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,