When the telegram arrived at the cottage on Brown Street, everyone in the family was surprised. The telegram announced the visit of one of Sarah Sherman’s daughters, Hattie. Hattie lived in La Crosse, Wisconsin since her husband’s death six years ago.

The Knight family was like a lot of people in Rockford in 1927. They moved here to get a fresh start.  Rockford had a great reputation for job opportunities across the country and drew many people here. 

Isaac Knight was 43 years old in 1927 and desperately needed a new beginning.  His family had lived in the Red Boiling Springs Tennessee area for years. Isaac had run into some trouble and spent some time in prison. After he finished serving his sentence Isaac wanted to leave the past and Tennessee far behind them.

Grief affects all of us differently.  It can rob some of us of the very spark to live while others use it to propel themselves to reach out and comfort others.  Some, like the family in this story turn it into a family commitment.

Alice and Clemen Schneider were at first confused by the phone call from their daughter, Terry. Terry called to tell them that her sister Rae Ann, called Birdie by everyone, hadn’t shown up to Terry’s house for the Christmas holiday.
The couple had left their home in what was then known as North Park (now the Machesney Park area) to spend the 1972 Christmas holiday with Clemen’s father in North Dakota.

Some people say that they don’t sense ghosts. But there are some who claim to know just by walking into a house that there are spirits lingering there. The family that moved into a house on the corner of School Street and Central Avenue knew almost immediately that they had some unseen presence in their new home.

Anyone reading Ralph Middleton’s obituary printed in the Register Star on July 30, 1998 would have been impressed by his life. The article mentioned his 62 years of employment at Ingersoll and that he served in the National Guard. Ralph was also voted Rockford’s Father of the Year in 1950. By all accounts, Ralph led a successful life filled with many accomplishments.

It had been a special night for Grace and Charles Kalb. December 22, 1937 was Charles’ 46th birthday and their wedding anniversary. The couple were married for 24 years by then. They had already celebrated with a fancy party for their friends at the Faust Hotel.

Rockford has been very excited about sports lately. Native Fred Van Vleet has managed to bring Rockford together in a way that nothing has for decades. Though most people have forgotten, Rockford has celebrated a rich heritage of great athletes almost from the very beginning.

The two young girls that lived at 3013 Edelweiss Road in Rockford were getting ready for bed around 11:30 on the night of December 4, 1979. They lived in a duplex that was a mirror image of their neighbor’s place and they heard strange noises coming from the bedroom of the adjoining apartment.

Over 60 years have passed since the last time Dorothy Wiggs’ family heard from her.  The 27 year old had an appointment at the Canfield Clinic on Jefferson Street on June 30, 1959.  No one reported her missing until later when she didn’t show up for her shift at Amerock on Auburn Street.

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