When bones washed up on the shores of Lake Michigan near Manitowoc in 1947, folks speculated that the bones might be a clue to a mystery that had been unfolding since the beginning of May of that year. They were wrong as it turned out. The bones weren’t even human.
“We are pained to be called upon to record a terrible and bloody tragedy which occurred yesterday at one and a half o’clock.” These words begin the newspaper article that described the death of a young man named Banks Dixon, he was 36 years old and he had moved from England to Rockford around 1854.
When the weatherman on January 9th of 1948 promised that the warm temperatures would continue, Albert Larson was glad. He was a trapper by trade and wanted to use these warm days to his advantage. His plan was to take his boat along the Kishwaukee River and set his traps.
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.
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