“Chicago Fire Had Role in Launching Furniture Industry Here”

Chicago Fire sm

Source: Rockford Morning Star Mar. 20, 1938

Chicago Fire – Oct. 8, 1871  Jonas Peters was working in a furniture plant that fire destroyed, so he came back to Rockford and tried to find interested parties to produce furniture.

In 1874 Gilbert Woodruff interested Johnson and Anderson into starting Forest City Furniture. Began in 1875, pictured above. Rockford Chair and Furniture, Palace Furniture, Rockford Excelsior Furniture Co., Co-Operative Furniture and Standard Furniture Co. soon followed.


Mechanics Furniture Co. – 1891

Mechanics Furniture Co.  Formed in the Spring of 1890, with the following officers: L.M. Noling, President; John Ek, Vice-President; Jonas Peters, Secretary; A. P. Floberg, Treasurer; Alfred Kjerner, superintendent, Manufacture a line of hall trees, desks, book-cases and cabinets.  Capital, $75,000; employ eighty hands, with an annual pay roll of $40,000, and a product of $125,000.  The factory is of brick and frame, located at the corner of Seminary Street and the C. & I. Crossing [Chicago & Iowa Railway], The building is 80 x 144 feet in size and four stories high.

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