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"A History of St. James Farm"

September 17, 2020 7 p.m.

(In-person & Zoom)

Learn about the history of this DuPage County Gem from Kevin Davis.  In addition to his personal connection to the estate, Davis has researched the McCormick family and presented papers on both the family and the farm. 

To Register

call 630-510-4941 or visit

Kevin Davis 

Kevin Davis is the Administrator of the Messenger Public Library in North Aurora Illinois. He is a contributor to theEncyclopedia of Chicago (2004) and past editor of the Warrenville Historical Society Newsletter.  Kevin  volunteers at the St. James Farm Forest Preserve (Warrenville Illinois). He has presented papers on both the McCormick family and the history of St. James Farm for the Illinois State Historical Society’s’ Illinois History Conference. Kevin is a two time graduate of Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois where he earn both a Bachelors degree (History) and a Masters in Library Science.


Further Reading


McCormick Families of Chicago

Robert R. McCormick and Chauncey McCormicks 

Prepared by G. Kevin Davis



Patricia Erens. Masterpieces: Famous Chicagoans and their Paintings. Chicago Review Press. 1979.   Contains a chapter on Charles and James Deering Chauncey McCormick’s in-laws to.


William R. Grove. War’s Aftermath: Polish Relief 1919. House of Field. 1940.

Primary source material for Chauncey McCormick’s service with the Herbert Hoover Polish Relief and American Relief following World War 1. 


Dr. Ann Keating. Chicagoland: City and Suburbs In the Railroad Age. University of Chicago Press. 2005.   While this title does not contain information on the McCormicks it does contain excellent contextual history for the development of the City of Chicago and its relationship and interdependence with the surrounding suburbs. The title is also an inspiration for Kevin Davis’ historical research.


Isabel Coll Mirabent. Charles Deering and Ramon Casas. Northwestern University Press. 2012. Covers the relationship between the famed artist Casas and Charles Deering. 


Gwen Morgan and Arthur Veysey. Poor Little Rich Boy (and how me made good): The Life Legacy and Times of Robert R. McCormick. Crossroads Communications [Commissioned by the Dupage County Heritage Gallery].  This is the best biography on Col. Robert McCormick (in Kevin Davis’ opinion). The authors are former Chicago Tribune reporters and former Director of Cantigny. Contains additional insights into the interactions and life of the Colonel and Chauncey McCormick of St. James Farm.


John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age. Yale University Press/Art Institute of Chicago. 2018. This book contains information on the Deering family their art collection and their interactions with the painter John Singer Sargent. 



Chaim M. Rosenberg. The International Harvester Company: A History of the Founding Families and Their Machines.  McFarland. 2019. This is a new and excellent book. Includes an entire chapter on Chauncey and Brooks McCormick. 


Leone Schmidt. In and Around Historic Warrenville. Warrenville Historical Society. 1982. See pp 197-198 for a history of St. James Farm, the McCormicks and Frank Schlick the farm manager.


Richard Norton Smith. The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick, 1880-1955. W.W. Norton.  1997. 


Wayne DuPage Hunt : A Chronology of Events 1928-1980. Wayne-DuPage Hunt. 1980. This book was privately printed and limited to only one hundred and twenty-five (125) copies. The title may be available via  your local library  or  via interlibrary loan. Great photos of the hunt, Col. McCormick, Chauncey and Marion McCormick and photo of the St. James Farm home of Brooks McCormick. 



DuPage County Forest Preserve District. See the link for St. James Farm.

Encyclopedia of Chicago History. Search for a sidebar article by Kevin Davis on the “McCormicks”


Archives and Museums:

Art Institute of Chicago. Search on their website for the Deering and McCormick family and their donated art work

Newberry Library. Chicago. Modern Manuscripts Department. The Chauncey McCormick Papers

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. West Branch Iowa. Chauncey McCormick and Herbert Hoover correspondence.

Hoover Institute Library and Archive. Stanford University Stanford, California.  Chauncey McCormick Papers. Chauncey McCormick’s food relief efforts after World War I and in Poland.

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