For an index of all of Kathi Kresol’s articles, alphabetically by title, click here: Article index by title


Truesdell Bridge Disaster

Dixon, Illinois has always been an important city because it has been a crossing point for the Rock River for centuries. The first white settler in the area was a man of French descent named Ogee that built a cabin along the riverbank in 1828. One of Ogee’s major contributions was continuing a ferry

Local Rockford Ties To A Horrible Tragedy

On July 24, 1915, Grace Stevens was more excited than she could remember. She was getting ready for her company picnic. Grace worked for the Chicago based Western Electric Company for the past three years and considered herself lucky to have secured such a position.
Grace was born in 1891 in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin.

The Strange Fate Of Mary Jonas

Mary Jonas lived in the Kickapoo, Wisconsin area for years with her family. They owned 160 acres that ran along the Kickapoo River. Her father, John and mother, Elizabeth brought their family to Wisconsin around the late 1850’s. The family was typical for the settlements in the area of the time. They moved their way

Legends and Lies — Charles Wright

Legends are by their very nature mysteries that can’t be proven either true or false. They spring from thin air, mostly fictional renditions of some story that one person heard from another person. Most times, everyone who hears it adds their own embellishments to the tale until it scarcely resembles the original story.

Mary E. Holland

When local farmer John McDougall knocked on the door of Margaret Grippen’s home on April 29, 1909, he couldn’t know that he was about to be swept up in the worst crime ever seen in the small town of Winnebago, Illinois. Margaret Grippen was a 60-year-old widow and had lived in WInnebago with her husband

Screams In The Night

The police didn’t know what they would find when they arrived at the old building on South Main Street. It was around 1:00 a.m. on October 24, 1972, when they got an anonymous tip that there was screaming coming from the old Capri Theater on South Main Street. The theater was not in use anymore

Rockford Public Library: 150 Years Of Service

The Rockford Public Library is celebrating one hundred-fifty years of service to the Rockford Community this year. This seems like good time to share some of the tales of its history. One of the favorite stories is about the beautifully carved wooden dog that was part of the Rockton Centre Branch for decades.

Lonely Struggle — Charles Patterson

The young man walking through the little cemetery wasn’t the least bit frightened on that chilly November night. Not at first anyway. Britton Thorsen’s father was the Sexton for the Newark Cemetery and he spent many hours there. Britton would later say that he had always found the cemetery to be very peaceful.

The Mysterious Ghost Ship of Lake Michigan

The Holiday Season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is often referred to as “The Most Wonderful Time of Year”.  But others point out that there is something beyond the colorful lights and tinsel that can make this time of the year seem eerie and dark.

Ice Cold Betrayal

It was January 1,1884 and George realized he had been wrong. He thought this day would be easier than the past few. But as he stood by the coffin, he knew that this day would be the hardest. Today was the day that he would bury his young wife.

The Mysterious Death of Theodore Lakoff

Theodore Lakoff had dreams like many who came from far away to call Rockford their home. He traveled from his home country of Bulgaria to Liverpool England in 1911. He was only 18 years old when he stepped off the passenger ship, Baltic in the New York harbor.



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