DEKALB 100 Years Strong


“DEKALB 100 Years Strong” will be presented this Wednesday, March 21st at noon.  This is the third “Brown Bag” lunch program of the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association’s (DAAHA) three-part lecture series – Agricultural Heritage Programs – at the Ellwood House Visitor Center, 509 N. First Street, in DeKalb. The audience is encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch. “DEKALB 100 Years Strong” will be presented by Mr. Emerson Wells.

In January 2012, a new coffee table book was published, honoring the 100th Anniversary of DEKALB and its formation on Jan. 20, 1912. DEKALB – 100 Years Strong commemorates a century of making farming better. DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association (DAAHA) and the Northern Illinois Regional History Center furnished the pictures used in this mostly pictorial 100 year history.

The book was published by DEKALB brand owner, Monsanto, for a specific group audience and is not available to the general public. DAAHA board member and book editor, Emerson Wells, will offer a PowerPoint presentation showing most of the pages from the 104-page book and give the reasons those particular photographs were selected for publication. Mr. Wells will also give a view of the issues that prompted a group of farmers, businessmen, bankers and newspapermen to gather in 1912 and form the original DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association – and then later reorganize in 1917 into two groups. One of these groups evolved into the DEKALB Ag (as it is locally known), and the other into the DeKalb County Farm Bureau.

Emerson Wells started working for “The Ag” upon graduating from Purdue in 1962 and worked in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota before moving to DeKalb in 1984. He retired in 2000. He is a past president of DEKALB Alumni Association and a founding member of DAAHA.

The DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association (DAAHA) is an organization focused on the collection and preservation of the storied history of agriculture and agricultural innovations in the northern Illinois area. Its exhibits are open to the public on Wednesdays and Sundays from 2 – 4pm in the second floor Nehring Gallery in downtown DeKalb. Please call 815-756-8737 for more information. Find DAAHA on the web at: or call DAAHA at 815-756-8737.

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