Memorial Day was set aside to remember and honor those men and women who have died during their service to the United States Military.  It became an official holiday in 1868.  This area has always been filled with many men and women who joined the fight to protect this country in our times of need

The Little Spring Creek winds its way through Whiteside County near the small town of Coleta.  The creek has been drawing people to its banks for many years.  The area once hosted hay rides through the woods along the creek for families to enjoy.  

Susan Ilsley was very concerned on the evening of June 3, 1858.  The torrential rains that started to fall around 5:00 p.m. that day were still raging by 10:00 p.m.  She knew her husband Horatio was also worried though of course, he didn’t show it.  As a pastor, he was always the first to calm everyone else’s fears. 

Forty one years ago, on September 27, 1977, 17-year old Louise Betts was dropped off near a shopping mall by her mother, Nancy.  No one would ever see Louise alive again.  When Louise didn’t come home, her parents called the police to report her missing. 

It has been almost forty years since the Rockford Area Crime Stoppers was formed in 1981.  Former Police Chief Delbert Peterson began to develop the program in March of 1980.  Though the stories vary on how Peterson learned of the program, he was intrigued by the thought of a program that united the police department, the local media and the community in order to fight crime.

In its heyday, the Wagon Wheel Resort was considered the premiere place to visit in this area.  The creator of this legendary place was Walt Williamson.  Walt started his quest in 1936 with a small loan and a desire to open a truck stop and root beer stand.

The Frederickson family was very excited on that August morning in 1928.  Arthur and Edith were the parents of three children; Roland 15 years old, Rhoda, 13 years old and Reynold who was 11 at the time.  The whole family had been invited by Edith’s brothers, Arthur and Carl A. Sall to the join them for a special day. 

People who knew Clayton lngersoll, or Casey as his friends called him, would describe him as solid and dependable.  They also said that Clayton was very patriotic and felt the need to defend his country when the time came.

The summer of 1971 was a violent one in Rockford’s history.  It would later be labeled  “The Summer of Fear” by the local newspapers. By summer’s end, there were ten homicides in Rockford, the most for that early in the year in over a decade.

Cemeteries have attracted people for as long as they have existed.  Some are drawn to the place because they have a loved one that has been laid to rest there.  Others want to experience the beautiful statues and artwork left as a lasting legacy. 

There are many mysteries contained in the following story.  For instance, it is not known how long the body had been lying there before someone saw it on June 22, 1944.  People would later state that they had noticed the man stretched out on North Alpine Road as early as 7:00 a.m.  But no one reported it to police until 11:45 when Ed Belin finally called the body in.

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