Rockford Schools

In August of 1857, Rockford was divided into two school districts.  District 1 was

east of the river and had John Quincy Adams School.  District 2 was on the west

side and had Abraham Lincoln School.  Total enrollment was around 900.

Freeman School also was built in 1857.  A new district came into

being in the Kent and Montague area in 1858.  Still another was the John Hall

School at 414 North Third, named for Board of Education member John Hall.

This was built in 1866 and rebuilt in 1892.

Colonel E. F. Ellis School was the next school erected in Rockford in 1868 on

West State Street and rebuilt in 1899 on Elm Street.  It was named for the Civil

War hero.  Present-day Ellis School is the Ellis Arts Academy on Central Ave.

The latter two are shown below.

Hall School (1866)

Ellis Arts Academy

Other early schools are shown below:


Freeman School (1857)


Marsh School (1872)


Nelson School (1881)



Montague School (1883)


Garrison School (1887)


Lincoln School (1857)



Wight School (1889)


High School (1885)



Source:  Rockford Ill/Photo-Gravure Views and Brief Descriptive Sketch of the Forest City,

Rockford Real Estate Exchange, Rockford Ill, 1893.

Rockford To-Day, Rockford Morning Star, The Clark Company Press, Rockford,

Illinois, 1903.






Lincoln School, later Franklin School (1926), 405 N. Court Street, opened 1892, closed 1971, demolished 1976

Sources: Photo: Photo Gravere Views, 1893; Map: Sanborn Atlas, 1913-1928 [Note that North Street is later Park Ave.]; Article: “Lincoln School Third Hospital,” Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, October 11, 1918, p.5. In October, 1918, it was one of three emergency hospitals during the Spanish flu pandemic, along with the Boys’ Club and the Knights of Columbus building on N. Main St. Lincoln was renamed Benjamin Franklin School in 1926, when Abraham Lincoln Middle School was built on Charles Street.


Spanish Flu October 11, 1918

Source: Rockford Morning Star   October 11, 1918

Camp Grant – 1918, Influenza Pandemic

Spanish Flu - 1

Source: Nuggets of History, Vol. 46, No. 4, December 2008

Spanish flu - 2 sm

Source: Nuggets of History December 2008 Vol. 46 No. 4

Spanish flu - 3 sm

Source: Nuggets of History December 2008 Vol. 46 No. 4

Spanish Flu - 4 sm

Source: Nuggets of History December 2008 Vol. 46 No. 4

Spanish flu - 5 sm

Source: Nuggets of History December 2008 Vol. 46 No. 4

Spanish flu - 6



Schureman, David S. – Architect

Schureman 1904 list

Advertisement from Rockford Daily Register-Gazette, December special edition 1904

Some addresses: Second Congregational Church – Church and North Sts.; City Hall – (in 1905): corner of 1st and Walnut St.; Appel’s Department Store – 117-121 West State St.; Svea Soner Music Hall – 326-328 7th St.; F. G. Shoudy residence – N 2nd St near Sinnissippi Park; Mrs, Julia P. Warren’s residence – 711 No. Main St.; W.A.. Stapleton’s residence – 1731 National Ave.; J. B. Whitehead’s residence – 848 No. Main St.; Robert Lind’s residence – 506 Gregory St.; E. E. Bartlett’s residence – 805 No. Court; Wm. Winter’s residence – 1728 National Ave.; Aubrey Barnes’ residence – 1701 National Ave.; Frithiof F. Nelson’s residence: 1315 National Ave.; A.E. Lindsay’s residence – 507 Kent St.; Swedish Lutheran Church parsonage – Third St. and College Ave.; Illinois Stationery Co. – 311-13 So. Main St.; Mendelssohn Hall – 513 West State St.; Trinity Lutheran Church – 218 N 1st St.; Rockford High School – 219-227 So. Madison St.; Freeman School So. 2th St. and 2nd Ave.; Brown School – Brown School – 8th St. corner 16th Ave.;Lincoln School – Court St. NE corner Park Ave.; Hall School – 426 N 3rd St.; Blake School – Chestnut SE corner Court St.; Garrison School – N. Court corner John St.; Jackson School – Jackson between Crosby and Benton St.; Montague School – Court St corner Montague St.; St. James School – Lafayette Ave corner 2nd St.

Source of addresses: most from 1905 The Republic’s Rockford and Winnebago County Directory