Fermilab History and Archives Project

Konen Farm: Site 27

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Konen Family History

Konen FarmPeter Konen was born in Luxembourg, Germany in 1854. The Konens immigrated to America in 1868 and Peter married Helen Kammes around 1882. They had eight children. One son, Nicholas G. Konen, was born in Nebraska in 1886. The Konens came to Batavia in the early 20th century and it was here that Nicholas met Eva Feltes, who was born in Illinois in 1887. They married around 1910 and had six children: Peter, Margaret, William, Elizabeth, LeRoy, and Kenneth. LeRoy and Kenneth were both born in the farm house.

The Konen farm was a 125-acre dairy farm on East Wilson Road. They raised milking cows, hogs, sheep and chickens for eggs, and also grew crops such as corn, hay, and soybeans. They farmed by rotating crops. The Konens also had a large garden where they raised their own strawberries and a variety of vegetables. They had an orchard with apple, apricot and plum trees, as well as grape vines. The farm provided a lot of food, which the Konens canned and froze. Nick Konen also raised turkeys and occasionally held turkey raffles on the farm.

The family dealt with local dealers from whom they bought fertilizer and seed. Gasoline was delivered to their farm by Standard Oil, but was later delivered by Feece Oil Co., which is still located in Batavia today. When they needed any food or ingredients that couldn’t be provided by the farm, they visited the local Rachielle’s Drugstore and an A&P market.

When the farm was sold to the state of Illinois in 1968, LeRoy bought a farm in Sugar Grove. The proposed Kirk Road addition was going to pass directly through the Konen property so LeRoy moved the tenant house from site 27 to the Sugar Grove farm where it still stands.

 

Farm Families

Farm Families