John Cooper would be the first to say that he had been blessed by life. Born in Exeter, New York on May 6, 1844, John came of age just as the Civil War began and he proudly wore the colors of the Union Army during the conflict. He felt very fortunate to survive the war …
This is the story of the very first Rockford police officer slain in the line of duty. His name is listed as Lorenzo Gillogly in the modern papers, but people back in 1917 knew him as “Jack.”
Northern Illinois was once inhabited by the Native American tribe known as the Potawatomi. The major chief for this area was Chief Big Thunder, supposedly named this for the sound of his thundering voice. Before
The holiday season is always filled with excitement and anticipation. Stores of all types feature sales and gimmicks, always competing for the most eye-catching, dramatic way to entice shoppers inside. But sometimes
This is the story of little Freddie Griffin. Freddie was a very energetic 6-year-old who lived in downtown Rockford. Freddie’s family was poor, and they lived in a small house by the river. Mrs. Griffin supported herself and the six children by working as a washer woman for the Spafford family. She was at work the day this story took place.
People have always been fascinated by what happens after we die. Thousands of stories have been shared about personal encounters with the “other side.” Rockford newspapers have reported these experiences since the early 1890s.
One of the first written accounts of a personal encounter with a ghostly presence in Rockford
Rockford was a pretty wild place in 1856. The city was making advances in what would become the foundation for the manufacturing boom that was to put Rockford on the map. But in the early days, crime was very common. Robbery and cattle rustling were especially prevalent.
Most people would think that spending time looking for an old abandoned cemetery rather strange. But there are a few of us who think doing exactly that is more like a treasure hunt. Those who know me know that every road trip will likely include at least one cemetery along the way. People would probably …
On July 21, 1922 while tearing down two houses “to the south of Water Street between East State and Walnut Streets” a mystery was uncovered. The owner of the property, Daniel Shoudy, was assisting with the tear-down of houses that were located next to the Rockford Steam Boiler works when he discovered what he described as a “grass covered cairn”.
In March of 1945, the Allies were making great progress in the European Campaign. They began the largest serial assault in history during that March. Over 1,800 American and British airplanes in columns that stretched through the skies for over 500 miles were used to transport the parachutist troops into position for a massive strike. …
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