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Local History

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

Legends – The Pesthouses

A pest house, pesthouse, or fever shed was a type of building used for persons afflicted with communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, smallpox, or typhus. Often used for forcible quarantine, many towns had one or more pesthouses accompanied by a cemetery nearby. In DeKalb County, the Joiner History Room has ...read more

20 Years of SAI

Summer Ag Institute over the years: 1999-2019 By the numbers… 20    Summer Ag Institutes conducted (1 cancelled) 391  Teachers participated (240 unduplicated) 39    Percentage of teachers who have repeated the course 91    Farms and ag-related businesses toured 118  Speakers and panelists 56   Total schools represented (35 in-county, 21 out-of-county) 19   Average class size   Every year ...read more

Legends – Frankly Speaking

In 1834, DeKalb County was a prairieland. Communities were established beginning in the southern part of the county then slowly moved north. One such southern community was Franks. The area (roughly 4 miles square) that would come to be known as Franks began in 1834 as a simple trapper’s log cabin ...read more

Making History

DeKalb County History Center opens with Smithsonian exhibit “We now have an anchor in the community, a place to tell our stories as well as a place to gather together and learn more about each other and our history,” says DeKalb County History Center Director Michelle Donahoe. The DeKalb County History Center ...read more

Farm Life After Dairying

For most of his farm life, Bill Lenschow got up at 4:30 every morning to milk his cows. It was a daily routine for him and his family, to milk their dairy cows each morning and evening. “I liked it because it was something the whole family could do,” said Bill. ...read more

History Fills the Hallways

DeKalb students experience Ag History Expo “In the hallways I hear kids talking about getting in the combine, as well as getting their hands in the soil!” DeKalb School District instructional coach Emily Weller still hears students converse about the memorable History Expo that took place at Farm Bureau this spring. About ...read more