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DeKalb County, Illinois

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in DeKalb County, Illinois.

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DeKalb County was formed on 4 March 1837, out of Kane County, Illinois. The County was named for Johann de Kalb, a German (Bavarian) hero of the American Revolutionary War. DeKalb County's area is approximately 632.7 square miles, located 63 miles west of Chicago.

Between 1834 and 1837, settlements began in DeKalb County along the streams and wooded areas because of the fertile soil, wild game, and food and water opportunities. Major growth stemmed from the introduction of the railroad which brought easier methods of transportation and opportunities for industrial growth. Early industries based in DeKalb County included Sandwich Mfg. Co, Marsh Harvester Co, barbed wire, and Gurler Bros. Pure Milk Co.

The county is noted for agriculture. In 1852, the DeKalb Agricultural Society produced the county's first Agricultural Fair, in Sycamore. Eventually farmers, businessmen, bankers and newspapermen organized to become the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association, which later was split into DeKalb County Farm Bureau and DeKalb Agricultural Association (DEKALB AgResearch, Inc., Monsanto). DeKalb County is credited with being the birthplace of the Farm Bureau movement. DeKalb County is also the 2nd largest hog producing county in Illinois.

Adjacent Counties

Cities, Villages & Towns

  • Cortland
  • DeKalb
  • Genoa
  • Hinckley
  • Kingston
  • Kirkland
  • Lee (part)
  • Malta
  • Maple Park (part)
  • Sandwich (part)
  • Shabbona
  • Somonauk (part)
  • Sycamore (County Seat)
  • Waterman

Other Townships and Communities: Afton, Afton Center, Charter Grove, Clare, Clinton, Colvin Park, Elva, Esmond, Faidale, Five Points, Franklin, Franks, Mayfield, McGirr, Milan, New Lebanon, Paw Paw, Pierce, Rollo, South Grove, Squaw Grove, Victor and Wilkinson



National Register of Historic Places

DeKalb Genealogy

Genealogy Trails

IL Gen Web


1871 DeKalb County Map