Rock Cut Park, Indian Legend – 1934 article

Source:  Rockford Register Republic May 31, 1934

Rockford Fire Dept. history – Forest City Firelog, 1982

Source: Forest City Firelog, 1881 – 1981  Compiled by Fire Lt. George Thomas Burke, edited by James and Janet George, Rockford, IL  1982, first few pages

See also Rockfordiana files and newspaper articles on Fires


Rockford Female Seminary – 1892 became Rockford College


From: Rockford College ; a Retrospective Look

The four pages below are from Chapter 1 by Virginia Clark, Rockford Female Seminary


Winnebago County History

History 1600’s – first was part of Virginia

History 1700’s – French were first European settlers in county. French explorer, Robert de La Salle, rename country Louisiana

History 1763 – Treaty of Paris 1763  gave land East of Mississippi River to Great Britain

History 1778 – Colonel George Rogers Clark attacked  military posts in Kaskaski, Cahokia and Vincennes. The territory reorganized into Illinois.

History 1783 – The Treaty of Paris 1783 gave Illinois to Great Britain

History 1787 – History 1787 Congressional Ordinance – Ohio River to Mississippi be 3 – 5 States

History 1800  Act of Congress in 1800, Northwest Territory would equal Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin

History 1809 – was organized the territory of Illinois and  Kaskaskia became seat of Illinois government

History 1812 – Illinois was advanced to the second grade of territorial government

History 1818 – admitted to Union as a State named for Winnebago Indians, but were not prominent in Indian history

Source: Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County 977.33 C471p

Winnebago means “fish eaters”

Source: Sinnissippi Saga 977.33 M31

first settler of European decent : Stephen Mack

Source: Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County 977.33 C471p

first settler of East Rockford: Daniel Shaw Haight

Source: Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County  977.33 C471p

Illinois State Legislature provided for organization of Winnebago County on January 16, 1836, formed from JoDaviess & LaSalle Counties originally included all of Boone County and part of Stephenson County. On March 4,1837  Illinois State Legislature provided creation of Boone & Stephenson Counties

Source: The pioneers of Winnebago and Boone Counties, Illinois, who came before 1841 R 929.377331 R883p

wanted to secede to Wisconsin between 1818 and 1845

Source: Nuggets of History Summer 1987


Black Hawk War, The – Thomas S. Johnson

Black Hawk War

Black Hawk War 2

Story continues. Issues of Nuggets of History are available to Rockford Public Library’s Local History Dept.

Source:  Nuggets of History, Vol. 45, No. 4, December 2007


Princess Hononegah  (Potawatamie princess)

Wife of Stephen Mack (emp of The American Fur Company)

Devoted wife and mother

Skillful with nature’s remedies

Helped care for early settlers

Needlework was exceptional

Taken care of by Clarissa Jenks when she was sick (Source: Ella Jenks obituary Chicago Tribune  8/28/1944)

Source:  Nuggets of History,  Autumn 1983 (Pioneers of Winnebago and Boone Counties, Illinois who came before 1841)    929.377331 R883p  (south wall)

Stephen Mack homestead – 1970 article

Stephen Mack

“Stephen Mack’s homestead coming apart at seams”

“Mack, who is believed to be the first white settler in Rockton Township and probably in the Rock River Valley, built the two-story frame house for his Indian whife, Hononegah, and family, around 1839, three years after the county was founded.”

“Located on a knoll overlooking the junction of the Pecatonica and Rock Rivers, the homestead is surrounded by Macktown Forest Preserve and golf course, and flanked by a maintenance building for the forest preserve.”

“Until a year ago, the building was never heated……….Last Summer the county had furnace installed in the basement to prevent the wood from rotting further because of too much humidity……the heat caused the wood to shrink so he floor crackles when walked on and it appears to be separating from its link with the second floor stairway…”

Source: Rockford Morning Star March 8, 1970