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Local History

Legends – Pride on the Farm

The Illinois Centennial Farm Program was established in 1972 to recognize the importance of agriculture to the economy of Illinois and the pride and determination of the generations who have labored to maintain the family farm. The plaque presented by the Illinois Department of Agriculture represents great pride in the family ...read more

Legends – History Lesson

Do they have Flat Stanley projects in school anymore? A few years ago Shawn, a young friend from Waterman, asked my husband and me to help with his Flat Stanley project; we eagerly accepted. What a wonderful way to explore your environment and learn the history of the area. Being the ...read more

A Tradition of Livestock Shows

The Sandwich Fair has a longstanding tradition of having one of the best livestock shows in the Midwest dating back to 1888. At the first fairs, there were 4 kinds of livestock shown: cattle, swine, sheep and horses. In addition to these, other livestock shows were added to include: dairy cattle, ...read more

Labor of Love

Diehl Brothers Farm Together Over half of the farmers today have a primary occupation other than farming.The U.S. Census of Agriculture shows 52% of American farmers have full-time jobs and farm part-time. Part-time farming means putting in long hours of farm labor around 9-to-5 jobs.The Diehl Brothers, whose farm is based ...read more

Show Days

The Suddeth Family has been showing pigs since 1923 Joe Suddeth remembers his show days like it was yesterday.The thrill of following his black and white belted pigs into the show ring was the highlight of his youth. His daily work of raising pigs at his Shabbona farm and picking the ...read more

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