Throwback Thursday: Villages and Small Towns in DeKalb County

Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!

There are several towns and cities that are familiar to DeKalb County residents—Ashley, Auburn, Butler, Garrett, Waterloo—but there have also been plenty of smaller settlements in the county over the years. Today let’s take a look at a few of these other places.


The community of Newville is located on the eastern edge of the county in, of course, Newville Township. The area was originally named Vienna, and is one of the oldest settlements in DeKalb County, having been platted in 1837. In the county’s earliest years, Newville did very well, and was home to several stores and a hotel.

Orangeville Mill

Orangeville (also known simply as “Orange”) is a tiny community set in the eastern half of Concord Township. It was platted in 1837, and that same spring, the settlers there opened what would be DeKalb County’s very first store. For a little while, at least, Orangeville also had a physician, a school, and a mill.


At the northern edge of Richland Township stands a little village known as Sedan. Originally known as Lawrence—after David Lawrence, who originally owned the land—this community was once an important place for shipping grain to cities like Toledo and Chicago. At its peak, Sedan had a flour mill, candy factory, two blacksmith shops, a cider mill and more. It was once also home to Jane Brooks Hine, the “Bird Woman of Indiana.”

Want to see more? Click here to search for lesser-known places in DeKalb County, such as Moore, Fairfield Center, or Concord.


About Jenny

I am the Associate Director of Eckhart Public Library. My office is in the Administrative Annex, but I can often be found roaming the Eckhart Public Library Campus, performing acts of librarianship in every department! I love to read and learn about history. I'm also a huge fan of movies, TV and pop culture in general, and I love to read books of all types. Currently, I'm working my way around the romance section, with some historical fiction and graphic novels thrown in for variety! But you never know what I'm going to pick up next.
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2 Responses to Throwback Thursday: Villages and Small Towns in DeKalb County

  1. Pingback: Throwback Thursday: Happy New Year! | Charlie Chat

  2. Pingback: Throwback Thursday: The Vienna Library | Charlie Chat

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