Local History

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

Family Farm Heritage

Honoring Sesquicentennial Farms in DeKalb County Tindall Farm City: KirklandTownship: South GroveOriginal Date of Purchase: 1843Current Owners: Rich & Lyn Tindall, Tyler & Kristen Tindall, Tracy & Eric Keyster and Cheryl TindallAcres: 465 Farm History: In 1841, Jesse Tindall came from Michigan to locate on a farm in South Grove near Kirkland, IL. more

Reflections – Percheron Horses Make History

Horses, and especially Percheron draft horses, played an important role in DeKalb County history. Firmly rooted in the county’s agriculture, show and breeding horses became big business, rivaling—and largely supported by—the county’s early industrial manufacturing. The Percheron horses arrived in DeKalb County after the 1850s. According to 1885 county history, “Porter S. more

Family Farm Heritage

Honoring Centennial Farms in DeKalb County Grandgeorge/Smith Farm City: SandwichTownship: SomonaukOriginal Date of Purchase: 1900Current Owner: Jack & Evelyn SmithAcres: 240 Farm History Eugene Grandgeorge came to Leland, Illinois from Alsace, France in 1882 at the age of 19 and worked as a hired man. Eugene Grandgeorge immigrated from Franceto America 140 years ago. In 1894, more

Reflections – Prairie State Winery Buildings

Researching local history can feel a lot like putting together a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle… exhilarating as borders are established, sections are filled in, and the pictures tell their stories… and thoroughly frustrating when you discover there are pieces missing (often lots of pieces!). Such was my experience recently as I more

Family Farm Heritage

Centennial/Sesquicentennial Farms in DeKalb County Schafer Farm City: MaltaTownship: MaltaOriginal Date of Purchase: 1903Current Owner: David SchaferAcres: 160 Farm History William Schafer came to DeKalb County from Port Byron, Illinois in 1900 at the age of 30. In 1903 he purchased 160 acres in Section 14 of Malta Township on the northwest corner of more

Students Experience History of One-Room Schools

Have you ever heard someone say, “Education sure has changed since I was a kid?” or “That’s not the way we did math when I was in school?” It’s true education has changed a great deal in the 144 years that Old North Grove School has been standing, on its original more