Originally published in The Rock River Times. There was a point in Floyd Leach’s life when he must have felt that he led a charmed life.  He really had it all.  His wife was smart, beautiful and her family was financially well to do.  Her family came from Austria where they were considered nobility.  Floyd …

Ann Bergman and her roommate Rachel had decided to stay at their little apartment on School Street for the evening on August 7, 1962.  At least that was the plan before someone knocked on the door.  As soon as Rachel saw who it was, she knew their quiet night at home was over

Alma Anderson spent the early morning of June 18, 1957 as she often did.  Her son, LaVerne and his wife Lucille had joined Alma and her husband Eric for breakfast before leaving for work that day.  The family lived next door to each other on Oakes Avenue.  People would later testify how close the family …

Andersonville Prison.  That phrase conjures up horrible images of men living in conditions beyond comprehension.  It was notorious even back when it opened.  Any man who was taken prisoner feared being sent there.  Word had spread about the conditions that turned strong men into walking skeletons. The prison’s official name was Camp Sumter and it …

December 22, 1905 started out bright and chilly.  Mr. Enderle was walking down South Main Street shortly after 6:00a.m., when he noticed a man staggering into the Harbough’s Restaurant.  Enderle thought he recognized the man so he pushed open the door.  He found a man that he considered to be a close friend on the …

An article written in the Daily Gazette in March 1886 told the strange story of Goodliff family.  Mrs. Goodliff had suffered for some time with pain in her leg.  The pain eventually grew so bad that couple had to make the difficult decision to have Mrs. Goodliff’s leg amputated.

Most people in this area have heard of the Resurrection Mary story from Chicago.  But Rockford had its own hitchhiking ghost during the summer in 1933.  What makes this story especially intriguing is that the Chicago story was first reported in 1934 or 1935 (depending on the source).

Winnebago County Deputy Sheriff George Bubser thought he had seen it all.  He was the deputy sheriff of the county in 1921, during prohibition.  He had seen murders, suicides, and men who had been blinded by the illegal hooch that was sold on the streets.

Peter Reed was almost finished with work on November 7, 1889.  It was 6:00p.m. and he  had put in a long day at the Rockford Union Furniture Factory.  Peter was a well-respected carpenter and his role on that day was as a supervisor for some of the work being done on the new factory.  Peter …

Carol Neal was awakened by the sound of one of her young daughters screaming in an adjoining bedroom in the middle in the night.  Carol ran for the bedroom where she found two-year old Laura, crying and trembling.

That August night in 1895 was hot. The old man, Peter, rose from his bed and stood by the open window in his bedroom. The heat was not what disturbed him, however. It was a dream that had awakened him that night.

Margaret Burke led a hard life. She moved to Rockford around 1883, bringing her only surviving child William to the city from Janesville, Wisconsin. Mrs. Burke had buried two husbands and ten children in her 60 years

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