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What is the history of Rockford, Illinois, USA?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore Rockford, Illinois, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois, USA

"Rockford, a flourishing city of Illinois, the capital of Winnebago co., is situated on the Rock River at the convergence of four trunk railroad lines, having 75 trains daily, 93 miles W.N.W. of Chicago, and about 20 miles S. by W. of Beloit, Wis. It contains 35 commodious churches, a school system embracing 74 public schools, a state and 7 national banks, 29 incorporated furniture companies, an elegant hotel erected at a cost of $250,000, a fine government building ($100,000), a public library of 18,500 volumes, and manufactures of cottons, woollens, paper, watches, iron products and machinery, farming utensils, brewery products, &c. Its manufacturing establishments number about 200 and give employment to about 12,000 hands. Thirty-two miles of electric railway traverse its streets, and 7 artesian wells afford an abundance of excellent water. Three daily and 5 weekly newspapers are published here. Pop. in 1880, 13,129; in 1890, 23,584."

Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ...
Joseph Thomas
January 1, 1895
J.B. Lippincott


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Old Photos, Pictures, Advertisements and Postcards from Rockford, Illinois, USA


Rockford, Illinois, USA
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Brown School

"The Brown school, erected in 1892, derives its name from Judge William Brown, who held many offices of public trust and was for twenty years judge of the circuit court." genealogytrails.com

Rockford, Illinois, USA
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Masonic Temple

Rockford, Illinois, USA
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Downtown Section, Rockford, Ill.
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History and News of Rockford, Illinois, USA

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  • News  1877 - TERRIBLE DISASTER.
    CHICAGO, May 11. - A Tribune's special from Rockford, Ills., says: A pall has fallen over what this morning was a happy community. The Winnebago... Read MORE...

  • News  1890 - NARROW ESCAPE OF WORKMEN.
    ROCKFORD, Ill., March 25. - Special Telegram---About 8 o'clock this morning the new factory of the Star Furniture Company collapsed, ruining it... Read MORE...

  • News  1900 - Mishap At City Quarry. Bert Miller Meets With A Terrible Tumble Breaking One Leg.
    And Bruising Head and Body-Fell Thirty Feet from Rocky Ledge to Stone Floor Below-At City Hospital.

    Bert Miller, a young man residing at 1027... Read MORE...

  • 1906
    Rockford, a city, capital of Winnebago co, Ill., is situated on the Rock River and on the Illinois Central, the Chicago and Northwestern and other... Read MORE...

  • News  1908 - FIRE AT ROCKFORD, ILL.
    ROCKFORD, Ill., March 23. - Fire early today damaged the business block occupied by the Rockford & Interurban company and the W. Clark Printing... Read MORE...

  • News  1944 - Woman Dies as Car Hits Tree - Car Skids on Ice on South Main Road
    Mrs. Ruth Williamson, 30, Rochelle, was killed at 3:40 a.m. Sunday when she lost control of her automobile on the ice on South Main road a half mile... Read MORE...

  • News  1948 - Burned when Sparkler Ignites Girl’s Dress
    A 7-year-old was recovering last night from painful burns on her left arm and right leg suffered about 9 p.m. Sunday when a sparkler ignited her... Read MORE...

Rockford, Illinois, USA Genealogy

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Updated: 5/17/2019 8:46:10 AM

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