Rockford newspapers

The Rock River Express was Rockford’s first paper in 1840, a Democratic sheet, the Rockford Star also began in 1840

The Register was launched in 1855. The Gazette launched in 1866, both Republican in editorial. Register and Gazette merged with Daily Republic in 1829 Rockford Star sold to John A. Brown 7/22/1841, name changed to Rockford Pilot. The Morning Star, founded in 1888, merged with the Register-Gazette 1928 but retained name

Brown also published a few issues of The Better Covenant, a Universalist religious monthly

Rockford Free Press was est. in Oct, 1848 by Henry Dupuy; Free Soil or Barnburner paper. Rockford Free Press was suspended in February 1850 due to lack of patronage

Winnebago Forum, Ambrose Wight as editor, established in 1843 it was changed to Rockford Forum in August 1843. Elijah Blaisdell, Jr. bought Rockford Forum in 1854 and changed name to Rockford Republican Elias Dougherty purchased Rockford Republican plant and merged it with Rockford-Register

Rock River Democrat was established Feb 1855 published by Benjamin Holt. Rock River Democrat was sold in June of 1865 to the Register company

Rockford Register was established in Feb 1855; the plant and that of Rock River Democrat were aquired by a stock company known as Rockford Register Co.

Rockford Wesleyan Seminary Reporter was edited by W.F. Stewart as a monthly; 4 issues total

The Democratic Standard (1858) ; Democratic was dropped from name 5 weeks later

The Daily News began printing in Dec 1860, sold 1861

The Rock River Mirror “neutral in politics” was edited by Alan Gibson, 1959 – 1870’s

The Rockton Gazette established in 1857, was suspended a year later but re-established

The Rockton Herald was established in 1875, now known as North Suburban Herald

The Pecatonica Independent was launch in 1859, discontinued before November 1860

People’s Press, a democratic sheet, started publication July of 1865; ended Sept 1866

Winnebago County Chief, a Republican Paper, was organized in Nov 1866; J.P. Irvine, publisher. Hiram Enoch was added as a partner in 1867, Winnebago County Chief, later was sole owner. Foote and Kimball owned WCC in 1882, sold to D. Miller and Co. in 1886. in 1887 the Winnebago County Chief paper was purchased by J. Stanley Browne. 1888, the Winnebago County Chief plant and subscription lists turned over to Rockford Morning Star.

The Rockford Gazette, a Republican weekly, began publication in Nov. 1866. I.S. Hyatt was the first publisher of The Rockford Gazette. Hyatt sold it to A.E. and W.E. Smith, formerly Indianapolis publishers, in 1867. The Rockford Gazette became a morning daily in 1873, but in November, an evening publication. The Gazette became a weekly again in 1874. In 1877, N.D. Wright and Charles L. Miller became owners of The Rockford Gazette

Words for Jesus, a religious monthly, began in 1867, suspended 2 years later

The Golden Censor a religious newspaper, semimonthly 1868-1877. The Golden Censor grew to an 18,000 circulation, then regressed in The Panic years. The Golden Censor suspended publication in 1896; a year later resumed publication. 1897: Calvert Bros. resumed publication with Charles A. Church as editor. Charles A. Church found himself in sole possession of the Censor until April 1, 1898. June 1898, The Golden Censor was sold to a Chicago publication

Leaves from the Forest Hill was title of first Women’s College publication in Midwest,  produced by faculty and students of Rockford Female Seminary in the 1850s

George Haskell published The Spirit Advocate and Spiritual Doctrines, 1854-1855

in 1891, Edgar Bartlett, William Eaton and Eugene Mc Sweeney of Kalamazoo, Michigan, bought The Daily Register and The Gazette and consolidated them into the Daily Register-Gazette. Management remained until consolidation in to the Daily Register-Gazette. Management remained until consolidation of the Register-Gazette, Morning Star and Republic by Mrs. Medill McCormick.

Short-lived publications: The Christian Gleaner, Rockford Daily Journal (2 issues), Andrus Illustrated Monthly, Methodist Free Press, Curiosity Hunter, Nowadays magazine, Rockford Sunday Herald, and Our Home and Science Gossip

The Rockford Daily News struggled along with a few breaks in continuity; D.K, Andrus, editor and publisher, for 2 years. When June 3, 1878 issue carried a horror story of government overthrow by anarchists, Mayor Watson ordered it closed. The Daily News suspended publication October of 1880. No issues have been preserved.

The Furniture Journal was an important trade journal, began 1888, lasted 20 years

The Spectator (Charles Church, editor), The Weekly Recorder, Rockford Chief, The Journal of Practical Nursing were publications launched in the 1890’s

In 1890, The Rockford Republican began to provide morning competition for the Star. The Rockford Republican became an evening paper 3 years later. C. Dwight Allyn was editor of the Rockford Republican when it became an evening paper. in 1896, C.L. Miller, Harry M. Johnson, and John E. Warfield purchased the Rockford Republican and renamed it the Daily Republic.  Mr. Miller, editor, remained active until 1910, then Robert Ruhl assumed editorship for a year before selling it back to Mr. Miller. In 1913, Harry M. Johnson succeeded his retiring partner as president. H.W.Pollard, H.T. Peterson, John E. Bollman, W. Ashton Johnson and Thomas Barney Thompson (editor) became directors of the corporation. The death of Mr. Johnson in 1928 preceded by a year the sale of the newspaper to Ruth Hanna McCormick. Mr. Thompson retired as editor in the 1950’s. Winnebago Newspaper, Inc. purchased the McCormick estate interests. Officers of the new corporation were: E. Kenneth Todd, president, L.C. Miller, Eugene Abegg, vice-presidents, Ina B. Cholke, secretary, William K. Todd, business manager, and John W. Grimes, executive editor. In 1961, Rex Carney, former Madison, Wisconsin editor succeeded Mr Grimes, upon his retirement., while Hjalmer Nelson assumed the associate editorship

Svenska Posten, a newspaper in Scandinavian language, first published on Jan. 4, 1889. the paper Svenska Posten  thrived for many years, discontinued in World War I. Editorship of Svenska Posten: C. J. Sjostrom, Fred Swenson, Rev. Claus A. Wendell.  Charles E. Sandberg was editor of Svenska Posten when it discontinued in WWI. Svenska Posten was the outgrowth of the Rockford Allejanda (1872). Framtiden published 1903-1905, Oscar Bjork and Fred Swenson

The Rockford Germania weekly newspaper for German population, 1885. John Pringle published Rockford Germania, 4-page sheet issued weekly. Ferdinand Stedinger published during the 1890’s; ceased pub during WWI

The Catholic Monthly was launched in 1909. The Catholic Monthly became the a weekly called The Observer as diocese grew

In 1947 the Post a weekly launched by Curtis R. West. John Wingle became West’s partner when Mayor Frank Larsen erected the Post Building.

The Monday Morning Mail was launched in 1954

In January 1965, The East Sider, Northwest News and 25 other weekly giveaway tabloids.

The High School Herald semi-monthly news sheet at original East High School, 1882  The R.H.S. Owl launched in 1889 in the new high school in 1889

The Crusader, Chromelight I and Chromelight II

Source: Nuggets of History Autumn, 1990







War Effort Publicity – 1943

War Effort Publicity

Source:  Rockford Morning Star Sept. 5, 1943

News Tower Quartet – 1936

News Tower Quartet

The News Tower Quartet will sing at the annual cooking school at the Midway Theater conducted by The Morning Star and Register-Republic, Members of the quartet are Vernie Gustafson, Earl B. Anderson, H.G. Hanson and Lawrence Alex.

Source: Rockford Morning Star February 2, 1936