WW II Army – Welch, Pfc. Jason

in “Beaty’s Raiders” an A-20 Havoc light bomber group entered Army Air Forces  on July, 1942. Previously employed at George D. Roper

Source: Rockford Morning Star 9/8/1944

awarded Bronze Battle Star, for his part in round-the-clock bombings of enemy  occupied territory. A photo technician with 9th Air Force. In service since July 1942. Son of Mr and Mrs Wesley Welch

Source: Rockford Morning Star 9/9/1944

“War Products to Jam Temple” – March 1944

War Products - 1

Source:  Rockford Register-Republic   March 18, 1944

War Products - 2

War Products - 3



George D. Roper Co. – 1919

Eclipse Stove

Source: McCoy’s Rockford City Directory for 1919


Roper, George D. Corporation, (Eclipse Gas Stove Division; Trahern Pump Division; American Foundry Division; Rockford Vitreous Enamel Mfg Division) George D. Roper, President; Mabon P. Roper, V-President – Treas.; John P. Curtin, V-Pres.; Watson E. Derwent, V-Pres; Harry J. Jilbert, V-Pres-Gen. Supt., 707-709 S. Main St.

Source: McCoy’s Rockford City Directory for 1919

Franklin Place, 1019 – Roper House

Franklin Pl, 1019 - 1

Built before 1912 for George D. Roper and wife Kate B., who president of Eclipse Gas Stove Co.

(Rockford Township Assessor says built in 1904)

The picture above is from the book “Rockford 1917”

Franklin Place, 1019 - Koch

same house, in 2011, now 3-family apartments, owned by Carol Diane Koch, according to www.rockfordtownshipassessor.net .

Photo source: Jan Carter. 2011


Van Wie Gas Stove Co. – 1891

Van Wie Gas Stove Co.

Source of photograph: “Industrial and Picturesque Rockford,” Eugene Browne and F. Ford Rowe, 1891

Van Wie (The) Gas Stove Co.,  George S. Roper, prest.; George D. Roper, secy. and treas. Wholesale manufacturers of gas, cooking and heating stoves, hot water generators, etc.  Huffman Boulevard.                       Source: 1892 Philippi’s Rockford City Directory

Van Wie Avenue is one block south of Fulton Ave. and may indicate location of factory.  See 1892 Winnebago County Atlas below. The factory was on th east side of Huffman Blvd., about a block south of the Railroad Tracks, between Van Wie and Fulton Ave.

Van Wie 1892 Atlas