Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Old Volo Creamery

I believe this building was the old Volo creamery.  It has been converted to apartments.  There is an old sign next to it that has mostly deteriorated away, but you can see part of the print at the bottom and it says, "Bottles & Cans."

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Picture of A.J. Raymond

I was able to find a picture of Volo Civil War Soldier, A.J. Raymond.  He also owned the creamery. Here is a screenshot.

Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Lake County, Edited by Newton Bateman & Paul Selby,  1900, page 734.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Volo Women Got a Little Rowdy

The old Newspapers tell the tale of several Volo women (five total) running a woman suspected of attempting to commit adultery with another woman's husband out of town.  The women were fined in court after being arrested.  One of them was Lovina Cook (the wife of A.J. Raymond).

Five women rode Mrs. John Richardson (Minnie Richardson) on a rail and dumped her into a mud puddle.  After that they threatened she would get worse if she did not leave Volo.  They did not like her relationship with William Dunnill, her brother-in-law.  Each woman paid $28.11 for court costs and faced a $100,000 damage suit.

Courtesy and Belvidere Daily Republican 05 Jun 1914, Fri.

A judgement of $1500 was entered against the defendants.

Courtesy and Republican-Northwestern 14 Sep 1915, Tue.

The defendants were:  Lovinia Cook-Raymond, Mrs. Mary Lusk, Ann Stadtfeld, Emma Stadtfeld, Mary Sabel, and Alma Walton.  Mrs. Raymond died before the case was finished and her estate fought the judgement and appears to have not been forced to pay the judgment.

Four of the women convicted were grandmothers.

Courtesy and the Pittsburgh Press, 03 Dec 1913  (left picture above is photo of Mrs. Richardson, the victim).

Holstein Dairy Cows

Holstein Dairy Cows - A picture my father took in Wisconsin years ago.

The Holstein Dairy Cow is famous for its milk output.  I did find an old article that showed John W. Gale put a Holstein Bull up for sale.

Courtesy of and the McHenry PlainDealer

The undersigned has for sale a fine three-years old Registered Holstein Bull.  Will be sold cheap if applied for soon.  J.W. Gale Volo, IL.  - The McHenry Plaindealer – 18 May 1887, Wed.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Getting Closer to What the Gales Looked Like

I've been looking for a long time for the photos of H. Wallace Gale and his family.  It has proven to be a tough task all though I haven't lost hope.  I have found some photos of related cousins from Vermont from the Civil War period that give me an idea of what they might have looked like.  Here are some snapshots from old books and online sources regarding Gale cousins in Vermont.

John W. Gale

I'm almost done with my follow up book on the Gales of Volo.  It will reveal what happened to the Gale family after the American Civil War.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Last Dairy Farm Closed in Lake County

The Diebold farm was the last dairy farm in Lake County that closed in 2014.  The brother and sister that were running it cited getting older and not having anyone that wanted to continue the farm as the reasons for closing as well as milk truck companies not wanting to come and get their milk any more.  

This farm was said to last for four generations of their family.   Their story is typical of what I've seen while studying the Gales.  If there aren't enough family members left to carry on, it is harder to keep the farm.

Here are some snapshots from the news article along with a link.

From the article written by :

About a week earlier, the last of the milking cows were sold, ending a long tradition of family dairying in Lake County. The old stanchions -- 13 on each side -- where the cows would be secured for milking and two stalls at the end of the ancient barn had literally become history.

"Everybody my age basically quit," said George Diebold, who at 66 has the creaky knees and back that come with a lifetime of milking, twice a day, every day, and growing and harvesting hay and corn for feed. "There's a few who farm but nobody wants to milk cows."

At one time, there were many processing plants and hundreds of dairy farms in Lake County, said Greg Koeppen, manager of the Lake County Farm Bureau.

Some were large farms and others had only a few cows to produce milk for the family or as barter for other goods, he said. The Diebold farm, which was settled in 1872, was the last true family dairy operation.

"It's the end of a long era in Lake County," Koeppen said.

That also means the age-old Diebold family practice of moving the herd to pasture in spring and summer along Fremont Center Road -- much to the delight of onlookers and the occasional police escort -- has become another footnote.

Virginia, the family matriarch who died about five years ago, relished that duty well into her 80s. Sometimes, people would bring their kids to watch and take pictures.

"It's kind of strange," George Diebold said of the quiet, empty barn. "Now, you walk in and you know they're not here."

Golden Oaks Farm in Wauconda is now the last dairy operation in Lake County, Koeppen said, but it is a corporate concern run by hired managers and employees. The modern, computerized operation with three milkings a day attracts visitors from around the world, Koeppen said.

"It's not what we would classify as a family farm," he said.

To get a sense of how long the Diebolds have endured, consider that the dairy barn was remodeled in 1933 with concrete replacing the dirt floor and metal stalls replacing wooden ones. The date is etched in the foundation for posterity.

At its peak, the Diebold farm had about 40 milking cows. George Diebold, who was born and raised there, said he has been cutting back the past few years due to a combination of age and economics.

He used to sell to a dairy plant that supplied Dean Foods, but its operators wanted a premium to pick up his milk.

"The trucks didn't want to come this far because there was no one else," Diebold said. "We just phased out slowly."

Diebold cows could produce as much as 400 gallons of milk every two days. It is something the family will miss, said George's sister, Mary Lou.

"That's what we were raised on," she said. "That's going to be an adjustment."

President of the Lake County Heritage Farm Foundation Nancy Schum said the demise of the family farm is ironic, given the emphasis these days on local crops and markets.

The span of generations is also a significant characteristic that is disappearing, she added.

"To me, it's kind of sad because it signals the end of something that was a priority years ago," Schumm said.

Diebold, whose great grandfather established the farm, considers himself semiretired.

He'll still work the grounds, plant, harvest and bale hay, grow corn and soybeans, tend to the remaining heifers and maintain the 10 buildings on the property among other duties.

"It's still a full-time job but it's part time from what I was doing," he said.