Learn about DeKalb’s barbed wire history at upcoming event

Barbed wire prototypes made by DeKalb County farmers and inventors Joseph Glidden, Isaac Ellwood and Jacob Haish are seen on display at the DeKalb County History Center on June 30, 2023.

DeKALB – The J.F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center will partner with the DeKalb Public Library to hold a “Built by Barbed Wire” program about the history of the building’s donation by Jacob Haish.

The free program will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 309 Oak St.

Attendees can learn about DeKalb’s barbed wire story and Haish’s library donation. The presentation will be led by Jessi Haish LaRue, the homestead’s executive director. Participants also can receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the library’s older and newer sections. The tour highlights include historic plaques, new additions, and the original architecture. The tour will be led by Emily Faulker, the library’s executive director.

The Haish Memorial Library Building was dedicated Feb. 15, 1931. The library was built on land provided by the city and financed by a $150,000 donation from Jacob Haish, a barbed-wire millionaire. The building received national attention from an Architecture magazine article. The library also earned a Gustaf Dahlstrom mural from the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project in 1934.

For information, call 815-756-7904 or email jessi@gliddenhomestead.org.

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