Lanan Family Farm Records (Kingston), 1848-2006
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Brief Description:

These records partially document the history of the Lanan Farm in Kingston, Illinois from 1848-1978.  Although few records in this collection deal with the early history of the farm, several land indentures and grants provide details of farm land transfers in the mid-nineteenth century.  The major series of the collection is a complete set of farm account books (1915-l978) detailing various business transactions of the Lanan farm.  These volumes contain extensive information on annual agricultural income and expenses for items such as livestock, crops, machinery, labor, taxes, and insurance.  Two other account books record crop threshing expenses and list workers hired for the threshing seasons (l89l-l942).  Also included in the collection is an account book kept by Henry A. Lanan while he was treasurer for the Kingston Mutual Fire Insurance Company from 1911-1939.           

  An addendum added in 2011 documents the daily administration of the farm from the early 1900's to early 2000's. The addendum is divided into ten series. Series one contains personal items from the Lanan family, including correspondences that details the family history. Also included are Guy Lanan’s diploma and a textbook and materials from an Animal Husbandry class at the University of Illinois. Series two holds legal correspondences and the estates of Guy and Henry Lanan. Series three contains title transactions, including an abstract of titles the details the history of each parcel of land. Warranty deeds from the United States to various owners dating from 1848 are kept in this series.                 

Series four holds insurance policies and payments from several companies. Series fives details taxes paid by the Lanan, including personal property, real estate, income tax, and employees’s returns. Series six contains financial information. Checking and saving accounts, loans (security agreements), trusts and balance books are available in this series.                                               

Receipts make up series seven. These receipts pertains to all purchases made for the farm. Those marked “Bills” and arranged chronologically were minor, day to day purchases. Those listed alphabetically were for large purchases for the farm, such as equipment, livestock, fertilizer, and other services. Series eight contains DeKalb AgResearch materials. Included are contracts, statements, receipts, orders, and delivery statements.

Series nine contains numerous magazines, including several interviews with Joe Lanan. Also included are operating manuals for equipment on the farm, soil test results, and material printed by the DeKalb County and Illinois Valley Farm Bureaus. Series ten contains financing and regulation material from both state and federal departments. A majority of this information comes from the United States Department of Agriculture, but there are also documents from the Departments of Labor, Conservation, Public Healthy, and Transportation.

Persons interested in the administration of farms will find that the Lanan Farm Records provide comprehensive information on yearly business activity of a twentieth-century northern Illinois farm.

Held at:
Northern Illinois University
Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-1779
Email: rhcua [at]
Record Series Number: RHC/RC/111
Volume: 27.75 Linear Feet
Acquired: 09/16/1980. Additional records were donated on July 1, 2010.
Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Subject Index
Centennial Farms
DeKalb AgResearch
Draft Horses
Family farms
Family life--History
Farm life
Fire insurance
Kingston (Ill.)
Lanan Family Farm
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection are held by Jeffrey S. Lanan; literary rights are dedicated to the public.
Acquisition Notes: Jeffrey S. Lanan  Jeffrey S. Lanan deposited the Lanan Farm Records in the Regional History Center on September 16, 1980.
Related Materials: Several other collections held by the Regional History Center documenting family farming are: Taylor Farm Records (RC 37) ; H. H. Parke Collection (RC 43); Putnam Family Collection (RC 71); Norris Family Centennial Farm Collection (RC 74); John P. Case Records (RC 86); and the Johnson Family Records (RC 100).  Information on the farm prior to 1890 may be found in various public records held by the Center including Tax Assessor Books, Chattel Mortgages, and Agricultural Census Manuscripts.