Winnebago National Bank

corner S. Main and Elm Sts. Succeeded to the banking business of Robertson and Starr, capital of this bank is $100,000. Thomas D. Robertson is President, M. Starr, cashier. Board of Directors: John Lake, Moses Bartlett, A.D. Forbes, W.A. Knowlton, Wm. A. Talcott, S.M. Church, more

Source: 1872-1873 Rockford City Directory

124 S. Main

Source: 1915 Rockford City Directory


Lake-Peterson House – Jenny’s Gingerbread

Lake - P   - 1

Source:  Jenny’s Gingerbread; a collection of recipes from The Jenny Lind Auxiliary

This house was built by John Lake.  It was also the Schmauss House for a number of years, of the family who owned a butchery business. It was also owned by Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Peterson for a time.

The Jenny Lind Auxiliary is associated with Swedish American Hospital who own the building in 2015

Lake -P  - 2

Rockford Early Settlers’ Society

Was organized March 12, 1870, and holds annual reunions.  The society numbers over one hundred members. John Lake, pres., Charles P. Brady, vice-pres., Duncan Ferguson, secretary, A.C.  Spafford, treas., W.P. Dennis, W.J. Cole, J. Spafford, directors.


Source: Bassett’s Rockford City Directory for 1879

Rockford Public Library – gifts

RPL cabinet photographs sm

“Fine Gift For the Library; Collection of Cabinet Photographs of 91 First Settlers of the County. Frank L. Lake the Donor. Old Time Photographer Here Secured Exhibit Over Two Score Years Ago,”

“Some two score years ago the late George W. Barnes, then a local photographer, conceived the idea of securing the photographs of the first settlers of Winnebago county, the pioneers who by hard work, industry and self denial, cleared out forests, ploughed our prairies, and out of the wilderness carved a civilized community.”

“For years this group picture adorned the Barnes gallery on South Main street, and when Mr. Barnes retired from business, the group passed into the possession of his successor, A.N. Rockstead. The late John Lake discovered the framed group in the Rockstead gallery, recognized its value to posterity as the only group of first settlers known to exist, and purchased same.”

“With Mr. Lake’s death the group descended to his son, Frank L. Lake, and the latter, realizing that such a possession really belonged to Rockford and should be kept as en enduring monument in some local public institution, empowered his attorney, Robert Rew, to make presentation of same to the public library board of the city, Mr. Rew having been identified with this board.”

“Mr. Rew forwarded to President O.F. Barbour of the library board…..”

Source: Rockford Daily Register Gazette September 9, 1913