Local History

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

Reflections – The Suter History

Known for innovating and adapting to best serve the needs of their customers to feed people since it began in 1925, the Suter Company’s history of innovation and adaptation extends to their buildings as well. Charles Suter started Atlasta Farms and, by 1929, leased the old Thompson Piano Company building on more

Family Farm Heritage

Honoring Centennial/Sesquicentennial Farms in DeKalb County Hipple Farms City: WatermanTownship: ClintonOriginal Date of Purchase: 1870Current Owners: Florence Hipple, Jerald & Susan HippleAcres: 523 Farm History: In 1870, Civil War veteran, John Henry and Lucy . They traveled with the William Henderson Family and they all spent their first year together in a sod more

Reflections – Sycamore’s Railroad History

Sycamore, as county seat and an agriculture and business center, quickly became a prosperous place, even before railroads. The city had tried to get a railroad line as early as 1846, but it took 12 more years of effort to make that happen. By Spring of 1853, DeKalb and Cortland had a more

Lasting Tribute

Lifelong Farmer Honored by Family - James E. Montgomery Ag Scholarship established Family members describe James Montgomery as “humble, honest, and hard-working.” He was a devote family man and a dedicated farmer. In his 93-year-life, he raised his family of nine children and farmed in the Kirkland, Esmond and Malta areas. He more