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Local History

Legends – American Pride

The Fourth of July has become a time of celebration of the birth of the United States as an independent nation. Being a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) has become a point of pride for me on that day. Through the DAR, the General John Stark Chapter, ...read more

Legends – William the First

DeKalb County is known for its entrepreneurial and forward thinking people. Many “firsts’” have come from DeKalb County. One of the most important one was the establishment of a county farm adviser. A product of the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association (forerunner to DeKalb County Farm Bureau) which was the first ...read more

Legends – Walk in the Park

Tucked away in the village of Waterman is an impressive monument honoring the founders of the area. Built in what was known as Greeley Park, the huge monument is lost in the redevelopment of the subdivision over the years.  The Greeley family were residents of Waterman from early on. In 1857 ...read more

Legends – Hidden Treasures

One of the hidden historical treasures of DeKalb County was undoubtedly the sheep yards in Kirkland.  The story starts in 1875 when landowner William T. Kirk made an agreement with the railroad (now known as the Milwaukee Road). The railroad could build tracks though part of Kirk’s land in exchange that ...read more

Legends – We Can Do It

While the men were defending our nation in the two World Wars, the women were left to take care of everything at home from the kids to crops in the fields. The labor shortage caused concern about the success of the planting and harvest seasons, so the women “stepped up ...read more

Legends – In the Beginning

Our local county government started on March 4, 1837 when DeKalb County was organized from Kane County by the Illinois Legislature and by an election of registered voters.    Previously, in 1836 this area was part of Kane County with Geneva as its county seat. It was very difficult for the western ...read more

Legends – Winter in DeKalb

There is nothing that brings back fond memories of winter in DeKalb more than ice skating on the college lagoon. Growing up in DeKalb, the lagoon was the place to “network” in the winter. We were practicing social distancing way ahead of COVID-19 when playing Crack the Whip. This was a ...read more

Legends – Sandwich Manufacturing Company First in County

The first manufacturing company in the county was the Sandwich Manufacturing Company, located in Sandwich. Founded in 1856 under the name of Augustus Adams and Sons, it was later incorporated in 1867 as the Sandwich Manufacturing Company.  The company made farm implements such as corn shellers, grain elevators, rakes and presses, ...read more

Dealers Have History with DeKalb Seed

John Emerson: DSR to Seed Dealer John Emerson remembers it like it was yesterday. Being hired by Harold Noren and Carroll Christenson, DEKALB Ag marketing executives, for the sales department.  John had recently graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in agriculture and was anxious to work in an agribusiness field. ...read more