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Voices from the Grave

Voices from the Grave. Hitchhiking wraith

By Kathi Kresol  Contributor  Most people in this area have heard of the Resurrection Mary story from Chicago. But Rockford had its own hitchhiking ghost during the summer in 1933. What makes this story especially intriguing is that the…

Voices from the Grave. Ghostly warning

By Kathi Kresol  Contributor  Carol Neal was awakened by the sound of one of her young daughters screaming in an adjoining bedroom in the middle in the night. Carol ran to the bedroom where she found two-year-old Laura, crying and…

Haunted by a dream

By Kathi Kresol  Contributor  That August night in 1895 was hot. The old man, Peter, rose from his bed and stood by the open window in his bedroom. The heat was not what disturbed him, however. It was a dream that had awakened him that…

A hard end to a hard life

By Kathi Kresol  Contributor  Margaret Burke led a hard life. She moved to Rockford around 1883, bringing her only surviving child William to the city from Janesville, Wisconsin. Mrs. Burke had buried two husbands and ten children in her 60…

Rockford’s Boys of (17)76

By Kathi Kresol  Contributor Winnebago County is blessed by many men and women who have dedicated their lives by serving in our Armed Forces. These men and women who sacrificed so much are recognized and honored all year in our county at…

Voices from the Grave: Rockford’s skeletons

By Kathi Kresol  Contributor  Rockford has plenty of skeletons in its communal closet; there are many stories that some people wish would never come to light. But this story is about the actual skeletons that have popped up in our city from…

Voices from the Grave: A most devious plan

By Kathi Kresol  Contributor  The evening was warm and muggy, a July night in northern Illinois. The events that unfolded on a back road at the border of Winnebago and Ogle Counties were anything but typical, however. A dark car pulled over…

Ernest Pearson’s unwavering commitment

By Kathi Kresol Contributor Ernest Mellquist had only been on the job as a fireman for two weeks when a fire erupted at Rockford Paper Box Board Company on March 8, 1909. Later, people would call it destiny or fate. Personally, Ernest…

Mystery at the Chick Hotel

By Kathi Kresol Contributor Thomas Chick was worried. He owned the Chick Hotel for over 14 years by 1902 and knew trouble when he saw it. It was just a feeling he had about the couple that checked into the hotel in the middle of June. They…

An early murder in Rockford’s Past

By Kathi Kresol Contributor When the word spread that William Moore and Terrence Donnerie were involved in another scuffle, no one in Rockford was surprised. The men had several altercations in the past that had been witnessed by many of…

The sledding tragedy of little Nannie

By Kathi Kresol Contributor Sledding has been a past time for children for many generations. During the late 1800s one of the areas that offered this activity was Rockford’s southwest side on Knowlton Street. At that time, Knowlton Street…

Voices From the Grave: Thou shall not covet

By Kathi Kresol Contributor The events that took place on November 7, 1948 happened so quickly that witnesses would find it difficult to remember the exact sequence. There were other details that were abundantly clear, however. When it was…