Schmaling farm has rich history, new barn

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Ginny Hall | October 25, 2013

The Don and Helen Schmaling farm is located in the town of Delavan on County Highway P, just north of the city of Delavan. Their farm was the first one in Walworth County to have a barn quilt. It was hung in the spring of 2009 on their 1909 vintage dairy barn.

The quilt, “Corn and Beans,” reflects the crops that are grown on the farm. The century-old barn originally was built to house Charles William Schmaling's cows and horses.

Photo gallery of Ginny's Mystery Places.

Tragically in 2010, on a summer Sunday morning, the barn burned to the ground. It has since been replaced with a modern dairy parlor and free-stall barn. A duplicate replacement quilt now hangs on one of their adjacent buildings.

Looking back to the early owners, I found that the property on which the farmstead is located was owned by H. LaBar in 1857. The 1882 “History of Walworth County” shows a Hannah LaBar, who with her husband had a farm in the town of Delavan. They had a son, S.R., who owned property to the south, which eventually became part of the Schmaling farm. The LaBar family came to Walworth County in 1839 and has history in both the town and city of Delavan.

The next owner of the property on which the buildings are located was Arthur Bowers. This was noted in the 1873 and 1900 plat books. The 1882 “History of Walworth County” shows an Arthur Bowers as the treasurer for the town of Richmond. Albert Beckwith's “History of Walworth County” shows Arthur Bowers as a member of the county board from 1897 to 1904.

In 1907 the owner was listed as F. A. Gage. Beckwith mentions a Frank Gage and his wife, Emma, in his history of the county as a respected member of the Delavan community.

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