Honoring Centennial Farms in DeKalb County
Original Date of Purchase: 1900
Current Owner: Jack & Evelyn Smith
Eugene Grandgeorge came to Leland, Illinois from Alsace, France in 1882 at the age of 19 and worked as a hired man.
In 1894, Eugene married Lucy Loux in Woolstock, Iowa. They had four children – Charles (1895), Laura (1897), George (1899), and William (1901). Eugene was well known in the area for training draft horses for the neighboring farmers.
In 1900, Eugene purchased 240 acres on Governor Beveridge Highway north of Somonauk. He paid approximately $85 an acre with zero money down and paid the loan off in 10 years.
Eugene’s son, George, began to farm in 1932 and later purchased the farmland from his father, in 1959. George and Laura Grandgeorge had three daughters: Marion, Evelyn, and Lucille.
In 1970, George retired from the farm and Jack and Evelyn (Grandgeorge) Smith moved there. Jack and Evelyn raised their three children on the family farm: Linda (Miller), Barry, and Roger. Jack and Evelyn officially purchased the farm from a family trust in 1995 after Laura’s passing.
Jack and Evelyn enjoyed a lifetime of farming. They retired from farming in 2012. Today at 93 and 87 years, respectively, they still live on their Centennial farm. Their grandson, Brett Smith, 5th generation farmer, and son Barry (Diane), continue to farm the farmland today.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Centennial & Sesquicentennial Farms 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 eighth in a series of features. To have your farm featured, contact the Farm Bureau.