Veterans Who Have Passed–John Bradley Sullivan

Source:  Rockford Register Star, Aug. 14, 2020.


Magna store, 3915 E. State St., closed March 22, 1997, demolished April 30, 2020 (formerly Spartan’s Department Store and Arlan’s Department Store)

Sources: Demolition photo courtesy 23 WIFR April 30, 2020; Google Image captured May 2019; “Jewel Opens Local Bazaar,” Rockford Register Republic, August 31, 1976; “Cash Registers start talking as Magna opens on East State,” Rockford Register Star, August 17, 1983; photo by Keven Haas, Rockford Register Star, April 30, 2010


Veterans Who Have Passed: William Elsasser

Source:  Rockford Register Star, Feb. 15, 2020.

Rockford Journal, 5/25/1978 – Page 22

Source: Rockford Journal, 5/25/1978, page 22

Rockford Police Relief Association, 42nd Biennial Ball – 1986

Source: Rockford Police Relief Association, 42nd Biennial Ball, May 23, 1986, p. 62


John Castrogiovanni – 1981

Jim Quinn photo, above

“Hilander still uses Dad’s ideas” by Cathy Rogers

Source: Rockford Register Star 8/10/1981 and also Rockfordiana:  Biographies, CAR – CAZ

Construction begins next month on the Fourth Hilander Store in Rockford; essentially one for each of the four brothers who were born and raised in the grocery business,

The new store will be at Spring Creek and Mulford. A general contractor has been hired to oversee building plans for the building. Previously the patriarch, Joseph, handled those details.  “He was the boss,” said number 3 son, John.

Joseph, their father, immigrated from Italy in the early 1900’s and sent for his mother and siblings a few years later.  He was first employed at Nelson Knitting Co. and worked part time at a local meat market.  Anthony and Joseph persuaded Joseph’s boss to lend them $1000 to open their own meat market, Sanitary Meat Market, 1006 S. Main St. Within 6 months the loan was paid off.  In 1937, the brothers, opened the second meat market at 2219 East State St., featuring homemade Italian sausages. In 1947, the grocery chain decided to move and took the plunge into the full grocery business.  By 1955, the third Castrogiovanni store opened on South Wyman St.. During the past two decades, three more were added to the family chain.  The store at 1715 Rural St. opened in 1959, the one at S. Alpine Rd. and Charles St. in 1966, and the last one at 3710 N. Main St. in 1977.  During that same period the store on So. Wyman and East State St. closed.

4 sons are:  Anthony, based at the Alpine Store, Alfred, based on N. Main St., John, based at Rural St. and Joseph handles the grocery and non-food items at the Alpine Store. The stores now employ about 360 people.  Another recent venture is Giovanni’s Restaurant, 610 N. Bell School Rd., in 1977.

Frances “Fran” (Dodaro) Castrogiovanni – 2013 obituary

Source:  Rockford Register Star 9/8/2013

Castrogiovanni, Anthony A. (wife Lena) – from 1979 obituary

Castrogiovanni, Anthony A. (wife Lena) (owner of Sanitary Meat Market)  homeowner 1519 Montague St.,  Source:   1937 Rockford City Directory

Castrogiovanni, Anthony A.  “Anthony Castrogiovanni, grocery founder, dies”      Source:  Rockford Morning Star 11/15/1979

Anthony “Tony” Castrogiovanni, 77, 1509 Montague St., co-founder of a grocery business that grew into Hilander Foods, died Wednesday in St. Anthony hospital after a brief illness. He came to Rockford with his parents, 70 years ago, from Aragona, Sicily.

Mr. Castrogiovanni and his brother, Joseph, started out in the meat business in 1919 at 1016 S Main St. He was associated with his brother in the first Hilander Foods market on Rockford’s east side Highland District. Before his retirement, he was President of Hilander Foods, Inc., a business made up of members of the Castrogiovanni family.

Member St. Anthony Catholic Church, member and past president of Aragona Club.

Survivors include wife, Lena, a son Anthony F. Castrogiovanni, a Rockford dentist, 3 daughters: Joanne Celitti and Patricia Di Tullio, both of Rockford, and Margaret Castelli, of Naperville, and 13 grandchildren.

Gasparini and Oliveri Funeral Home, St. Anthony Catholic Church and St. Mary Catholic Cemetery.

Source:  Rockford Morning Star 11/15/1979, and also Rockfordiana: Biographies – CAR – CAZ, 1967 to present