Farmers from the East found the broad and fertile prairies of McHenry County offered the perfect soil and climate for growing corn, wheat, oats, barley, and rye. This led the way for a flourishing dairy industry that eventually supplied milk to the city of Chicago. The first settlements appeared in 1835 in towns such as Crystal Lake, Woodstock, Harvard, and Cary. Families such as the Walkups, the Crandalls, the Beardsleys, the Stickneys, and the Terwilligers travelled by oxcart and rode on horseback from distant states. As word of the lush countryside spread, other farmers came from England, Ireland, and Germany to plow the fertile fields of the nation,s heartland.