Family Farm Heritage

June 9, 2022

Honoring Sesquicentennial Farms in DeKalb County

Blue Arrow Farm
City: Sycamore
Township: Sycamore
Original Date of Purchase: 1904 by Henry Lenschow
Current Owner: Bill & Kathy Lenschow
Acres: 182 acres originally, now 65 acres


Henry Lenschow purchased 182 acres from Richard Blanchfield on Sept. 3, 1904. It was a typical northern Illinois farm where they raised dairy cows, pigs and chickens. When Henry’s son, William, married he purchased the farm from Henry in 1906 and moved into the homestead.

Heinrich “Henry” Lenschow purchased the original homestead with 182 acres of farmland in Sycamore and Burlington townships in 1904.

William’s son, Walter, married in 1930 and moved into the tenant house on the farm. Walter named the farm “Blue Arrow Farm” after having found a blue Indian arrowhead on their farm in the mid-1930s.

Walter’s son, Bill, grew up following in his grandfather’s footsteps. Bill remembers his grandpa started to modernize the dairy operation with electricity. One of the first upright wood silos was built next to the milking barn, followed by a concrete stave silo (which later was destroyed in a storm).

Henry’s son, William, modernized the farm embracing early tractors and plows, milking machines, and a wind charger for electricity on the family farm.

The Lenschow children attended Charter Grove School on Plank Road. Bill’s parents bought a small farm outside of Sycamore and the children finished school in the town of Sycamore. But Bill’s grandpa always said Bill could come back to his farm.

After Bill and Kathy were married in 1959, they moved to Grandpa’s farm. The Lenschows no longer raised pigs, but continued to milk cows. They shipped their milk and improved the dairy herd and buildings.

The century-old dairy barn and the blue Harvestore silos are iconic structures on the Lenschow farmstead where Kathy and Bill and their daughters milked cows for 63 years.

Their five daughters helped with the dairy. In 1971 they built a 80-foot Harvestore to hold more forage for their expanding herd.

After the passing of Bill’s father, Bill worked with the Illinois Agricultural Association (Farm Bureau) to establish a farm trust for the Lenschow family. In 2006 the family sold 126 acres to the Kane County Forest Preserve – 100 years from the year Grandpa Lenschow bought the farm from Great-Grandpa Lenschow.

Current Blue Arrow Farm owners Kathy and Bill Lenschow are shown with their daughters: Kim, Sue, Lynn and Debbie.

Bill and Kathy have lived on Blue Arrow Farm for 63 years raising their family and cows. The last dairy cow milked there was in 2010. They are still farming Grandpa Lenschow’s farm, like Bill always wanted to do.

Now four generations of this family love to come home to the Centennial Farm.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Centennial and Sesquicentennial Farm Program honors generations of farmers who have worked to maintain family farms for 100+ years. The DeKalb County Farm Bureau recognizes these local farms and families – the fourth in a series of features. To have your farm featured, contact the Farm Bureau.