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Rockford Historical Society Records


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

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Rockford Historical Society Records, 1941+ | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Rockford Historical Society Records, 1941+

ID: RHC/RC/268

Extent: 0.75 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 01/28/2005. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: History--Societies, etc., Rockford (Ill.), Rockford Historical Society

Forms of Material: Newsletters.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The records for the Rockford Historical Society date from 1941 to the present. The records for the Rockford Historical Society date from 1941 to the present and consist of meeting minutes, newsletters, correspondence, and newspaper articles.  The records are in chronological order.  In addition, the collection includes the bylaws, lists of officers and board members, and photographs.

Collection Historical Note

The Rockford Historical Society seeks to preserve the history of Rockford, its residents, industry, retail businesses, churches, etc., through pictures, stories and artifacts from 1834 into the 21st century.  The purposes of the corporation as stated in its Certificate of Incorporation are: “To serve the City of Rockford and its people in the preservation of items of historical interest; in compilation, dissemination, and distribution of local history; in owning and maintaining property for use as headquarters, to serve as archives and the preservation and display of historical materials; in creating membership of persons interested in local history and the culture of the community; and the performance of other activities incident to carrying out the purposes of the organization.”   

According to information written by Bob Borden, (located in Box 1, Folder 6) Blanche Alden, David Johnson, and Herman Nelson applied for incorporation of a new organization, to be called the Rockford Historical Society, in late 1961.  The articles of incorporation were issued by the Secretary of State on November 22, 1961.   

A meeting of those interested was called for Sunday afternoon, March 4, 1962, at the Erlander Home Museum.  Forty Rockford residents attended, and a committee was appointed to write by-laws.  A second meeting was held on March 25, at which twenty -four of those present at the first meeting, and twenty-one newcomers attended.  The by-laws were accepted, and the by-laws committee was appointed to also be the nominating committee, to report back on April 29.  The officers then elected were Ray P. Lichtenwalner, president; Frank St. Angel, first vice president; William H. Barrick, second vice president; Blanche Alden, third vice president; Barbara Nilsson, secretary, as well as twenty-four directors.   

At a directors’ meeting in October 1963, it was decided to publish a periodical journal.  W. Ashton Johnson was appointed editor, and it was he who named it “Nuggets of History.”  This highly acclaimed publication is still produced today and is sent to each member of the historical society.   

Another early project of the society was to place a large boulder near the dam, with a plaque explaining that it marks the location of the rock ford, after which Rockford was named.      

The Rockford Historical Society sponsors programs, lectures, dinners, cemetery walks, and essay contests.  They donated money each year to the Rockford Public Library.  The society also researches historic events, homes and people.  Although never owning a museum, the society was one of the three sponsoring organizations which began the Midway Village Museum on Guilford Road.

Subject/Index Terms

History--Societies, etc.
Rockford (Ill.)
Rockford Historical Society

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Accruals: Addenda to the records were added at later dates.

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Bob Borden

Acquisition Method: Bob Borden, member of the Rockford Historical Society, donated the records for the organization to the Regional History Center on January 28, 2005.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],

Box 1
Folder 1: Winnebago County Historical Society, Charter, By-laws, and Rules, 1941
Folder 2-7: Records for Organization, 1961-2003
Folder 8: Photographs (20), 1966-1970, no date
Folder 9-10: "Nuggets of History", 1964-1992

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