It was the date upon which the City of Rockford was built on. Three brave souls by the names of Germanicus Kent, Thatcher Blake, and Lewis Lemon took a chance and made their way eastward from Galena through the rolling hills and flowing valleys of Northern Illinois. Upon arrival, they discovered a peaceful valley filled with a clear flowing river and an abundance of forestry and wildlife.
The establishment of the first permanent settlement on the west bank of the Rock River was better known as “Midway” due to its relationship of being the midway point between the cities of Galena and Chicago. Midway set the foundation and officially gained City designation as “Rockford” on January 3rd, 1852. The name Rockford was coined by the “rocky ford” that crosses the bottom of the Rock River. As word of this new utopia spread, immigrants of all nationalities flocked to this beautiful City and it soon became an industrial mecca producing machinery, fasteners, textiles, hosiery, watches, furniture, and so much more.
Like its name, Rockford is solid, built on hard labor and those that believe that anything is possible. Those proud to call themselves Rockfordians know how to fight for what they believe in, carrying on a legacy to build a strong viable community for future generations to come. Rockford. It all started with three brave men and a dream; to the Founders of this amazing City we salute you!
by Michael Montana