“Local Trapshoot League names award winners” – 1992, R.I.A.A.

RIAA Trapshoot League

Source:  Rockford Register Star June 29, 1992

“R I A A Squads Move as 2nd Half Begins” – Jan. 10, 1965

RIAA Squads Move

Source:  Rockford Morning Star Jan. 10, 1965

R.I.A.A., RMA softball and Rockford Lawn Bowling Tourney – 1975

R.I.A.A. Softball

Source:  Rockford Morning Star July 1, 1975

“R.I.A.A. Loop Resumes Play” – 7-15-1956, Softball

R.I.A.A. Loop Resumes Play

Source:   Rockford Morning Star July 15, 1956

Rockford Public Library – history of, Dave Oberg

Rockford Public Library

Article on history of the library by David Oberg

Rockford Library Association founded in 1852

In 1855, the Young Men’s Association proposed creating a library

In March 1857, shareholders paid $50 each to join

The first library was on the 3rd floor of the Robertson, Coleman Company, consisting of 1,000 volumes and 38 periodicals

During the Civil War, interest in the library declined, and the books were sold at public auction in 1865

The next version of the Rockford Public Library was founded by Elias Cosper, 1872

The Rockford Library reading room was opened on 08/01/1872

On 02/01/1873, the circulation department opened on the 2nd floor of northwest corner of State and Main, on “Wallach’s Block”

In July 1876, the library moved to the Post Office, on the 100 block of West State Street

In 1878, the library had its first withdrawals: 38 volumes worn out and 3 not returned by borrowers

In 1891, Mayor Starr appointed three women to the library board

In 1895, the board established 6 traveling libraries

In 1896, the library instituted a card catalogue

On 03/06/1901, Andrew Carnegie provided the opportunity to expand the library

The architects for the new library were Bradley and Carpenter

After discussion and delays the location on Wyman Street was chosen

The library was designed with twin entrances, East and West

In 1903, the new library housed a natural history collection. It was called the “Beattie Memorial Museum”

In 1904, the Rockford Public Library was free to Rockford residents, and $2 a year to Winnebago County residents

Also in 1904 the library has its first Child’s Room, and a branch on 7th Street

1905 photograph of library; Main Hall and Delivery Room

By 1917, there were library substations at Highland and Montague schools

In 1918, a thousand cards were given to Camp Grant soldiers

Also in 1918, a new Southeast branch was located at 1217 4th Avenue, and two deposit stations were created: at the W.C.T.U. (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) and at 1616 West State Street

By 1920, Rockford Public Library books were in 50 area schools

The Montague Branch Library was dedicated on 05/24/1923. The architect was Chester E. Wolfley. Montague was established in large part due to the St. Angel family

In 1925, the library opened the Fine Arts Room

By 1925, the Main Library was joined by five branches: Southeast, Highland, Montague, Rowland and West End

In 1929, circulation had risen to more than 500,000 items a year


Source:  “Nuggets of History”, Volume 44, December 2006, No. 4

Illinois Central Railroad

Illinois Central Railroad

The wages were $1.25 a day to build the railroad

It was completed September 27, 1856, taking five years to construct

705 mile railroad

Connected the northern, southern and central parts of the State

The city of Centralia was named after the Illinois Central Railroad

Later, four additional railroads were built east to west

It expanded the social, political, and economic climate of the State

The 1836 legislature granted a charter to build a railroad from Cairo to Galena

$3.5 million was set aside from the State for the building of a central railroad

The work was halted by the financial panic of 1837

The concept was kept alive by Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas

The 1850 Douglas Act was signed by President Fillmore

The bill called for Illinois to receive Federal land to build a central railroad

4000+ miles were made available

The State granted the charter to the Illinois Central Railroad Company

2.5 million acres were transferred to the company

The railroad would have to pay 7% shipping tax

The groundbreaking was at Cairo, IL on 12/23/1851

By 1852 funds were raised via bond sales in England to build the railroad

The chief Construction Engineer was Col. Roswell Mason

Hundreds of German and Irish immigrants were recruited from Europe to work on the railroad

Iron rails at $45 per ton were floated from England via New Orleans and Chicago

The line crossed the Great Western Railroad

The state hired Andrew Carnegie’s company to build a bridge across the Mississippi River

The state of Illinois’ population grew 2.5 million from 1850-1880

Illinois Central’s income in 1861 was $4 million, and in 1865 it was $8 million

Illinois Central hauled 291 million tons of goods in 1870, and 1,302 million tons in 1890

In 1877, Illinois Central bought the Chicago, St. Louis and New Orleans Line

Illinois Central purchased the Havana, Rantoul and Eastern Railroad and the Iowa Line in 1887

In 1888, Illinois Central built a line from Chicago to Freeport

Illinois Central built a huge bridge at Cairo over the Ohio River; it was completed in 1889

The Illinois Central headquarters was in Chicago, IL

Illinois Central installed telegraph lines, and the telegraph operators could signal station masters up and down the line

Illinois Central built the first sleeping cars, three years before Pullman

They were the first railroad to establish Post Office cars

Illinois Central was the first railroad to develop refrigerated freight cars

They were one of the five largest railroads in the U. S. by 1900

By 1926 the suburban line trains converted from steam to electricity


Source:  “Historic Illinois”, Vol. 29, No. 4, December 2006, Pages 3 – 7, Rockford Public Library’s Local History Collection