Dive deeper with the DeKalb County History Center’s on-site collection. Objects are available for research by appointment. Below are some reference materials compiled by the Joiner History Room and DeKalb County History Center.


Cornsilk Index 1976 - 2016
Oral History Project Index
DeKalb County Poor Farm
Adoptions and Juvenile Court Cases
The information presented was taken from Sycamore’s True Republican newspaper for the period 1869 - 1965. It is part of public record. Not every court action is listed. Most reported information consisted of only one or two lines in the paper. The information is mostly useful as a method to date when an event took place. The action adjudged dependent means that, for some reason, the family was unable to care for the child and therefore the court awarded custody to an orphanage or other state residence/industrial school.
Early Wills
The Joiner History Room has indexed two volumes of early wills recorded by the DeKalb County Circuit Clerk during the years 1847 - 1899. This information is handwritten. For some unknown reason, these individuals chose to officially record their wills with that office. The index contains the names of 1,025 individuals. Photocopies are available via email request. Please include name, page, and book when making a request.
Coroner Records 1850 - 1905 From County Commissioner’s Papers
These records reflect transactions in which the county paid for burial expenses of indigent people. The date listed in the left hand column is the date of the transaction, not the date of death.

Special Collections

Dutton Gentlemen

General E.F. Dutton Family Papers

This collection consists of papers from the Dutton Family from 1861 - 1865. The papers include writings, correspondence, photographs, military forms, and maps.

Finding Aid
Turner Brass Olympic Torch Ad

Turner Brass Olympic Torch Collection

The collection consists of documents related to the Olympic torches and cauldrons produced by the Turner Brass Company of Sycamore for the 1980 Winter Olympics, 1984 Summer Olympics, and the Special Olympics (circa 1980 - 1988). These documents include technical drawings, parts lists, correspondence letters, pamphlets, instruction booklets, newspaper articles, and photographs.
Finding Aid
Lattin photograph

Lattin/Steven Family Collection

This collection consists of photographs of Frank and Sadie (Lattin) Stevens; their granddaughter Sarah Hicks; Sadie’s mother, Nancy Cartwright Lattin; Uncle Wesley Lattin; and others. There are two glass plate negatives of the Lincoln Muster Roll, one broken, and one intact. Also included in the collection is correspondence between Sarah Hicks and Forrest Sweet, amongst others, a travelogue written by Sadie Lattin Stevens, and miscellaneous items regarding the family.
Finding Aid


Obituary binders (Sycamore only) are available for researchers to review.



DeKalb Daily Chronicle 15th Annivesary Edition
Midweek “Looking Back” Index
University of Illinois Digital Newspaper Project
The Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection contains historic Illinois newspapers from across the state, including Sycamore’s True Republican 1869 - 1968, Sycamore Tribune 1944 - 1964, and DeKalb Daily Chronicle 1918 - 1930.
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Making a Donation to the Collection

Interested in donating an object to the DeKalb County History Center? DeKalb County History Center is always looking for objects to add to the collection to help tell DeKalb County’s story. Contact Executive Director Michelle Donahoe to inquire about collection donations.
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