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Local History

Remembering Freeland

Freeland, Illinois, also known as Freeland Corners, was located along Chicago Road between Somonauk and West Sandwich Roads in Somonauk Township.  The origin of the name Freeland is uncertain.  One opinion is that when the first pioneers came to this area in the 1830s, they took possession of the land by ...read more

Then & Now – Farm Meetings

Studebakers, Reo’s, Overlands, Ramblers and Fords – old-time cars are lined up in fields. Farmers drove to farms to watch field demonstrations and learn more about raising better crops in the early 1900s. They also attended Farmers’ Institutes whereby they heard experts talk about improving soil conditions with natural fertilizers ...read more

Legends – The Greeley Farm

The Greeley Farm on Duffy Road in Clinton Township was once one of the most beautiful farms in the county.  In 1912 Frank Greeley had one of the few alfalfa fields that had withstood an extremely severe winter the previous year. It was said that it had been the most severe ...read more

Pride in our Presidents

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”   Ronald Reagan DeKalb County Farm Bureau has had some great leaders – from the early beginnings of the Soil Improvement Association to the present day ...read more

Legends – Flying High in Waterman

The DeKalb County airport in Waterman was the place to be on any Sunday afternoon for a day of fun-filled activities. The grass field opened in 1929 with a three-day dedication and celebration event. The celebration included visitors who traveled more than 50 miles, plane rides in a Ford Tri-Motor, parachute ...read more

Legends – A Very Bunny Christmas Story

One of the most cherished memories of my father involves a wrecker and a bunny. Every year around Christmas time I laugh with this memory.  You see, my father owned a wrecker service called Breezy’s in DeKalb County. At the time it was the only wrecker service in the county. One ...read more

Legends – Funny Money

Counterfeiters have been operating in DeKalb County since the beginning of the county. The activities started out east and traveled west as the population moved in that direction.  One of these counterfeiters, William G. Taylor, a Cleveland merchant, was one of the first court cases in DeKalb County. DeKalb County’s first term ...read more

Harvest May Stretch Into December

Farmers are ready to wrap up this year’s harvest but some are still weeks away from being done. DeKalb County harvest is running about a month behind schedule. The lateness is attributed to a wet spring – most corn and soybean fields didn’t get planted until June – then a wet ...read more

Legends – A Beautiful Grove

Take a ride in the southern part of DeKalb County and you will see some of the most beautiful land around. The rolling hills and groves of trees make it a most desirable area for gatherings. In the early days, a popular location for these gatherings was in the Clinton Township ...read more

Legends – The Concrete Monster

Train buffs in this area are all too familiar with the coal chute on the east end of DeKalb. The “concrete monster” straddles the two main tracks of the Union Pacific Railway, formerly the Chicago & North Western Railway.  The massive structure saw its last steam engine in 1956. Steam engines ...read more