Babb’s Grove School – Freeport, IL

This ugly little frame tells a great story. It is another eBay find that I almost overlooked due to its condition and appearance. I’m glad that I didn’t judge the school by its cover. The photo is from a school district catalog dated 1918-1919, but the local newspaper has references to the school dating back into the 1890s.

Starting to look into it I wondered, where is Babb’s Grove and who is it named after. I looked the area up on a map and from first appearances is seems a bit desolate. I’ve highlighted the entirety of Babb’s Grove Road, which consists of a road that is little more than a mile long.

Image Courtesy of Bing Maps

Along this road, towards Pearl City is Babb’s Grove Cemetery, which held the answers to my queries. It took a bit of leg work, but I was able to determine that the name Babb’s Grove comes from a farm that was owned by Samuel Babb (1784-1861) who hails from the line we refer to as the Blue Panthers of Bavaria.

You may recall a story I did recently about a Copper Kettle that was made by one Johannes Babb. Well, it just so happens that Samuel is the son of Johannes! It’s one of those moments when two items bring you to the same place and start to add enrichment to the stories of their lives.

Here is a link to the original post:
Copper Kettle “I. BABB” circa 1790-1810 – Babb Unabridged

I think I’ll have some hot tea now.


Leave a Reply

Blog at