Fermilab History and Archives Project

Pohl Farm: Site 8

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Pohl Family History

The farm on Butterfield Road (Site 8) was originally owned by brother and sister Mike and Angeline Theis. It was the second farm east of Kautz Road. Mike and Angeline Theis adopted George J. Pohl from the Guardian Angel Orphanage in Chicago around 1900 when George was twelve years old. George married Rose Hoffman in 1914. Their son, Walter, was born in 1915. A second son, Harold N., was born on March 25, 1917 but a short time later, Rose passed away. A new house was built around 1915 for the growing family. They salvaged the kitchen from the original house and added it onto the new house. Mike Theis left the farm to George in the early 1940’s.

In 1918, George married Mary “Molly” Theis, the niece of Mike and Angeline. They had six children of their own: Catherine, Loretta, Elizabeth, Elinor, George Jr., and Mary. “Molly” Pohl became step-mother to Walter and Harold N. and an adopted son, Ralph Theis.

Harold N. married Mary Helen Summer, of Aurora, on September 23, 1939. Ten years later, Harold and Mary moved to a 75-acre farm near Little Rock, Illinois, north of Plano. They had four children: Harold F., Rosemary Ethel, Kathleen Etta, and Shirley Jean. Their son, Harold F., briefly went to Holy Angels School in Aurora. He then attended Little Rock Grade School and Plano High School.

In the late 1940’s, George J. Pohl used a team of horses and a cultivator to plant potatoes and sweet potatoes and to dig them up in the fall. He used tractors for all the other field work. He grew corn, beans, oats, wheat, hay, and had a large garden and apple orchard. He had a dairy herd for many years but switched to beef cattle in the 1950s.

After the state of Illinois purchased his land on the north side of Butterfield Road, George J. Pohl built a new house on his remaining 20-acre farm property on the south side of Butterfield Road and remained there until he passed away. The 1915 house was moved three times for various laboratory uses between 1968 and the mid-1970s.

Harold F. married a former classmate, BettyLou Baker from Plano, in 1963, and they had two children: KandiLynn and Harold Scott. Harold F. and BettyLou still live in the Plano area.

Harold F. Pohl attends the annual Fermilab Farmers Picnic to stay connected with his grandfather, the great man who spoiled him, and his grandfather’s farm that he so enjoyed as a child.  He also maintains his interest in antique farm tractors and engines (collecting, restoring and exhibiting) and building ½ scale model farm tractors and implements for exhibition.

 

Click on individual photographs for more information.

George J. and Mary Pohl, c1940s George J. and Mary (Theis) Pohl, 1960s George J. and Mary (Theis) Pohl, 1918
George J. and Rose (Hoffman) Pohl, c1914 TheisFarm on Butterfield Rd. became Pohl Farm in the early 1940s George and Walter Pohl 1916 George J. Pohl late 1950's
George J. Pohl feeding threshing machine, 1930-40s J.B. Theis, George J. Pohl, Rose (Hoffman) Pohl and Susan Hoffman. February 4, 1914 George J. Pohl with team of horses and cultivator, 1950s
George Pohl Farm 1940's George Pohl Farm Early 1950's George Pohl Jr. on Pony 1940's
Harold and Walter Pohl 1917 Harold Pohl 1917 Moving the Pohl House, 1970
Mike Theis with Walter Pohl on his right and Harold N. Pohl on his left, c1919 Mike Theis holding Walter Pohl, c1916 Pohl Farmhouse and Work Horses 1940's
Pohl House Pohl House 1969 Rose and George Pohl 1914

 

Farm Families

Farm Families