Take a look at Rockford's rich history! Click on the links in the list to go to each section on the page:. Rockford, Illinois, was first settled in by Germanicus Kent, Thatcher Blake, and Lewis Lemon, who came from Galena and established themselves on the west bank of Rock River; and Daniel Shaw Haight, who founded a settlement on the east bank. Lemon, a slave, later bought his freedom, but stayed in the area as a truck farmer. Halfway between Chicago and Galena, the community was briefly known as "Midway", but quickly became known as "Rockford", because of the excellent ford across Rock River.
During the second half of the 20th century, Rockford struggled alongside many Rust Belt cities. Worked as a heavy equipment operator for 34 years at Winnebago Jammie presly nude Hwy Dept, retiring in Along with production of agricultural machines, Swedish furniture cooperatives established the city as a manufacturing base. He was a loving son, husband, father, brother and friend. Rockford and surrounding areas are prone to Model train show rockford auburn thunderstorms during March, April, May, and June. She collected Coca Cola memorabilia, enjoyed gardening, raising dogs, and spending time with her many friends. His children, Rob and Trisha, and his granddaughters, Keys, and Jayla meant the absolute world to him. Once home to various Scots, Canadians, and New Englanders, as well as a railroad line to Kenoshathe park's 3, acres are now utilized for camping, hiking, fishing and boating, and hunting.
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Take a look at Rockford's rich history! Click on the links in the list to go to each section on the page:. Rockford, Illinois, was first settled in by Germanicus Kent, Thatcher Blake, and Lewis Lemon, who came from Galena and established themselves on the west bank of Rock River; and Daniel Shaw Haight, who founded a settlement on the east bank. Lemon, a slave, later bought his freedom, but stayed in the area as a truck farmer.
Halfway between Chicago and Galena, the community was briefly known as "Midway", but quickly became known as "Rockford", because of the excellent ford across Rock River. A post office was established in The settlement was incorporated as a village in , and chartered as a city in The first weekly newspaper was published in and the first successful daily newspaper appeared in Between and the city had three daily papers.
The earliest settlers were chiefly from New York state and New England, but the city early acquired a modest cosmopolitan character. Large numbers of Irish-born immigrants arrived in the s, and a few Swedish immigrants in After the Civil War, the Swedes began to come in large numbers and quickly became the largest ethnic group in the city. They settled chiefly on the east side, and in areas along 7th Street or Kishwaukee Avenue the Swedish language was as common as English as late as the s.
Other significant ethnic groups that had a presence in Rockford were the Italians after , Poles and Lithuanians after , Laotians, Vietnamese, and Hispanics after One of the founders of the city, Lewis Lemon, was an African American, but the black population of the city was very small until the First World War, after which people from the south, particularly Arkansas and Mississippi, arrived. Rockford Female Seminary was chartered in , became Rockford College in , and became fully coeducational in On July 1, the college became Rockford University.
Rockford Public Library, the second such institution in Illinois, opened to the public in August Rockford is the county seat of Winnebago County, and until the s was a sleepy country village.
By Rockford had become a significant, growing industrial center, noted for production of the John H. Manny reaper and other agricultural machinery. By the s a furniture industry was begun, using the talents of Swedish craftsmen and capitalists, and in the first half of the 20th century Rockford was the second largest furniture-manufacturing center in the United States. Many of the furniture companies were cooperatives, reflecting a different business approach from that of the old Yankee entrepreneur, with laborers and craftsmen holding significant power.
The agricultural implement industry was in decline by the First World War, and the furniture industry was severely damaged by the Great Depression and the Second World War. By the end of the s both were extinct in the city.
Rockford's 20th Century industry revolved around machine tools, heavy machinery, automotive, aerospace, fastener and cabinet hardware products, and packaging devices and concepts. The city's industrial background has produced many important and interesting inventions, among them the Nelson knitting machine, airbrush, electric brake, electric garage door opener, dollar bill changer, and electronic dartboard. Before the Civil War, Rockford was the center of an avid anti-slavery region.
In , Rep. Anson Miller introduced a bill in the state legislature in an unsuccessful attempt to repeal the Illinois "Black Laws. In , Senator John P. In , abolitionist H. Ford Douglass was briefly a resident of the city, helping in Lincoln's reelection campaign. Anna Williams The decision supported African Americans' rights to unhindered use of public transportation, but was decided on such narrow legal grounds it was cited in support of the "separate but equal" doctrine established by the United States Supreme Court in Plessy v.
Ferguson When war broke out in , one of the first Illinois military contingents to be mobilized was the Rockford Zouaves. Many of the Zouaves had been members of an earlier company, the Rockford City Greys, which was the first American company trained in the Zouave drill by Elmer Ellsworth.
Their captain, Garrett Nevius, eventually became Colonel of the 11th and was killed at Vicksburg in Another prominent Rockford soldier was Lt. Colonel Edward F. Ellis, of the 15th regiment, who was acting colonel when he was killed at Shiloh in From July to November , the city was the site of Camp Fuller, training ground for the 74th, 92nd, 95th, and 96th infantry regiments. Another Rockford man, Jason Marsh, was Colonel of the 74th. In the six years following the Civil War, Rockford became nationally known in baseball circles, with the remarkable success of its Forest City Baseball Club.
Both stars had been hired away by Boston after the season, so the club's season was not particularly successful, despite the presence of Adrian Anson, playing his first major league season. Spaulding, Barnes, and Anson went on to significant careers in the National Association and its successor, the National League. Barnes, the first batting champion of the National League, is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Rockford.
The city was a member of the Northwestern League, the first minor league, in , and since that time has frequently had a minor league club. Rockford's municipal politics in the 19th Century often revolved around liquor issues, the "drys" and the "wets" often being about equal in electoral strength. In the s, a national organization, the American Protective Association, anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant, had some effect in municipal politics, but the early 20th Century saw the rise of organized labor as a potent force locally.
In , Mark Jardine, nominee of the Union Labor League, was elected mayor, and was reelected as an independent in In the 'teens, the labor movement cooperated with the Socialists, and the two groups were able to elect aldermen and other officials, but not a mayor.
Anti-war protests spearheaded by the Industrial Workers of the World led to arrests in , and May Day was celebrated with a large parade, numbering between 1, and 3, participants. In January , Rockford was a principal target of the infamous Palmer Raids, and between and citizens were summarily arrested, charged with conspiracy and sedition.
Defended by Clarence Darrow, Person was found not guilty in April Undaunted by official terrorism, citizens of Rockford elected a new mayor in , J. Herman Hallstrom, nominee of the newly formed Labor League. Hallstrom was a Swedish immigrant, a veteran, a union president, a former Socialist, and former editor of the newspaper Rockford Labor News.
He was reelected twice, lost, then reelected twice again, before being permanently retired in by C. Henry Bloom, a former Socialist alderman with widespread labor support. Bloom served as mayor until , with one four-year interruption. In the s, the city's labor movement reawakened after a placid quarter century and a succession of moderate Democratic mayors were elected, oddities in a region of pronounced Republican inclinations.
In the first half of the 20th Century, Rockford was an important military city. Camp Grant was opened south of the city in , and thousands of soldiers were trained here for World War I. The camp was deactivated in , and in was turned over to the state of Illinois as a permanent training center for the National Guard.
Besides this use, it was the home of a Civilian Conservation Corps unit in In , Camp Grant was reactivated as a U. Army base and was a reception center for draftees, a training center for medical corpsmen, and finally a separation center.
Between and , German prisoners of war were housed at the camp to a maximum number of just over 2, In the last third of the 20th Century, Rockford dealt with many problems common to northern industrial cities, including tree blight, urban renewal, and, in the early s, severe unemployment.
In , a group of concerned citizens began efforts to eliminate segregation and racial discrimination in the public school system.
Currently, Rockford is the state's third largest city with a population of , in It is the oldest community center in Rockford and one of the oldest African-American community centers in the state. Fred hosts an annual summer camp in Rockford. Lundin's history is well written and illustrated and has an intelligent interpretative framework, which makes it unique among the several histories of the city.
Arranged topically and written by a committee, with no index, it suffers from lack of coherence and chronology. Some of the chapters are interpretatively weak, and many are now outdated, but the volume is frequently interesting and provides much information not readily available elsewhere. For 19th Century history, the various books of Charles A. Church are indispensable, although they are chiefly chronicles or annals, rather than works of analysis and interpretation.
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Auburn HS surprises Rockford alderman with goodbye sendoff before military service
This message will not appear on the live site, but only within the editor. The Yext script you entered is empty or incorrect:. Gregory and his wife Cheryl were together for 43 wonderful years. Gregory spent his life as a Union Journeyman Roofer, was an avid fisherman and loved working in his yard. He loved his children and wife very much. His favorite movie was the Godfather Trilogy. Gregory was a big man with a big sense of humor and was loved by his many family and friends. He is survived by grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and special friends.
Rockford, IL Stateline Cremations is assisting the family, N. Alpine Rd. She enjoyed painting, coloring, watching HGTV, and was an avid reader.
She loved kids and touched many lives over the years. She was a free spirit and fun loving. A private Celebration of Life will be at a later date.
Alpine Rd, Loves Park. Married Micki Caldwell Bietau on January 23, He earned patents for cabinet hinges while working for Amrock. He also worked from home for Wesco in Indiana. He was a member of A.
He was of the Catholic faith and a former member of St. He enjoyed golfing and riding motorcycles. He was also very athletic and played football. The family would like to thank Heartland Hospice for their loving care of Mike. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. Loves Park. William S. Wood William S. Wood, Sr. He was a member of AA. He enjoyed leatherworking, making purses, wallets, and book covers. He enjoyed bird watching and spending time with his dogs.
Survivors include his son William S. Wood, Jr. Fellowship time will follow the service. Born September 7, in Cairo, Egypt. He was the son of Ali and Anna Amarosa Nusret. Yash grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and immigrated to the United States at age He met Irma Dorner, his loving wife of 53 years in Chicago. They raised their family in Streamwood, IL.
Yash worked as a machinist in the Tool and Die Industry. He adored his family; his grandchildren were his heart. Yash was an avid fisherman who loved boating, camping and barbequing. He greeted everyone he met with a warm smile. Visitation pm followed by memorial service. Family welcomes you to a luncheon after the service. Born March 8, in Chicago.
He was always willing to do anything to help his family and friends. Mike was a loving father to his son James Michael Nusret. Jimmy Boy was the light of his world. Also leaving behind many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and his friends that were like his second family. Born December 8, in Rockford; son of Herbert C. Williams Mayer. Served in the US Army. Richard lived in Montana for 18 and was a farm hand and volunteered for food banks.
He was an independent spiritual Christian. He was an avid reader and enjoyed studying world governments. He also loved spending time on his computer, and listening to old gospel hymns and old country music.
He is predeceased by his parents and 2 nieces. A Celebration of Life is yet to be determined. Alpine Road, Loves Park. Nancy C. Delucia-Ferrin Nancy C. Nancy enjoyed playing cards with family and friends. She loved her granddaughter, JoJo; her fir baby, Bella; her hummingbirds and was a die hard Packer fan. She was employed with United Healthcare, Rockford for 16 years, before retiring in to enjoy her hummingbirds and her beautiful backyard.
Predeceased by her parents. A celebration of life service for family and friends will be held from — p. Stateline Cremations assisted the family. Joseph T. He often traveled for work with the union. He was always willing to help friends and neighbors with home projects using his remarkable skills. A Remembrance Party will be held on Friday, Sept. Also, due to many of his Union Brothers working out of the area at this time, a Remembrance Party will be held on Saturday, October 5, at pm at Whiffletree Tavern, Main St.
Friends and family are asked to come with a favorite story or memory to share at these gatherings. Ann loved to cook and spend time with her family, especially her grandchildren. She also enjoyed reading and was an avid Bingo player; she played at multiple places including Ken Rock and Harmony Club. She also traveled extensively with her aunt and uncle Lenora and Bob Ruehl. She is preceded in death by her mom, husband, son, grandson Ace, grandma Abbie Skinner, and uncle Bob Ruehl.
Born August 21, in St. Louis, Missouri; son of Clarence Sr. He also was a volunteer firefighter for about 10 years. He was a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoyed working on cars. You could always find him tinkering on something in his garage. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Joyce Maglio. A private Celebration of Life has yet to be determined.
Cremation rites have been accorded. Michael F. Guzzo Michael F. Guzzo, , of Rockford, Illinois passed away peacefully on September 4, Mike married Nellie Ferry on April 30, and spent over 45 happy years with her until her passing in Mike and Nellie did everything together. Fishing was one of their favorite pastimes. A decorated U. Army veteran, he served during World War II. He received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star, among other service awards.
After being Honorably Discharged from the service, he and his brother built a successful body shop business in Rockford, School Street Garage.
Mike lived his life in such an exemplary way. He was a loving son, husband, father, brother and friend.