Local History

The Story Behind DEKALB Seed Dealers

Farmer seed dealers have been an important piece of the DEKALB story. Tom Roberts believed the dealer should be a farmer who called on his neighbor. Who better could enthusiastically sell seed on the basis of personal experience? Roberts also believed sales calls should be made well in advance of planting, more

Looking Back: Livestock Show Memories

Farm kids remember the days when they showed livestock at the DeKalb County 4-H Fair. Even if it’s been 60+ years. Their prized animals were selected from their farm herd or purchased in hopes of showing their finest livestock. After the fair, their show animals returned to the farm. We asked these more

History of DeKalb County 4-H Fair Livestock Show

The DeKalb County 4-H Fair Livestock Show has been held at various locations over the years. For many years the 4-H Fair was held in conjunction with the Sycamore Farmer’s Club Jr. Fair and local Granges. The Sycamore Farmer’s Club Jr. Fair ran from 1940-2006. From the early 1930s to the more

Legends – The Champ

Johnny “Cyclone” Thompson became the pride of DeKalb County in the early 1900s for his boxing ability. His career began as an amateur boxer around 1899, in matches in the back of a room at a bar in the Clare area.  He graduated to more formal boxing at the Stranglers Club more

Legends – Shady Ladies & More

The Eakle family of Waterman is a treasure with many stories to tell. In a previous Legends column, we wrote about the DeKalb County airport that the family ran. Alice Eakle Marks stands in front of the "Ladies." The "Shady Lady" started as a closet door curtain replacement in the Eakle more

Legends – Trees of Honor

Memorial Day is a day of reflection to honor those who gave the supreme sacrifice that we may live in a free nation.  During World War I, the popular honorarium was to plant trees in dedication to the memory of the soldiers killed in the war. Many of the towns in more

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 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 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 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 more