Roscoe Township Historical Society

Roscoe Township Historical Society Discovering the rich history of Roscoe Township, together.

Operating as usual

An aerial view of the Cross homestead in 1954 when it was owned by CF Hulburt, Hononegah Road wasn't much more than a si...
07/30/2020

An aerial view of the Cross homestead in 1954 when it was owned by CF Hulburt, Hononegah Road wasn't much more than a single lane.

Visit our friends at the Rockton Township Historical Society for their Trash to Treasure Sale!
07/02/2020

Visit our friends at the Rockton Township Historical Society for their Trash to Treasure Sale!

We look forward to seeing all our friends at our July Trash to Treasure sale at the museum.

Looking for the history of the little log cabin on the corner of Main and Reimer in Roscoe.  Comment if you know!
06/17/2020

Looking for the history of the little log cabin on the corner of Main and Reimer in Roscoe. Comment if you know!

05/25/2020

The news of the fall of Sumpter shook the village of Roscoe to its foundations. “The school was afire with patriotism. Nine of the high school boys enlisted in response to the first call for volunteers…When the call for six hundred thousand men came in 1862, James B. Kerr, the principal of the school, at once resigned his position and the recently acquired position as county superintendent of schools and hastened to raise a company of volunteers. Those were soul-stirring times; night after night the people thronged to the old Presbyterian Church, where eloquent speakers painted the national needs in glowing colors. Beside the speaker stood the recruiting officer, book in hand. Every few moments some boy started up from his place among the listeners and hurried forward amidst rousing cheers and waving of handkerchiefs, to place his name on the fated list. Another and another, until the…schoolmaster stood, surrounded by twenty of his boys, and the school retained but two. Among the soldiers that this school furnished to the union are: James Smith, Ezra Eastman, William Bowman, David Adams, N. Woodworth, H. Schermerhorn, Josiah Briggs, James Peaseley, Ed Lovesee, Joseph Spencer, Walter Smith, J.M. Rhodes, William Cant, Moses Feimley, DeWitt Briggs, Frank Hardy, Charles Greeley, Wallace Bruner, Luther Lawrence, James Richardson, George Smith, Henry Rhodes, Henry Skellgen, Theon Worster, Ephriam Allen, Lyon Smith, Thomas Field, Harmon Tuttle, Alonzo Hatch, and Josiah Richardson.
“Many of these enlisted in the Seventy-fourth, but some of them serve in other regiments, both infantry and cavalry.
“While the regiments remained in Camp Fuller, there was, of course, great rejoicing. There were picnics, the presentation of the sword to Lieutenant Colonel Kerr, and just before departure, the wedding, when Frances Bradley became the wife of the gallant leader. The bride remained with him until the last, and when the train pulled out from the station, she returned to her Roscoe home, to join with the other women of the village in planning and working for the absent ones.
“For three years they followed the course of the western army: Perryville, Stone River, Chattanooga, Atlanta, every name has its agonizing associations for the waiting ones. It was the custom of most of the families to subscribe for a Chicago daily, in order to keep in closer touch with the soldiers in the field; but even this was often too slow. And when the booming of the cannon proclaimed the news of a battle, many a mother has called her men from the field, and leaving the plow in the furrow, sent them to Rockford for news.
“At last the war was over, and the survivors returned to their homes.” We have already recounted the death of Lieutenant Colonel Kerr who died at Atlanta on July 3, 1864.
In 1865 George Smith, one of the 74th boys, went over to the Cross Grove and cut two smooth, straight poles which he spliced together, and fastened to the front of the schoolhouse – the first flagstaff raised over a district school in the United States, in memory of the boys and the teachers, Kerr and Smith, who had given their lives in defense of the flag.” From the book "The Story of Roscoe" by Florence Lovejoy Shugars.

The Civil War discharge papers of James McAffee in 1863. James McAffee, a Sergeant of Captain Elias Cosper's Company, (E...
05/25/2020

The Civil War discharge papers of James McAffee in 1863. James McAffee, a Sergeant of Captain Elias Cosper's Company, (E) of the 74th. Illinois Regiment of the United States Volunteers Infantry was enlisted by Capt. J. B. Kew of the....... Regiment of.... at Harlem, Winnebago Co., Illinois, on the 11th. day of August 1862, to serve 3 years; he was born in the U. S. of America, is thirty-five years of age, five feet nine inches high, light complexion, blue eyes, Brown hair, and by occupation when enlisted a Farmer. During the last two months said soldier has been unfit for duty 60 days. Discharged this seventh day of January 1863, at Bowling Green, Ky. M.D.Manson, Br'g. Gen'l, Commanding the Post.
James married Margaret Cross in 1866 and raised their family of four on the Cross farm on Hononegah Road, the current site of the Roscoe Township Historical Society restoration project.

An interesting story of a found veteran.  Kenneth Artlip found the remains of his Civil War veteran Grandfather in the R...
05/25/2020
Civil War veteran's grave found after a 50-year search

An interesting story of a found veteran. Kenneth Artlip found the remains of his Civil War veteran Grandfather in the Roscoe Cemetary after a 50-year search.

His great-great grandson, along with the Sons of Union Veterans, held a memorial service for the fallen vet who died more than 150 years ago.

Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District
04/04/2020

Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District

80 years ago today, Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District #1 was created and covered the old Roscoe Fire Department as well as the northern portion of Harlem Township. A lot has changed in 80 years. For the next few months we will be recapping the last 80 years in our monthly newsletter. This page was from last month's issue. If you have trouble reading it, you can read it in our March issue of our newsletter here ...http://harlemroscoefire.com/images/NewsLetter/2020%20March%20complete.pdf

Mary Hinkley was Roscoe's postmaster from December 28, 1885 to February 14, 1890. She was first appointed during Preside...
03/25/2020

Mary Hinkley was Roscoe's postmaster from December 28, 1885 to February 14, 1890. She was first appointed during President Cleveland's administration. When Harrison became president her position was given to David Sturtevant. Three years later she was reappointed and held the position until the day of her death in 1908. She was one of the most affable of women, and the patrons of her office esteemed her very highly. The photo was taken on the west side of Main Street just north of Kinnikinnick Creek and is part of the North Suburban Library Historical Collection. Through 1983 only three women held the position of postmaster for Roscoe. #womenshistorymonth #RoscoeILhistory

03/18/2020
Rockton Township Historical Society

Rockton Township Historical Society

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak we have decided to temporarily suspend spring plans at the museum. We will not be open on Saturdays during April and have postponed the April Trash to Treasure fundraising sale till a later date, probably in the fall. We hope to be able to hold the April 27th program as scheduled.

In 1863, Cordelia and Lorenzo Fyler gave birth to a dynamo; her name was Mary Frances Fyler. When Mary was 16 her father...
03/10/2020

In 1863, Cordelia and Lorenzo Fyler gave birth to a dynamo; her name was Mary Frances Fyler. When Mary was 16 her father Lorenzo established a storefront near the northwest corner of Bridge and Main in Roscoe on May 1, 1879.
Recognizing the growing need throughout the nation for credentialed pharmacists, Mary Fyler enrolled at the University of Illinois at Chicago in its pharmacy program, graduating in 1889 with a Ph.G. as the only woman among 81. In 1890 she was established as one of only 28 registered women pharmacists in the State at that time. She served as, “Roscoe’s Pharmacist” from 1890 until her death in 1936, while creating a storefront in Durand, IL.
Mary Fyler was an integral mover of Roscoe and its interests, having helped establish Roscoe’s Fall Festival in 1910 (serving as its secretary) and as Roscoe’s representative to The Women’s Board of Mission to the Interior.
Mary and her dog, Pedro, were constant fixtures along Main Street and we are grateful for her groundbreaking service to our community. #womenshistorymonth #WomenofRoscoe

The Roscoe Historical Society annual report is out! Stop by our booth at the Stateline Business Expo at Hononegah Field ...
03/07/2020

The Roscoe Historical Society annual report is out! Stop by our booth at the Stateline Business Expo at Hononegah Field house and pick up your copy. Sign up for our mailing list while you're there and enter to win a copy of The History of Roscoe in pictures.

Stop by and say hello, we’re here today and tomorrow!
03/07/2020

Stop by and say hello, we’re here today and tomorrow!

First Congregational Church
01/21/2020

First Congregational Church

Historical Tour, January 20, 2020, led by Tracy Schoonover Terry who gave an an intimate look at The First Congregational Community Church of Roscoe's history, its evolution, and its congregants. From its founding in 1843, immediately followed in 1846 by a strong stand against slavery, to its devastating connection with the tragic Roscoe flood of 1858, and its familial ties with Beloit College.

A very happy 94th Birthday to Larry Ralston our first member/donor and the second great grandson of our founder Robert J...
01/21/2020

A very happy 94th Birthday to Larry Ralston our first member/donor and the second great grandson of our founder Robert J. Cross!

Our first official Roscoe Township Historical Society members - and they're Ralstons!

Tonight Tracy Schoonover Terry (pictured from our cemetery walk) will present an intimate look at The First Congregation...
01/20/2020

Tonight Tracy Schoonover Terry (pictured from our cemetery walk) will present an intimate look at The First Congregational Community Church of Roscoe's history, its evolution, and its congregants. From its founding in 1843, immediately followed in 1846 by a strong stand against slavery, to its devastating connection with the tragic Roscoe flood of 1858, and its familial ties with Beloit College, Ms. Terry will reveal interesting facts that span more than 175 years, all capped off with a tour of the current facility. Pictures and archived documents will be on display throughout the church.
The presentation will include the latest updates, accomplishments, and plans of the one-year-old Roscoe Township Historical Society, particularly as they pertain to fundraising initiatives to support the restoration of the Robert J. Cross Homestead at 4562 Hononegah Road. Join us at 6:30-8:30 pm tonight at The First Congregational Community Church of Roscoe.

Sarah Snure Thompson

Want to become a supporter of the Roscoe Township Historial Society?  Follow this link and join us as we bring the past ...
01/14/2020
History informs our present and your future.

Want to become a supporter of the Roscoe Township Historial Society? Follow this link and join us as we bring the past alive at the Robert J. Cross Homestead and museum!

The Preservation Fund is used for current-year capital and programmatic initiatives of Roscoe Township Historical Society. We hope you find your level of commitment reflected in the following giving levels that pay tribute to the types of individuals who created and maintain Roscoe Township and its....

A great video of the roof renovation process on the Robert J. Cross home by Apex General Contractors who donated the ent...
12/27/2019
Apex General Contracting

A great video of the roof renovation process on the Robert J. Cross home by Apex General Contractors who donated the entire project.

🎥 Here is a documentary video of APEX restoring the roof on the original homestead of Roscoe’s founder Robert J. Cross

This was created by a local artist Jason Yapp and it turned out great👍🏻 Thanks for the great work!

www.APEXgeneralcontracting.net 🏡🔨

Christmastime in Roscoe published Dec 21, 1898 in the Rockford Morning Star talks of trees and festivities at the church...
12/24/2019

Christmastime in Roscoe published Dec 21, 1898 in the Rockford Morning Star talks of trees and festivities at the churches, musical programs, and news about town.

Great News! After just two months of fundraising by the Roscoe Township Historical Society, restoration of the Robert J....
11/19/2019

Great News! After just two months of fundraising by the Roscoe Township Historical Society, restoration of the Robert J. Cross Homestead at 4562 Hononegah Road will begin on November 20, 2019, with the removal and replacement of just more than 2,000 square feet of roofing material.
This important phase of the overall project to provide public-use facilities and open-space grounds on a 17-acre parcel acquired by Roscoe Township in 2018 was made possible by a joint contribution of labor and materials provided through the generosity of Apex General Contracting, South Beloit -and Roscoe ABC Supply Company. According to Brandon Rhymer, Director of Operations at Apex, “We at Apex and ABC Supply in Roscoe are proud to be part of such an important project and hope that our gift will not only help secure the homestead for future generations but also inspire others to pitch in with their talents and donations.”
The Society had just raised enough to fully pay for the work when Brandon stepped up to help put this all together. The generosity of Apex and Roscoe ABC Supply will allow us to use the funds we have raised for other elements of the project and kick start our fundraising efforts in the coming year. We are grateful.
A more complete overview of the project will soon be forthcoming.

Photos from Roscoe Township Historical Society's post
11/19/2019

Photos from Roscoe Township Historical Society's post

So much preservation and remembrance of the early history of the RUMC.
11/19/2019

So much preservation and remembrance of the early history of the RUMC.

Thank you to Doris Hunter Tropp for giving us a tour and providing so much information on the 180 year old Roscoe United...
11/19/2019

Thank you to Doris Hunter Tropp for giving us a tour and providing so much information on the 180 year old Roscoe United Methodist Church history in Roscoe. So much of our early history is here in this building and we appreciate the opportunity!

Rockton Township Historical Society
10/17/2019

Rockton Township Historical Society

"TRASH TO TREASURES - Come see our amazing variety!
Rockton Township Historical Society fall sale
Friday October 18 and Saturday October 19 8 am to 4 pm.
At the Museum Carriage House, 529 Green Street, Rockton.

The people of Victorian-era had an interesting perspective on death and mourning.  Join our friends at the Rockton Histo...
09/17/2019

The people of Victorian-era had an interesting perspective on death and mourning. Join our friends at the Rockton Historical Society for Victorian Mourning Customs on Monday, Sept 23 at 7 pm.

Free Program at the Carriage House at the RTHS Museum
529 Green St., Rockton, IL
Victorian Mourning Customs
Monday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Sharon Atkins will discuss the ways people in Victorian times observed the death of a loved one. Although death and mourning can be seen by some as morbid, Sharon believes, as the Victorian people did- that it is a natural thing and a way to honor the deceased. She presents the material in a lighthearted and respectful way.
Bring a friend to experience an unusual program of a lost tradition of our culture.
Some of the topics discussed will be; funerals in private homes, the custom of stopping clocks at the hour of death, covering mirrors, blended families, tips for genealogists, social restrictions placed on widows, how men and children wore mourning garb, how to tell if an old photograph is of persons in mourning and how to date a photo by the clothing, hair jewelry and artwork of hair, such as shadow boxes.

Roscoe Township Historical Society's cover photo
09/16/2019

Roscoe Township Historical Society's cover photo

Roscoe Township Historical Society Inaugural Cemetery Walk
09/15/2019

Roscoe Township Historical Society Inaugural Cemetery Walk

Join us Saturday!
09/10/2019
Tour 8 Founding Member Gravesites in Roscoe This Weekend

Join us Saturday!

If roaming cemeteries are your thing, this is made for you. Pro Tip: Wear comfortable walking shoes! The Roscoe Township Historical Society is hosting a guided walking tour of eight gravesites at the Roscoe Cemetery! It is

Thanks so much to the Ellingsons for bringing out the beautiful horse drawn carriage. The kids loved the horses as much ...
09/09/2019

Thanks so much to the Ellingsons for bringing out the beautiful horse drawn carriage. The kids loved the horses as much as the candy!

Thanks so much to the Ellingsons for bringing out the beautiful horse drawn carriage. The kids loved the horses as much as the candy!

Our first official Roscoe Township Historical Society members - and they're Ralstons!
09/08/2019

Our first official Roscoe Township Historical Society members - and they're Ralstons!

Fall Festival 2019
09/08/2019

Fall Festival 2019

Roscoe Fall Festival began in 1910 as a fundraiser to better the village of Roscoe. Created by a group of concerned citi...
09/07/2019

Roscoe Fall Festival began in 1910 as a fundraiser to better the village of Roscoe. Created by a group of concerned citizens called the Roscoe Improvement Association, they sought to raise money for future projects. The drawing card for the first Festival was a Kentucky style Barbecue, elaborate pageants, and a parade.

The renderings of the Robert J. Cross home and property are on display at our booth at Roscoe Fall Festival. Stop by and...
09/07/2019

The renderings of the Robert J. Cross home and property are on display at our booth at Roscoe Fall Festival. Stop by and take a look at this exciting project and become a supporter of the Roscoe Township Historical Society.

Robert J. Cross home, early 1940's.
09/06/2019

Robert J. Cross home, early 1940's.

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Roscoe, IL

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It’s not too late

The creation of a Roscoe Township Historical Society is long overdue, but we’re excited to be stepping up to the plate now! The immediate impetus for the formation of the society is the potential purchase of the Robert J. Cross homestead by Roscoe Township. The society’s primary initial goal will be to fundraise for, and otherwise help facilitate, the Cross homestead restoration. This will only be possible if the Roscoe Township Board seizes this opportunity to save the homestead from potential destruction by developers.

We will start with Robert J. Cross, but over time we will discover the unique gifts that knowledge of all the early settlers and native peoples have to offer. We will connect with our past and each other to create a brighter future for all in Roscoe Township.

We came very close to losing this important piece of our history, the Cross homestead. We are grateful it is not too late.

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Comments

Roscoe Highschool 1956. Where was this??
Prairie Hill School 1956
I have two Winnebago County Plat books. One is 1895 and the other is 1902 I think. I will look up Roscoe in both and scan them so you can add them to your collection! There are also write ups of notable people. I'll look for Roscoe references.