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Glidden Homestead welcomes new director, board member
The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center welcomed Jessi Haish LaRue as its newest executive director in April.
LaRue is a lifelong Sycamore resident and studied at Kishwaukee College and Northern Illinois University. She brings experience in journalism, social media, marketing and administrative work to this role. As a child, LaRue visited both museums at the Ellwood House and Glidden Homestead to learn more about local history as well as her fourth-great uncle, Jacob Haish. Since then, she has documented her findings about Haish online. However, her interest in local history reaches far beyond Haish.
“I have always admired Joseph Glidden’s story and impact on DeKalb,” LaRue said. “I am excited to share his story with visitors, members, social media and more. Glidden and his homestead deserve more time in the spotlight.”
Glidden’s invention of one of the most widely-used types of barbed wire in 1873 helped change the history of the American West and had far-reaching impact throughout the world. Both the home and the barn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Jan Devore, president of the homestead’s board of directors, was impressed with LaRue’s ideas and answers during the interviewing process.
“The panel that interviewed Jessi liked her enthusiasm and her passion for history,” Devore said. “We all agreed that this is an important part of the work she'll be doing, sharing her passion for history.”
LaRue replaces Rob Glover, the previous director. Glover will be continuing his work as the Joiner History Room’s director.
The board of directors is also pleased to welcome its newest member, Lori Hintszche.
Hintszche most recently worked as a teacher at Clinton Rosette Middle School. She is originally from Oklahoma, and graduated from University of North Texas in 1978 and received her Master’s in Education in 2005.
The Glidden Homestead will open for the season in June, and is eager to find people who want to be involved in its mission to preserve local history. To become a member or volunteer, please visit