“Loves Park celebrates its 27th year as a city this year (1974). But its history dates back to 1845 when Elizabeth Strawn filed a claim and purchased surrounding claims until she owned 470. Mrs. Strawn, a widow, paid $1,750 for the land, and 30 years later sold half the property to Francis and Margaret Weldon for $14,000. Weldon farmed the land until 1898 when he died of a sun stroke. His widow and daughter sold the land at the turn of the century to Malcolm Love, a Rockford businessman and alderman. While Love owned the farm, a grove along the river became a popular picnic spot and was known as “Love’s Grove” and later as “Love’s Park.” Malcolm Love was a naturalist, a conservationist and lover of the out-of-doors, He purchased farms north of Rockford so he could spend his retirement in the natural surroundings he loved. Two farms totaled 240 acres. Love, as the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Love, one of the pioneer families of Rockford. He was born in 1859 in Rockford and attended schools here. He maries Rosetta Stites in 1883. By 1886 he had formed his own company, the love manufacturing Co., which manufactured pumps among other things. Love became active in Rockford civ affairs and in 1879 became alderman of Rockford’s fourth ward. He divided his time between civic activities and his company for almost 30 years. In 1920 the Love manufacturing Co. and the Ward Pump Co. merged and was valued at over $1 1/2 million. In 1921 Love retired from the company and although he didn’t know it at the time, he started what was to become the city of Loves Park. Malcolm Love never lived to see the city he created. He died in 1930 at the age of 71. Love sold the farm to subdividers in 1909 and 1910, beginning the transition from farm land to residential lots. By the late 1920’s the new Loves Park had grown the residents were arguing the merits of annexation to Rockford or remaining an independent community. An apostrophe continued to drift in and out of Loves Park’s history throughout the 1900’s until the city was incorporated. Mrs. Edward Kotche, 6302 Park Ridge Road, wife of Winnebago County Judge, and long time park resident said it was first called “Mr. Love’s Park” in honor of Malcolm Love. She added that the lack of governmental agencies and official documents added to the confusion of spelling until 1947 when the city was officially called Loves Park upon incorporation. Incorporation was finally approved on April 30, 1947 by a vote of 808-513.