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.






“Suburban Schools Will Present Pageant…” – 1934

Source: Rockford Register Republic May 31, 1934

Marsh, Russell, Jr.

Russell Marsh Jr. b.12/19/1819 Bradford County, PA died 7/10/1906  buried Marsh Cemetery  2/1/1845, moved to Winnebago County married. (1) Mary Ann Hays (d.1857) m. Maria L. (Beers) Haley 3/16/1864 came to Rockford 1838 3 children plus 1 adopted 1842 purchased 40 acres eventually owned 160 acres land became Edgebrook golf course and Edgebrook subdivision Marsh School in center of farm property.

Source: Pioneers of Winnebago and Boone Counties, Illinois 929.377331 R883p

Pierce Barker II


Born:  11/23/1919 in Newark NJ to Pierce Barker, Sr.  and Catherine McGree Barker

Photos in newspaper

Died:  5/9/2008 in Rockford

Mass: Friday at St. Bernadette

1940 graduate University of Michigan; Bachelor of Science in engineering

Married:  Mary F. Ferguson  6/20/1942 in Grand Rapids, MI

Moved from Grosse Pointe, MI to Rockford in 1947

Employed by Vickers Inc.

Founded Bark Rockford Company in 1956

Driving force behind creation of Marsh School in 1951

Children:  Mary (John) Barker-Kohlmeier of Lake Bluff;  Lynn (Steve) Barker-Stutsman;  Sam (Jim) Barker-Palmeno

Pierce III (Rise) Barker of Cherry Valley;  Ann (Bill Everett, Jr.) Barker Adams of Tampa, FL

Ann’s kids:  David Loos,  Dana Pepe

Source: Rockford Register Star  5/14/2008



Marsh School – Dutchman’s Holiday fair

Dutchman's Holiday Fair sm

“Dinner, Games, Talent Show on Schedule of “Dutchman’s Holiday Fair.”

Marsh School Fair April 15  Holland Theme

Gary Macklin, left, and Debby Vogt, right Marsh School pupils, display posters advertising their school’s spring fair April 15.

Costumes which will help add Dutch atmosphere to the fair are worn by, left to right in front, Becky Nyboer, Dutch Nyboer, Sharon Sterner, Jackie Nyboer, Jill Nyboer, Karen Theien; back, Jean Sterner, Pat Schwartz, Julie Voss.

Source: Rockford Morning Star April 3, 1955