Fermilab History and Archives Project

Schimelpfenig Farm: Site 21

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Schimelpfenig Family History

Schimelpfenig FarmCharles and Kate (Benz) Schimelpfenig came to the United States from Germany in 1852. They bought some land from Joel McKee and settled on the east side of Batavia near the western border of DuPage County. It was there that they had five children: John, Marie Elizabeth, Albert Ludwig, Carl Heinrich, and Edward Gustav. Edward married Carolina Schwahn of site 24 in 1890. They raised fourteen children in the home built by his parents. Their oldest son, Arthur, born in Batavia in 1891, married Lillian Bartelt of site 37 on Giese Road in 1914 and then bought his parents’ 80-acre dairy farm, where they grew corn, beans, oats and hay.

They remodeled the house but had no children. After Lillian passed away in 1965, Arthur was the only resident of the farm.

The Schimelpfenig farm was the first farm purchased by the state of Illinois and given to the AEC. Shortly thereafter, a groundbreaking for the LINAC, the first permanent building of the National Accelerator Laboratory, was held on Sunday, December 1, 1968, near the intersection of Giese and Holter Roads, the former location of Arthur Schimelpfenig’s farm.

Arthur moved to a new home in Batavia. Coincidentally, Sue Grommes, a current Fermilab employee, bought Arthur’s Batavia home after he passed away in 1973. The original farm houses from site 21 were moved to the Village and preserved along with others for visiting scientists to live in at Fermilab. The Schimelpfenig homes are located at 8 and 13 Sauk Circle. Arthur’s niece, Corliss Weaver, lives in Batavia and attends the annual picnic for the farmers of the land that became Fermilab.

Farm Families

Farm Families