Owners are third generation on Darien farm

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Ginny Hall | August 30, 2013

The George and Jane Koehl farm is on Westbound Lane on the west side of Darien. The barn quilt is named “Flags All Around” and is located on the east side of the barn.

The Koehls are third-generation owners of this farm. George Jr.'s father bought into the farm in 1948 from his uncle. He first ran it on shares. George Sr.'s father died in 1950. George Sr. bought the entire 240 acres in 1965.

The old barn was built in the late 1800s. The newer milking barn was built in 1953. The old barn was used for milking and storing hay. It is now used for raising heifers and storing hay. The new barn is still used for milking cows and feed storage. The wood shingles were replaced with metal ones in 2000. 

A gravel pit is located in the middle of the farm. A pond was dug there in the 1990s. Occasional family reunions and parties are held there. 

Jane indicated that the farm has been in the family for 98 years. Therefore, the Koehl brothers must have bought the farm in 1915. 

The 1857 plat map shows the owner of this property as Smith Halstead. The 1873 and 1891 plat books show the next owner as J.J. Johnson. The James J. Johnson family came from Steuben County in New York. They had land in Sections 4, 17, 19 and 20 in the town of Darien.

The 1900 plat book indicates the owner was Jno. Piper. In 1907, the owner is listed as John Piper, who served as Walworth County sheriff from 1911 to 1913. 

The next available plat book, 1930, shows the owners as the Koehl Brothers. They are most likely George Sr.'s father and his uncle. Given the above information, this family will be eligible for century farm status in two years.

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