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October 7, 2008 "Interview with the Landmeier Girls"

Village Trustee and Historical Society member, Rick Gieser, did some digging. With help from NBC, WMAQ, and the Museum of Broadcast Communications, a copy of a 1955 black-and-white episode of "Out on the Farm" was dug up. This show was broadcast live -- a reality show of the 50's -- on NBCTV Sunday nights at 5:00pm. 

Designed to be educational, this hour-long or half-hour long pseudo documentary portrayed life on the farm. This farm was, in fact, the Landmeier farm, run by Wilbert and Bertha Landmeier and their four children, Joyce, Janet, Judy and Jimmy. In those days, the 160 acre parcel of dairy and general crop farm was 'near Cloverdale' but today the Village of Carol Stream's Bielawski Municipal Building sits atop that once fertile soil. 

Held at the Village Hall board room on October 7, 2008, this interview with two of the Landmeier girls was well attended. Joyce Landmeier Hesterman and her sister Janet Landmeier Zoellick reminisced about the filming of the reality TV show, beginning in 1954. A 40-man crew 'invaded' their farm weekly and showed families across America what life was like on this Midwestern farm.

The interview, by Gieser, was followed by a question and answer period and then the treat -- a showing of the vintage 1955 footage of "Out on the Farm" - an episode where 2-week old Arlene, the calf was literally pushed across the farm and fed by Joyce. 

Judy Hesterman later lived in Bloomingdale for many years and now resides in St. Charles. Janet Zoellick now lives in Bloomingdale.

Others in attendance were:

  • Elaine Dieter Stark, wife of the late Warren Stark, whose family came to the area in 1846.
  • Ruth Hessling Schmitz, whose father owned both Cloverdale Tap and at one time, The Gables. 
  • Jean Stanke Buttles, who attended the 'one-room schoolhouse' in Cloverdale, former district office of School District 93, on Old Gary.

Also in attendance, Mayor Frank Saverino, Village Manager Joe Breinig and his mother Mary Breinig, Dick and Marianne Gieser, Rick and Kim Gieser and their son Ricky. From the Historical Society Barbara O'Rahilly, Jan Smith, Carole Ellermeier and Luanne Triolo. Also Jack and Pat Williamson, Donna Dinges, Jean Balog, Dee Spink and others.

Janet Landmeier Zoellick  and Judy Landmeier Hesterman and are introduced by Carol Stream Village Trustee Rick Gieser. Rick Gieser (right) interviews Judy Landmeier Hesterman (left) and Janet Landmeier Zoellick (center). 
Judy Hesterman, Paul Josef, and Jean Balog (right). Janet Landmeier Zoellick (left) and Judy Landmeier Hesterman (right) chat with neighbors and friends after the interview.
Steve Ravanesi listens to Rick Gieser Ruth Hessling Schmitz and Dick Gieser.
Jack and Pat Williamson (center), Landmeier friends from church Jean Stanek Buttles and Elaine Dieter Stark.

The Carol Stream Historical Society (630) 665-0686 Email
2008 Carol Stream Historical Society