Barbour, Orion Ford

born Sept. 30, 1834, in Perry, Lake County, Ohio education at Hiram College, Painsville, Ohio; roomed with James Garfield, 20th US President. In early 1850’s taught in Toledo, Ohio. Married Eliza A. Harlett Taylor in Aurora, IL on 7/17/1860. Applied for job at South Rockford School and was accepted. In 1866 appointed principal of Kent School; 1876 appointed  Dean of Library Board. Eight weeks before his death 4/26/1915. struck with grippe

Source: Nuggets of History May-June 1968 & in Rockfordiana – Biography  Bab- Bax pre 1966

O.F. Barbour

from “The Old Settler’s Corner”. Born in Lee County, Ohio began teaching at age 18. He worked for Robert Beatty when first in Rockford.           Beatty owned a dry goods store in Metropolitan Block. 1866 there was an opening for a principal for South Rockford. The school was an old wooden building, 2 stories high. In 1867 the new stone building was erected. He saw schools increase from three to 21. Article contains copy of his poem, “Twilight Reverie”

Source: Rockfordiana Biography & Rockford Morning Star 3/8/?

“Prof. O.F. Barbour is Dead” Prominent Principal of Kent School whose fame has spread, “Passed away at home, 512 North Court Street After a Long Illness, leaves hosts of former pupils… served on Library Board, President of Board 1883, 1889 – 1901 and again from 1910 – 1915. Illness began several weeks ago with an attack of grippe was born Sept. 30, 1834 at Perry, Lake County, Ohio became known all over the state, and at times, was president of Illinois Principals Association. He is survived by wife, son, Will J. Barbour of LeRoy, Ohio, daughter Grace Barbour of Chicago, stepson, A.O. Taylor, brother: Dr. L. P. Barbour, Placentia, California brother: Hendrick H. Barbour, Huntsburg, Ohio; sister, Mrs. Mary J. Barrell, Middleville, Michigan brother, George C. Barbour, Center Lake, Michigan; brother Emilius Barbour of Speed, Kansas brother, Rev. James E. Barbour of Pawtucket, R.I. and Grant Barbour. 57 years of teaching 50 of continuous service in the same school (Kent).  Originator of Flag Day. Started the custom of flying the US flag on the schools. As soon as he became principal, he began beautifying school grounds also started gathering of flowers by students for Decoration Day for graves of soldier and sailors.

Source: Rockford Register Republic 4/26/1915

“O.F. Barbour Died At Noon” Veteran Educator had been Principal of Kent School for 49 years “Taken Ill Two Weeks Ago, Saw Plans of Barbour School Few Days Before He Died” 80 years old, stricken by the grippe (influenza) about 8 weeks ago. Son, Ted, died one year ago yesterday, April 25, 1914. His daughter Grace is a teacher in the Chicago schools and stepson, Almy Taylor, of Aurora, is a conductor for the C.B.Q. railroad. In honor of 50 years of dedication to Rockford students, school board proposed new school named “O.F. Barbour”. Barbour was a chorister for many years at Third St. Methodist Church and  for a time directed the choirs at Second Congregational Church and Centennial Church. President of the Masonic Relief Association of Winnebago County and  was a member of Rockford chapter, Order of Eastern Star, Winnebago and Crusader Commandery. Served on library board nearly 39 consecutive years; appt. by Levi Rhoades in 1876. Funeral services at Court Street M.E. Church (Rev. Lynch), internment at West Side Cemetery

Source: Rockford Daily Register Gazette 4/26/1915

“Library Board in Tribute to Prof. O.F. Barbour – Resolutions in honor of educator”

“Memorial for O.F. Barbour   City Schools Will Close; Board of Education, Teachers, Students to attend funeral”

Source: Rockford Daily Register Gazette 4/27/1915

“Rockford Pays Tribute of Tears to dead Teacher” Court St. Methodist Episcopal Church  crowded to capacity, marked by expressions of Grief. impressive burial ritual by the Masons was performed by Walter M. Trigg. Remains deposited in final resting place by W.F. Cadwell, A.C. Humeston, R.S. Chapman, A.F. Tyler, Myron Bruner and Charles H. Emerson

Source: Rockford Morning Star 4/30/1915

“N.F. Thompson Heads Barbour Memorial Body”  Association formed to Perpetuate Name of Kent School Educator. A large attendance and at the meeting and enthusiastic support voiced for a memorial

Source: Rockford Morning Star 6/4/1915




City of Rockford Mayors – 2002

Mayors of Rockford

Source: Sesquicentennial Calendar

Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis Railroad Company – 1870

R Tinker - 1

R Tinker - 2

Source:  Rockford Weekly Register-Gazette Mar. 19, 1870

Rockford Tack Company Plant – 1891

Rockford Tack Co.

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

Rockford Tack Co, Henry W. Price, president, Levi Rhoades, vice-president, Elias Cosper, secretary and treasurer. Manufacturers of fine charcoal and Swedish Iron Tacks I all their varieties.  Also common and patent brads, finishing trunk and clout nails, zinc, copper, iron and steel shoe nails. North End of Water Power.

Source: 1892 Philippi’s Rockford City Directory

Rockford Watch Co. – 1876, 1905

Rockford Watch Co., organized 1874, capital $150,000, Levi Rhoades, president, Alex. D. Forbes, vice president, Hosmer P. Holland sec., George Troxell treas., S. Main St. east of river*

Source: 1876 Brainerd’s Rockford City Directory

*319 So. Madison St.

Rockford Watch Co. Ltd., Jacob Franks, pres., treas. and mngr, M C Eppenstein v-pres, S C Eppenstein secretary, 318 So. Madison St.

Source: 1905 Rockford City Directory

Rockford Tack Co. – 1876

Rockford Tack Co., organized April 1, 1875, capital stock paid in $25,000, authority to increase to $250,000, E.L. Woodruff pres., Levi Rhoades, vice pres., Elias Cosper sec. and treas., manufacturer of nails, tacks, brads, etc., office and factory water power.

Source: 1876 Brainerd’s Rockford City Directory