McKee / Hadley / Brummel / Wolsfeld Farms: Site 57
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McKee / Hadley / Brummel / Wolsfeld Family History
James McKee, son of David McKee, blacksmith for Fort Dearborn and one of the early settlers of the Big Woods, built the large farmhouse that once stood on Eola Road, in 1889-90. After James' death in the 1903 Iroquois Theater fire in Chicago, the house and 185-acre farm came into the Hadley Family upon James' daughter, Katy, marrying Rutherford Hadley, who worked for the first DuPage County Highway Department.
In 1929 George Brummel, of the German family descended from Heinrich and Maria Stickling Brummel, who had settled in the Big Woods area in 1871, leased the farm from Philip Hadley, Rutherford's son, who also worked for the County Highway Department until 1962. At this farm the Brummels tended 160 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat and were also dairy farmers. George and his wife, Magdaline Bauer Brummel, had three daughters whose “work was never ending!” Jean Brummel Vose, the youngest of the three daughters, remembers that neighbors would take turns having "peaching days" and "corn days" to help with the harvests. Everyone was neighborly and cooperative.
In 1952 George retired from farming and the Hadleys then leased the farm to Robert and Millie Brummel Wolsfeld. Millie was a cousin to Jean Brummel and her family. The Wolsfelds, while raising three daughters, leased the property until 1970 when construction of the Main Ring accelerator began. Millie recalls the gates at Butterfield and Eola Roads and at Batavia and Eola Roads. They were given a key to get in and out of the gates and when they had company the Wolsfelds would meet their guests to open the gate. The Wolsfelds have the distinction of being the last family to leave the Fermilab site.
Jean Brummel Vose currently lives in Geneva. Millie and Bob Wolsfeld moved to Shabbona in 1970 and later to Yorkville. Bob passed away in 2007.
The large, historic farmhouse from Eola Road was moved in 1971 and attached to the eastern end of the Warne/Kraft/Kuhn farmhouse at Batavia Road and Sauk Boulevard (Site 62) to form “Aspen East.”
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