DeKalb County is a host to over two dozen beautiful communities, from DeKalb itself to Sycamore, from Hinckley to Malta, from Genoa to Paw Paw. All of these communities have rich back stories – and many of them get their names from places you may not expect.
Genoa is named after a town of the same name in New York, and was named by Thomas Madison, an American Revolutionary War soldier in 1876, and is located on the historic Galena-Chicago stagecoach route.
Sandwich is named after “Long John” Wentworth’s hometown of Sandwich, New Hampshire. Wentworth was a well-known politician who is known for pushing the northern Illinois border from being even with the bottom of Lake Michigan to where it is today – if he hadn’t Sandwich would technically be in Wisconsin!
Kingston was one of the first townships in DeKalb County, and was originally settled by the Pottawatomie Indians in 1835.
Shabbona was named after Shabbona, the Potawatomi chief and peacemaker that traveled through the Fox Valley warning of the approaching war Black Hawk was intended to wage.
The village of Malta was actually renamed twice, originally being “Milton” and then later “Etna” before becoming Malta, named after the country in the Mediterranean of the same name.
Here’s one I bet you did know though – our beautiful town of Sycamore was named after the Sycamore Tree.
And last, but most certainly not least, DeKalb was named after a decorated Franconion-French war hero “Johann de Kalb”, who died during the Americna Revolutionary War.
DeKalb, like much of the rest of the world, is a product of diversity, and just seeing where our individual communities stem from allows us to appreciate just how diverse we really are.
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