Local History

Farmall in the Family

Commemorating 100 years of Farmall tractors There’s a special bond between a farmer and his tractor. As Farmall celebrates its 100th year, local farmers share why their Farmall tractors hold special meaning. The iconic Farmall model was introduced in 1923 as the all-purpose tractor. It replaced horses and served as a workhorse more

Reflections – Farm Implement Dealers

DeKalb’s Charles W. Marsh, in his book Recollections 1837-1910, recalled that on farms in his boyhood the only implement that could be considered a machine was the fanning mill. From his 1910 perspective, he marveled, “Excepting the fanning mill, the outfit of implements did not cost twenty-five dollars, cash out more

Reflections – Preserved for All Time

In 1911, nearly a thousand people took the novel opportunity to see a demonstration of machinery and tools that spanned the history of harvesting. An Iowa newspaper said about the event that if someone wanted to “see how progress has traveled on the farm, see a flail and a thrashing more

Reflections – Summer Fairs & Foods

Think of summer, and we often think of summer fair food. Food plays a part in DeKalb County’s long history of fairs. The county held its first, somewhat disappointing, agricultural fair in 1852. A 1888 guide to the 1st annual Sandwich Fair The 1868 DeKalb County history states, “During this year the first more

Delving into DeKalb County History

DeKalb third grade students, teachers attend ag History Expo Novelist Pearl S. Buck once said, “If you want to understand today you have to search yesterday.” In April, third graders from the DeKalb school district searched the past and gained knowledge of the present during a multi-day expo at DeKalb County more

Reflections – Student Creativity Defines County

DeKalb County boasts a broad history of competition for students across the county to highlight their talent. Competition involving showing livestock, playing or singing music, presenting essays, or giving orations are common. But students also competed in Latin, marbles, designing window treatments, and in typing, shorthand, and bookkeeping. Sometimes, though, changes more

Family Farm Heritage

Honoring Centennial/Sesquicentennial Farms in DeKalb County Mullins Farms Location: ShabbonaTownship: Shabbona, Sections 7 & 18Original Date of Purchase: 1853Current Owners: Mullins FamiliesAcres: 175 Farm History: Robert Mullins was born on a farm in Woodall, Yorkshire, England in 1811. He married Sarah Ulyett in 1834. In 1852 Robert and Sarah emigrated with their family to America, settling in Shabbona, more

Ag by the Numbers – Plowing

John Deere’s development of the moldboard plow in 1837 changed the prairie landscape. Deere, a blacksmith from Grand Detour, Illinois designed a plow of cast steel with a moldboard that allowed it to cut through the heavy soil without the soil sticking to the plow. When moldboard plows were first invented more

Family Farm Heritage

Honoring Centennial/Sesquicentennial Farms in DeKalb County Pritchard Farms Location: Pritchard Road, Maple ParkTownship: Pierce, Sections 23 and 24Original Date of Purchase: 1849Current Owners: Pritchard familiesAcres: 160 Farm History: David and Wilhelmina (Oover) Gerlach emigrated to Erie, Pennsylvania from Stuttgart, Germany in 1830. These pioneers and their eight children worked their way west across more

From Chicken Farms to Major Food Company

The Suter Company, Farm Bureau’s next-door neighbor A century ago, Charles Suter bought a farm in Palatine, Illinois and began his chicken and egg business which would eventually evolve into a major food company. He called his first farm Atlasta, meaning “at last a farm.” Charles moved to the Genoa area and more