters in Mathematics decided buying a restaurant was his ticket to success.
In 1994, with no culinary or business experience, Bill bought The Lincoln Inn Restaurant. I wonder if Bill knew at the time that independent restaurants have a failure rate in the 60%+ class. It doesn’t matter now, The Lincoln Inn is an established and successful diner, bakery and catering business. Open only for breakfast and lunch I strongly encourage you to visit when in town.
Like many of the buildings in DeKalb the Lincoln Inn has been re-purposed from it’s original use. It’s actually only been a bakery/restaurant since 1976. In the 1940’s there is evidence to suggest it was and A&P (Atlantic & Pacific) grocery store. Also, hanging proudly in the restaurant is a news article announcing the Grand Opening of Duffy & Modeen Firestone Store in 1944. Previously Duffy & Modeen was located at 1st and Locust. If you wanted to call them the phone number was 102.
Oh, and by the way, if you happen to travel through DeKalb, be certain to stop at the Lincoln Inn. The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and City of DeKalb presented the 2012 Business of the Year Award to The Lincoln Inn at the Chamber Annual Meeting on Jan. 31,2013. Check out their web site at The Lincoln Inn